Symposium on Worship: January 29 – 31, 2015

Grand Rapids, MI, USA

also see featured presenters' books.

Recently added: 

Catherine Gunsalus González, professor emerita of Church History at Columbia Theological Seminary. She is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and was the first woman to preach on The Protestant Hour in 1974. Her new bi-lingual book is Resources in the Ancient Church for Today’s Worship/Lecciones del culto antiguo para la iglesia hoy (Abingdon, 2014).

Justo L. González, an ordained United Methodist minister, retired member of the Rio Grande Conference of the United Methodist Church, and noted historian and theologian. A prolific author whose books on history and theology have been published in ten languages, he is an influential contributor to the development of Latino theology.

James Abbington, professor of music and worship at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Atlanta, GA; executive editor of the GIA African American Sacred Music Series; and author of several books and hymnals on music and worship in the African American tradition, including Readings in African American Church Music and Worship, Volume 2 (GIA Publications, Inc, 2014).

David M. Bailey, founder and director of Making a Melody, a ministry that inspires, empowers,and equips Christians to shape worshipping communities to value and cultivate the flourishing of all people. He is a music producer, speaker, and the author of Arrabon: Learning Reconciliation through Community & Worship Music.

M. Craig Barnes, president and professor of pastoral ministry, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ. His writing and academic work reflect his deep commitment to the theological formation of pastors to lead the church in changing times. He is the author of a number of books, including The Pastor as Minor Poet: Texts and Subtexts in the Ministerial Life (Eerdmans, 2009), and a columnist for The Christian Century.

Tim Blackmon, a Christian Reformed minister serving the American Protestant Church of The Hague in the Netherlands. Before returning to his native Holland, Tim was a Christian Reformed church planter in Moreno Valley and Folsom, CA.

Joyce Borger, editor of Reformed Worship; team leader of Worship Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church; and editor of Lift Up Your Hearts: Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs (Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2013).

Emily R. Brink, resource development specialist for congregational song at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship; she recently retired as program chair of the Calvin Symposium on Worship. She is co-author with Paul Detterman of Wise Church: Exploring Faith and Worship with Christians Around the World (Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2013).

Wendie Brockhaus, a pastor, theologian, and educator in the greater Kansas City area, she curates experiences of worship and spiritual formation for faith communities and individuals. She is the former director of spiritual formation at Saint Paul School of Theology. She co-authored The Mosaic Experiment: Bringing Old Testament Practices Out of Retirement (The House Studio, 2010).

Lori J. Carrell, author of Preaching That Matters: Reflective Practices for Transforming Preaching (Alban, 2013), Distinguished Professor of Communication at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh as well as director of both the University Studies Program and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Carrell is the assessment coordinator for the Academy of Preachers' National Festival of Young Preachers.

Fernando A. Cascante Gómez, executive director of the Association for Hispanic Theological Education (AETH), based in Orlando, FL. A native of Costa Rica, he studied at the University of Costa Rica and the Latin American Biblical Seminary. He served churches in San José and other parts of the country for more than ten years. He received his MA and Ed.D from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education, Richmond, VA, and served as professor of Christian Education there. 

Mark Charles, resource development specialist with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship in the area of worship and culture; he lives with his family on the Navajo Reservation, exploring areas of teaching and discipleship ministries among a wide range of people and cultures.

Todd Cioffi, assistant professor in the Congregational and Ministries Studies department at Calvin College, and director of Jubilee Fellows, a year-long program designed to mentor 12 junior Calvin students in Christian leadership and church ministry, and to foster the next generation of church leaders. 

Dale Cooper, resource specialist for liturgical spirituality at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, as well as chaplain emeritus and adjunct faculty in the department of Congregational and Ministry Studies.

Maria Cornou, resource specialist for international programming and Spanish language resources for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. From Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she taught biblical studies and was administrative director at the International Baptist Theological Seminary, she is now based in Grand Rapids, MI, and completing a PhD in theology.

Phil de Haan, senior public relations specialist for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

Norma de Waal Malefyt, resource development specialist for congregational song, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. She co-authored Designing Worship Together: Models and Strategies for Worship Planning (Alban, 2005).

Miranda Dodson, singer/songwriter/worship leader at City Life Church, Austin, TX. She most recently released "Ascend," a worship project that highlights the incomparable person and work of Jesus—his birth, life, death, resurrection, and return—paying particular attention to his victorious ascent from the grave, conquering sin, death, and evil. It is a celebration of the Jesus who, not only forgives sin in his death, but also starts a whole new creation in his resurrection life.

Diane Dykgraaf, associate in the Worship Ministries office of the Christian Reformed Church, church musician and accompanist with training in various styles of church music, piano and organ teacher; and hymnal assistant and arranger of several songs in Lift Up Your Hearts: Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs (Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2013).

Julia Start Fletcher, coordinator of worship arts at Millbrook Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, MI; adjunct professor of dance at Calvin College; and dance instructor at area dance schools.

Catherine Gunsalus González, professor emerita of Church History at Columbia Theological Seminary. She is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and was the first woman to preach on The Protestant Hour in 1974. Her new bi-lingual book is Resources in the Ancient Church for Today’s Worship/Lecciones del culto antiguo para la iglesia hoy (Abingdon, 2014).

Justo L. González, an ordained United Methodist minister, retired member of the Rio Grande Conference of the United Methodist Church, and noted historian and theologian. A prolific author whose books on history and theology have been published in ten languages, he is an influential contributor to the development of Latino theology.

Mike Graves, William K. McElvaney Professor of Preaching, Saint Paul School of Theology, Kansas City, KS. He is the co-author of What’s the Shape of Narrative Preaching? Essays in Honor of Eugene L. Lowry, (Chalice Press), and The Sermon as Symphony: Preaching the Literary Forms of the New Testament (Judson Press).

Denise Kingdom Grier, lead pastor at Maple Avenue Ministries, a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-generational congregation in Holland, MI, and the first union church of the Reformed Church in America and the Christian Reformed Church. 

Betty Grit recently retired as grants manager for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship; she now serves on the board of Christian Learning Center (CLC) Network and provides consultation to churches who seek to renew worship and engage worshipers of all abilities.

Eileen Guenther, professor of church music, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC. She teaches music and worship courses, directs the chapel choir, and co-directs the chapel services. She concluded three terms as president of the American Guild of Organists. She is author of Rivals or a Team: Clergy-Musician Relationships in the 21st Century (MorningStar, 2012) and a forthcoming book on The Power of Spirituals?   

Betsy Steele Halstead, an artist in oils and woodcuts and program coordinator for grants and communications and resource specialist for visual arts at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

Melissa Haupt, Ph.D. candidate in practical theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. Her academic interests include the intersection of worship and pastoral care, the Psalter as teacher of prayer and grammar, and recovering the practice of lament. She contributed to Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship (Brazos Press and Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2012) and Lift Up Your Hearts: Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs (Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2013).

C. Michael Hawn, professor of church music, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, and author of One Bread, One Body: Exploring Cultural Diversity in Worship (Alban, 2003) with a foreward by Justo L. González.

Linda Witte Henke, an artist and consultant specializing in work purposed for liturgical use.

Scott Hoezee, director of the Center for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, MI. His new book is Actuality: Real Life Stories for Sermons that Matter (The Artistry of Preaching Series, Abingdon Press, 2014). 

Shannon Jammal-Hollemans, project developer and team leader at the Office of Social Justice for the Christian Reformed Church (CRC); she is an ordained pastor in the CRC, living in Grand Rapids, MI.

Meg Jenista, pastor of The Washington DC Christian Reformed Church. She is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing a Th.M. in preaching, also from Calvin. 

Tom Jennings, director of worship at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City since 1995; his work there has been featured in Jazz Times, Worship Leader, byFaith, and Charisma, as well as a documentary for Anglican Media Sydney; as a pianist, he has performed as a recitalist, orchestral soloist, and in opera, jazz, and cabaret.

Pablo Jimenez, senior pastor of the Iglesia Cristiana (Descípulos de Cristo) in Espinosa, Dorado, Puerto Rico, and co-author with Justo Gonzalez of Pulpito: An Introduction to Hispanic PreachingHe has preached and taught in several countries in Central and North America; see

Graham Kendrick, a leading contributor to  ‘modern worship music’ who for more than 30 years has been at the forefront of Christian music in the UK having written and recorded hundreds of songs, many of which are well known around the world, including “Shine Jesus Shine,” “Knowing You,” “The Servant King,” and “Amazing Love.” He is an active advocate for the charity Compassion, encouraging audiences worldwide to understand worship as a way of life, and true intimacy with God as sharing in the concerns of the heart and participating in God’s mission to the world. 

Joy-Elizabeth Lawrence, a M.Div. student at Western Theological Seminary, she has worked both in theatre and churches and finds resonance using theatrical training and skills to communicate God's word. She is a biblical storyteller and regularly leads lay readers and performers toward creative and clear ways to remember and retell God's story in worship.

Jorge Lockward, born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Jorge lives in New York City where he works as director of the Global Praise Program of the General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church, and lectures on worship at Union Theological Seminary. Jorge was a committee member of the Spanish Language United Methodist Hymnal, Mil Voces para Celebrar, and has served as consultant on other denominational hymnals. 

Eric Mathis, assistant professor of church music and worship leadership at Samford University, Birmingham, AL, where he teaches courses in music and worship; he also serves as program director of anima: the Forum for Worship and the Arts.  

Barbara J. Newman, a church and school consultant for Christian Learning Center (CLC) Network. She is the author of several books, including Helping Kids Include Kids with Disabilities, Autism and Your Church, and Body Building: Devotions to Celebrate Inclusive Community. She is a frequent national speaker at educational conferences and churches.

Glenn Packiam, lead pastor of new life DOWNTOWN, a parish of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO, where he also serves on the executive team. He is a doctoral student at St. John's College at Durham University in the UK. His recent book is Discover the Mystery of Faith: How Worship Shapes Believing (David C. Cook, 2013).

Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., professor of systematic theology and president emeritus, Calvin Theological Seminary, and senior research fellow at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship; his recent book is Reading for Preaching: The Preacher in Conversation with Storytellers, Biographers, Poets, and Journalists (Eerdmans, 2013).

Emmett G. Price III, professor of music, Northeastern University, Boston, MA; founding pastor of Community of Love Christian Fellowship, Allston, MA; columnist for GIA Quarterly; noted scholar of Christian worship and African American Sacred Music with numerous articles, book chapters, and publications including The Black Church and Hip Hop Culture: Toward Bridging Generational Divide (Scarecrow, 2012).

Steve Prince, an artist and art professor residing in Silver Spring, MD. His art explores the conditions of humanity and the challenges we face in a society that erodes our sense of true community and communal togetherness.

Members of the Princeton Theological Seminary Choir. A professional and graduate school of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Princeton Theological Seminary stands within the Reformed tradition, embracing in its life and work a rich racial and ethnic diversity and breadth of communions represented in the worldwide church.

Paul Ryan, associate chaplain for worship, Calvin College, and resource development specialist for worship teams at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

David Rylaarsdam, teaches history, worship, and faith formation at Calvin Theological Seminary. He likes to teach and preach in cross-cultural contexts, whether in prison or in countries around the world. His research interests include the ways in which communities of disciples have been formed for ministry. 

Greg Scheer, minister of worship at Church of the Servant, Grand Rapids, MI; music associate at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship; author of The Art of Worship: A Musician’s Guide to Leading Modern Worship (Baker, 2006).

Chris Schoon, senior pastor at First Hamilton Christian Reformed Church, ON, and occasionally teaches mission related courses at Redeemer University College. He is a doctoral candidate in missional theology at Wycliffe College (Toronto) with a focus on how worship can contribute to forming the evangelistic character of God’s people.

Jerry Sittser, professor of theology at Whitworth University, Spokane, WA, who specializes in history of Christianity, Christian spirituality, and religion in American public life. He is the author of many books, including A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss (Zondervan, 2004), A Grace Revealed: How God Redeems the Story of Your Life (Zondervan, 2012), and Water from a Deep Well: Christian Spirituality from Early Martyrs to Modern Missionaries (IVP, 2007).

Kathy Smith, associate director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and program manager for the Institute's grants programs. She is an ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church and is adjunct professor of church polity at Calvin Theological Seminary.

Carrie Steenwyk, program manager for publications, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship; co-author with Lester Ruth and John D. Witvliet of Walking Where Jesus Walked: Worship in Fourth-Century Jerusalem (Eerdmans, 2010), and co-author with John D. Witvliet of At Your Baptism (Eerdmans, 2011). 

Martin Tel, C.F. Seabrook director of music at Princeton Theological Seminary. Martin teaches on musical resources for the congregation, the Psalms in worship, and collaborative worship planning. He is senior editor of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship (Brazos Press and Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2012).

Howard Vanderwell, resource development specialist with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and adjunct professor of worship at Calvin Theological Seminary; he is editor and author of The Church of All Ages: Generations Worshiping Together (Alban, 2008).

Jo-Ann Van Reeuwyk, chair and professor of art at Calvin College, where she directs the art education program; she also maintains a fiber studio in downtown Grand Rapids. 

Kristen Verhulst, associate to the director and program manager, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

Paul Scott Wilson, professor of homiletics at Emmanuel College of the University of Toronto. He is one of the most respected and recognized teachers of homiletics in North America. He is the author of a number of books, including God Sense: Reading the Bible for Preaching and The Four Pages of the Sermon, published by Abingdon Press. He is the general editor of The New Interpreter's Handbook of Preaching(Abingdon).

Tom Witt, music coordinator at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities; co-founder of Bread for the Journey musical ensemble, Minneapolis, MN. Co-author, with Susan R. Briehl, of Holden Prayer Around the Cross: Handbook to the Liturgy (Augsburg Fortress, 2010). 

John D. Witvliet, director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and professor of congregational and ministry studies, music, and worship at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary, respectively. His recent book is Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship, co-edited with Joyce Borger and Martin Tel (Brazos Press and Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2012).

Nicholas Wolterstorff, Noah Porter Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology at Yale University, and Senior Research Fellow in the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia. He is the author of numerous books, including Hearing the Call: Liturgy, Justice, Church, and World (Eerdmans, 2011).

Anne Zaki, teaches at the Evangelical Presbyterian Seminary, Cairo, Egypt, and serves the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship as resource specialist for the Middle East.  

Jeremy Zeyl, an award-winning singer-songwriter and the director of worship at Talbot St Christian Reformed Church, London, ON. He has served as the songwriter and leader of the internationally acclaimed folk vocal trio Isobelle Gunn. His current project is setting the words of the Heidelberg Catechism to modern music for corporate worship and congregational singing.