January 30–February 1, 2020 • Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA


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

Jared E. Alcántara is the Paul W. Powell Associate Professor of Preaching at Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary in Waco, Texas. An ordained Baptist minister, he has served as a youth pastor, associate pastor, and teaching pastor in Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, and New Jersey. His recent books are The Practices of Christian Preaching (Baker, 2019), Crossover Preaching: Intercultural-Improvisational Homiletics in Conversation with Gardner C. Taylor (IVP, 2015), and Learning from a Legend: What Gardner C. Taylor Can Teach Us About Preaching (Wipf & Stock, 2016).

John A. Azumah is the executive director of the Sanneh Institute at the University of Ghana. He is a visiting professor of world Christianity and Islam and the Presidential Visiting Fellow at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

David M. Bailey is the director of Arrabon and a CICW Program Affiliate. Arrabon is a ministry that inspires, empowers, and equips Christians to shape worshiping communities to value and cultivate the flourishing of all people. He is also a music producer, speaker, and the author of Arrabon: Learning Reconciliation through Community & Worship Music (Making a Melody, 2012).

Elizabeth Bajema is a member of First Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she has served as a deacon. She is on the board of Friendship Ministry and is a recent recipient of the Spirit Award from Compassionate Heart Ministry. 

Jeff Barker is a professor of theatre and worship arts at Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa. He is a playwright and storyteller. His most recent book is Iowa Ethiopia: A Missionary Nurse's Journey Continues (Hendrickson Publishers, 2019). He also teaches in the doctoral program at the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies, Orange Park, Florida.

Eric D. Barreto is the Frederick and Margaret L. Weyerhaeuser Associate Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey.

Elise Erikson Barrett previously served as a United Methodist pastor. She is the author of What Was Lost: A Christian Journey through Miscarriage (Westminster John Knox, 2010).

Cheryl Bear is a 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.

Joyce Borger is an ordained minister of the Christian Reformed Church of North America, serving the denomination as the director of Worship Ministries and as the senior editor of the ecumenical journal Reformed Worship. She has also served as editor of several musical collections, including Lift Up Your Hearts: Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs (Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2013) and Psalms for All Seasons (Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2011).

Jonathan Brooks is the senior pastor at Canaan Community Church in West Englewood, a neighborhood on the southwest side of Chicago, Illinois. He holds a master’s degree in teaching from National Louis University, Chicago, Illinois, and an master of divinity with emphasis on Christian community development from Northern Seminary, Lisle, Illinois. He is the author of Church Forsaken: Practicing Presence in Neglected Neighborhoods (IVP, 2018).

Mark Charles is a speaker, writer, consultant, and program affiliate with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. He is a founding partner of a national conference for Native American 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.

Todd Cioffi is associate professor of congregational and ministry studies at Calvin University and the director of the Calvin Prison Initiative, a unique academic program that provides a Christian liberal arts education to inmates at the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia, Michigan.

Carlos Colón, a native of El Salvador, is a composer, liturgist, and the assistant director for worship and chapel of the Office of Spiritual Life at Baylor University, Waco, Texas. He is also a resident scholar at Baylor Institute for the Studies of Religion.

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

Ruth Padilla DeBorst serves with Resonate Global Mission of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA), fostering the development of whole-life disciples of Jesus through the Comunidad de Estudios Teológicos Interdisciplinarios (CETI), the International Fellowship for Mission as Transformation (INFEMIT), and other initiatives.

Betsy DeVries is a PhD candidate at Emmanuel College of the University of Toronto, Ontario, where she is studying homiletics.

Dennis R. Edwards is an associate professor of New Testament at North Park Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of 1 Peter of The Story of God Bible Commentary series (Zondervan, 2017) and the forthcoming What is the Bible and How Do We Understand It? (Herald Press, 2019).

Lynn Barger Elliott is an affiliated faculty in the congregational and ministry studies department at Calvin University 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, a parish of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco. He received his PhD from the University of California, Davis, in the foundations of education and Christian pedagogy in the Byzantine East.

Terence Gadsden is the coordinator of urban outreach and the athletic chaplain at North Park University, Chicago, Illinois. He holds a Master of Divinity with emphasis on Christian community development from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Lisle, IL.

Dominique DuBois Gilliard is the director of racial righteousness and reconciliation for the Love Mercy Do Justice (LMDJ) initiative of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), where he has been ordained as a minister. He is the author of Rethinking Incarceration: Advocating for Justice That Restores (IVP, 2018).

Anna Greidanus is a professor of art at Calvin University, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has been engaged in art-making and teaching for nearly thirty years. She exhibits work all around the world and has received recognition from organizations, such as the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts and The National Art Education Association. Her art features sculptural ceramics and mixed media installations.

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.

Jonathan Hehn is the choral program director and organist, director of the Notre Dame Basilica Schola, and assistant director of the Liturgical Choir at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana. He is a passionate practitioner, writer, and thinker. You can find him on social media @jonathanhehn.

InSoon G. Hoagland is a retired army chaplain and combat veteran of the US Army. Holding a Master of Divinity degree from Calvin Theological Seminary and a Master of Arts in psychology and counseling, she is both a certified clinical chaplain and a pastoral counselor ordained by the Christian Reformed Church of North America.

Scott Hoezee is the director of the Center for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary. His recent books are Actuality: Real Life Stories for Sermons that Matter (The Artistry of Preaching Series, Abingdon, 2014) and Why We Listen to Sermons (Calvin University Press, 2019).

Laura James is a professional artist and illustrator. In addition to painting sacred images from various religions, she portrays women, families, and scenes of everyday life. She is best known for her illustrations in The Book of Gospels (Liturgy Training Publications, 2000), an award-winning edition of the four gospels that includes thirty-four paintings rendered in the Ethiopian Christian art style.

Peter Jonker is the minister of preaching at LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Najla Kassab is an ordained minister in the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon. She is the president of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC), elected in Leipzig, Germany, in 2017.

Roberta R. King is a professor of intercultural communication and ethnomusicology at the School of Intercultural Studies, Fuller Seminary, Pasadena, California. She specializes in global Christian worship and witness as an ethnomusicologist in mission. She is the lead editor of (un)Common Sounds: Songs of Peace and Reconciliation among Muslims and Christians (Cascade Books, 2014), and the author of Global Arts and Christian Witness: Exegeting Culture, Translating the Message, and Communicating Christ (Baker Academic, 2019).

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.

Swee Hong Lim is the Deer Park Professor of Sacred Music at Emmanuel College and the director of the Master of Sacred Music program of the University of Toronto, Ontario.

Mark MacDonald became Canada's first National Indigenous Anglican Bishop in 2007. He is presently the North American president of the World Council of Churches.

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

Nicole Massie Martin is the founder and executive director of Soulfire International Ministries (www.sfiministries.org). She teaches at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and serves with the American Bible Society. She is the author of Made to Lead: Empowering Women for Ministry (Chalice Press, 2016).

Esau McCaulley is an assistant professor of New Testament at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. His research and writing focuses on Pauline theology and the intersection of race, Christian identity, and the pursuit of social justice. He is also a priest in the Anglican Church in North America where he serves as Provincial Director for Leadership Development, which involves oversight of the recruitment and formation of clergy and lay leaders. Dr. McCaulley is one of the creators of Call and Response ministries, an organization committed to hosting conferences and creating resources for Black and Multi-Ethnic churches. Follow his blog Thicket of the Jordan and connect with him.

Philip McKinley is an Anglican chaplain at Dublin City University, Ireland. He is also the co-founder of the Discovery Gospel Choir, an intercultural ensemble that reflects the new-found cultural and ethnic diversity of Ireland.

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

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

LaTonya McIver Penny serves as the pastor for New Mount Zion Baptist Church in Roxboro, North Carolina. She is the founder and director of Mary’s Grace, Inc., a nonprofit organization that creates programs and ministries of inclusion for persons with disabilities and their families in their churches and communities.

Cornelius Plantinga Jr. is a senior research fellow at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and president emeritus of Calvin Theological Seminary. For more than a decade Plantinga has co-hosted a summer seminar for preachers on reading for preaching in connection with the Center for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary. He is the author of Reading for Preaching: The Preacher in Conversation with Storytellers, Biographers, Poets, and Journalists (Eerdmans, 2013). 

Melanie C. Ross is an assistant professor of liturgical studies at Yale Divinity School and Yale Institute of Sacred Music. Her recent book, Evangelical versus Liturgical? Defying a Dichotomy (Eerdmans, 2014), facilitates the intersection of popular American evangelicalism and academic liturgical theology.

Lester Ruth is the research professor of Christian worship at Duke Divinity School, North Carolina. He is passionate for studying the history of worship to enrich the worship life of current congregations regardless of style. He is the author of Worshiping with the Anaheim Vineyard: The Emergence of Contemporary Worship (Eerdmans, 2017) and Lovin’ On Jesus: A Concise History of Contemporary Worship (Abingdon, 2017). His upcoming books are Flow: An Ancient Way to Contemporary Worship (Abingdon, 2021) and Essays in the History of Contemporary Praise and Worship (Wipf & Stock, 2021).

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

Greg Scheer is a music associate at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. He is the author of The Art of Worship (Baker, 2006) and Essential Worship: A Handbook for Leaders (Baker, 2016).

Chris Schoon (ThD, Wycliffe College) is the director of Faith Formation Ministries for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Previously, Chris has served as a pastor in both Michigan and Ontario. Along with contributing regularly to periodicals such as Reformed Worship and The Banner, Chris is the author of Cultivating an Evangelistic Character (Wipf & Stock, 2018), which takes an in-depth look at worship and discipleship in the missional church movement. You can find him on Twitter: @chrisjschoon.

Derek C. Schuurman is professor of computer science at Calvin University where he currently holds the William Spoelhof Teacher-Scholar-in-Residence chair. Besides his technical interests, he is interested in faith and technology issues. He is the author of Shaping a Digital World: Faith, Culture and Computer Technology (IVP, 2013).

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

Reginald Smith is the 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.

Mandy Smith is a native of Australia and the lead pastor of University Christian Church, a campus and neighborhood congregation with its own fair trade café in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is a regular contributor to Christianity Today publications and the author of The Vulnerable Pastor: How Human Limitations Empower Our Ministry (IVP, 2015).

Rebecca Snippe is program coordinator for music and web-based projects at 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 preachingandworship.org. He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Marcell Steuernagel is an assistant professor of church music and the director of the Master of Sacred Music Program at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Texas. He holds a PhD in church music from Baylor University, Texas, 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. Marcell has been leading worship since the late 1990’s, and is an active performer and composer in liturgical, concert, and popular music contexts.

Elizabeth Sung, a systematic theologian, is a scholar-in-residence at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia. She is the first Protestant to have held the Chester & Mary Paluch Chair of Theology at Mundelein Seminary, the largest Catholic seminary in the US. She was previously an associate professor of Biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where she had taught for nine years, received the Faculty of the Year award, and pioneered covenant groups singularly focused on spiritual formation. 

Elizabeth Tamez Méndez is an ordained minister, artist, and the 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, has twenty-five years of diverse ministerial experience, is passionate about cultivating young leaders in the church, and holds a PhD in leadership.

W. David O. Taylor is an assistant professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California, and is the author of The Theater of God's Glory: Calvin, Creation and the Liturgical Arts (Eerdmans, 2017), Glimpses of the New Creation: Worship and the Formative Power of the Arts (Eerdmans, 2019), and Open and Unafraid: The Psalms as a Guide to Life (Thomas Nelson, 2020). An Anglican priest, he has lectured widely on the arts, in various places from Thailand to South Africa. In 2016 he produced a short film on the psalms with Bono and Eugene Peterson.

Martin Tel is the C.F. Seabrook Director of Music at Princeton Theological Seminary, New Jersey, where he directs the seminary choirs, facilitates the music ministry for daily worship, and lectures in the area of church music. He was a senior editor of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship (Faith Alive Resources, 2011).

Kevin Timpe is the William H. Jellema Chair in Christian Philosophy at Calvin University, Grand Rapids, Michigan. He works on the metaphysics of free will, philosophy of religion, virtue ethics, and philosophy of disability.

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

Herbert H. Tsang is the president of Church Music Ministry of Canada, Vancouver, British Columbia, and a professor of computing science and mathematics at Trinity Western University, Langley, British Columbia. His passion is in congregational singing and intergenerational worship. He is the author of WorshipYou, Me and Him: Church Music (Seed Press, 2008). For more than fifteen years, his monthly column in Christian worship was syndicated in many North American cities benefiting the Chinese Christian community.

Kathleen S. Turner is the director of Christian Education/Discipleship at the Greater Allen AME Church, Jamaica, New York, and an adjunct professor at New York 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 soundtracks of reconciliation in the racially diverse and gentrifying neighborhood of Church Hill, Richmond, Virginia. The band evolved out of the Urban Songwriting Internship Program, a partnership with Arrabon and East End Fellowship

Kristen Verhulst is an 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.

Eric Washington is an associate professor of history and the director of African and African Diaspora Studies Program at Calvin University. His research interest is in studying the African-American church from its development in the late 18th century through the 19th century as well as individual Christians, primarily Calvinists.

Joanna Wigboldy is a program manager at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship in the areas of Vital Worship Grants and the new Ministry Leadership Cohort program at Calvin University.

Kate Williams is the senior managing editor at GIA Publications, Inc. In addition to her love of shaping sung prayer with GIA’s finest composers, she serves as a music minister in the Archdiocese of Chicago, following a passion to serve in multicultural, multi-generational communities.

Cory Willson is the Jake and Betsy Tuls Assistant 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 the director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and professor of congregational and ministry studies, music, and worship at Calvin University and Calvin Theological Seminary, respectively. He is a co-editor of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship with Joyce Borger and Martin Tel (Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2012).