2018 Symposium

January 25–27, 2018 • Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

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

Latifah Alattas of Page CXVI, Moda Spira, The Autumn Film, and Sola-Mi resides in Colorado. She is known for her rearrangement of hymns through Page CXVI, through her own albums, and with other artists such as A Boy & His Kite, Aaron Strumpel, and more.

Benjamín Alicea-Lugo is a church historian who has taught at New Brunswick Theological Seminary, Seminary of the East, Bethel Seminary of Bethel University, and the Florida Center for the Americas. He was the Hispanic Program Officer for the Fund for Theological Education. He teaches Spanish at Old Bridge High School and pastors St. Paul’s Evangelical Reformed Church in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.

Elena Aronson is director of training of Arrabon, a ministry that provides cultural training and worship resources for reconciling Christian communities.

Cameron Anderson is executive director of Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA), an artist and writer. His new book is The Faithful Artist: A Vision for Evangelicalism and the Arts (InterVarsity Press, 2016).

David M. Bailey is director of Arrabon and a program affiliate with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

Jeff Barker is professor of theatre at Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa, and author of The Storytellling Church: Adventures in Reclaiming the Role of Story in Worship (Webber Institute Books, 2011). Jeff also teaches in the doctoral program at the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies.

Robert J. Batastini is retired vice president and senior editor of GIA Publications, Inc., of Chicago. He has served in parish music ministry for 60 years.

Cheryl Bear is Nadleh Whut'en from the Dakelh Nation and Dumdenyoo Clan (Bear). An artist, pastor and educator, Cheryl has helped build bridges of understanding between Christian and First Nation communities through her music, storytelling and humor.

Amgad Beblawi is an elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and recently served as coordinator of the denomination's mission in the Middle East and Europe. 

Renee Kylestewa Begay is from the Zuni tribe in Southwest New Mexico. She serves as co-founder and co-director in Nations, Cru's Native American ministry. 

Joyce Borger is 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).

Gary M. Burge is a professor of New Testament at Calvin Theological Seminary after teaching 25 years at Wheaton College and Graduate School. He is the author of numerous books including The Gospel of John (NIV Application Commentary).

Kathleen A. Cahalan is professor of practical theology at Saint John’s University School of Theology and Seminary, Collegeville, Minnesota, and director of the Collegeville Institute Seminars, a collaborative research project focusing on vocation as it relates to the lifespan, the professions and interreligious perspectives.

Calvin Christian High School Orchestra from Grandville, Michigan, is directed by Karel deWaal Malefyt.

Calvin College Gospel Choir is directed by Nate Glasper.

Calvin College Worship Apprentices are mentored by Paul Ryan.

Erik W. Carter is a professor special education at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, and a member of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. He is the author of Including People with Disabilities in Faith Communities.

Mark Charles is a speaker, writer, consultant, and 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 supports the collaboration with Reformed Worship magazine and strengthens contacts and learning opportunities together with Chinese-North American leaders. He holds degrees in choral conducting, accounting, and worship.

Charlottesville Worship Collective from Charlottesville, Virginia, led by Isaac Wardell.

Ronald Chu is global ministry pastor at Ttokamsa Mission Church in Los Angles and a catalyzer/coach for Faith Formation Ministries with the Christian Reformed Church.

Carlos Colón is a composer, liturgist, and native of El Salvador; coordinator for worship initiatives at Baylor University; and resident scholar at Baylor Institute for the Studies of Religion, Waco, Texas.

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.

Cornerstone University Choir from Grand Rapids, Michigan, is directed by Kent Walters.

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

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

Eric Dirksen is the founding and current pastor of Christ Church of Davis, a congregation in Northern California.

Christina Edmondson serves as dean for the Intercultural Student Development Center at Calvin College. She is also a certified Cultural Intelligence facilitator and mental health therapist.

Mika Edmondson is the pastor of New City Fellowship, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and recently completed his Ph.D. from Calvin Theological Seminary on the theology of suffering in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s sermons.

Lynn Barger Elliot 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.

Christopher Flesoras is the pastor of Saint Anna Greek Orthodox Church in Roseville, California, a chaplain with the California Air National Guard (195th Wing), adjunct professor at William Jessup University, and adjunct assistant professor of historical theology at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Fuller Theological Seminary chapel leadership team is mentored by Ed Willmington.

Cheryl Gamber is coordinator of liturgical visual arts at First Presbyterian Church in Holt, Michigan, and has a fine arts degree in printmaking.

Danjuma Gibson is associate professor of pastoral care at Calvin Theological Seminary.

Nate Glasper is conductor of the Calvin College Gospel Choir and a member of Grace for the Nations Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he serves as executive assistant and worship leader.

Musicians from the Grand Rapids chapter of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians are organized by Robert J. Batastini.

Sam Gutierrez is pastor of spiritual formation at Granite Springs Church in Lincoln, California. He recently served as chaplain at The University of British Columbia, Okanagan.

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

Troy Hatfield is the lead worship pastor at Mars Hill Church in Grandville, Michigan.

Linda Witte Henke creates art purposed for liturgical use. Her work, which is informed by academic degrees in journalism and theology, studies in art and surface design, and experiences as a parish pastor, is inspired by her faith, scripture, and the church's hymnody. Her website is

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 interim minister of pastoral care for Neland Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Michael Hoogeboom is minister of outreach at LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Agustin Hubert is a native Argentine who has lived in the U.S. for the past 15 years. He is working on his MDiv. from Western Theological Seminary and serving as lead pastor of Longview Community Church, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Mary Hulst serves as College Chaplain at Calvin College. She is the author of A Little Handbook for Preaching: 10 Ways to a Better Sermon by Sunday (InterVarsity Press).

TaRita Johnson is the director of the Calvin College Career Center which equips students to succeed on their life-long vocational path by determining their strengths, developing their skills, and discovering God’s call for their lives.

Todd E. Johnson  is the Brehm Chair for Worship, Theology, and the Arts at Fuller Theological Seminary. Todd is the Theological Director of the Brehm Center and a lead professor in Fuller’s new PhD in Worship and Preaching.

Michael Joncas is an internationally recognized priest, liturgical composer, author, and professor. He is known for popular songs such as “On Eagle’s Wings” and “I Have Loved You.” His latest project is ‘Hymns of the Day’ for every Sunday and holy day of the year.

Jonghun Joo is affiliate professor of Christian worship at Fuller Theological Seminary. Also, he has been serving as a missionary to Kenya and Ukraine. His recent book is Matthew Henry: Pastoral Liturgy in Challenging Times (Pickwick Publications, 2014).

Laura Keeley is co-director of children’s ministries at Fourteenth Street Christian Reformed Church, Holland, Michigan, and a regional catalyzer for Faith Formation Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church.

Robert J. Keeley is professor of education at Calvin College, visiting professor of discipleship and faith formation and director of Distance Learning for Calvin Theological Seminary, and author of several books, including Helping Our Children Grow in Faith: How the Church Can Nurture the Spiritual Development of Kids (Baker, 2008).

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.

Jaewoo Kim is a multi-cultural worship leader and songwriter. He serves in public relations and ministry development at Proskuneo Ministries which  aims to bring nations together in worship on earth as it is in heaven. Jaewoo lives in Clarkston, Georgia, where over 60 languages are spoken in a 1.5 mile radius.

Warren Kinghorn is Associate Research Professor of Psychiatry and Pastoral and Moral Theology at Duke University Medical Center and Duke Divinity School; co-director of the Theology, Medicine, and Culture Initiative at Duke Divinity School, and a staff psychiatrist at the Durham VA Medical Center.

Jan Kraybill is executive director of The Hymn Society in the U.S. and Canada. She also serves as organ conservator at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri, and organist-in-residence at the international denominational headquarters of Community of Christ in Independence, Missouri. 

Tracy Kuperus is a professor of International Development Studies at Calvin College. Her recent publication is When Helping Heals (Calvin College Press, 2017).

Paul C.H. Lim is a professor of the history of Christianity at Vanderbilt Divinity School, Nashville, Tennessee. He is an award-winning historian of the Reformation and the post-Reformation Europe.

Jay Lindell is executive pastor at Christ Memorial Church in Holland, Michigan, and a Young Life church partner trainer.  

Mariachi Ágape is a Christian musical ensemble of the familia Ortiz. They spread the gospel message through the gift of música ranchera and minister in churches, festivals, funerals, weddings, and other events that extend across Texas and beyond.

Gerardo Martí is L. Richardson King Professor of Sociology at Davidson College and co-director of the Latino Protestant Congregations Project. His recent book is Latino Protestants in America: Growing and Diverse (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017).

Anne Masters is director of Pastoral Ministry with Persons with Disabilities for the Archdiocese of Newark and a member of the Council on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for the National Catholic Partnership on Disabilities. She is the author of Pastoral Ministry WITH Persons WITH Disabilities Parish Resource Guide ‚Äčand a PhD student in Theology at Vrei University.

Sandra McCracken is singer, songwriter, and hymn-writer from Nashville, Tennessee. Over the course of ten studio albums, Sandra has developed a body of work that encompasses hook-driven melodic pop, contemporary re-castings of classic hymns (she is a founding member of Indelible Grace Music), and children’s music. Her new album is Steadfast Live.

Jennifer Powell McNutt is associate professor of theology and history of Christianity at Wheaton College. She is engaged in research, writing, and speaking on the history of the Bible during the Reformation period. Her recent book (co-edited) is The People’s Book: The Bible and the Reformation (InterVarsity Press, 2017).

Maria Monteiro is assistant professor and chair of the music department at Baptist University of the Américas, and music director at Primera Iglesia Bautista Mexicana, San Antonio, Texas. She is also a doctoral student in church music at Baylor University.

Mark T. Mulder is professor of sociology at Calvin College and co-director of the Latino Protestant Congregations Project. He is author of Shades of White Flight: Evangelical Congregations and Urban Departure and co-author of Latino Protestants in America: Growing and Diverse.

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).

Northwestern College scripture arts team from Orange City, Iowa, is mentored by Jeff Barker.

Charles Penny II is the Youth Pastor of Orange Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, NC. Charles also works in partnership with his wife Latonya Penny in developing spaces in the church for children who are differently abled.

LaTonya McIver Penny is senior pastor of New Mount Zion Baptist Church in Roxboro. She is involved in many organizations pertaining to children with disabilities and the fair treatment of children.  

Jeremy Perigo is the director of music and worship programs and a lecturer in worship at the London School of Theology in London, United Kingdom. His most recent album is Worship Sessions from the Road.

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

Ellen Phillips is a portrait artist and figurative sculptor from Georgia and North Carolina. She delights in her calling as an artist and leader working with churches creating liturgical art and encouraging the formation of liturgical art programs. Her website is

Matt Plescher is a painter, illustrator, calligrapher and book designer. His new website is via  

Emmett G. Price III is the professor of worship, church and culture; dean of the chapel; and founding executive director of the Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He also serves as the founding pastor of Community of Love Christian Fellowship in Allston, Massachusetts.

Princeton Theological Seminary choir is directed by Martin Tel.

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

Aida Ramos is an assistant professor of sociology at George Fox University and co-author of Latino Protestants in America: Growing and Diverse (Rowman & Littlefield).

Kristen Rietkerk is the Church Mission Catalyst at Crossroads Church, San Marcos, California, and serves as a faith formation catalyzer for the Christian Reformed Church. 

Ron Rienstra is associate professor of preaching and worship arts, and chapel coordinator at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, and co-author of Worship Words: Disciplining Language for Faithful Ministry.

Raymond Rivera is a pastor, preacher, founder and president of Latino Pastoral Action Center, based in New York City, which seeks to deal with social justice issues from a holistic perspective.

Lester Ruth is the Research Professor of Christian Worship at Duke Divinity School. He is passionate about studying the history of worship to enrich the worship life of current congregations, regardless of style. His recent books are  Worshiping with the Anaheim Vineyard: The Emergence of Contemporary Worship (Eerdmans, 2017) and Lovin' On Jesus: A Concise History of Contemporary Worship (Abingdon, 2017).

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

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

Amy Schenkel is the Great Lakes Regional Mission Leader for Resonate Global Mission, a ministry of the Christian Reformed Church.

Tom Schwanda is a professor of Christian Formation and Ministry at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.  He is an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America and pastored three churches for eighteen years.  He is the author of three books including The Emergence of Evangelical Spirituality:The Age of Edwards, Newton and Whitefield (Classics of Western Spirituality, Paulist Press, 2016).

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 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).

John Swinton is professor of practical theology and pastoral care at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He is founder of the university's Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability. He is also an ordained minister of the Church of Scotland. His new book is Becoming Friends of Time: Disability, Timefullness, and Gentle Discipleship (Baylor University Press, 2016).  

Elizabeth Tamez Méndez is an ordained minister, artist and executive director of New Gereration3, an international organization dedicated to training leaders, conducting research, and providing consulting services. She is a specialist in multicultural youth development and strategic planning, and will soon conclude her Ph.D. in leadership. 

Martin Tel is the C.F. Seabrook Director of Music at Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey. He is interested in congregational singing, and his courses cover musical resources for the congregation and the philosophy of church music. He co-edited Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship (Faith Alive Resources, 2011).

Lyn TenBrink is Young Life Capernaum coordinator for the Midwest division and Young Life coordinator at Calvin College.

Chris Theule-Van Dam is Western Great Lakes regional director for Young Life and prior Young Life church partner. The mission of Young Life is to introduce adolescents to Jesus Christ and help them grow in their faith.

Marianne Meye Thompson is the George Eldon Ladd Professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California. Her recent book is John: A Commentary (New Testament Library, 2015).

La Verne Tolbert is vice president of editorial for Urban Ministries, Inc (UMI), based in Chicago—the largest Christian publishing company serving churches and consumers in the African American community. UMI provides curriculum for Bible study, Sunday school, Vacation Bible School and many other resources. She is the author of Teaching Like Jesus: A Practical Guide to Christian Education in Your Church (Zondervan, 2000).

Kathleen S. Turner is the director of children, youth and families at St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church, Hollis, New York, and an adjunct professor at New York Theological Seminary and Doctor of Ministry advisor at Alliance Theological Seminary. As a liturgical dancer, Kathleen has danced, taught and choreographed for churches, institutions and Christian productions throughout the United States. She continues to explore the use of liturgical dance as religious education for the church as a community place of learning.  

Urban Doxology is a ministry that writes the soundtrack of reconciliation in the racially diverse and gentrifying neighborhood of Church Hill, Richmond, Virginia. The band evolved out of the Urban Songwriting Internship Program that is a partnership with Arrabon and East End Fellowship

Geoff Vandermolen is director of Vocational Formation at Calvin Theological Seminary.

Leanne Van Dyk is the tenth president of Columbia Theological Seminary near Atlanta, Georgia, after serving for many years as the dean at Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Michigan. She is editor of the best-selling A More Profound Alleluia: Theology and Worship in Harmony (Eerdmans, 2005).

Lesli van Milligen works for Faith Formation Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church, supporting congregations in their discipleship and faith formation practices.

Charlotte vanOyen-Witvliet is professor of psychology and department chair at Hope College.

Tom VanWingerden is executive director of Friendship Ministries, which provides resources that support faith formation and congregational inclusion for individuals with intellectual disability. 

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

Isaac Wardell is director of Bifrost Arts. He develops worship resources for his home congregation in Charlottesville, Virginia, and for Bifrost Arts he oversees the writing of new worship resources for churches across the country.

Lisa M. Weaver is a preacher, lecturer, teacher and emerging scholar, passionate about all things liturgical. She is ordained clergy of American Baptist Churches U.S.A., a Ph.D. candidate at The Catholic University of America, and a Vital Worship Grants Program advisory board member.

Lori Weismantel is an artist who creates live art solo and collaboratively in a range of settings. She incorporates in her work aspects of Gregorian chant, urban gardening, and home repair.

Joanna Wigboldy is a program manager with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship in the areas of Vital Worship grants,, and she provides leadership around resourcing worship mentorship programs nationwide.

Ed Willmington is director of the Fred Bock Institute of Music of the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts, Fuller Theological Seminary. Ed also serves as Fuller’s Composer-in Residence.

Cory Willson is the Jake and Betsy Tuls assistant professor of missiology and missional ministry, and director of the Institute for Global Church Planting and Renewal at Calvin Theological Seminary. He is also the co-founding editor of the journal Evangelical Interfaith Dialogue.

Michael Winters is director of Sojourn Arts, a ministry of Sojourn Community Church Midtown in Louisville, KY.

Raymond Wise is a professor of practice in the African American African Diaspora Studies department, an associate director of the African American Arts Institute, and the director of the African American Choral Ensemble at Indiana University. He is a singer, pianist, composer, and frequent lecturer and conductor at events around the world. He has penned more than 600 compositions and served as a church musician for more than 30 years.

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 co-editor of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship, with Joyce Borger and Martin Tel (Brazos Press and Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2012).

Jenny Yang is the vice president of advocacy and policy at World Relief where she provides oversight for all advocacy initiatives and policy positions, representing the organization’s advocacy priorities to the U.S. government and mobilizing churches on advocacy campaigns. She is author of Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate (InterVarsity Press, 2009).