Dr. Eric D. Barreto
Eric D. Barreto is Weyerhaeuser Associate Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary and an ordained Baptist minister. He is the author of Ethnic Negotiations: The Function of Race and Ethnicity in Acts 16 (Mohr Siebeck, 2010), the co-author of Exploring the Bible (Fortress Press, 2016), and editor of Reading Theologically (Fortress Press, 2014).
For more, go to ericbarreto.com and follow him on Twitter (@ericbarreto).
Sarah Bessey is the author of the best-selling and critically-acclaimed books, "Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith" and "Jesus Feminist." She is a sought-after speaker at churches, conferences, and universities all around the world. Her new book "Miracles and Other Reasonable Things: A Story of Unlearning and Relearning God" will release on October 8, 2019. Sarah is the co-curator and co-host of the annual Evolving Faith Conference and she also serves as President of the Board for Heartline Ministries in Haiti. She lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia with her husband and their four children. You can find her online at sarahbessey.com
Amena Brown is a poet, speaker, author, and event host. Named one of Rejuvenate Magazine’s Top 40 under 40 Changemakers, Amena is the author of five spoken word CDs and two non-fiction books: Breaking Old Rhythms and her latest release How to Fix a Broken Record. She has performed and spoken at events across the nation such as Creativity World Forum, IF Gathering, and Chick-fil-A Leadercast, as well as touring with Gungor, Ann Voskamp and the Voices Project Historically Black College and University Tour.
Amena is also the host of the limited edition How to Fix a Broken Record podcast about her book of the same name and the co-host of podcast, Here for the Donuts. She and her husband, DJ Opdiggy, live in Atlanta where they host an open mic every fifth Thursday at Urban Grind Coffee.
Live, Amena is always insightful, entertaining, and poignant. Her message and approach work extremely well with most audiences.
Barbara Brown Taylor
Barbara Brown Taylor is a best-selling author, teacher, and Episcopal priest. Her first memoir, Leaving Church, won an Author of the Year award from the Georgia Writers Association in 2006. Her next two books, An Altar in the World (2010) and Learning to Walk in the Dark (2015), earned places on the New York Times bestseller list. She has served on the faculties of Piedmont College, Columbia Theological Seminary, Candler School of Theology at Emory University, McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University, and the Certificate in Theological Studies program at Arrendale State Prison for Women in Alto, Georgia. In 2014 TIME included her on its annual list of Most Influential People; in 2015 she was named Georgia Woman of the Year; in 2016 she received the President’s Medal at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. Her fourteenth book, Holy Envy, was released by HarperOne in March 2019.
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
Minerva G. Carcaño felt a call to ordained ministry as a child. Working alongside her father as he replaced the vinyl flooring on her church’s kindergarten class room, she felt God swoop in and embrace her with perfect love and her heart filled with incredible joy. From that moment forward she sought to live in God’s house. On the journey of discipleship in the name of Jesus, she has been a pastor, a chaplain, a lead organizer of an ecumenical parish, a seminary adjunct professor and program administrator, a district superintendent and a bishop. She has shared her faith through her writings and through her preaching and teaching in many places across the U.S. and around the world. An ardent supporter of justice for all, she has advocated for the rights of the poor, immigrants, women and the LGBTQIA community. Ultimately, she has learned that living in God’s house means fully living in God’s amazing world.
Jeff Chu is an award-winning reporter and writer, a seminarian at Princeton Theological Seminary, and a farmhand at PTS's Farminary. He is the author of Does Jesus Really Love Me?: A Gay Christian's Pilgrimage in Search of God in America. His work has appeared in both Time and Fast Company, two publications where he was on staff. He has also written for Modern Farmer, The New York Times Magazine, Travel+Leisure, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. He has interviewed generals and chicken farmers, politicians and professors, including people as diverse as Britney Spears, Fred Phelps, J.K. Rowling, and Halle Berry.
Jeff, whose parents were both born in Hong Kong, is originally from California. Though he grew up Baptist (he's the grandson and nephew of preachers), Jeff is now an elder and a candidate for ordination in the Reformed Church in America. An alumnus of Princeton University and the London School of Economics, Jeff likes rice, collects postage stamps, and is an Enneagram 6 with a 5 wing. He has terrible taste in music and is as much of a dork as you might imagine. His favorite animal is the giraffe, because it's so awkward and enigmatic. He hates marzipan and beets. He thinks the world's best person is his husband, Tristan.
Alicia T. Crosby
Alicia T. Crosby (she/hers) is a justice educator, activist, and (sometimes reluctant) minister whose work addresses the spiritual, systemic, and interpersonal harm people experience. Through her teaching, writing, speaking, consulting, and space curation, Alicia helps individuals, communities, and institutions explore and unpack topics related to identity, inclusivity, journey, and intersectional equity.
You can follow her work via aliciatcrosby.com or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram via @aliciatcrosby.
Kaitlin Curtice is a Native American Christian author and speaker. As an enrolled citizen of the Potawatomi Nation and someone who has grown up in the Christian faith, Kaitlin writes on the intersection of Indigenous spirituality, faith in everyday life, and the church.
Her first book, Glory Happening: Finding the Divine in Everyday Places, was published with Paraclete Press in 2017. It is a series of fifty essays and prayers focusing on finding the sacred in everyday life. Kaitlin is currently working on her second book with Brazos Press, set to come out in 2020. It has been named by Publisher’s Weekly as a Religion and Spirituality book to watch for.
Kaitlin has contributed to OnBeing, Religion News Service, USA Today and Sojourners, among others, and she was interviewed for the New Yorker on colonization within Christian missions. In 2018 she was featured in a documentary with CBS called “Race, Religion and Resistance,” speaking on the dangers of colonized Christianity.
Kaitlin travels around the country speaking on faith and justice within the church as it relates to Indigenous peoples. She has been a featured speaker at Why Christian, Evolving Faith, Wild Goose Festival, The Festival of Faith and Writing, and more.
Dr. Peter Enns
Peter Enns has a Ph.D. from Harvard and occupies an endowed chair at his university, but he talks and writes like a normal person who loves God (and baseball) and is trying to follow Jesus day to day.
Pete’s deep curiosity about the Bible led to questions that get to core issues of faith, but that are often taken for granted. Questions like:
What is the Bible anyway? What are we supposed to do with a book like this? Why should we care about the Bible at all?What is God up to in the world? What does God really want of us here and now?
Pete’s courage to work through tough questions rather than avoid them cost him his teaching job, and nearly his own faith, until he saw that the process was deepening his faith in new and unexpected ways.
Now, Pete is passionate about helping us see the Bible from fresh angles to deepen our faith, to free us to bring our doubts, fears, and questions to God, and to show us that asking our deepest and most frightening questions of faith is part of our spiritual journey...not the end!
Jen Hatmaker is the author of eleven books, including New York Times Bestsellers For the Love and Of Mess and Moxie. She is the happy hostess of a tightly knit online community where she reaches millions of people each week. She and her husband, Brandon, founded the Legacy Collective, a giving community that funds sustainable solutions to systemic problems around the world. They also starred in an HGTV series called “My Big Family Renovation” and live in a 105-year old farmhouse just outside Austin, TX with their five kids. She speaks at events all over the country and hosts the popular podcast For the Love with Jen Hatmaker. Check out her books, schedule, and blog at www.jenhatmaker.com.
Austen Hartke is the author of "Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians," a book on theology and personal narratives published by Westminster John Knox Press in 2018. He is also the creator of the YouTube series "Transgender and Christian," which seeks to understand, interpret, and share parts of the Bible that relate to gender identity and the lives of transgender individuals. Austen is a graduate of Luther Seminary’s Master of Arts program in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible Studies, and is the winner of the 2014 John Milton Prize in Old Testament Writing from the same institution. As a transgender person of faith, Austen's greatest passion is helping other gender-diverse people see themselves in scripture.
B.T. Harman is a former executive turned creative strategist, writer, and podcaster.
He was previously Vice President of Client Experience for Booster, an innovative school fundraising company based out of Atlanta. For 12 years, B.T. was a key player in helping Booster raise more than $150 million for American schools. During his time there, he led the company’s creative team, helping develop high-end character content for more than 1.3 million students annually.
B.T. is also the creator of the blog & podcast, Blue Babies Pink, "A Southern Coming Out Story in 44 Episodes.” BBP is B.T.’s story of growing up as the gay son of a Southern Baptist pastor in small-town Alabama. More than 1,000,000 episodes of the BBP podcast have been downloaded since it launched. '
Today, B.T. is a freelance content-creator for millennials and the brands that serve them. His other loves include storytelling, leadership, good design, antiques, Seth Godin, SEC football, European travel, Roman history, archaeology, and Chick-fil-A. B.T. lives in Atlanta’s historic Cabbagetown neighborhood with his husband Brett and their cat, Walnut.
Rachel Held Evans
Rachel Held Evans was a New York Times best-selling author and popular blogger who wrote about faith, doubt, and life in the Bible Belt. Her books include Faith Unraveled (2010), A Year of Biblical Womanhood (2012), Searching for Sunday (2015) and Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again (2018). With millions of visits each year, her blog became a renowned online hub for conversations about Christianity and culture.
Rachel was featured on The View, The Today Show, NPR, Slate, The BBC, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, and Oprah.com. She also served on President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
Her popularity as a writer also kept her busy speaking across the country. She spoke at The Festival of Faith and Writing, the Q Conference, Trinity Wall Street, Princeton University, Austin Theological Seminary, Eastern University, Baylor University, The Gay Christian Network Conference, The Wild Goose Festival, and a wide range of retreats, conferences, universities, and churches. In 2015, in partnership with Nadia Bolz-Weber and Jim Chaffee, she launched the Why Christian Conference, which featured fresh, diverse voices responding to the question of why they continue in the faith. In 2018, in partnership with Sarah Bessey and Jim Chaffee, she launched the Evolving Faith Conference which carved out a unique space for the wonderers, wanderers, and spiritual refugees.
After a sudden illness, Rachel died on May 4, 2019. She is survived by her husband Dan, their two children, her parents, her sister, and extended family. She is deeply missed by so many including the Evolving Faith community.
Cece Jones-Davis is a worship leader, speaker, writer and social advocate from the beautiful town of Halifax, Virginia. She is a graduate of Howard University, Yale Divinity School, and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Worship, and the Arts. Cece is also blessed to be a member of the inaugural class of Princeton’s Black Theology Leadership Institute. Working at the intersections of faith, worship, and social justice, she is passionate about seeing
God’s Kingdom come in the areas of racial healing, women and girls issues, and criminal justice reform.
Cece’s writing and advocacy work have been featured in Huffington Post, Essence.com, Self Magazine, Yahoo! Health, Teen Vogue and many more sources. Her music has been shared across the country and featured on Stephen Hurd’s "The Overflow” and “Times of Refreshing”, as well as Grace Covenant Worship albums. Her singles, “Dreams” and “Your Love is Deep” are on all digital outlets.
Ever hopeful, Cece believes in the power of God accessed through people, and feels grateful to be alive for such a time as this. She currently serves as the teaching pastor at The Table in Oklahoma City, and enjoys spending time with her hubby, Dr. Mike Davis, and and their sweet lil’ babies.
Jennifer Knapp is a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, author, speaker and advocate. Her impressive history includes selling over one million albums with her first three releases Kansas (debut 1998, Gold-certified), Lay It Down (2000), and The Way I Am (2001). She has earned four Dove Awards and has two Grammy nominations. The Kansas-born musician has toured the globe with artists such as Jars of Clay and was featured on the Lilith Fair Tour in 1999 and 2010. Knapp received critical acclaim for her human approach to the divine, with The Los Angeles Times calling her "a rising star" and People Magazine describing her as "an uncommonly literate songwriter."
With a considerable fan base and critical and commercial successes, Knapp walked away from music in 2002 at the height of her career. After a seven-year hiatus she returned in 2010 with a renewed passion for music showcased in her album Letting Go, which debuted at No. 73 on the Billboard Hot 200 Chart. Set Me Free followed in 2014 on Righteous Babe Records in conjunction with a memoir, Facing the Music: My Story, on Simon & Schuster. Her 2017 album Love Comes Back Around, produced by Viktor Krauss, pairs her fearless songwriting and strong, expressive voice with rootsy arrangements.
As the first major artist in the Christian music world to speak openly about LGBTQ identity, her unique position created opportunities for Knapp to speak at churches, universities, conferences and on the TEDx stage. In 2012 she founded the non-profit organization Inside Out Faith, through which she continues to advocate for LGBTQ & faith issues.
A true Renaissance woman, Knapp recently completed a master’s degree in theological studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School.
Tanya Marlow is a writer, campaigner and broadcaster whose work focuses on the spirituality of suffering and creative ways of retelling the Bible. A popular writer on both faith and disability, her work has been published in mainstream outlets such as The Guardian and The Spectator and she’s given interviews for BBC TV and radio. She is a campaigner with #MEAction Network for medical equality for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis patients. Her magic eyes make people talk openly, with a post-graduate qualification in pastoral counseling to prove it, and she gives occasional lectures in practical theology and pastoral care.
Before 2010, she had been in ministry for ten years and was a lecturer in biblical theology. Her life changed when, overnight, she gained a baby and became almost entirely bed-bound with a severe autoimmune illness. Her journey of non-healing has given her a passion for those on the margins of faith, an allergy to trite answers about suffering and a commitment to honest theology about where God is when life falls apart.
Her latest book is Those Who Wait: Finding God in Disappointment, Doubt and Delay. You can find her at tanyamarlow.com where you can download her first book for free.
William Matthews is known as a singer songwriter and popular recording artist. His songs are sung in houses of worship all around the globe and has appeared at the top of Billboard charting albums garnering well over 50 million streams. William's passion is artistry and advocacy. He seamlessly blends music, cinematography & political messaging around like anti-racism, anti-voter suppression and climate change which have been highlighted by CNN, Relevant, Think Progress & Yahoo. William is also a co-host on The Liturgists Podcast - a global community working to subvert the barriers our society builds around religion, race, gender. William is based in Los Angeles California and his latest album KOSMOS is available on all streaming platforms.
Pantsuit Politics - Sarah Steward Holland & Beth Silvers
We are Sarah (from the left) and Beth (from the right), and we sit down together twice a week every week on our podcast to practice grace-filled political dialogue. Over years of discussing everything from abortion to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we established basic rules of engagement, which we describe in our new book, I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening): A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversation, which was published on February 5, 2019 by Nelson Books, a Harper Collins imprint.
Sarah Stewart Holland left her life as a Capitol Hill staffer behind to move back to her hometown of Paducah, Kentucky, to raise a family ten years ago. In 2016, she went back to politics in a big way when she knocked on 5,523 doors to win election to the Paducah City Commission, where she served a single term.
Beth Silvers spent eleven years as a restructuring attorney and then human resources executive in a Cincinnati-based law firm before becoming a business coach in January 2018. Beth teaches yoga and speaks to organizations and conferences about her favorite subject: hard conversations.
Micky ScottBey Jones
Micky ScottBey Jones - the Justice Doula - accompanies people as they birth more love, justice and shalom into our world. As a womanist, faith rooted, contemplative activist, healer, and nonviolence practitioner, Micky supports students, clergy, activists and everyday leaders in a variety of roles - speaker, writer, facilitator, pilgrimage guide, consultant and teacher. She is the Director of Resilience and Healing Initiatives with the Faith Matters Network and is a core team member with The People’s Supper who has gathered more than 10,000 people around tables since the 2016 U.S. election for bridging and healing conversations. A lifelong learner, Micky has a B.S. in Consumer and Family Sciences, a M.A. in Intercultural Studies from NAIITS/Portland Seminary and is currently pursuing advanced studies in the Enneagram. You can read her writing in two multi-authored books - Becoming Like Creoles: Living and Leading at the Intersections of Injustice, Culture and Religion and Keep Watch With Me: An Advent Reader for Peacemakers releasing in 2019 and articles all over the internet.
Named one of the Black Christian leaders changing the world in Huffington Post, Micky travels the world exploring peacemaking and justice movements in different contexts, spreading revolutionary love, engaging in authentic conversations, co-creating transformative experiences - and most importantly - she never passes up a dance floor.
Lisa Sharon Harper
From Ferguson to New York to Germany and South Africa Ms. Harper leads training and helps mobilize clergy and community leaders around shared values for the common good. A prolific speaker, writer, and activist, Ms. Harper is founder and president of FreedomRoad.us, a consulting group dedicated to shrinking the narrative gap in our nation by convening forums and experiences that bring common understanding, common commitment, and common action towards a just world. Ms. Harper is the author of several books including Evangelical Does Not Equal Republican…or Democrat (the New Press, 2008), Left Right and Christ: Evangelical Faith in Politics (Elevate, 2001), Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith (Zondervan, 2014), and critically acclaimed, The Very Good Gospel,recognized as the "2016 Book of the Year” by Englewood Review of Books which explores God’s intent for the wholeness of all relationships in light of today’s headlines.
Danielle Shroyer is an author, speaker, and spiritual director. A founding member in the emerging church movement, Danielle served as the pastor of one of the nation’s first independent emerging communities of faith for nearly a decade. She also served as the National Co-Director for Emergent Village for two years. Danielle has written three books, most recently Original Blessing: Putting Sin in its Rightful Place (Fortress Press, 2016). She has also contributed to a number of other books, including the Common English Bible Women’s Edition. In recent years, she has been mentored by Tibetan Buddhists and blogs about the intersection of Eastern spirituality, Christian wisdom, and martial arts philosophy at www.beasoulninja.com. Danielle is a member of Spiritual Directors International and a student of the Haden Institute. She is a graduate of Baylor University and Princeton Theological Seminary. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, doing yoga, or practicing taekwondo. She and her husband Dan live in Dallas with their two teenagers. You can find her at danielleshroyer.com.
Traci Smith is an ordained PC(USA) minister, spouse, mom and author. Her first book Faithful Families: Creating Sacred Moments at Home teaches parents ways to practice faith at home with their children in ways that are simple, inspiring, and informed by a progressive theology of faith, hope, and love. Traci and her husband, Elias Cabarcas, live in Elmhurst, IL. Together they raise their three children Clayton, Samuel, and Marina in a bilingual/bicultural home. Learn more about Traci and her work at www.traci-smith.com.
Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes
Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes is a clinical psychologist, public theologian, and minister whose work integrates healing, justice, and reconciliation. With earned degrees from Emory University, the University of Miami, and Duke University, she utilizes her interdisciplinary background to write, speak, and teach about self-care, racial and gender justice, and reconciliation. She is the author of Too Heavy a Yoke: Black Women and the Burden of Strength (2014) and the forthcoming book I Bring the Voices of My People: A Womanist Vision for Racial Reconciliation (release October 2019). She serves as Associate Professor of Practical Theology at the Mercer University McAfee School of Theology. Dr. Chanequa is an ecumenical minister whose faith has been shaped by Methodist, Baptist, and evangelical social justice communities. She was ordained by an independent fellowship that holds incarnational theology, community engagement, social justice, and prophetic witness as its core values. Her personal mission to dismantle white supremacist heteropatriarchy while practicing good self-care.
Dr. Renita J. Weems
Reverend Dr. Renita J. Weems (Ph.D.) is a biblical scholar, writer, an ordained minister, and a public intellectual whose scholarly insights into modern faith, biblical texts, and the role of spirituality in everyday lives makes her a highly sought-after writer and speaker. Dr. Weems is the author of several widely-acclaimed books on women's spirituality and wholeness: “Just A Sister Away” (1987 & 2005), “I Asked for Intimacy” (1993), “Showing Mary: How Women Can Share Prayers, Wisdom, and the Blessings of God” (2003), and “What Matters Most: Ten Passionate Lessons from the Song of Solomon” (2004). Her 1999 book, “Listening for God: A Minister's Journey through Silence and Doubt” (Simon & Schuster), won the Religious Communicators' Council's prestigious 1999 Wilbur Award for “excellence in communicating spiritual values to the secular media”. Upon graduating in 1989 from Princeton Theological Seminary, Dr. Weems became the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Old Testament. Ordained an elder in the AME Church since 1984, Dr. Weems is a former member of the faculty of Vanderbilt University, former William & Camille Cosby Visiting Professor at Spelman College and, more recently, was the Vice President of Academic Affairs at American Baptist College (Nashville, TN). These days she relishes being able to return to her first love -- writing. Dr. Weems has been happily married for twenty-seven years to Rev. Martin L. Espinosa. When not writing and enjoying her favorite hobbies, biking and quilting, she co-pastors with her husband at Ray Of Hope Community Church in Nashville, TN. Dr. Weems and her husband are the proud parents of a daughter, Savannah Nia.
Grace Yia-Hei Kao
Grace Yia-Hei Kao is Professor of Ethics at the Claremont School of Theology and Director of its Center for Sexuality, Gender, and Religion. She is the author of Grounding Human Rights in a Pluralist World (Georgetown UP, 2011), co-editor of Asian American Christian Ethics (Baylor UP, 2015), and co-editor of Encountering the Sacred: Feminist Reflections on Women’s Lives (T&T Clark, 2018). Her work in progress includes a book on the feminist Christian ethics of surrogacy (under contract with Stanford UP). A Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) laywoman, Grace’s faith was first nurtured by the immigrant Taiwanese church in which she was raised in Southern California (where the site of her ethnic identity development coincided with her spiritual formation) and a host of other evangelical church and parachurch organizations (e.g., InterVarsity Christian Fellowship). She is a thrifter, pescatarian but aspirational vegan, lapsed scuba diver, and co-parent of two mixed-race kids with her husband. Learn more about her at drgracekao.com.