Crossroads: Faith and Culture Project
Crossroads: The Faith and Culture Project was designed by Montreat College to help our students and local community develop their ability to experience, engage, and learn from culture within the context of a Christ-centered worldview. We acknowledge the centrality of the arts to the human experience, as both an expression of the human condition and a revelation of God’s character, and we believe that the experience of the arts collectively–music, film, literature, theatre, and visual art–is an essential part of a full Christian life and education.
2015 Crossroads Speakers and Performers
Ken Heffner is the Director of Student Activities at Calvin College and is the Director of Calvin’s popular Festival of Faith and Music, which has featured acts such as Sufjan Stevens, Emmylou Harris, Dave Matthews, Neko Case, Gungor, Andrew Bird, The Civil Wars, and tUnE-yArDs, as well as speakers Cornel West, Chuck Klosterman, Makoto Fujimura, Daniel White Hodge, Lauren Winner, James Mumford, and David Dark.
Ken Heffner regularly speaks at CCCU institutions such as Taylor University, Messiah College, and Wheaton College. Ken has served as the Director of Student Activities at Wheeling Jesuit University, was a journalist and producer for Pittsburgh NPR affiliate WDUQ, served with The Coalition for Christian Outreach, and graduated from Grove City College.
John J. Thompson
John J. Thompson is a 25-year music industry veteran, author, songwriter, artist, producer, and teacher who currently serves as Creative Director at Capitol CMG Publishing and leads a small ministry out of his Nashville home. His abiding passions for authentic, spiritually alive art, transformative community, innovative business practices, artisanal living, and home-roasted coffee are explored in his book Jesus, Bread, and Chocolate: Crafting a Hand Made Faith in a Mass Market World (Zondervan/Harper Collins, 2015) and can be found throughout his professional, creative, and ministry-oriented career.Although still a Chicagoan at heart, Thompson loves the creative, independent spirit he has found in East Nashville, Tennessee, where he lives with his wife Michelle and four children.
Adam Caress has spent the past twenty years working in the music industry as a performer, recording artist, booking agent, talent buyer, writer, and editor. He is currently Director of Communications and teaches in the Music Business program at Montreat College in Montreat, North Carolina. His book The Day Alternative Music Died: Dylan, Zeppelin, Punk, Glam, Alt, Majors, Indies, and the Struggle between Art and Money for the Soul of Rock was published by New Troy Books in 2015.
Floating Action is one of Asheville, North Carolina’s most popular and critically-acclaimed bands, having shared the stage with acts like Band of Horses and My Morning Jacket. In addition to his work with Floating Action, lead singer and songwriter Seth Kauffman (an alumnus of Montreat College) has recorded with popular acts such as Lana Del Rey, The Black Keys, and Ray LaMontagne. Floating Action’s latest album is Body Questions (New West).
Hailing from the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina, The Jellyrox is a one man synth pop act fronted by producer/songwriter Matt Langston, former lead singer of pop-punk band Eleventyseven and current music business professor at Montreat College.
Past Crossroads Speakers
2014 Crossroads Keynote Speaker Dr. Brian Chan holds his doctorate from Talbot School of Theology where he did his final project on film and Christian Worldview (he is also a Dallas Seminary grad with MA in Christian Education and ThM in historical theology). He is an adjunct professor at Biola University (in beauty and aesthetics) and a church-planter in the EV-Free Church. He is the author of the book,“The Purple Curtain: Living Out Beauty in Faith and Culture from a Biblical Perspective” (a biblical take on beauty and why it matters). He is a painter and a martial artist who has done choreography in Hollywood.
Ms. Lisa Coutras served as the keynote presenter for our Fall 2012 series focus on literature. Lisa is a writer, illustrator, and theology scholar. Her central interest pertains to the relationship of theology to the imagination. She published her first novel at age 16, and went on to study creative writing and philosophy as an undergraduate at fellow CCCU institution, Houghton College. In addition, Lisa holds a Master of Theology degree from the University of Oxford, and is currently entering the dissertation phase of her PhD program at King’s College London. Her research focus is the Narrative Theology of JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis, under the guidance of Professor Alister McGrath. For more information about Lisa, her website can be accessed at: http://www.lisacoutras.com
Dr. Charlie Starr
Dr. Charlie W. Starr teaches English, Humanities, and Film at Kentucky Christian University in Eastern Kentucky where he also makes movies with his students and family. He writes a monthly column on Christians and the Arts and Media for Lookout magazine and has published four books: two biblical studies books, a science-fiction novel, and, most recently, a children’s book entitled King Lesserlight’s Crown. Charlie has published several scholarly and popular articles on C. S. Lewis, especially on Lewis and film. His essay, “The Silver Chair and the Silver Screen” is the lead chapter in the book Revisiting Narnia, and he has made contributions to pop-culture anthologies on King Kong, The X-men, Lost, Battlestar Galactica and Halo. Besides writing for print, Charlie has acted as a consultant, writer, actor and/or producer on over a dozen short film projects, three of which were accepted as official entries to film festivals across the nation.
Charlie enjoys writing, reading classic literature, watching bad television, and movies of every kind. His areas of expertise as a teacher include literature, film, and all things C. S. Lewis.
The fall 2010 keynote presenter was founder and senior editor of Paste Magazine, Mr. Josh Jackson. Josh Jackson shared in chapel as well in addition to participating in a question and answer time that presented an opportunity to hear about how Josh’s career has developed from his academic major in college to being a journalist, founder of a magazine, and now editor.
The 2010 Crossroads: Faith Culture Project event featured recording artist, Derek Webb.
David was the 2009 Crossroads: Faith and Culture Project keynote speaker. He is also the author of The Sacredness of Questioning Everything, Everyday Apocalypse: The Sacred Revealed in Radiohead, The Simpsons, and Other Pop Culture Icons and The Gospel According To America: A Meditation on a God-blessed, Christ-haunted Idea.