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The Colossian Forum offers free resources to help you transform polarizing cultural conflicts into opportunities for spiritual growth and witness.

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Workshop Presenters

 

Rob Barrett, PhD

Director of Forums and Scholarship
The Colossian Forum

Rob has PhDs both in Applied Physics from Stanford University and Theology from Durham University in England. He worked as a research scientist at IBM for over ten years, as a professor of Old Testament and Hebrew in England, and as a postdoctoral researcher of Old Testament in Göttingen, Germany. Rob has worked for over five years at The Colossian Forum to develop, practice, and teach Christian ways of building up the church by engaging the conflicts that divide us. This work has focused on issues of human origins, adopting new technologies, sexuality, and politics.

James Calvin Davis, PhD

Professor of Religion, Academic Director, Privilege & Poverty Academic Cluster
Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT

For nearly twenty years, James Calvin Davis has taught religion and ethics at Middlebury College, studying the role of religion in American public discourse. He is the author of four books, including In Defense of Civility: How Religion Can Unite America on Seven Issues that Divide Us (Westminster John Knox Press, 2010). His book, Forbearance: A Theological Ethic for a Disagreeable Church (Eerdmans, 2017), invites Christians to approach disagreement in church community as an opportunity to practice theological virtues and witness to the gospel of reconciliation.

 

Chris DeVos, MDiv, DMin

Manager of Church Partnerships and Care
The Colossian Forum

Chris has strong threads of reconciliation and unity woven into his life and wholeheartedly believes that it’s possible to collaborate across differences. He graduated from Calvin College and Calvin Seminary and completed a Doctor of Ministry degree at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. Chris worked as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church at the University of Colorado, Boulder; in Dunwoody, Georgia; Kingston, Ontario, and Holland, Michigan. Most recently Chris led the Ridder Church Renewal initiative at Western Theological Seminary.

 

Rebecca DeYoung, PhD

Professor of Philosophy
Calvin College

Rebecca DeYoung (Ph.D. Notre Dame) is a professor of philosophy at Calvin College, where she teaches ethics and history of philosophy. Since launching her book, Glittering Vices (Brazos 2009) her work focuses on virtue and character formation. Her other works include Aquinas’s Ethics (University of Notre Dame Press 2009), and Vainglory: The Forgotten Vice (Eerdmans 2014). You can find her work on virtues and vices in philosophy journals such as Res Philosophica, American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, and The Thomist, as well as on her faculty page.

 

Joe Liechty, PhD

Professor of Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies
Goshen College

Joe Liechty is a professor of Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies at Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana, and belongs to Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship. He earned his PhD from National University of Ireland. Joe has had several years of involvement with The Colossian Forum and finds their mission to be remarkable, creative, and effective. He has twice co-led Colossian Way groups for his congregation and is involved with TCF in other capacities, as well.


Parisa Parsa, MDiv

Executive Director
Essential Partners, Cambridge MA

Since 2015, Parisa has served as executive director of Essential Partners, an organization whose mission is to foster constructive communication in places where conflicts are driven by differences in belief, identity, or worldview. An ordained minister, Parisa, pastored a congregation in California for a decade before directing a domestic violence shelter and street ministry. A consultant to congregations, she works to build organizational health, as well as strengthen diversity within church communities.

Trisha Taylor, MA, LPC

Counselor, Author, Consultant, Houston, TX

Trisha Taylor is an ordained minister, counselor, author, and consultant. In more than 25 years of ministry, she has co-founded Faithwalking, Missional Marriage, and Ridder Church Renewal. Trisha has also co-authored two books, Learning Change and The Leader’s Journey. She works with pastors and congregational leaders through the organization The Leader’s Journey: Coaching for Wholehearted Leadership at www.theleadersjourney.us.

Philip Thomas

Executive & Leadership Coach, D3 Associates, Goshen IN

Philip has over thirty years of experience working across five continents in the fields of conflict prevention, transformation, peace-building, Democratic Dialogue, as well as program design, monitoring, and evaluation. In addition to graduate studies in theology, Philip holds a Masters degree in Organizational Development and is a doctoral candidate in Human and Organizational Systems at the Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA. Philip is also a Certified Professional Coach focusing on Executive and Leadership Coaching.

Cindy Warner Baker, MSEd

Therapeutic Educator, Goshen, IN

Cindy is a therapeutic educator and behavior clinician with Northern Indiana Therapies, and a long-term youth leader in her congregation, Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship. A founding member of Anabaptist Disabilities Network (ADNet), Cindy, with her husband Doug, is blessed to have a family rich in diversity of race, culture, and ability. She has participated in Colossian Way groups in her congregation, as both participant and leader.