Teaching & Writing Workshops

Orthodoxy: Restriction or Release? (Presented at the 2016 Breathe Christian Writers Conference

Do you have a story to tell, but are afraid that it doesn’t fit within an orthodox Christian faith? Does it have mystical, magical, or supernatural elements? Are there characters who would never enter a church? Are your favorite writers of other denominations? Or other religions? Even agnostic or atheist? Are you nervous that if you actually put your real thoughts on a page that people might wonder if you’re “really” a Christian? This session will explore the relationship between the Christian writer and orthodox faith. What does it means to be faithful to a tradition while also being faithful to our individual lived experience? What does it mean for a Christian writer to adhere to orthodoxy? What exactly makes a story a “Christian” story? How can a strong faith give Christian writers an anchored center from which to explore the deepest fringes of thought—even heresy?

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Writing Outside the Sermon: Devotional, Blogs, and Articles

This course is designed for students interested in using writing to encourage Christians in their faith, participate in social discourse, and writing as part of a spiritual discipline. This course exists because, while opportunities for writing and engagement are more common than ever, good writing is often hard to find. This course will push students to develop their voice and venue, so that thoughtful, logical, reasoned, and Reformed theology will not be drowned out amidst the sound and the fury of social media trolls, marketing hype, sensational viral videos, or bad theology.

Staying Open: Writing as an Act of Faith

As a leader in the church, it is hard to find the time, the focus, or the drive to sit down and write anything other than next weeks sermon. There are so many things pulling at your time and attention that it can feel self-indulgent to turn away from those to work on something creative, something that may not yield immediate, tangible, or financial results. Perhaps you want to polish a collection of poetry. Maybe you want to turn that notebook full of ideas for children’s books into an actual manuscript. Or maybe you’ve worked at a novel for a couple of years and want to know how to move forward. Whatever your project may be, fiction or non-fiction, from idea to manuscript, this group can help you move it toward publication.

Reconciling our Roots with Our Art

Whether we play music, dance, paint, or write, our family of origin plays an important role in our creative development. This workshop tackles topics like:
  -How do we respond when support feels like discouragement?
  -What happens when our art compels us to turn an artistic eye towards our family?
  -How do we prioritize speaking truth to our family vs. the larger community?
This workshop delves into the messages we all have received about the value of creativity, responsibility, and risk-taking. This is a participatory workshop, so participants should come ready to examine their own upbringing.
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