Past Speakers

Christian Wiman

Christian Wiman

October 27, 2018

Christian Wiman is a poet, translator, editor, essayist and author of numerous books. His poetry collections Every Riven ThingOnce in the WestThe Long Home, Stolen Air and Hammer is the Prayer have won numerous awards. Wiman’s essay collections include My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer and Ambition and Survival: Becoming a Poet and He Held Radical Light: The Art of Faith, The Faith of Art.


Austin Channing Brown

September 29, 2018

Austin Channing Brown is a freelance writer and speaker with a particular focus on black dignity and faith. Passionate about social justice, Austin travels the country preaching and teaching about the ways this racial reconciliation intersects with Christian faith. She is the author of I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness.

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Diana Butler Bass

May 5, 2018

Diana Butler Bass holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from Duke University and is the author of nine books, including Grounded: Finding God in the World—A Spiritual Revolution, the widely influential Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening and her new book Grateful: The transformative Power of Giving Back. She lives with her family in Alexandria, Virginia.


Nadia Bolz-Weber

October 28th, 2017

Nadia Bolz-Weber is the author of two New York Times bestselling memoirs, Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint (2013) and Accidental Saints, Finding God in All the Wrong People (2015). She is an ordained Lutheran pastor (ELCA) and the founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado, where she lives with her family.


Sara Miles

September 30, 2017

Sara Miles is the founder and director of The Food Pantry , and serves as Director of Ministry at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco. Her books include Jesus Freak: Feeding Healing Raising the Dead and Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion. She speaks, preaches and leads workshops around the country, and her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, and on National Public Radio.


Mike McHargue 

May 13, 2017

Mike McHargue (better known as Science Mike) is an author, podcaster, and speaker focused on the science behind spiritual experiences. Cofounder of The Liturgists and host of a weekly question-and-answer podcast called Ask Science Mike. His first book Finding God in the Waves was published in September 2016.


Rachel Held Evans 

March 25, 2017

Rachel Held Evans is a best-selling author and popular blogger who writes about faith, doubt, and life in the Bible Belt. Her books include Faith Unraveled, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, and Searching for Sunday. With millions of visits each year, her blog has become a renowned online hub for conversations about Christianity and culture. Rachel has been featured on The View, The Today Show, NPR, Slate, The BBC, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, and She also serves on President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.


Brian D. McLaren 

February 4,  2017

Brian D. McLaren is an author, speaker, pastor, and networker among innovative Christian leaders, thinkers, and activists. His groundbreaking books include A New Kind of Christian, A Generous Orthodoxy, The Secret Message of Jesus, and Everything Must Change. He was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America in 2005. McLaren was also the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, MD, which he left in 2006 to pursue writing and speaking full-time.


Reba Riley

January 14, 2017

Reba Riley is the author Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome: A Memoir of Humor and Healing, a book Elizabeth Gilbert calls, “Eat Pray Love’s gutsy, wise, funny little sister”. A former Fortune 500 sales and marketing manager, Reba now blogs for and travels widely speaking about transformation, courage, health and healing. Reba is a survivor of a decade of chronic illness, an advocate for the undiagnosed patient, and a champion for the power of spiritual healing.


Fr. James Martin, SJ

November 10,  2016

Fr. JAMES MARTIN, SJ, is a Jesuit priest, editor at large of America magazine, and bestselling author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, and Between Heaven and Mirth. Father Martin has written for many publications, including the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and he is a regular commentator in the national and international media. He has appeared on all the major radio and television networks, as well as in venues ranging from NPR’s Fresh Air, FOX’s The O’Reilly Factor, and PBS’s NewsHour to Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report. Before entering the Jesuits in 1988, Father Martin graduated from the Wharton School of Business and worked for General Electric for six years.


Amy-Jill Levine

October 21-23, 2016

Amy-Jill Levine is a Professor of New TestamentStudies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Department of Religious Studies, and Graduate Department of Religion and the author of several books including, Short Stories by Jesus, The Misunderstood Jew and The Jewish Annotated New Testament.

A self-described “Yankee Jewish feminist who teaches in a predominantly Protestant divinity school in the buckle of the Bible Belt,” Levine “combines historical-critical rigor, literary-critical sensitivity, and a frequent dash of humor with a commitment to eliminating antisemitic, sexist, and homophobictheologies.”She is a member of an Orthodox Jewish synagogue.


Bryan Stevenson

September 24, 2016

Bryan Stevenson is the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, and a professor of law at New York University School of Law. He has won relief for dozens of condemned prisoners, argued five times before the Supreme Court, and won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color. He has received numerous awards, including the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant. Stevenson is the bestselling author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.


Peter Enns

May 14, 2016

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Peter Enns is an American biblical scholar, theologian, and writer. He has written widely on hermeneutics, the relationship between science and religion, Christianity and evolution, and Old Testament interpretation. Outside of his academic work Enns is a contributor to the Huffington Post and Patheos.


Roland Merullo

April 9, 2016

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Roland Merullo is an acclaimed novelist, essayist and memoirist, including Revere Beach Boulevard, In Revere in Those Days, A Little Love Story, Golfing with God, Breakfast with Buddha, Lunch with Buddha, Dinner with Buddha and American Savior. Merullo has won numerous prizes, including the Massachusetts Book Award for both fiction and nonfiction. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two children.


Mary Karr

March 12, 2016

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Mary Karr is an award-winning poet and New York Times bestselling memoirist, and professor of literature at Syracuse University. She is the author of the critically-acclaimed, bestselling memoirs The Liars’ Club, Cherry, and Lit. Her latest book, The Art of Memoir, is a master class on the fastest growing literary genre. It debuted at #3 on the New York Times Bestseller List and was blanketed in stellar reviews. In 2015 Syracuse University awarded Karr an honorary doctorate in humane letters. Karr made her debut as a songwriter, to her pedigree with the release of Kin: Songs by Mary Karr & Rodney Crowell. She is an in-demand speaker on her career, writing, alcoholism, mental health, faith and spirituality, Catholicism
and sexual abuse.


Martin Laird, O.S.A.

February 20, 2016

Martin Laird, O.S.A. is Associate Professor of Theology at Villanova University. An Augustinian priest and a highly experienced retreat leader throughout the United States and Great Britain, he is the author of the classic guidebook to contemplative prayer,Into the Silent Land, and its companion volume, A Sunlit Absence.

Full list of Past Courage&Faith Speakers
(in alphabetical, not chronological order):

  1. Eben Alexander
  2. Maya Angelou
  3. Sami Awad
  4. Jeremy Begbie
  5. Rob Bell
  6. Marcus Borg
  7. Tony Campolo
  8. Andy Crouch
  9. Mako Fujimura
  10. Jack Heaslip
  11. Anne Lamott
  12. Gabe Lyons
  13. Brian McClaren
  14. Kathleen Norris
  15. Micheal O’Siadhail with Rob Mathes
  16. Peter Rollins
  17. Richard Rohr
  18. Suzanne Stabile
  19. Mavis Staples with Rob Mathes
  20. Becca Stevens
  21. Phyllis Tickle
  22. Krista Tippett
  23. Archbishop Desmond Tutu
  24. Jim Wallis
  25. Christian Wiman
  26. N.T. Wright
  27. Phillip Yancey
  28. William Paul Young