Kristen Hanna serves as Director of Music and Worship at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. A born and bred Texan, Kristen grew up in the Dallas area and received her Bachelor of Music from the Meadows School of the Arts and Master of Sacred Music from the Perkins School of Theology, both of Southern Methodist University. During her graduate work, Kristen served at various local churches in the Dallas area. Kristen grew up in the Southern Baptist Church and was confirmed in the United Methodist Church in 2009. She is a candidate for the Order of Deacons in the North Carolina Annual Conference. When not directing church choirs or planning worship, Kristen enjoys reading a wide variety of literature, knitting and sewing, solving the world’s problems over coffee with friends, and experiencing the beauty of creation while walking her corgi, Rory.
Dr. Christine Hand Jones is a singer-songwriter and a college English professor. She has a PhD in Literary Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas, which she earned, in large measure, by listening to the collected works of Bob Dylan and writing about what she heard. She has also served as the Director of Music Ministry at Highland Baptist Church. When she’s not playing music or fascinating her students with stunning lectures over comma splices, Christine can be found drinking coffee and playing devoted cat mom to Desmond and Molly.
Renea McKenzie (Editor in Chief) is a poet whose work often centers around the relationships between nature and the city, loss and love, faith and protest. She holds an MLA in English Literature and an MA in African American Studies. In between her two Masters degrees, Renea took a “gap year” to study theology at the famous L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland. L’Abri is also where she read the Harry Potter saga for the first time and fell in love with the characters and the story’s triumph of sacrificial love. Renea leads an incredibly talented creative writing group at her church and spends a fair amount of time binging books and Netflix and swing dancing at the historic Sons of Hermann Hall.
Dr. Scott Shiffer has a Ph.D. in Christian Theology from the B.H. Carroll Theological Institute and has been teaching religion classes since 2006. He leads Transformation Media Ministries, an organization to help believers think biblically about culture in America. Scott has given numerous presentations including one at Oxford. He has spoken at church retreats, youth retreats, conferences, and has taught discipleship classes for over 10 years. Scott is married and has three children. He has a heart for helping believers draw closer to God and for aiding them as they are faced with new challenges in America every day.