(in alphabetical order)
Davis Bunn is an internationally bestselling author with more than seven million books in print in twenty languages. Born and raised in North Carolina, he studied economics and psychology, going on to become, at the age of twenty-nine, the director of an international business advisory group based in Dusseldorf, Germany. To say that Davis was dissatisfied with his business career does not even begin to describe him. He was, in a word, profoundly miserable.
When he was twenty-nine, Davis began writing fiction. It was the first time in his life he had ever written anything longer than a business report. He had always been a voracious reader, and within two weeks of this trial run, Davis knew he had found the work that he wanted to continue for the rest of his life.
Davis wrote for nine years and completed seven books before his first was accepted for publication. A number of people aided him in achieving this dream of becoming a published author, including Arthur C. Clarke, his first mentor.
Davis has now been a professional novelist for twenty-four years. He has appeared on numerous national bestseller lists, and his titles have been Main or Featured Selections with every major U.S. bookclub. Davis has been honored with four Christy Awards for excellence in fiction, among other accolades. He serves as Writer in Residence at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University.
Elaine Howard Ecklund
Elaine Howard Ecklund is the Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology at Rice University, as well as founding director of the Religion and Public Life Program. Ecklund is a sociologist of religion, immigration, and science who examines how individuals bring changes to religious and scientific institutions.
She is the author of four books with Oxford University Press, one book with New York University Press, and numerous research articles and op-eds. Her most recent book (with colleagues) is Secularity and Science: What Scientists Around the World Really Think About Religion (Oxford University Press, 2019). Her forthcoming book, Why Science and Faith Need Each Other: Eight Shared Values That Move Us beyond Fear, will be published with Brazos Press, a division of Baker Books, in May 2020.
She has received grants from the National Science Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, John Templeton Foundation, Templeton World Charity Foundation, and Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. Her research has been cited thousands of times by local, national, and international media. In 2013, she received Rice University’s Charles O. Duncan Award for Most Outstanding Academic Achievement and Teaching. In 2018 she gave the Gifford Lecture in Scotland and in 2019 she was President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.
Diana Pavlac Glyer
Diana Pavlac Glyer Dr. Glyer is a professor of English at Azusa Pacific University. She has published extensively on Lewis, 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) and APU’s Chase A. Sawtell Inspirational Teaching Award (2002).
She is a leading expert on C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien; her book The Company They Keep changed the way we talk about these writers. Her scholarship, her teaching, and her work as an artist all circle back to one common theme: creativity thrives in community.
Her most recent book is BANDERSNATCH: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Creative Collaboration of the Inklings.
Malcolm Guite is an Anglican priest; Chaplain & Fellow of Girton College, Cambridge University; a poet; and the lead singer and founder of the rock band Mystery Train.
Malcolm teaches Literature and Pastoral Theology for the Cambridge Federation of Theological Colleges. He is involved with a number of projects linking theology and the arts, and has published poetry, literary criticism and theology in various journals.
His books include nonfiction – Beholding the Glory and What Do Christians Believe? – and poetry – The Singing Bowl; Waiting on the Word: A Poem a Day for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany; and The Word in the Wilderness: A Poem a Day for Lent and Easter. He contributed to The Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis. As founder of the rock band, Mystery Train, he writes lyrics and performs on guitar and vocals.
Cherie Harder serves as President of the Trinity Forum. Prior to joining the Trinity Forum in 2008, Ms. Harder served in the White House as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Policy and Projects for First Lady Laura Bush.
Earlier in her career she served as Policy Advisor to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, advising the Leader on domestic social issues and serving as liaison and outreach director to outside groups. From 2001 to 2005, she was Senior Counselor to the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), where she helped the Chairman design and launch the We the People initiative to enhance the teaching, study, and understanding of American history. Prior to that Ms. Harder was the Policy Director for Senator Sam Brownback and also served as Deputy Policy Director at Empower America.
She is also a Senior Fellow at Cardus, an Editorial Board member of Comment magazine, a past board member of Gordon College and the C.S. Lewis Institute, a current board member of the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution and Faith and Law, and an advisory board member of the National Museum of American Religion.
Cherie Harder | The Trinity Forum (ttf.org)
Patti Callahan Henry
Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times bestselling author of sixteen novels, including Becoming Mrs. Lewis – The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis, Now a USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and the Globe and Mail bestseller. In addition, she is the recipient of The Christy Award — 2019 Winner of the “Book of the Year.” Patti is a frequent speaker at luncheons, book clubs, and women’s groups. The author is also the host of the popular seven-part original “Behind the Scenes of Becoming Mrs. Lewis Podcast Series.” The podcast audiobook was released in January 2020.
Her most recent books, The Favorite Daughter and The Perfect Love Song were released in 2019. Patti’s previous books include Losing the Moon, Between the Tides; Where the River Runs; When Light Breaks; Between the Tides; The Art of Keeping Secrets; Driftwood Summer; The Perfect Love Song: A Holiday Story; Coming Up for Air; And Then I Found You; The Stories We Tell; The Idea of Love; The Bookshop at Water’s End; and Becoming Mrs. Lewis.
A finalist in the Townsend Prize for Fiction, an Indie Next Pick, an OKRA pick, and a multiple nominee for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Novel of the Year, Patti is published in numerous languages. Her articles and essays have appeared in Southern Living, PINK, Writer’s Digest, Garden and Gun, Portico Magazine, Love Magazine (UK), Red Magazine (UK), Atlanta Journal, Birmingham Magazine, and more. Her essays can also be found in anthologies and collections such as Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy; Southern Writers Writing, and State of the Heart.
Growing up in Philadelphia as the daughter of a Presbyterian minister, Patti learned early the value of storytelling. Once a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, she now writes full time.
Bruce Herman is a painter and educator living and working in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Herman holds the Lothlórien Distinguished Chair in Fine Arts at Gordon College where has has taught and curated exhibitions since 1984. He completed both undergraduate and graduate fine arts degrees at Boston University College of Fine Arts with graduate work under Philip Guston and James Weeks; undergraduate work with David Aronson, Reed Kay, and Arthur Polonsky.
Herman lectures widely and has had work published in many books, journals, and popular magazines––most recently in Through Your Eyes (Wm. B. Eerdman Books). His artwork has been exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions in eleven major cities including Boston, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.
His work has been exhibited internationally, including Kings College Chapel, Cambridge University; Hong Kong University; Palazzo Dei Sette in Orvieto, Italy; in Canada, Israel, and soon in Japan. Herman’s art is featured in many public and private collections including the Vatican Museum of Modern Religious Art in Rome; The Cincinnati Museum of Fine Arts; DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts; the Hammer Museum, Grunwald Print Collection, Los Angeles; the Cape Ann Museum, and in many university galleries throughout the United States and Canada.
Alan Noble is assistant professor of English at Oklahoma Baptist University and cofounder and editor-in-chief of Christ and Pop Culture.
He is the author of Disruptive Witness: Speaking Truth in a Distracted Age. Alan has written articles for Christian publications such as Modern Reformation, InTouch Magazine, and Christianity Today and for secular publications like VOX, Buzzfeed, and The Atlantic.
He has been interviewed, quoted, or cited in a number of major publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, MTV News, MSNBC, The Guardian, Buzzfeed, Politico, Village Voice, Yahoo! News, ThinkProgress, The Blaze, WORLD Magazine, and Slate.
He has spoken at colleges, churches, and youth groups on a range of topics related to the church and culture.
For more than twenty years now, Andrew Peterson has been about the business of quietly changing lives in four-minute increments. In the city of Nashville where music is an industry in the same way fast food, generic greeting cards, and bumper stickers are industries, Peterson has forged his own path, refusing the artistic compromises that so often come with chasing album sales and radio singles and creating instead a long line of songs that ache with sorrow, joy and integrity, and that are, at the end of the day, part of a real, ongoing, human conversation.
In 2019, Andrew celebrated the 20th anniversary of his Behold the Lamb of God project with an anniversary tour and brand new album recording.
Andrew is also the award-winning author of The Wingfeather Saga, a four-book fantasy adventure series for young people, described as The Princess Bride meets The Lord of the Rings. The books have been re-released as collectible hardcover editions through Penguin Random House in 2020, and production is underway on the first season of the animated series through Angel Studios (The Chosen), set to release this year.
Andrew’s second nonfiction book, The God of the Garden: Thoughts on Creation, Culture, and the Kingdom, released in October of 2021, follows his 2019 memoir, Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making, book released through B&H Publishers.
In 2008, driven by a desire to cultivate a strong Christian arts community, Andrew founded a ministry called The Rabbit Room, which led to a yearly conference, countless concerts and symposiums, and Rabbit Room Press, which has published over thirty books to date.
Michael Ward is Senior Research Fellow at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford, and Professor of Apologetics at HBU. He is the author of the award-winning Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis (Oxford University Press) and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis (Cambridge University Press).
Though based at Blackfriars in Oxford, Dr Ward is also employed as Professor of Apologetics at Houston Baptist University, Texas, teaching one course per semester as part of the online MA program in Christian Apologetics.
On the fiftieth anniversary of Lewis’s death (22 November 2013), Professor Ward unveiled a permanent national memorial to him in Poets’ Corner, Westminster Abbey. He is the co-editor of a volume of commemorative essays marking the anniversary, entitled C.S. Lewis at Poets’ Corner.
Michael Ward presented the BBC television documentary, The Narnia Code, directed and produced by the BAFTA-winning film-maker, Norman Stone. He authored an accompanying book entitled The Narnia Code: C.S. Lewis and the Secret of the Seven Heavens.
Michael was resident Warden of The Kilns, Lewis’s Oxford home, from 1996 to 1999. He studied English at Oxford, Theology at Cambridge, and has a PhD in Divinity from St Andrews.
Michael Wear is a leading strategist, speaker and practitioner at the intersection of faith, politics and public life. He has advised a president, as well as some of the nation’s leading foundations, non-profits and public leaders, on some of the thorniest issues and exciting opportunities that define American life today. He has argued that the spiritual health and civic character of individuals is deeply tied to the state of our politics and public affairs.
As one of President Obama’s “ambassadors to America’s believers” (Buzzfeed), Michael directed faith outreach for President Obama’s historic 2012 re-election campaign. Michael was also one of the youngest White House staffers in modern American history: he served in the White House faith-based initiative during President Obama’s first term, where he led evangelical outreach and helped manage The White House’s engagement on religious and values issues, including adoption and anti-human trafficking efforts.
Michael is also the founder of Public Square Strategies LLC, a sought-after firm that helps religious organizations, political organizations, businesses and others effectively navigate the rapidly changing American religious and political landscape. He previously served as Chief Strategist and member of the executive team for the AND Campaign, and is the co-author of Compassion and Conviction: The AND Campaign’s Guide to Faithful Civic Engagement, alongside Justin Giboney and Christopher Butler.
Michael is the author of Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House About the Future of Faith in America. In 2020, Michael was the co-author, alongside Professor Amy Black, of a major report on “Christianity, Pluralism and Public Life in the United States” that was supported by Democracy Fund. He also writes for The Atlantic, Christianity Today, USA Today, Relevant Magazine and other publications on faith, politics and culture. Michael is a Senior Fellow at The Trinity Forum, and he holds an honorary position at the University of Birmingham’s Cadbury Center for the Public Understanding of Religion.
Jessica Hooten Wilson
Jessica Hooten Wilson is the Louise Cowan Scholar in Residence at the University of Dallas. She is the author of Giving the Devil his Due: Flannery O’Connor and The Brothers Karamazov, which received a 2018 Christianity Today Book of the Year Award in the Culture & the Arts; as well as two books on Walker Percy: The Search for Influence: Walker Percy and Fyodor Dostoevsky and Reading Walker Percy’s Novels. Most recently she co-edited Solzhenitsyn and American Culture: The Russian Soul in the West.
She has received numerous fellowships, grants, and awards, including a Fulbright Fellowship to the Czech Republic, an NEH grant to study Dante in Florence in 2014, and the Biola Center for Christian Thought sabbatical fellowship.
In 2018 she received the Emerging Public Intellectual Award given by a coalition of North American think tanks in collaboration with the Centre for Christian Scholarship at Redeemer University College, and in 2019 she received the Hiett Prize in Humanities from The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture.
Currently, she is preparing Flannery O’Connor’s unfinished novel Why Do the Heathen Rage? for publication. This year, she will publish The Scandal of Holiness: Renewing Your Imagination in the Company of Literary Saints (Brazos Press) and Learning the Good Life: From the Great Hearts and Minds that Came Before (Zondervan).
Philip Yancey is a best-selling author and speaker who explores the most basic questions and deepest mysteries of the Christian faith.
Early on he crafted best-selling books such as Disappointment with God and Where is God When it Hurts? while also editing The Student Bible. He coauthored three books with the renowned surgeon Dr. Paul Brand. More recently, he has felt the freedom to explore central issues of the Christian faith, penning award-winning titles such as The Jesus I Never Knew, What’s So Amazing About Grace? and Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? His books have garnered 13 Gold Medallion Awards from Christian publishers and booksellers. He currently has more than 15 million books in print, published in over 50 languages worldwide.
Yancey worked as a journalist in Chicago for some twenty years, editing the youth magazine Campus Life while also writing for a wide variety of magazines including Reader’s Digest, Saturday Evening Post, National Wildlife, and Christianity Today. In the process he interviewed diverse people enriched by their personal faith, such as President Jimmy Carter, Habitat for Humanity founder Millard Fuller, and Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the modern hospice movement.
“I write books for myself,” he says. “I’m a pilgrim, recovering from a bad church upbringing, searching for a faith that makes its followers larger and not smaller. I feel overwhelming gratitude that I can make a living writing about the questions that most interest me. My books are a process of exploration and investigation of things I wonder about and worry about.” Yancey writes with an eye for detail, irony, and honest skepticism.
“I tend to go back to the Bible as a model, because I don’t know a more honest book,” Yancey explains. “I can’t think of any argument against God that isn’t already included in the Bible. To those who struggle with my books, I reply, ‘Then maybe you shouldn’t be reading them.’ Yet some people do need the kinds of books I write. They’ve been burned by the church or they’re upset about certain aspects of Christianity. I understand that feeling of disappointment, even betrayal. I feel called to speak to those living in the borderlands of faith.”