Valerie Bell is an award-winning author, sought-after speaker, and experienced ministry leader who shares her spiritual journey with refreshing honesty, gentle humor, and a hunger for God. She has written many magazine articles and published numerous books—including A WELL-TENDED SOUL; REAL SURVIVORS: Finding Hope and Courage in Times of Crisis; MADE TO BE LOVED: Enjoying Spiritual Intimacy with God and Your Spouse; FAITH-SHAPED KIDS: Helping Your Child Grow Spiritually; NOBODY'S CHILDREN; Getting Out of Your Kids’ Faces and into Their Hearts—and her most recent publication, AN AFRICAN AWAKENING: My Journey into AIDS Activism, a collaborative project with World Vision. For 10 years she was heard regularly on The Chapel of the Air, a nationally-syndicated daily radio broadcast featured on more than 500 stations across North America.
Raised in a Christian home, Valerie came to faith as a child. However, after a cancer diagnosis as a young mother she struggled with physical and spiritual fragility. Desperate to restore a sense of well-being, Valerie pursued God through a new-to-her set of spiritual practices. These healing practices focused special attention to the care of the soul. She came to realize that even a person suffering from cancer is still someone who is incredibly blessed by God. During that extended period of fear and anxiety Valerie learned the “big lesson”—i.e. well-being flows from relationship with God instead of all-is-well circumstances. Those “fragile” years formed her spiritually, both deepening and authenticating her ministry voice.
Frequently invited to speak and lead events for churches, conferences, denominational meetings and retreats, Valerie also makes appearances on radio and television. Her writing and speaking ministries have led to ongoing partnerships with World Vision, MOPS International, Hungry Souls, Global Bag Project, Awana Clubs International, Willow Creek Association and Compassion International.“ I consider myself beyond fortunate for the richness of friendships and strategic partnerships for which I’m incredibly grateful to God.” Valerie is also a global activist, has ministered in scores of countries worldwide, and for many years represented the Global Bag Project as Director of Strategic Alliances. Valerie's passion for parenting and family concerns called her to serve for seven years on the Board of Directors of MOPS International, including three years as board chair through the end of her term in 2011. She joined the Board of Directors for Awana Clubs International in 2012; then in early 2016 was asked to serve as the CEO of Awana, the global leader of child discipleship reaching more than 3.1 million children every week in 115 countries.
Valerie is a member of Willow Creek Community Church and is married to Steve Bell, an executive vice president of Willow Creek Association. The Bells live in Kildeer, Illinois and are the parents of two grown sons—Brendan and Justin—and the adoring grandparents of Rowan, Rhys, Merrick, Elise and Griffin Bell.