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Symposium 2019 Presenters

A list of presenters from the 2019 Symposium on Worship.

See a sampling of presenters' books, music and resources

James Abbington is associate professor of church music and worship at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta. His latest publication is One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism: An African American Ecumenical Hymnal (2018, GIA Publications, Inc.), for which he served as executive editor. He also edits the African American Church Music series with GIA.

Alumni of the James Abbington Church Music Academy have participated in a program that provides intensive training in African American sacred music for undergraduate and graduate music students who serve in church music leadership capacities.

Kevin Adams is senior pastor of Granite Springs Church, Rocklin, California, and a program affiliate with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

Tony Alonso is a theologian and composer whose work is animated by the diverse needs of the contemporary church. His compositions embrace multicultural musical expressions and reflect a commitment to strong ritual song. He teaches on the faculty at Candler School of Theology at Emory University where he also serves as director of Catholic studies.

Katherine Leary Alsdorf founded and led Redeemer Presbyterian Church’s Center for Faith & Work (New York City) and New City Fellows in Raleigh, North Carolina. She assisted Tim Keller in the writing of Every Good Endeavor and supports the broader faith and work movement as a member of the Theology of Work project, faculty in Regent College’s Masters of Arts, Leadership and Theology program, and as advisor to the Made to Flourish network.

Mariano Avila is professor of New Testament and directs the Certificate in Latino Ministry program at Calvin Theological Seminary.

David M. Bailey is director of Arrabon, a reconciliation training program for churches, and a program affiliate with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

Ruth Haley Barton has been a student, a practitioner and a thought-leader in the areas of Christian spirituality, communal discernment and leadership transformation for over twenty years and is founding president/CEO of the Transforming Center. A seasoned spiritual director (Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation) and retreat leader, Barton is the author of numerous books and resources on the spiritual life, including Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership, Pursuing God’s Will Together, and Life Together in Christ.

Sarah Jean Barton holds a faculty fellowship at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, and is completing her ThD at Duke Divinity School. She also is an occupational therapist. Her dissertation research focuses on baptismal practices and theologies as they shape imagination about disability.

Robert J. Batastini is the vice president and senior editor emeritus of GIA Publications, Inc., of Chicago. Maintaining an active role, he has completed 51 years with the firm. He has also served in parish ministry for 63 years.

Ryan Bebej is assistant professor of biology at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he primarily teaches courses in anatomy and physiology. His research investigates the fossil records of marine mammals such as whales and seals and considers the intersection of science and Christian faith.

Kimberly Hope Belcher is the Tisch Family Assistant Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. She does research in sacramental and liturgical theology and ritual studies.

Amanda Benckhuysen is professor of Old Testament at Calvin Theological Seminary. She has interest in the psalms, wisdom literature, and the classical prophets. She also teaches and writes in the areas of biblical hermeneutics, the history of biblical interpretation and Christian feminism.

Bruce Benedict is cofounder of Cardiphonia, a fellowship of contemporary liturgical composers. He is the chaplain of worship and arts at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

Anthony L. Bennett is the lead pastor at Mount Aery Baptist Church in Bridgeport, Connecticut, a 2017 recipient of a Vital Worship Grant.

J. Todd Billings is the Gordon H. Girod Research Professor of Reformed Theology at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. His recent book is Remembrance, Communion, and Hope: Discovering the Gospel at the Lord’s Table (Eerdmans).

Timothy Blackmon is the sixth chaplain of Wheaton College, Illinois. Ordained in the Christian Reformed Church, he previously served as senior pastor and head of staff of the American Protestant Church of The Hague.

Joyce Borger is an ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church serving the denomination as the director of Worship Ministries and as the senior editor of the ecumenical journal Reformed Worship; available in print and digital versions. She has also served as editor of several musical collections including Lift Up Your Hearts: Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs and Psalms for All Seasons(Faith Alive Christian Resources).

Emily R. Brink is resource development specialist for congregational song for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and editor emeritus of Reformed Worship, a quarterly journal published by the Christian Reformed Church.

Gary Burge is professor of New Testament at Calvin Theological Seminary. He taught for twenty-five years at Wheaton College and Graduate School and is the author of numerous books, including The Gospel of John (NIV Application Commentary).

Susan Burner is the director of campus ministries at Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she oversees campus worship, discipleship, service, and local church relations. She is passionate about the spiritual formation of young adults in the context of the Christian college campus.

Calvin College Worship Apprentices are mentored by Paul Ryan.

Julie Canlis holds a PhD from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and is the author of Calvin’s Ladder (Eerdmans) and A Theology of the Ordinary (Godspeed Press). She and her husband, Matt, ministered in the Church of Scotland for thirteen years. Julie is committed to slow food and slow church.

Mark Charles is a speaker, writer, and consultant and is a program affiliate with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. He is founding partner of a national conference for Native students called “Would Jesus Eat Frybread?”

Kai Ton Chau is a resource development specialist for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. He holds degrees in choral conducting, accounting, and worship.

Constance Cherry is professor of worship and pastoral ministry at Indiana Wesleyan University, where she directs three distinct programs in Christian worship. She is also a founding faculty member of The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies. Her first book, The Worship Architect: A Blueprint for Designing Culturally Relevant and Biblically Faithful Services (Baker Academic, 2010), is used as a required text at more than 140 institutions of higher education worldwide and is available in four languages.

The Choral Scholars is one of West Michigan’s premiere chamber ensembles with repertoire spanning a variety of sacred and secular genres. The group has performed in concert series and festivals throughout the region and gives several of its own concerts each year.

Nina Ciesielski is an ordained, congregational minister in the Church of Westphalia, Germany, with a passion for preaching, singing, and liturgy. She served as a member of the World Communion of Reformed Church’s 2017 General Council’s Worship Committee which prepared and translated worship services for 1000+ people, leading them in prayer and singing.

Dale Cooper is resource specialist for liturgical spirituality at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Calvin College chaplain emeritus, and adjunct faculty in congregational and ministry studies at Calvin.

María Eugenia Cornou is program manager for international and intercultural learning at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. She coauthored the bilingual children’s book En la mesa de Dios/At God’s Table (Calvin College Press, 2017).

Benjamin T. Conner is professor of practical theology and director of the graduate certificate in disability and ministry at Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Michigan.

Laura de Jong is the pastor at Second Christian Reformed Church in Grand Haven, Michigan.

Norma de Waal Malefyt is a resource development specialist for congregational song for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

Stephen De Wit is pastor of Alger Park Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

David Den Haan has been a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for twenty-four years. He served churches in Michigan and Minnesota and currently works as a consulting pastor with Pastor Church Resources of the Christian Reformed Church in North America.

Lynn Barger Elliott is affiliated faculty in the congregational and ministry studies department at Calvin College and a resource specialist for intergenerational and youth initiatives for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

Eddie Espinosa has been a worship leader with the Vineyard Movement for more than twenty years. He also served for twelve years as a pastor. During the Jesus People movement in the early 1970s, he ministered in the Maranatha bands. Eddie has composed many worship songs, including “You Are the Mighty King,” “Change My Heart, O God,” and “Con Mis Labios.”

Laura Kelly Fanucci is the director of the Communities of Calling initiative at the Collegeville Institute in Collegeville, Minnesota. She is the author of several books, including Everyday Sacrament: The Messy Grace of Parenting (Liturgical Press, 2014) and To Bless Our Callings: Prayers, Poems, and Hymns to Celebrate Vocation (Wipf & Stock, 2017).

Jason Max Ferdinand is a professor of music, department chair, and director of choral activities at Oakwood University, Huntsville, Alabama.

Julia Start Fletcher is a dance instructor for training and collegiate programs in West Michigan, including for Calvin College. Her passion is where faith and excellence in the arts intersect and become accessible for worship gatherings. 

Terri Gaeddert has a deep interest in the faith formation that occurs through children's perceptions of and participation in a congregation's worship service. Influenced by work in Kansas City's early childhood education field as well as the learning associated with Italy's Reggio Emilia schools, she strives to learn from and honor the voices of the youngest congregants at Rainbow Mennonite Church (Kansas City, Kansas) through a program called "WorshipArts."

Larry Gerbens is a founder of Grand Rapids Ophthalmology and practiced medicine for over thirty years. He is a passionate collector of art, especially works of the story of the prodigal son.

Grace and Peace Community Church Worship Team leads in an urban congregation that intentionally embraces and actively reaches out to the northwest side of Chicago in all of its ethnic diversity.

Sam Gutierrez is a pastor of discipleship and community at Alger Park Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is also a poet, printmaker, graphic designer, and lover of cats and burritos. Visit his website:

Deborah Haarsma is president of BioLogos, an organization dedicated to interpreting complex scientific topics for lay audiences about the relationships between science and Christian faith. She is coauthor of Origins: Christian Perspectives on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design and coeditor with Scott Hoezee of Delight in Creation: Scientists Share Their Work with the Church. Previously, she served as professor and chair in the department of physics and astronomy at Calvin College.

Betsy Steele Halstead is an artist in woodcuts and oils and serves as program manager for graphic design and resource specialist for visual arts at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

Syd Hielema serves as team leader for Faith Formation Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church.

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

Cindy Holtrop is an ordained minister who is passionate about pastoral care and mental health. 

Angie Hong is a worship leader, speaker, and writer dedicated to exploring the lines of reconciliation, worship, and identity. She is pursuing an MDiv at Duke Divinity School, speaks regularly at conferences and retreats, and can be found blogging at  

Lisa Hoogeboom is professor of intercultural and Biblical studies at Kuyper College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she teaches New Testament Greek as well as an immersion course on Islam that brings students in direct contact with Muslims living in the Grand Rapids and Dearborn areas. She also teaches Greek part time at Calvin Theological Seminary.

Mary Hulst is chaplain of Calvin College and author of A Little Handbook for Preachers: Ten Practical Ways to a Better Sermon by Sunday (IVP).

Monique M. Ingalls is a researcher, teacher, network builder, and church musician. At Baylor University in Waco, Texas, she teaches courses centered on social and cultural dimensions of congregational music-making, and she supervises master's and doctoral research on church music topics. She is the author of Singing the Congregation: How Contemporary Worship Music Shapes Evangelical Community (Oxford University Press, 2018) and coeditor of three books that showcase new interdisciplinary approaches to Christian congregational music. She is also cofounder and program chair for the biennial conference “Christian Congregational Music: Local and Global Perspectives” in Oxford, UK. 

Shannon Jammal-Hollemans is a minister in the Christian Reformed Church of North America. She has been speaking and writing about how Christians can better connect with their Muslim neighbors for more than ten years. 

Pablo A. Jiménez is associate dean for Hispanic Ministry Programs at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts and is passionate about preaching, teaching, and writing.

Birgitta Johnson is a joint-appointed associate professor of ethnomusicology in the School of Music and in the African American Studies Program at the University of South Carolina. She specializes in African-American and African music. Her research interests include music and worship in African-American churches, musical change and identity in Black popular music, music in African-American megachurches, sacred music in the African diaspora, and community archiving. She has published many articles and is working on the book Worship Waves, Navigating Identities: Music in the Black Church at the Turn of the 21st Century.

Bryan Johnson is executive director of sacred music at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

Michael Jordan is minister of music, worship and fine arts at David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Austin, Texas. Michael has an everlasting passion for music: playing, composing and arranging music. He has a BA in music education from Hampton University and a Masters in worship studies from Liberty University.

Matthew Kaemingk is an assistant professor of Christian ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary and the associate dean of Fuller Texas in Houston. He also serves as a fellow at the Center for Public Justice and a scholar-in-residence at the De Pree Center for Christian Leadership. His research and teaching focus on religious pluralism and political ethics, workplace theology, theology and culture, and Reformed public theology. He is the author of Christian Hospitality and Muslim Immigration in an Age of Fear.

Rosi Penner Kaufman serves as minister of music and worship for Rainbow Mennonite Church in Kansas City. With graduate degrees in organ performance and religious studies, she integrates music and theology in all aspects of her vocation, from leading the adult choir to worship planning to sustaining fellowship by cooking dinner for the choir. She considers it vital that people of all ages have a voice in worship.

Duane Kelderman is senior consultant for the Strengthening Christian Preaching Initiative, coordinated by the Cal​vin Institute of Christian Worship, with support by Lilly Endowment Inc. He is a pastor and consultant to churches and church-related organizations. He also serves on the Vital Worship Grants advisory board at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

Jean Ngoya Kidula is professor of ethnomusicology in the University of Georgia’s Hugh Hodgson School of Music, and she studies the interface of music and Christianity in Africa and its historic and recent diaspora with a focus on Eastern Africa and Kenya.

Nancy Kingwood is CEO of Nancy Kingwood Ministries, LLC, and associate minister of Mount Aery Baptist Church, a 2017 recipient of a Vital Worship Grant.

Jack Kooreman is pastor of Grace Christian Reformed Church in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, and a leader in church-based community organization.

Han-luen Kantzer Komline is assistant professor of church history and theology at Western Theological Seminary (Holland, Michigan) and ordained in the Reformed Church in America. Her first book, Augustine on the Will: A Theological Account, is forthcoming in 2019 with Oxford University Press.

Meg Jenista Kuykendall is pastor of Washington, DC Christian Reformed Church and is pursuing her ThM in preaching from Calvin Theological Seminary. She writes for The Twelve.

Yvette Lau is the founder of Anabas Ministry, a ministry based in Hong Kong to provide resources for contextualizing worship renewal. Yvette has a master’s in worship from Calvin Theological Seminary and works in the following areas: translation of books on worship, translation of hymns, songwriting, choral conducting, worship planning, worship ministry consultancy, and teaching. 

Terry LeBlanc is Mi’kmaq/Acadian and married to Bev. They have three adult children—twin daughters and a son. He is the cofounder and director of NAIITS (North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies), an Indigenous learning community dedicated to introducing change into the education and practice of evangelical Christian mission and theology for Indigenous people. He also serves as executive director of Indigenous Pathways and holds an interdisciplinary PhD specializing in theology and anthropology.

Ahmi Lee is assistant professor of preaching at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California. She has served in monoethnic and multiethnic congregations in the Chicago area, and she is an active preacher and speaker worldwide. Her book, Preaching God’s Grand Drama: Toward a Theodramatic Homiletic, is forthcoming in 2019 with Baker Academic.

Nikki Lerner is an artist, teacher, author, and culture coach, helping others engage relationally and across culture lines. Her passion is seeing people come to an understanding of one another through music and conversation and learning to remain human with each other.

Bo H. Lim is associate professor of Old Testament and faculty advisor of the Asian American Ministry Program at Seattle Pacific University. He served as university chaplain (2014–2018) and pastored the campus through the aftermath of the June 2014 campus shooting. He is author of The ‘Way of the LORD’ in the Book of Isaiah (T&T Clark), the commentary Hosea (Eerdmans), and a contributor to the T&T Clark Handbook to Asian American Hermeneutics (T&T Clark). He is an ordained minister of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

Li Ma holds a PhD in sociology from Cornell University and is the author of Surviving the State, Remaking the Church: A Sociological Portrait of Christians in Mainland China.

Carl MaultsBy is the director of music and organist at St. Richard’s Episcopal Church, Winter Park, Florida. A 2003–2009 member of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music of the Episcopal Church, he is a composer and the author of the books Afro-Centric Liturgical Music and Playing Gospel Piano: The Basics. Learn more at

Judith Christie McAllister is president and minister of music of the international music department for the Church of God in Christ, the largest Pentecostal denomination in the U.S. She is known for songs such as “High Praise” and “Hallelujah: You’re Worthy.”

Barbara J. Newman is a church and school consultant for CLC Network and program affiliate with Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. She is author of Accessible Gospel, Inclusive Worship (CLC Network, 2015).

Hannah Barker Nickolay is a writer, theatre artist, and third year MDiv student and chapel intern at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan.

Jackson Nickolay is an independent theatre artist and audio book narrator. Together Jackson and Hannah Nickolay make up the Wayfolk Biblical Storytellers.

Glenn Packiam is one of the associate senior pastors at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the lead pastor of New Life Downtown, a congregation of New Life Church. As a signed songwriter with Integrity Music, he wrote or cowrote more than sixty-five worship songs, including “Your Name” and “My Savior Lives.” Glenn earned a doctorate in theology and ministry from Durham University in the UK and is an ordained priest with the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA).

M. Sydney Park is an associate professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School. She teaches New Testament Greek and exegesis. She is the coauthor of The Post-Racial Church: A Biblical Framework for Multiethnic Reconciliation. She is currently working on the upcoming publication Biblical Theology of Women (Bloomsbury).

Cornelius Plantinga Jr. is senior research fellow at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and president emeritus of Calvin Theological Seminary. Plantinga was Dean of the Chapel from 1996 to 2001 at Calvin College. He writes and speaks for the Worship Institute. For more than a decade Neal co-hosted a summer seminar for preachers on reading for preaching in connection with The Center for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary. His latest book is Reading for PreachingThe Preacher in Conversation with Storytellers, Biographers, Poets, and Journalists (Eerdmans). 

Arbin Pokharel is president of Reformed and Presbyterian Seminary in Kathmandu, Nepal. He is also the founding pastor of Cross-Way Church in Kathmandu, which has started a church planting movement throughout Nepal. He is working on a DMin from Fuller Theological Seminary. 

Emmett G. Price III is professor of worship, church and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and dean of chapel for the Hamilton campus. He serves as executive director of the Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience.    

Steve Prince is the director of engagement and Distinguished Artist in Residence at the Muscarelle Museum of Art at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, as well as a printmaker, sculptor, and graphite artist who takes his message to the streets. He uses black-and-white language to preach and teach an original and innovative vision. He spreads a message of hope and renewal to the global community through his art and philosophically through the cathartic nature of the dirge and second line, a funerary tradition from New Orleans.

Stephen Proctor is a visual liturgist and projection artist who collaborates with various bands, authors, and liturgists. In Nashville he was a part of Luminous Anglican Parish. He recently moved to Portland, Oregon, because he loves cold weather, mountains, forests, and weird, arty culture. His podcast ILLUMINATE explores the intersections of art, liturgy, and wonder. Learn more at

Proskuneo is a multicultural worshiping community from Clarkston, Georgia, directed by Jaewoo Kim.

The Psalm Project led by Dutch pianist and composer Eelco Vos aims to let people hear and sing the Genevan psalms (the psalm book John Calvin compiled in Geneva) in contemporary settings.'

Rod Reed has recently been appointed as Chancellor of Indiana Wesleyan University’s residential campus, after more than 20 years of campus ministry and teaching theology at John Brown University in Arkansas and Fresno Pacific University in California. He helps Christian schools and universities around the world create environments that help young adults grow into the image of Christ, and he is the coeditor and author of Building a Culture of Faith: University-Wide Partnerships for Spiritual Formation.

Satrina Reid is a program coordinator for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

Ron Rienstra is professor of preaching and worship arts and chapel coordinator at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. He is an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America (RCA) and coauthor of Worship Words: Disciplining Language for Faithful Ministry.

Edward Riojas has been creating artwork professionally for more than thirty-five years. He has built a reputation in the secular and sacred realms as a masterful illustrator and fine artist. His work is found in sanctuaries, institutions, private collections and markets throughout the U.S. and across the globe.

Robert Chao Romero is associate professor in the departments of Chicana/o Studies and Asian American Studies at UCLA. Together with his wife, Erica, he serves as cochair of the Matthew 25 Movement in southern California and codirects Jesus 4 Revolutionaries, a ministry to student activists.

Anthony Ruff, OSB, teaches liturgical music and theology at Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary in Collegeville, Minnesota, directs the National Catholic Youth Choir, and blogs at Pray Tell.

Paul Ryan is associate chaplain for worship, Calvin College, and resource specialist for mentoring worship leaders at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

Nicole Saint-Victor is an experienced vocalist and mentor and is working toward a Master of Divinity from Western Theological Seminary. She is on staff in the music department at Trinity Christian College, Palos Heights, Illinois, and directs the gospel choir. She also serves as worship director at Living Springs Community Church in Homewood, Illinois.

Jeff Sajdak is dean of students at Calvin Theological Seminary. 

Leopoldo A. Sánchez is the Werner R. H. and Elizabeth R. Krause Professor of Hispanic Ministries at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, where he serves as professor of systematic theology and director of the Center for Hispanic Studies. His work includes Receiver, Bearer, and Giver of God’s Spirit (Pickwick, 2015); Immigrant Neighbors among Us, coedited with Danny Carroll (Pickwick, 2015); and Sculptor Spirit (IVP, 2019).

Eric Sarwar is a PhD student at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California, in intercultural studies, researching about the role of Zabor (psalms) in Muslim-Christian relationship. He is founder and director of the Tehillim School of Church Music & Worship in Pakistan. He is an ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) and currently planting Artesia City CRC among the Indian and Pakistani communities in Southern California.

Greg Scheer is music associate at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. His recent book is Essential Worship: A Handbook for Leaders (Baker, 2016).

Joel Schoon-Tanis has illustrated several books (recently En la escuela de los Salmos/At Psalms School), painted murals around the world (including Kenya, Zambia, and the Separation Wall in Palestine), and painted nearly a gazillion paintings in his career.

Pearl Shangkuan is professor of music and director of choral activities at Calvin College, chorus master of the Grand Rapids Symphony, and coeditor of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Choral Anthem Series with GIA Publications, Inc.

Laura A. Smit is professor of theology at Calvin College. She also serves as assistant pastor at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church (ECO) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her current research focuses on the virtue of magnanimity in the writing of C.S. Lewis. She also recently finished a commentary on the book of Judges (Brazos, 2018).

Dale Sieverding, SLD, is the director of worship for St. Monica Catholic Community, one of the largest Catholic churches in southern California with a congregation of 8,000 households, an elementary school and a high school. He is the founding director of LAMP SoCal, the Liturgical Arts Ministry Project of Southern California, a program that mentors high school students in the liturgical ministries of music, proclamation, art and environment, hospitality, and service at the altar.

Kathy Smith is 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, adjunct professor of church polity at Calvin Theological Seminary, and author of Stilling the Storm: Worship and Congregational Leadership in Difficult Times (Alban, 2006).

Reginald Smith is director of the offices of race relations and social justice at the Christian Reformed Church in North America and a program affiliate with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

Rebecca Snippe is program coordinator for music and web-based projects for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

Noel Snyder is a program manager at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship in the areas of academic resources and He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Marcell Steuernagel is assistant professor of church music and director of the Master of Sacred Music Program at SMU's Perkins School of Theology. He holds a PhD in church music from Baylor University, an MA in Music Composition from Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil, and a BA in conducting and composition from the School of Music and Fine Arts of Paraná, Brazil.

John August Swanson makes his home in Los Angeles, California. He paints in oil, watercolor, acrylic and mixed media, and is an independent printmaker of limited edition serigraphs, lithographs, etchings, and giclée prints. His art reflects the strong heritage of storytelling he inherited from his Mexican mother and Swedish father. John’s narrative is direct and addresses human values, cultural roots, and his quest for self-discovery through visual images, including Bible stories and social celebrations.

L. S. Carlos Thompson is a Henri Nouwen Doctoral Fellow at Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Michigan. As a Charismatic-Reformed Christian, Carlos aims to invite the Christian community to develop a more faithful theology of healing that remains consistent amid enduring physical disability. His research is informed by his experience of living with an enduring congenital physical disability.

Emily Vanden Heuvel is an ordained minister and endorsed chaplain for the Christian Reformed Church. She is a chaplain for a West Michigan residential facility and has over twenty years of experience working in youth ministry.  

Karl VanHarn is the director of pastoral services and CPE at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is an ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church.

Sandra Maria Van Opstal is a second-generation Latina and the executive pastor at Grace and Peace Church in Chicago, Illinois. She is a liturgist and activist who is passionate about reimagining worship that mobilizes for reconciliation and justice.

Kristen Verhulst is associate director and program manager at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

Jill Ver Steeg is chief ministry officer for the Reformed Church in America (RCA). She oversees the work of Transformed & Transforming, the RCA's fifteen-year vision for ministry.

Liz Vice is a musician best known for her gospel, soul, and R&B-infused album There’s a Light. Raised in Portland, Oregon, and now based in Brooklyn, New York, Liz has served as a worship leader and has dived headfirst in faith with the release of her second record, Save Me, leaning into the call God has placed on her heart of creating music full time.

Anthony B. Vinson Sr. serves as the director of music and arts at the Cathedral of Grace–St. John in Aurora, Illinois. He recently concluded serving as the director of the International Music and Christian Arts Ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, created to educate, elevate, and expand the use of the arts in worship throughout the AME Church worldwide.

Lisa M. Weaver is assistant professor of worship at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia, and ordained in the American Baptist Church U.S.A. She serves on the Vital Worship Grants Program advisory board.

The Western Theological Seminary Chapel Team is made up of individuals who craft, lead, and participate in the chapel services and is led by Ron Rienstra and Sue Rozeboom. Western has a tradition of inviting its students, faculty, and staff to plan and lead weekday worship for the community. The team focuses on worship that rises in response to dwelling in the Biblical text.

Joanna Wigboldy is a program manager with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW) in the areas of Vital Worship grants, the CICW Ministry Leadership Fellows program, and

Michael Williams is the Johanna K. and Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor in Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the author of many articles and books on the Old Testament. His latest book is Hidden Prophets of the Bible: Finding the Gospel in Hosea through Malachi (David C. Cook, 2017).

Cory Willson is Jake and Betsy Tuls Associate Professor of Missiology and Missional Ministry at Calvin Theological Seminary. Some of his research interests include missiology, public theology, Biblical theology, interfaith engagement, and theology of work.

John D. Witvliet is 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. He is coeditor of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship, with Joyce Borger and Martin Tel (Brazos Press and Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2012).

Jane Zwart teaches in the English department at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she also codirects the Calvin Center for Faith & Writing. Her poems have appeared in magazines and journals including TriQuarterly Review, North American Review, and The Christian Century.