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.

 

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.”

Leslie Iwai is an installation artist who draws upon her multidisciplinary background in mathematics, chemistry and architecture to create interactive and material rich environments.

“Two important questions I ask when I am making something are ‘How is it?’ and ‘What is it?’, usually in that order. Through this, I am inevitably led to new connections and uncovered narratives.  One of my favorite seminars in graduate school was Craft and Scholarship where I happened upon the threads between the woven, the engine and the feminine. Between the hardness and softness of these three, my work rests.”

Leslie Iwai lives and works in Middleton, Wisconsin where she makes her art, teaches, untangles knots and occasionally goes to an orchard with her husband.

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.

Kate Hope Kennedy is a PhD student in Musicology at Princeton University. Her studies have focused on liturgical music from theological and historical angles. Kate earned her BMus at Wheaton College, and her MAR in Liturgical Studies at Yale Divinity School. She will write her dissertation on the Sanctus music from the 12th century. Once graduated, she hopes to teach music and religion at a liberal arts college. In the meantime, when not in the library, she can be found singing, hiking, and cooking.

Kathy Khang is a speaker, journalist, and activist. She has worked in campus ministry for more than twenty years, with expertise in issues of gender, ethnicity, justice, and leadership development. She is a columnist for Sojourners magazine, a writer for Faith & Leadership, and a coauthor of More Than Serving Tea: Asian American Women on Expectations, Relationships, Leadership and Faith.

Dr. Grace Ji-Sun Kim is an Associate Professor of Theology at Earlham School of Religion, as well as the author or editor of 15 books, most recently, Healing Our Broken Humanity; Intercultural Ministry; and Embracing the Other. She is a co-editor of the Palgrave Macmillan Book Series, “Asian Christianity in Diaspora.” Kim is on the American Academy of Religion's Board of Directors as an At-Large Director. She writes for The Huffington Post, Sojourners, TIME, and more of her writing can be found on her own website. Englewood Review of Books included her in the list of "Ten Important Women Theologians That You Should Be Reading." Kim is an ordained minister within the PC (USA) denomination.

Kim King (JD, University of Alabama) served as an attorney and executive in the law department of Exxon Mobil Corporation for over thirty years prior to leaving to pursue speaking and writing. She continues to practice privately assisting nonprofits and the under-served. She is a member of the leadership team of Women Doing Well Initiatives, an affiliate of Generous Living, which provides education and tools for women to facilitate generosity. Most recently, she joined the Board of Trustees of Thrivent Trust Company, a Christian financial services company. Kim lives in Houston, Texas.

Patty Kirk is writer in residence and associate professor of English at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. After earning her MA she spent a decade roaming the globe before returning to the U.S. to earn an MFA in creative writing at the University of Arkansas. There, she met her husband Kris, a cattle rancher, and settled down with him on a farm in Oklahoma, where they raised their two daughters. Kirk is the author of several books including The Gospel of Christmas, Confessions of an Amateur Believer, and Starting from Scratch, a spiritually-focused food memoir.  Kirk’s blog and more information about her books can be found at amateurbeliever.com.

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