Becca and her daughter, Paizley, live in Roswell, New Mexico, where Becca works in a breeding and foaling barn on a racehorse ranch. A Certified Veterinary Technician specializing in Equine Reproduction, Becca enjoys the opportunity to breed, raise and gallop race horses, and aspires to compete on the professional rodeo circuit. Some of her other hobbies include breaking colts and reading. While Becca has a deep appreciation for the “cowboy” lifestyle and values, her true passion (inspired by her time at Summit Semester in 2009) is the practical application of her studies of worldviews and theology, combined with discipleship.
Christian Background: Throughout Becca’s childhood, her family was active in Presbyterian, Reformed, and Southern Baptist churches. However, in her early twenties, Becca wandered from her Christian upbringing. Her ungodly lifestyle and selfish decisions soon caught up to her, leaving her a broken, single mother. Christ led her to a Baptist church north east of Colorado Springs where she experienced the grace and healing of Jesus Christ. Currently, she and Paizley are very involved, and hold membership, at First Baptist Roswell, where she is a sixth and seventh grade girls youth leader.
Pepper Darlington is a graduate of Patrick Henry College with a Bachelor’s degree in Classical Liberal Arts. She is a mental health advocate, with a concern for building up the confidence of the voiceless, and she currently works for The Great Courses, whose college-level materials occupy much of her spare time as well. Her studies focus on history, religion, and psychology, while her interests include superhero movies, travel, writing, and kayaking. A Christian Protestant from a low-church background, she nevertheless has a great interest in the other major world religions, especially Buddhism, and she hopes someday to visit Japan.
Christian Background: Pepper’s parents dabbled in New Age philosophy, but converted to Christianity and became Southern Baptists when Pepper was five years old. The house was unexpectedly purged of a great many things that she saw as valuable and important, but which her parents began calling evil. These changes, on top of a cross-country relocation, led her to view the world as inherently unpredictable and unsafe. Through a series of personal encounters with Christ, most of which centered in teen camp ministry, her parents’ faith became real to her too. Although the journey was neither simple nor easy, she still identifies as a Protestant Christian, as it is the only religion that offers an adequate explanation for the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, whose existence is a historical fact.
Mark is currently Pastor of Church Planting at Trinity Christian Reformed Church (CRC) in St. Louis Missouri. He graduated from Covenant Theological Seminary in May 2016 with a Master of Divinity, having previously completed a Bachelor of Arts in Religion at Missouri Baptist University. With an inquisitive mind and an intellectual bent, Mark seeks to establish a citywide network of house churches spanning all of St. Louis.
Christian Background: Mark began his journey outside of the Church. After his conversion at age fifteen, he has attended churches of all sorts of traditions—from Baptist to Presbyterian all the way to Catholic and Eastern Orthodox—and finally landed in the Christian Reformed Church (CRC). During this journey, there was a time where he struggled greatly with his faith and calling. However, through works like Athanasius’ On the Incarnation of the Word and T.F. Torrance’s Divine and Contingent Order, his calling and fire rejuvenated, and he has since been ordained as a Commissioned Pastor in the CRC. Because of this journey, one of his greatest passions for the Church is to see the Church working together to bring glory to God and hope to the lost.
Joseph is committed to reading, writing, and meditating on, as well as experiencing the infinite love and wisdom of God as He has revealed Himself within the Christian Church. Having obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies at Regent University, he went on to complete a Master of Arts in Theological Studies at Columbia International University in 2013. He currently lives in Columbia, South Carolina and works as a videographer for his business, Framed And Shot Productions LLC, as well as various other odd jobs.
Christian Background: Joseph grew up in a Christian home, attending church regularly and reading Scripture and praying as a family. For most of his upbringing his family attended a nondenominational Evangelical Protestant “contemporary service” church, as well as a Baptist and Pentecostal congregation at different periods. In his last semester of seminary he began investigating Orthodox Christianity and the ancient Church, and after much research, prayer, and attendance at the closest Orthodox parish an hour and a half away, was received into the Orthodox Church in America in the Spring of 2015.
Alyssa was born and raised in the beautiful state of North Carolina, where she still resides with her family, including eight younger siblings ranging in age from sixteen years to six months old. Alyssa was homeschooled from kindergarten through twelfth grade and, now graduated, is pursuing a BA in Communications from Thomas Edison State College, where she is in her junior year. She delights in spending time with the Lord in prayer and study of His Word as well as loving on her little siblings, singing, playing the harp and piano, expanding her Spanish skills, reading, writing, cooking, studying nutrition, and caring for her goats and her garden.
Christian Background: Alyssa was raised in a Christian home and though she said the sinner’s prayer as a four year old, she considers herself truly converted since the age of twelve, when the Lord began to convict her of her sin and her need for a Savior. He mercifully brought her to repentance and grace in Christ Jesus at that time, and He continues to renew her passion and love for Him day by day, as He reveals new treasures to her and sustains her through her weaknesses and the battle that rages in her soul between the Spirit and the flesh. (Romans 7) Her purpose in life is to know Christ and to make Him known. She most closely aligns herself with Reformed Baptist beliefs, with a dash of Calvinism thrown in, although she would rather be labeled as a Christ-follower than anything else.
Jeff is currently a student at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia studying for a Master of Arts in Religion (Concentration: Theological Studies). He graduated from Olin College in 2013 with a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering and went on to work as an engineer at IBM for one year before beginning seminary. Jeff has also attended and worked for Summit Ministries in both their summer programs and Summit Semester (student in summer of 2012, mentor in fall of 2014).
Christian Background: Jeff was raised in a Roman Catholic family before moving to a non-denominational church as a teenager. In college, he attended a Chinese Bible Church and while working for IBM in New York, he attended a Baptist church. He now attends a Presbyterian (PCA) church in Philadelphia.
A lifelong obsession with truth led Charles in search of answers across the country and around the world until he finally discovered what he was seeking in Jesus’ claim to BE the truth (Jn 14:6). Since then, he has dedicated his life to seeking out, living out, and simplifying this truth within the complex philosophical underpinnings of contemporary Christian practice. You can read his story and more at www.charlesheyworth.com
Christian Background: Author, philosopher, entrepreneur, and musician, Charles Heyworth likes to blur the lines between Christian traditions and focus on the pursuit of one thing. His journey from a religious lifestyle to the joy of a relationship with God has been published as a book: “Road to Royalty: A Journey to Relationship.”
Amanda began writing at the age of eleven—journals, short stories and novelettes. After reading a poem, The Hound of Heaven, by Francis Thompson, she hatched a hair-brained scheme to use the poem as a basic plot structure for a story. Nearly ten years later, her first novel, The Pursuit of Elizabeth Millhouse, was in print. A few years ago, her brother got her involved in a hair-brained scheme of his own. “Write me a film script,” he said. They had no money to make a film. Still, Amanda wrote a film script. Two years later, The Wednesday Morning Breakfast Club premiered to a crowd of four hundred. The film is scheduled for world-wide distribution in June of 2014. Now, quite grown up, Amanda doubts she will ever recover from hair-brained schemes. In fact, she rather enjoys them. As a singer, pianist and violinist, Amanda teaches about thirty music students. Music often influences her writing style along with poetry, Scripture, nature and conversation with friends. Writing is often her way of thinking, piecing ideas together and making sense out of a crazy world.
Christian Background: Amanda’s parents were converted in the early years of their marriage and had walked with the Lord for many years before Amanda was born. Amanda’s earliest memories were made in church, and she recalls the many family devotions where her dad taught the family from the Word of God. She professed her faith in Christ and was baptized at a young age in a Bible church. In her late teens and early twenties she went through a long period of doubt which caused her to dig into the Scriptures and read a variety of books by authors like C.S. Lewis, Josh MacDowell and others. That experience and the conviction it produced colors Amanda’s worldview, outlook on life and her writing. Amanda’s family experienced many different denominations and Christian traditions. Though she spent most of her life in Baptist and Bible churches, Amanda also attended several non-denominational Anabaptist-type churches as a teenager and young adult, and she often visited Reformed congregations with friends. Her life has been greatly enriched by all of these experiences. She is now a member of Hills Corners Bible Baptist Church and enjoys being involved with its ministries.
Deion was born and bred in the great state of Michigan and is currently seeking a dual major in philosophy (B.A.) and political science (B.A.) as an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He hopes to one day follow in the footsteps of the great men and women of history who defended Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in whatever vocations they held—be they Catholics or not. He is a contributor at The College Fix, as well as the Editor-in-Chief at The Michigan Review.
Christian Background: Deion was baptized and confirmed at birth in the Chaldean Catholic Church, a particular church of the Catholic Church and in full communion with the Bishop of Rome and the rest of the Church. In His infinite Mercy, God allowed him a brief sojourn in the Land of Skepticism, and then He gave him a good old fashioned thumping (with help a little help from a friend and the one and only Marc Barnes of Bad Catholic). He is now a practicing, out and proud revert to the Catholic Church.
More than anything the quote, “fight to the death for the truth and the Lord God will fight for you,” characterizes Chad’s ongoing journey in life. Currently, he is working on a Ph.D. in Historical Theology, with a focus on Early Christianity. Study has always been an important part of his life, as he holds a degree in Philosophy from Oklahoma Baptist University and a Master of Divinity from Princeton Seminary. After several years as a student, Chad also taught high school for five years, primarily as Classics, Greek and Latin, and Ancient History teacher. When not studying languages and theology, Chad loves to cycle, hike with his Shiba Inu, and drink beer.
Christian Background: Throughout his life, Chad has explored many different Christian traditions, as he was raised Baptist, attended a Reformed high school, studied philosophy at Oklahoma Baptist University, and received his M.Div. from Princeton Seminary. While in seminary, Chad was confirmed in the Episcopal Church, and continues worshiping in that tradition, where he appreciates the liturgy, music, and the Feast of St. Francis, when Penny (his Shiba Inu) can bark along with him to “All Creatures of Our God and King.”
Justin grew up in southwest Michigan. He was saved at a young age but fully committed his life to following Jesus at age fifteen. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Pastoral Ministry from the University of Valley Forge. His long-term vocational goal is to pursue the study and practice of organic discipleship. Justin also specializes on the subject of Christian romance and matrimony as a blogger and speaker. He’s the creator of That Crazy Christian Romance, a blog focused on issues of Christian romance and matrimony. He now resides outside Philadelphia as he seeks to know God and serve His purpose more with each day.
Christian Background: Justin was raised in the church. Throughout his childhood and teen years he experienced various denominational perspectives including Pentecostal, Evangelical Free, Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist, and Non-Denominational. Later experiences brought exposure to Presbyterian, Catholic, and Greek Orthodox traditions. Justin most closely aligns theologically with the Pentecostal perspective, though he isn’t tightly tied to any particular church or denomination and takes joy in the communion of faith that unites all who call on the name of Jesus Christ.
Laura is a wife, distance runner, running coach, blogger, and outdoor enthusiast in Bothell, WA. She has MA in Theological Studies at the University of Dayton and BA in English and Theology with minors in Latin and Humanities from Valparaiso University. Laura works now as a running coach because she believes that running helps people discover their God-given dignity and use their bodies in a way that glorifies Him. She’s run a marathon and multiple half marathons. In addition to Conciliar Post, she runs her own running website and her works appear in Women’s Running Magazine, RunHaven, and Verily Magazine.
Christian Background: Laura was baptized Methodist. When she was 11, her mother, sister, and she joined the LCMS Lutheran Church. Her father is Roman Catholic, so she attended a Catholic all-girls high school in St. Louis. Laura officially entered full communion in the Roman Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil at the University of Dayton Chapel of the Immaculate Conception in 2013. She and her husband attend a parish in Kirkland, WA and spend their weekends admiring the glory of God’s creation by hiking in the mountains.
Sterling enjoys her life as a woman blessed by a God-fearing husband and their beautiful little girl. When Sterling isn’t chasing her toddler, she enjoys reading, knitting, walking to the library and exploring new skills in a kitchen not quite big enough for her culinary endeavors. Out of all these things, Sterling most enjoys her continued journey exploring what it means to be fully human, made in the image of God, shadowing her creator in her day-to-day life.
Christian Background: Sterling was raised in a Baptist church and home-schooled at the age of 11 with parents that highly valued the Word of God. She also had the privilege of continuing her study of scripture at Summit Semester in 2009 where she grew to appreciate various aspects of the Christian faith, and developed a deeper respect for the history of the Church along with its liturgy. She currently attends and serves at Providence Bible Church with her family.
Elizabeth’s world includes many icons, books, paints, skeins of yarn, fabric for quilts, and boxes and shelves of journals. She is married to her best friend, a computer scientist, writer and Orthodox subdeacon. Elizabeth has an Honours BA in English Lit and a Masters of Library and Information Science. She worked as a librarian in various private libraries in Ottawa, Ontario Canada before moving to a New Jersey bedroom community of NYC. Elizabeth’s life revolves around these things: home (culinary, knitting, quilting pursuits), reading and writing, her godkids, 16 nieces and nephews and serving with her husband at their Church (Sunday School, Bookstore and Library). Orthodox for over 12 years, Elizabeth has blogged for over 10 years at https://eroosje.blogspot.com/ and is happy to be writing amidst others who love Christian dialogue.
Christian Background: Elizabeth was born into a Christian family with a long history of faithfulness to God and His Word through the lens of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) Tradition and Dutch Protestant Christian culture, having a unified world of CRC family, Church and School. To this day, she thanks God for such a wonderful Christian upbringing. In her late teens, at Calvin College, she was introduced to the Episcopal Church, the American Anglican Prayer Book and the Eucharist (as taught in a Christology course using a Catholic Seminarian Textbook). After some years of going between CRC, Evangelical and Episcopal/Anglican Churches in Canada, she attended only Conservative Anglican Churches, until one day when a friend took her to an Orthodox Church in Lent of 2003. By Summer’s end, she went again to this Orthodox Church; before the end of the next year’s Summer, she was welcomed into the Orthodox Church by chrismation on August 8, 2004. Being Orthodox now for just over 12 years, she rejoices in both the Orthodox Church and also Christian upbringing and spiritual journey that brought her to this place.
Ryan is a graduate of the University of Michigan, and a former fellow at the John Jay Institute near Philadelphia. He is interested in cultural and literary criticism, the patristics and medievals, cult films, the Coen brothers, the concord of science and religion, Roger Scruton, Thomas Aquinas, and puns. To paraphrase T.S. Eliot, “I am a Roman Catholic in religion, a classicist in literature, and a Burkean conservative in politics.”
Christian Background: Ryan grew up in a Christian family and was raised in the faith. After a couple years as a the high school skeptic and then reading G.K. Chesterton, Blaise Pascal’s Pensees, and David Bentley Hart among others, he is a classical theist, an amateur apologist, and an Evangelical Christian of the Roman Catholic confession.
Chris is pursuing a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds degree from both Wake Forest University (Master of Arts in Religion) and UNC-Chapel Hill (B.A. in Global Studies/Religious Studies). He is a veteran of the US Air Force and a former aircraft mechanic. Originally from South Carolina, he now lives in North Carolina. His passions include creation care, Muslim-Christian relations, NC BBQ, football, college basketball, traveling, and heavy metal music.
Christian Background: Chris grew up attending Southern Baptist churches in and around the Spartanburg, SC area. During his teenage years, he developed an atheistic/agnostic worldview. A serious contemplation of science and nature led him to believe in a higher power/creator during his late 20s. Through an intense study of religion in college, combined with much personal reflection, he returned to the Christian fold in his early 30s. Chris is still searching for the right church and has spent significant time exploring the Orthodox Church.
Nicholai is currently a college student pursuing an undergraduate degree in Accounting. The son of a Lutheran Church Missouri Synod pastor, Nicholai has been actively involved in his home congregation his entire life, and while he frequently bemoans his greatly limited knowledge of theology and the history of the church, his faith is instrumental in guiding everything he does. As someone aspiring to enter the business world, a field rife with questionable ethical and moral dilemmas, Nicholai hopes to continually increase his understanding of Christ, his love, and his church on earth and it is his opinion that one of the best ways to accomplish that is to communicate with others via sources like the Concilliar Post. You can read some of Nicholai’s own personal ramblings on his blog “The Opinion Section“.
Christian Background: Nicholai has been attending the same Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) congregation in northern Indiana where his father has served as pastor for the last nineteen years. As the son of a pastor, Nicholai and his entire family have been very involved in their congregation for as far back as he can remember, but his experience outside of the more conservative and liturgical end of the LCMS denomination is rather limited. With the exception of family vacations, weddings, and conferences, Nicholai has almost exclusively attended the same congregation for his entire life. In recent years, his circle of contacts has greatly expanded along with his interest in understanding and learning more about differing denominations and where they are both similar to and distinct from the LCMS.
Stephen Sutherland is a native of Colorado. He received his B.A. from Hillsdale College and lives in New York with his family, where he is pursuing a Ph.D. in History at Binghamton University.
Logan is from Nebraska, has lived in the Philippines, and now travels for an organization called Save the Storks with a home base in Colorado. He earned a B.A. in History from Doane College in 2014 and spent the following school year presenting as a Team Director with Axis, a ministry dedicated to building lifelong faith in students via culture translation. He has served on the summer staff at Summit Ministries since 2012 and is a graduate of Summit Semester (Fall ’12). His dream to own and work a cattle ranch while cultivating ecumenical, restorative discipleship would preferably be realized in either Montana or Argentina.
Christian Background: Logan’s family roots contain Methodist, Assemblies of God, independent Baptist, and, most recently, non-denominational influences. Theologically he leans in a Reformed direction, admiring Francis Schaeffer’s well-contemplated, compassionate fundamentalism while treasuring the manifest faith proven in martyrs like Jim Elliot and steadfast in leaders like William Wilberforce. His Christian school upbringing whetted his thirst for authentic Christianity and prideless holy living, but his comprehension of the Gospel has been profoundly challenged and renewed through post-high school experiences and mentoring relationships.