Presenters

Kenyon Adams is a multi-media performance artist also known as “little ray,” whose works have been featured throughout the U.S. Kenyon studied Religion and the Arts at Yale Divinity School and the Institute of Sacred Music, earning his M.A.R. degree in 2015. He is also an alumnus of Southern Methodist University, Meadows School of the Arts. Mr. Adams has been the recipient of a National Young Arts Foundation Award, and was named a White House Presidential Scholar in the Arts. He serves as Director of Arts Initiatives at Grace Farms Foundation in New Canaan, CT.

Person Photo Tony Alonso is a composer and theologian whose work responds to the diverse needs of the contemporary church. A Cuban-American Roman Catholic, his compositions embrace multicultural musical expressions and reflect a commitment to strong ritual song. Tony’s music appears in compilations and hymnals across Christian denominations throughout the world. In 2015, this work was recognized with an invitation to compose the responsorial psalm for the first Mass Pope Francis celebrated in the United States. Tony’s scholarly work lies at the intersection of liturgical theology, sacramental theology, ecclesiology and cultural studies. He has presented at scholarly and pastoral conferences and events across North America and Europe. He has also authored several books and articles on liturgy and liturgical music. Tony holds a Bachelor of Music in choral conducting from Northwestern University and a Master of Arts in theology from Loyola Marymount University. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University.
James Abbington is Associate Professor of Music and Worship at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. His research interests include music and worship in the Christian church, African American sacred folk music, organ, choral music, and ethnomusicology. Prof. Abbington serves as executive editor of the African American Church Music Series by GIA Publication (Chicago) and co-director of music for the Hampton University Ministers’ and Musicians’ Conference. He has served as the national director of music for both the Progressive National Baptist Convention and the NAACP.

Dorothy Bass is the director of the Valparaiso Project on the Education and Formation of People in Faith (www.practicingourfaith.org), a Lilly Endowment project that explores the importance of practices in Christian life and considers how greater attention to practices might contribute to theology and theological education. In addition to publishing several scholarly volumes on practices, edited or coedited by Bass, the Valparaiso Project has created several books that are widely used in congregations and other ministry settings, and has worked directly with some of these to strengthen communities of practice.

Teresa Berger's picture

Teresa Berger is Professor of Liturgical Studies and Thomas E. Golden Professor of Catholic Theology, and serves as coordinator of the program in Liturgical Studies for the Institute of Sacred Music and Yale Divinity School. Professor Berger holds doctorates in both liturgical studies and constructive theology; her scholarly interests lie at the intersection of these disciplines with gender theory. Her most recent publication is Liturgy’s Imagined Pasts (2016).

A native of Ireland, John J. Collins was a professor of Hebrew Bible at the University of Chicago from 1991 until his arrival at Yale Divinity School in 2000. He previously taught at the University of Notre Dame. He has published widely on the subjects of apocalypticism, wisdom, Hellenistic Judaism, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. His many books include The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Biography; Early Judaism: A Comprehensive Overview; Jewish Wisdom in the Hellenistic Age; The Apocalyptic Imagination; Between Athens and Jerusalem: Jewish Identity in the Hellenistic Diaspora; Does the Bible Justify Violence?; Jewish Cult and Hellenistic Culture; Encounters with Biblical Theology; and The Bible after Babel: Historical Criticism in a Postmodern Age. Prof. Colins is coeditor of the three-volume Encyclopedia of Apocalypticism, The Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism, and The Oxford Handbook of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and has participated in the editing of the Dead Sea Scrolls. He is general editor of the Yale Anchor Bible series. He holds an honorary D.Litt. from University College Dublin, and an honorary Th. D. from the University of Zurich. 

Rev. Cheryl Cornish has been pastor of First Congregational Church in Memphis since 1988.  Named as one of the 36 “Most Vital” congregations in the denomination, First Congregational has engaged in creative witness and partnership with the 30 other organizations housed within its facilities.  Ministries of the church include the Revolutions Bicycle Co-op, the Global Goods Fair Trade Store, the Pilgrim House Hostel and “Voices of the South”, a regional theater.   In 2003, Cheryl received Women of Achievement’s “Courage” award for her activism.  She received the “Award for Distinction in Congregational Ministry” from Yale Divinity School in 2008. 

Maggi Dawn is Associate Dean of Marquand Chapel and Associate Professor (Adjunct) of Theology and Literature at Yale Divinity School and the Institute of Sacred Music. Originally from England, Professor Dawn came to Yale in 2011. After a first career in music, she was a teaching fellow in systematic theology at the University of Cambridge, where she also served as college chaplain. At Yale, she teaches courses on performative theology, poetics and the Bible in the writings of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, writing and preparing for worship, and poetry for ministry. Professor Dawn is an ordained priest in the Church of England. She serves on the advisory board for the Royal School of Church Music and is a senior member of King’s College and Robinson College in the University of Cambridge.
Sarah Farmer is Associate Research Scholar with the Center for Faith and Culture and Yale Divinity School. Previously, she worked with with Anne E. Streaty Wimberly at Youth Hope-Builders Academy, and co-directed the Certificate in Theological Studies Program at Arrendale Women’s Prison. Her research interests include the concept of hope as it is operationalized in the lives of marginalized populations, particularly those who experience “confinement,” psychosocial identity and faith formation, community building, congregational studies, social change and transformative pedagogy. Ms. Farmer received her M.Div. from Emory University in 2008, where she is finishing her Ph.D.
John Ferguson is an acclaimed organist, choral conductor, composer and teacher, who retired as Professor Emeritus of Organ and Church Music at St. Olaf College in 2012 after nearly three decades. He also conducted the St. Olaf Cantorei and served as Cantor to the Student Congregation.  Dr. Ferguson has has published more than 100 composition and arrangements, including many based upon existing hymn texts and tunes as well as newly commissioned texts. Along with colleague Anton Armstrong, Dr. Ferguson re-envisioned the St. Olaf Choral Series for Augsburg Fortress and worked to make it relevant to a wide variety of 21st-century choirs. He has designed and presented hymn festivals for national and regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists and American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). 

Martin Jean is Professor in the Practice of Sacred Music, and Director of the Institute of Sacred Music. He has performed widely throughout the United States and Europe and is known for his broad repertorial interests. He was awarded first place at the international Grand Prix de Chartres in 1986, and in 1992 at the National Young Artists’ Competition in Organ Performance.
 

Beverly Lapp is Music Department Chair and Core Curriculum Director at Goshen College, with research interests including piano pedagogy, music in the liberal arts, and general education. Her passion for music is rooted in the a cappella hymn tradition of the Mennonite church, shaping her belief in the healing and transformative power of communities singing together. She enjoys regularly contributing in worship settings as a hymn leader and pianist, and serving as faculty sponsor of the highly active and student-led Goshen College Hymn Club. Beverly is currently on the Board of Trustees for the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy. 

Donyelle McCray joined Yale Divinity School as Assistant Professor of Homiletics in the fall of 2016. After graduating from Spelman College, Donyelle McCray went on to earn her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her M.Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary. She received her Doctor of Theology degree from Duke Divinity School in 2014, her dissertation examining “The Censored Pulpit: Julian of Norwich as Preacher.” Before joining the YDS faculty, Dr. McCray was Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Director of Multicultural Ministries at Virginia Theological Seminary, where she pursued teaching and research in homiletics, Christian spirituality, and ecclesiology. Dr. McCray is the author of five scholarly articles (published or in press), and she is working on a book exploring the role of risk-taking as an essential part of spiritual life. A hospice chaplain and an attorney at previous stages in her career, Dr. McCray is the winner of the Bell-Woolfall Fellowship and James H. Costen North American Doctoral Fellowship.

Don Saliers is William R. Cannon Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Theology and Worship at Emory University, where he also directed the master of sacred music program. An accomplished musician, theologian, and scholar of liturgics, Professor Saliers is the author of 15 books on the relationship between theology and worship practices, as well as more than 150 articles, essays, book chapters, and book reviews. He co-authored A Song to Sing, a Life to Live with his daughter Emily Saliers, a member of the Indigo Girls.

Bryan Spinks is the Bishop F. Percy Goddard Professor of Liturgical Studies and Pastoral Theology at Yale Divinity School and the Institute of Sacred Music. Professor Spinks teaches courses on marriage liturgy; English Reformation worship traditions; the eucharistic prayer and theology, Christology, and liturgy of the Eastern churches; and contemporary worship. Research interests include East Syrian rites, Reformed rites, issues in theology and liturgy, and worship in a postmodern age.