Writer Bios

We couldn't offer The Well to our readers without the generous contributions of our writers. Read through their bios to learn from their stories and click through for links to the articles they have written. If you are interested in writing for The Well, explore our Writer's Guidelines.

 

Michelle Shappell Harris is pursuing an MFA in creative non-fiction at Ashland University and holds a BS in Elementary Education from Ball State University. After nineteen years working through InterVarsity Link in Gabon and France, she and her family now make their home in Fort Wayne, Indiana, were she works at The Reclamation Project, coordinating low-cost translation and encouraging friendships across cultural barriers. She and her husband have two children, a dog, and two cats. Michelle blogs at michelleshappellharris.blogspot.com.

Dorothea Hawthorne earned a PhD from the University of Chicago in 2005 and is currently Assistant Professor of English and Honors at Mount Vernon Nazarene University in central Ohio. She has taught Renaissance literatures at Wheaton College and Baylor University as well as conversational English and American culture in universities in southwestern China.  She and her colleague-husband Kevin have two young energetic boys and are fine-tuning their “work-life-housework-play-worship” balance.  She loves teaching Shakespeare, drinking loose leaf tea with friends, hiking in the woods, praying for others, and singing obscure Advent songs from The Oxford Book of Carols.  Her hope this year is to abide more deeply in Christ.  Dr. Hawthorne is a Harvey Fellow. 

Naomi Haynes received her PhD in anthropology from the University of California, San Diego, and is currently a Chancellor’s Fellow in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh.  Her scholarship has examined the relationship between Pentecostal Christianity and social life in urban Zambia.  She is a co-curator for anthrocybib, the Anthropology of Christianity Bibliographic Blog.  In her spare time, she enjoys running, baking, and reading novels.

The Rev. Ellen Williams Hensle is the Associate Pastor for Youth and Discipleship at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas. She moved to Austin last year after finishing her MDiv at Princeton Theological Seminary. Ellen graduated with a BA in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, where she also served as a campus staff minister for InterVarsity. When she’s not pastoring, she loves making music of all kinds and exploring her new home state.

Catherine Hervey received her MFA in fiction from the Sewanee School of Letters. She lives in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, with her husband and daughter, where she contributes to Books and Culture and collects rejection letters.

Jenny Hill (@Bibliophile84) received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from St. Cloud State University and is currently working towards her Ed. D. and administrative license through Bethel University, St. Paul, MN.  She is an elementary school library media specialist.  She blogs weekly about disability and spirituality at http://jwalkinguphill.blogspot.com.

Jennifer Holberg received her PHD in English from the University of Washington. She joined the English department of Calvin College in 1998. Her academic interests include the intersections of faith and literature, 18th- through 21st-century British literature, and gender and literature, including "middlebrow" women novelists. Her book, Shouts and Whispers: 21 Writers Speak About Their Writing and Their Faith, was published by Eerdmans in 2006. She blogs with The Twelve: Reformed Done Daily.

Wendy serves on staff with the Stanford InterVarsity Graduate & Faculty Ministries. She comes from an international background having been born in Malaysia and grown up in Australia. After practicing law in Melbourne for ten years, she moved to Oxford in the UK where she studied apologetics and theology. She is married to Jared whom she met in the grad fellowship at Oxford and they now live in Palo Alto, California. In her spare time she rides horses, cooks delicious meals with Jared, and watches Star Trek episodes on Netflix.

Carmen is an Associate Professor of Old Testament at Prairie College in Three Hills, Alberta. Her husband Danny gave up his job in mission finance to focus on their three kids and keep the household running smoothly so that Carmen can teach, speak, and write. Carmen and Danny have been blazing new trails together since 1998, with ten address changes to prove it. They enjoy camping and playing badminton as a family.

Sally Ivaska is the wife of David, mother of four sons, and proud grandmother of Zadie Marie. She has a master of arts in teaching from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s in linguistics from Northeastern Illinois University. Her passions — small group Bible study and all things cross-cultural — have taken many forms over the years: hosting international students, coordinating small groups for her church, serving as the International Student Advisor at North Park University, and training African students to study Scripture inductively and write their own discussion materials. Sally is never far from a book or a friend and enjoys life most when her “plate is full.”

Jennifer Jao is an infectious disease specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. She conducts HIV maternal child health research both domestically and in West Africa. She lives in New York City with her husband, Greg, and their two daughters. 

Katherine Jeffrey graduated with a Masters in Christian Studies from Regent College when the world was young.  Since then she has been a professional book editor and freelance writer, academic wife, homeschooling mom, and occasional dabbler in the literary arts. Her slim sheaf of poems owes to the encouragement of Vincent van Gogh: “if you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” A transplanted Canadian, she lives with her husband David on Lake Whitney in central Texas.

Christine Jeske has a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and teaches anthropology at Wheaton College. She has lived in Nicaragua, China, and South Africa and authored two books, Into the Mud: True Stories from Africa and This Ordinary Adventure: Settling Down Without Settling. She now lives in an old farmhouse named the Sanctuary, complete with a dozen chickens, three pigs, innumerable weeds, two children, and one wonderful husband.  

Sarah Cowan Johnson serves as the Executive Pastor of Sanctuary Church, a family of neighborhood congregations in Providence, Rhode Island. Her passion to provide strategic leadership within apostolic systems was cultivated during her years on staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, where she served as the Area Director for Rhode Island & Southeast Massachusetts prior to joining the Sanctuary team. She has been married to her husband Greg for 13 years and they have two boys, ages 8 and 5.

Joy Jordan-Lake, adjunct professor at Belmont University in Nashville, is the author of three books, including Grit & Grace: Portraits of a Woman’s Life. She served as a Baptist chaplain at Harvard University and has tought writing and literature at Tuft University and Baylor University. An enthusiastic advocate for micro-enterprise loans, she helps the impoverished begin their own businesses to support their families. Joy and her husband are the parents of three children. You can read more at her website.

Jo Kadlecek is a former waitress, soccer coach, and camp counselor who’s always loved a good story. She has written hundreds of articles as well as two memoirs, four novels, three books of non-fiction and three Bible studies. She’s the senior writer at Gordon College, on the communication arts faculty there, and a frequent retreat speaker. Find out more at http://www.lamppostmedia.net/

From one of the central islands in the Philippines to the academic world of Boston, Priscilla Lasmarias Kelso has worked with international education after years of teaching American literature in the U.S. and overseas. She did her graduate work on Nathaniel Hawthorne at Stanford University and has worked at the University of Pennsylvania, Northeastern University , Sonoma State University, and Silliman University, a Presbyterian school in the Philippines. Recently retired with her husband, Bart, she is committed to providing educational opportunities for young women in the developing world. The Kelsos have a grown daughter, Rachel, who works with global philanthropy. Priscilla served on the board of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship for ten years.

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