Annual Meeting 2016

The 6th Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Christian Study Centers was held at The Cove in Asheville, NC. We began at 1:30 pm on Monday, July 18 and concluded at noon on Wednesday, July 20.

Our two speakers were Drs. Felicia Wu Song and George Yancey. Dr. Song delivered two lectures focused on social media and its influence in our culture. Dr. Yancey addressed racial issues in America, especially as they relate to higher education. Continue looking below for their detailed bios as well as photos and a schedule of the meeting.

~ Our Speakers ~

Felicia-Wu-Song-325x487Dr. Felicia Wu Song joined Westmont in 2013 as Associate Professor and Chair of the Sociology and Anthropology Department.  After previously teaching at Louisiana State University’s Manship School for Mass Communication, she brings a keen interest in the rapidly evolving social media industry and how the adoption of social media is fundamentally altering the landscape of the family, religion, education, advertising, social movements, and mass media. Her current research on “mommy bloggers” involves participant observation at social media conferences and interviews with women invested in blogging and social media as a profession. When she is not teaching or researching, she enjoys being a foodie with her husband, Ed, and reading children’s books and driving recklessly on Mario Kart Wii with her two children.


George YanceyWe also welcomed a second speaker. After graduating West Texas State University with a B. S. in Economics, Dr. George Yancey attended the University of Texas at Austin and received his doctorate in Sociology in 1995. He first began to study interracial romance; later he worked with Michael Emerson on a half-million dollar grant to study multiracial churches.  number of books resulted from this work, including his 2006 IVP book Beyond Racial Gridlock: Embracing Mutual Responsibility. His most recent work is on academic bias, and he continues to conduct research on anti-Christian attitudes in the United States. He has three books on this topic, including Compromising Scholarship: Religious and Political Bias in American Higher Education (Baylor University Press, 2010). In 1999 Dr. Yancey began teaching at the University of North Texas, and today is working to establish a program for Christian Studies at that institution. It will be the first center that concentrates on conducting critical, but non-hostile, research that helps Christians to better serve their communities and the larger society.

Schedule ~


MONDAY, July 18

Directed Discussion I: 1:30-5:00 pm 

WELCOME and INTRODUCTION –  Drew Trotter, Executive Director, Consortium of Christian Study Centers.

CONVIVIALITY, HOSPITALITY, TOMFOOLERY – Karl Johnson, Executive Director, Chesterton House, moderator.


∼ Madison Perry, Executive Director, North Carolina Study Center

∼ Rimes McElveen, Executive Director, Mere Christianity Forum

∼ Bill Wilder, Executive Director, Center for Christian Study

What Christian Study Centers share in common is a commitment to “thinking Christianly.” Implicit in that mission is a statement that Christian faith ought never be reduced to mere fellowship. And yet we are social animals, not mere “brains on sticks”. How do Study Centers honor the fullness of our humanity, body and all? How do we create spaces—and experiences—that are warm and welcoming as well as stimulating, thoughtful, and challenging? What is the role of food, joy, and laughter in a Study Center? And how do we actually integrate pizza with the mission and vision of a Study Center? Three Study Center directors will lead us in a discussion of lessons learned.

MENTORING OTHERS, MENTORING OURSELVES – David Mahan, Executive Director, Rivendell Institute, moderator.


∼ Richard Horner, Executive Director, Christian Study Center of Gainesville

∼ Missy DeRegibus, Executive Director, Cogito

’Mentoring’ is often as difficult to define as it is to do. Our discussion will open up a conversation about its importance to the mission of our centers and what it means to mentor someone. We will then reflect on both ways to mentor and whom to mentor — including those we serve, our staffs, and ourselves.

PARTNER ORGANIZATION SUMMER RESOURCES – Drew Trotter, Executive Director, Consortium of Christian Study Centers, moderator


∼ Peter Escalante, Curriculum Director, The Davenant Trust

∼ Chris Robertson, Program Outreach Coordinator, Acton Institute

∼ Drew Trotter on behalf of Regent College and The Salzburg Institute

Our Partner Organizations offer some wonderful alternatives for our Members’ students, faculty and staff to attend in the summer. This discussion will explain some of those in detail so that you can avail yourselves of them. Be prepared to make suggestions of programs you would like to see offered by our Partners and perhaps they can begin to provide them in the future.

Evening Session: 7:15- 9:00pm


Reflections on how a Christian’s commitments to the significance of embodiment and material culture can inform our digital practices and motivate new spiritual disciplines in a technologically-mediated age.


TUESDAY, July 19

Morning Session: 9:00-11:30am 


Why do bloggers blog? This lecture explores how social media promises both personal and economic empowerment.

Free Time: 1:30-6:00pm

Evening Session: 7:30-9:00pm 


The lecture will discuss previous paradigms of attempts to deal with racial issues in the U.S. before exploring a paradigm based in Christian thought and values.



Directed Discussion II: 9:00-11:30am 

WHERE HAVE WE BEEN AND WHERE ARE WE GOING? – Drew Trotter, Executive Director, Consortium of Christian Study Centers

This will be a time of encouragement, sharing of our visions for the future of our Study Centers, and prayer for those futures.

Registration is closed.  If you have questions, please contact Elaine at 434-296-3333.