This episode features WTS alumnus and Duke Divinity School Th.D. candidate, Alberto La Rosa. Alberto’s doctoral work focuses on a theology of immigration, and in this interview he shares why his work is important in today’s cultural moment, and what it is like to approach theology of immigration as an immigrant himself. Sara Sanchez, a current WTS student originally from Honduras, sat down with him.

 

“One of the things I love about songwriting in general is that It’s framed up in a storytelling tradition,” says artist Sandra McCracken. “When songs are done well they have that power to draw you in and shine a spotlight on places you weren’t noticing before.”

This episode features songwriter and worship artist, Sandra McCracken. Sandra joined us during “Doxophilia” – a week-long exploration of worship and worship renewal. WTS alum Rev. Jonathan Gabhart sat down to discuss Sandra’s work and music’s ability to connect the church and the larger world.

Today’s guest is Dr. Deanna Thompson, professor of religion at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN and author of “Glimpsing Resurrection: Cancer, Trauma, and Ministry.” Dr. Thompson was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2008 and is currently in remission. WTS student Katlyn DeVries sat down with Dr. Thompson to discuss how faith is experienced through the trauma of serious illness, and what connections she sees between cancer stories and the Christian story.

Former Grand Rapids Mayor, Rev. George Heartwell is a graduate of Western Theological Seminary (’88), who for 14 years led Heartside Ministries, working with and advocating for the city’s most disadvantaged residents. He also served two terms as City Commissioner from 1992-1999, before being elected mayor in 2003. Rev. Heartwell was Grand Rapids’ longest serving mayor, serving until 2016 and focusing on issues like sustainability, social justice, and community development.

“I believe that politics, narrowly defined, has no place in the pulpit. That said, to not preach a prophetic gospel is to diminish and de-fang if you will the power of the Gospel. The pastor in her or his preaching has to walk that really really difficult line between not being political, but being prophetic.” -Rev. Heartwell

Dr. David Dark, author of Life’s Too Short to Pretend You’re Not Religious, sits down to discuss public theology, pop-culture as witness, and his belief that “policy is liturgy writ large.”

Rev. Dr. Mae Cannon of “Churches for Middle East Peace” interviews two very special guests; Jessica Montell, and Sami Awad. Jessica is an Israeli Jew, and the Executive Director of Hamoked. Sami is a Palestinian Christian and executive director of Holy Land Trust. Sami and Jessica are speaking together in locations across the US as part of the “Pilgrimage to Peace tour.” They sat down to discuss ways the church in America can help promote peace in the Holy Land.

 

Wes Granberg-Michaelson, author of several books including Future Faith: Ten Challenges for Reshaping Christianity in the 21st Century sits down with Kyle Small to discuss his start in public theology, his latest book, and walking the Camino De Santiago together this summer. For 17 years, Wes served as General Secretary of the Reformed Church in America, and has long been active in ecumenical initiatives such as the Global Christian Forum and Christian Churches Together. He is a frequent contributor to Sojourners Magazine.

 

Rev. Dr. Randy Woodley, Distinguished Professor of Faith and Culture and Director of Intercultural and Indigenous Studies at Portland Seminary, talks with Dr. Travis West about indigenous theology and what he calls, the Harmony Way

In this episode, WTS professor of practical theology and director of the graduate certificate in disability and ministry, Dr. Ben Conner sits down with Shari Oosting to discuss his new book, “Disabling Mission, Enabling Witness: Exploring Missiology Through the Lens of Disability Studies.”

In this episode, Sarah Arthur, who recently published the book A Light so Lovely: The Spiritual Legacy of Madeleine L’Engle, Author of A Wrinkle in Time, sits down with Jeff Munroe to talk about writing this book in light of her own recent cancer diagnosis, and what Madeleine’s life means to her.