Speakers & Artists

Speakers & Artists



Plenary Speaker

Joseph Pearce — Author, Writer-in-Residence and Professor of Humanities at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, NH.  Co-Founder and Co-Editor of the St. Austin Review, an international magazine dedicated to reclaiming Catholic culture. A native of England, Joseph Pearce moved to the United States in 2001 to take up the position of writer in residence and associate professor of literature at Ave Maria University in Florida, where he was Professor of Literature from 2001-2012. He is editor of the St. Austin Review (www.staustinreview.com), an international review of Catholic culture, editor-in-chief of Sapientia Press, series editor of the Ignatius Critical Editions, and executive director of Catholic Courses. The internationally acclaimed author of many books, which include bestsellers such as The Quest for Shakespeare, Tolkien: Man and Myth, The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde, C. S. Lewis and The Catholic Church, Literary Converts, Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G.K. Chesterton, Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile and Old Thunder:  A Life of Hilaire Belloc, Joseph Pearce is a world-recognized biographer of modern Christian literary figures.  His books have been published and translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Italian, Korean and Polish.Pearce has hosted two 13-part television series about Shakespeare on EWTN, the largest religious TV network in the world, and has also written and presented a documentary on EWTN on the Catholicism of The Lord of the Rings. An accomplished tutor, teacher and speaker, Pearce has participated and lectured at a wide variety of international and literary events at major colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, Britain, Europe, Africa and South America.  From 2010 to 2011 he was a visiting professor at Gabriela Mistral University in Santiago, Chile. He is also a regular guest on national and international television and radio programs, and has served as consultant for film documentaries on J.R.R. Tolkien and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.Apart from the work he has had published in scholarly and academic books and journals, Pearce has also written for major newspapers, such as the Miami Herald, the National Post (Canada), El Mundo (Spain) and the Catholic Herald(UK).In 2011, Pearce was awarded an honorary doctorate of higher education from Thomas More College in New Hampshire. He is the recipient of the prestigious Pollock Award for Christian Biography, and was presented with the American Chesterton Society’s Outline of Sanity Award in 2003.


Doug Jackson Doug Jackson Assistant Professor of Spiritual Formation and Director of Logsdon Seminary Programs at the at the South Texas School of Christian Studies in Corpus Christi. He is a graduate of Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona (Bachelor of Arts in English Literature), Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, TX, (Master of Divinity), and Truett Seminary in Waco, TX (Doctor of Ministry degree with an emphasis in Spiritual Formation). Prior to his appointment at Logsdon, Dr. Jackson was pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Corpus Christi (1993-2006). Before his call to Second, he served as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Fountain Hills, AZ and (1985-1992), prior to that, the Fairview Baptist Church in Copperas Cove, TX (1983-1985). Doug has written and lectured on Lewis, most recently presenting “Death in the Camera: How Hollywood Gets Prince Caspian Wrong and Why It Matters” as a part of the Oxbridge Academic Roundtable at the C. S. Lewis Foundation’s Summer Institute at Oxbridge (2011). Lewis makes regular appearances in his classes. On one memorable occasion, he delivered a first-person lecture on The Pilgrim’s Regress, complete with pipe and academic gown.


Speakers (in alpha order)

Diana Glyer Diana Glyer Professor of English at Azusa Pacific University. She has been widely recognized for her work on C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Inklings, including contributions to The C.S. Lewis Readers’ Encyclopedia and C.S. Lewis: Life, Works, and Legacy. She is the recipient of the Wade Center’s Clyde S. Kilby Research Grant (1997), APU’s Chase A. Sawtell Inspirational Teaching Award (2002), and the Imperishable Flame Award for Tolkien Scholarship (2007). Her latest book is The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community.
Steve Laube Steve Laube— Literary Agent responsible for the discovery, evaluation, and development of potential new books for publication. He has negotiated nearly 250 contracts managing over 400 new books during his time as an agent.Steve is a 29 year veteran of the bookselling industry. He began in the bookselling arena and his store in Phoenix was named the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) store of the year in 1989. He then spent 11 years with Bethany House Publishers rising to the position of an editorial director. In 2002 he was named the AWSA Golden Scroll Editor of the Year. The next year he became a literary agent and in 2004 formed The Steve Laube Agency. He was named the ACFW Agent of the Year award in 2009.
Andrew Lazo Scholar and speaker on the Inklings. He holds an M.A. in English from Rice University, where he was Jacob K. Javits Fellow in the Humanities. He also teaches Mythology at the University of Houston and is author of several articles on C. S. Lewis and the Inklings and is co-editor of Changed Lives: C. S. Lewis as Spiritual Mentor, (forthcoming), and Mere Christians: Inspiring Stories of Encounters with C.S. Lewis. He is currently working on two book projects, one unlocking the mysteries of Till We Have Faces and the other doing primary research on friendship in the Coalbiters, Tolkien’s Old Norse reading group.
Thomas Umstattd Thomas Umstattd CEO of Umstattd Media, a company that helps authors use the web to sell books and win contracts. As a speaker on web technology, Thomas teaches all over the world.He built his first website at the age of 13 and taught his first web design class at 16 years old. He has been helping authors and small businesses use the web ever since.


Performing Artists

  Jeff and Claire Kepple of The Kepple Band  This family band drives a genre-bending acoustic repertoire of folk, jazz and sacred compositions. A full length album, “Oh My My”, will be released Fall 2012. After five years of winning Tracy’s heart, Jeff and Tracy were married and moved to the northern Sierras to realize Jeff’s dream of working as a small-town doctor where he could know his patients well and enjoy deep friendship with many of them. The remarkable stories of many of Jeff’s patients have inspired his songwriting and musical expression, as have the delights and challenges of rural family life. Jeff and Tracy have been married for 26 years. All three of the Kepple children have joined their father on stage since their earliest years. Kelsey is now entering her third year of commercial music and violin studies at Azusa Pacific University, and departs for Heidelberg, Germany this fall to immerse herself in rigorous training in a city steeped in classical excellence. Natalie, currently a member of the Reno Youth Symphony, enjoys the tutelage of Dmitri Atapine, winner of the Carlos Prieto International Cello Competition. But even the energetic and sometimes mischievous sound of Natalie’s cello takes second chair to her jaw-dropping warm, jazzy vocals. Claire’s musical skill rings true to her name—“clear”. She shines in theater and dance as well as music, and has even played several lead roles in the local community theater. Claire’s voice cuts to the heart of Jeff’s most poignant songs, bringing light to the depth and vivid sense to intricacy and subtlety.

Ad Deum Dance Company — A professional Houston, Texas, based contemporary/modern dance company founded and directed by Randall Flinn.The company is comprised of dancers that have found home in Houston from all across the globe. Dramatic passion, flowing grace and fierce athleticism abound as these artists explore the mysteries of faith, grace, beauty and redemption through the freedom created by God for the expressions of the human body, soul and spirit.
Randall Flinn — Founder and Artistic Director of Ad Deum Dance Company. He has served on the artistic faculty for Houston Ballet Academy, Project Dance NYC, and as an artist-in-residence for The High School for Performing Arts, Ballet Magnificat, Belhaven College and Youth With A Mission.As a lecturer, he has addressed many artists on the topic of “Servant Artistry” and is now celebrating over twenty five years as a Believer-artist.

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