Rick Warren is an innovative pastor, renowned author, and global influencer. The various ministries Pastor Rick has created are a multi-faceted expression of his heart to bring the whole gospel to the whole world. Since founding Saddleback Church in 1980, Pastor Warren continues to be at the
forefront of the evangelical movement, encouraging churches everywhere to be a sanctuary for hope and healing.
Saddleback has grown to over 30,000 weekly attendees across sixteen locations, including four international campuses, and an online campus hosting listeners from around the world. Saddleback Church continues to be one of America’s most influential churches.
Saddleback Church has built an outreach of more than 300 community ministries, including the nationally recognized Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered recovery program now implemented in over 25,000 churches.
Topping the New York Times Best Seller list for the last 3 decades, Rick Warren’s books, including The Purpose Drive Life, are known for taking complex theological principles and translating them for the common man. PastorRick.com
(For the video of Rick’s 2018 Conference talk, go HERE. )
Jason is the director of arts at Saddleback Church’s arts initiative, SVA–Saddleback Visual Arts, and an accomplished artist. His Sacred Streets project gained international acclaim. Sacred Streets features twelve portraits of homeless people whom he met and drew right on Los Angeles’ “skid row”. The portraits were exhibited in temporary gallery made of found materials that was erected on a vacant lot on “skid row”.
His desire was to render beauty in ways that marry artistic excellence with social responsibility. “I had a relevation that . . . I did not have to choose between the two or practice them separately.” Jason is a graduate of Biola University’s fine arts program, and a Masters in Global Leadership candidate at Fuller Theological Seminary.
(For the videos of Jason’s 2018 Conference talks by topic, go HERE.)
Theresa is on pastoral staff at Bethel Church in Redding, California, where she oversees the Creative Arts department for the Church. She instructs on creative worship expressions and creative arts events within the church, as well as strategy and coordination for city transformation and outreach.
Theresa speaks at national and international conferences, equipping and activating people to step into their supernatural destiny. She focuses on helping them walk in creative power to transform the world through creative expressions of God’s presence.
Theresa earned her B.A. in Psychology, minoring in Biblical studies from Vanguard University, and a certification in Arts and Healing from Chapman University. She has been in pastoral ministry for over 25 years.
(For the videos of Theresa’s 2018 Conference talks by topic, go HERE. )
J. SCOTT McELROY
J. Scott McElroy is the author of The Creative Church Handbook: Releasing the Power of the Arts in Your Congregation (InterVarsity Press 2015), Finding Divine Inspiration: Working with the Holy Spirit in Your Creativity, and founder of The New Renaissance Arts Movement, dedicated to connecting, equipping and inspiring churches and artists for the New Renaissance. Scott is also the Director of Arts at the Indianapolis Vineyard Church. He speaks nationally about spiritual formation for artists, the arts in the local church, and more. Scott is an award winning audio producer, a voiceover artist, and visual artist. He served as Emmis Communications Indianapolis Production Director for 20 years, and hosted the Animal Planet TV series, “Wildlife Journal” from 2004-2007.
Scott talks about Creative Church Handbook HERE.
See more at JScottMcElroy.com.
(For the videos of Scott’s 2018 Conference talks by topic, go HERE. )
Maria Fee is an artist with an M.F.A. in Painting, and an M.A. in Theology. As an adjunct professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary, she helps seminarians negotiate their theological observations through a creative medium. She is currently a Ph.D. Candidate of Theology and Culture at Fuller. Conversely, past ministry includes encouraging New York City artists to consider their work within a theological scope. Maria’s own art practice explores ideas of fragmentation, metizaje (cultural mixing), alienation, and rootedness.
Visit her personal website to see many of her paintings, and listen to her on the Christians in the VIsual Arts (CIVA) podcast. Maria has been published by a variety of visual arts journals. Most recently, she was featured in the journal of the Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies writing about the work of Russian artist Natalia Goncharova.
Kutter Callaway is assistant professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary and co-director of Reel Spirituality. He is the author of Breaking the Marriage Idol: Reconstructing our Cultural and Spiritual Norms, Watching TV Religiously: Television and Theology in Dialogue, and Scoring Transcendence: Contemporary Film Music as Religious Experience. Prior to teaching at Fuller, Callaway served in pastoral ministry for nearly a decade, focusing primarily on developing creative worship spaces for young and emerging adults. He tweets @kuttercallaway
Kathryn is an artist, art educator, and arts advocate. She’ll present the unique “Treasurish Hunt” at the conference, part scavenger hunt, community art making experience, dinner, and a musical performance. Recognizing the dire need for arts education and integration in all sectors of rural, Southern America, she co-founding TOSS, art studio in Morganton, NC, with the goal of harnessing the power of creativity as a means for health and well being. Currently she has accepted a fellowship through the Brehm Center at Fuller Seminary in order to study the integration the theology and the arts while continuing her work of creative place-making in the South. She has a BFA in painting and drawing from East Carolina University in 2014. Her portfolio encompassed a number of interdisciplinary projects that focused on site-specific installation, social action, and collaboration. In her free time, Kathryn enjoys running, biking, and jumping on trampolines. KathrynErvin.com
Mel combined his background in film and design during a decade long stint at the Walt Disney Company. Post-Disney, he has led teams which have won multiple Solomon Awards for “Best Church Architect,” and “Best Builder” and is the author of Design Intervention. Mel was named one of the top 25 influencers by OC Metro Magazine, is a contributing editor to Outreach Magazine as well as an Adjunct Professor at CBU’s College of Architecture, Visual Arts & Design.
At PlainJoe Studios, where he is co-founder and chief creative officer, Mel creatively leads the uniquemulti-disciplinary SPATIAL STORYTELLING℠ studio, which integrates the multiple disciplines of master planning, architecture, interior design, show set design, environmental graphics, and themed attraction design in the creation of compelling experiences and environments around the world.
(For the video of Mel’s 2018 Conference talk by topic, go HERE. )
Saara Taina was born in Finland and has been teaching worship dance for more than 20 years on five continents. She was a student in the School of Worship in Jerusalem, Israel, and studied dance in Sydney,
Australia. She has an Advanced Diploma of Creative Arts in Christian Ministry, specializing in Contemporary Dance. Saara is a commissioned and licensed Dance Pastor by the Bethel Church of Redding and she is currently pastoring the dance ministry teams at Bethel Healing Rooms and Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. Saara is the author of “Encountering God Through Dance” and “Dance Pastor”. Her passion is to equip the global Bride of Christ to worship Jesus with everything she is, without fear or shame, and to release the Kingdom of Heaven through dance and creativity.
(For the video of Saara’s 2018 Conference talk by topic, go HERE. )
Jerome Gastaldi is a contemporary American artist of Italian ancestry, whose work combines first hand impressions, perceptions and observations that explore and comment upon our society. Jerome will facilitate a large scale community art making project for attendees of the conference. Gastaldi’s powerful works stand astride the borderline between Expressionism and Surrealism, and have been compared by art critics to that of Robert Rauschenberg, Edward Kienholz, and Francis Bacon. His creative process is both emotional and intuitive, as evidenced by Gastaldi’s rapid handling of paint, his distortion of the human figure, the rich use of symbols, and the inclusion of found objects. There is a complexity and depth to his multi-layered imagery that reflects what the modern world offers the individual; not fixed, solitary images that can be grasped and reflected upon, but instead a seemingly unceasing flow that blurs the sense of reality and threatens to overwhelm the ability to comprehend.
He lives and works in Southern California. His studio is on his four acre ranch called Rancho Capriata, named after the town of Capriata de Orba in Northern Italy, where his family is originally from. He works in a number of media, including painting, sculpture, print making, and performance.
Gastaldi’s work has been exhibited internationally in museums, universities and other public institutions, as well as held in public, private and corporate collections.
To see other works by the artist, as well as his exhibition Bridges to Freedom, which focuses on the positive and important aspects of the diversity of American culture, please visit http://jeromegastaldi.com or /www.peopleoftheboats.com
Brianna Kinsman is a liturgist, actress, writer. She earned her B.S. in Professional Writing and a minor in Music from Taylor University. In 2017, she graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary with an M.A. in Theology and an emphasis in Theology and the Arts. Brianna has worked as a worship assistant on the Fuller Chapel team, where she created worship experiences that blend multicultural faith with narrative expression and spiritual formation. She is also a member of Mako Fujimura’s Fujimura Fellowship—a group committed to providing support and friendship to the surrounding arts community. Her training in theatre, music, writing, and theology inspires Brianna to craft stories, spaces, and projects that foster the collective imagination of a community. One such project is Illumine Playback Theatre, which was birthed out of her master thesis project on the connectivity between the liturgical and the theatrical.
In the future, she hopes to continue bringing art and theology into conversation through theatre and writing for the stage.
Brianna currently resides in Pasadena, California with her husband, Michael. You can find her journey on Instagram under @brianna_kinsman.
Luke McElroy is the founder of Orange Thread Media, the parent company to SALT Conferences, TripleWide Media and Orange Thread Live Events. Through his leadership at Orange Thread, their work has been seen around the world through American Idol, Blake Shelton, Orange Conference and countless churches who have been impacted by the platforms
Luke and his team have designed. Luke was recognized as a leader in his field by being named one of the top innovators in the church by Worship Leader Magazine and being included on Im
pact 100 s list of Entrepreneurs to Watch Under 30. Luke has written two other books, The Wide Guide: Blueprint for the Multiscreen Movement and Environmental Projection: The Collisi
on of Modern Technology and Sacred Spaces. He is proud to call Nashville, Tennessee home.
For the past few years, Luke McElroy has been investing the majority of his time into helping others find their creative calling in life and equipping them with the tools to reach their maximum potential. Through the release of his new book, Creative Potential: Principals for Unleashing Your God Given Calling Luke helps equip readers with timeless principles you’ll be glad you knew about as you embark on your own creative endeavors.
Life is all about relationships with Luke, and he believes an entrepreneur who puts more focus on investing in people than investing in products, has the better
chance of long term success. He and his team are based out of Nashville, TN. LukeMcelroy.com
(For the videos of Luke’s 2018 Conference talks by topic, go HERE. )
Marlita is an author, choreographer, and educator. She is the creator of the Kingdom Artist Initiative (KAI), which mentors professional artists of faith in building a healthy, undivided relationship between their faith and art career. She also forms instructional partnerships with colleges, artist organizations, and churches, providing curriculum to help disciple their marketplace artists. She has authored three books, including her latest, Defying Discord: Ending the divide between your faith and “secular” art career (Jan 2018). Her books have been used for college ministry courses, small groups, and dance ministries.
Marlita is currently teaching and receiving her MFA in Dance from Belhaven University (MS). She is the Associate Director with Edge Project, produces a weekly podcast, The Kingdom Art Life, and is the Artistic Director/Choreographer for Speak Hill Dance Project, through which she showcases her own work and provides master classes, guest choreography, and residencies. For over twenty years, she has served God as a dance artist in the church and marketplace; and, through that experience, now mentors artists around the world. marlitahill.com
(For the videos of Marlita’s 2018 Conference talks by topic, go HERE. )
CJ Casciotta is a writer and serial media maker passionate about helping people discover and own their unique identity, in other words, what makes them weird. As a writer and communicator, he’s traveled all over the world inspiring communities like Lululemon, The Salvation Army, TEDx, and Charity:Water. As a media director and producer he’s collaborated on projects with MGM Studios, The United Nations Foundation, and more. In addition, CJ’s work has been featured by MTV, RELEVANT, Catalyst, and Q. A native New Yorker, he now lives in Nashville with his wife, Kelly, and his two kids, Selah and Mack.
(For the video of CJ’s 2018 Conference talk by topic, go HERE. )
Jessie Nilo is an artist in love with the local church. In 2004 she had a clear revelation of starting an arts ministry called VineArts at Vineyard Boise Church, and she helps others begin their own art ministries at artfam.com. She loves artists, and she says you can boil down arts ministry to “2 or 3 creatives sitting at a fireplace, talking about art, life, and Jesus.” She collaborates with her own church’s artists in prayer, mutual support, and a stunning variety of creative endeavors to bless their church and city. Jessie is an accomplished visual artist and teaches drawing, painting, photography, and graphic design at Hall International Academy in Eagle, Idaho. She contributed to The Creative Church Handbook by J. Scott McElroy which releases on IVP (InterVarsity Press) in 2015.
(For the videos of Jessie’s 2018 Conference talks by topic, go HERE. )
Composer, Visual Artist, and Thinker—Steven Homestead brings diverse genre-spanning creativity to life with empathy, synthesis, symbolism, and deep thought. You might find him conceptualizing and leading large-scale interactive art projects, composing new music, or writing essays on creativity, culture, and faith.
He received his MM from CSUF and BA from UCLA in Music Composition, and now serves as the President of the American Composers Forum of Los Angeles, which connects composers in community. His music soars with melody, plays with repetition, and invokes nostalgia.
As well as being a Story Architect for Morpace Market Research, he consults on institutional research and grants for Coastline Community College.
Steven is a key leader for Saddleback Visual Art as he advises, guides, and develops collaborations.
Steven’s creative work reflects the incarnational and restorative nature of God and speaks messages that “you belong and you have value.” Visit stevenhomestead.com to explore, see, and listen to his diverse and expansive creative work. You can also follow him on Instagram: @scubahomie
(For the videos of Steven’s 2018 Conference talks by topic, go HERE. )
Marianne Lettieri is a visual artist, curator and art instructor. She creates art constructions and installations that explore cultural values associated with everyday objects. Her recent solo exhibitions include San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design, Peninsula Museum of Art, Monterey Peninsula College, Azusa Pacific University, and Badè Museum of Biblical Archaeology. She is the 2017 recipient of the SVLaureate award for achievement in the arts and contribution to the cultural life of Silicon Valley. Marianne has produced and/or curated more than 125 art exhibitions for sacred and secular venues and co-wrote the book, Seeing the Unseen: Launching and Managing a Church Art Gallery. She serves on the governing board of CIVA | Christians in the Visual Arts. Marianne has an M.F.A. in spatial arts from San Jose State University and B.F.A. in drawing and printmaking from University of Florida. Visit www.mariannelettieri.com to see her artwork.
(For the video of Marianne’s 2018 Conference talk by topic, go HERE. )
JIm is Outreach Pastor and visionary behind Saddleback’s Visual Arts Ministry.
Throughout my advertising and design career, God has given me the unique opportunity of being a liaison between creatives and executive leadership, agency clients, corporate executives, and pastoral leadership.
God called me out of the Marketplace to full-time Ministry 16 years ago. I brought my previous experience to Saddleback Church to develop a world-class Communications Team. A few years ago, my role expanded into Campus Environments and Experiences, and now Outreach in our local communities. I thrive in the development of the new, rather than maintain what already exists.
Visual Arts has always been a key passion of mine. Years ago, I envisioned a place where Art & Faith intersected, but always felt it would be from outside of the Church. God had different plans… and worked to create what is now SVA, Saddleback Visual Arts. He did what he does… grow dreams into what he desires. Making a pathway for A&F to be within his church, allowing creatives to explore that power of the arts in the Bride of Christ. God is working globally within his artists! I can’t wait to see what God has in store for his collected creatives!
(For the video of Jim’s 2018 Conference talk by topic, go HERE. )
Arianna is founder & president of Edge Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to investing in art, culture & faith. She is passionate about building global respect for God, culture, community, and artistic expressions of Faith. She is the Executive Director of Edge Project in Europe, an annual summer project in Altea, Spain, focused around engaging the community through art, discussion and service. Arianna is passionate about relationships and connecting people with their own unique skills and creative ideas. She enjoys sharing the journey of life with people of diverse cultures. Arianna has lived in Europe for over 25 years, raising her daughters in Greece, Germany, and Spain with her husband Steven. When she’s not in Europe, she spends her time in Southern California.
Ray Basile is an American singer-songwriter from Huntington Beach, California. His original folk-rock songs are a mix of sunny optimism that comes from living in a beach town — contrasted by deeper themes of love and sadness expressed though beautiful melodies and heartrending lyrics. Ray works as a Creative Director, curating in-store music for some of the world’s top retail brands. He’s currently recording an EP expected to launch next year. https://www.hereforamoment.com
Sarah Cruz is the Creative Director & Chief Storyteller at Saddleback Church. She draws on her experience as a writer, musician, daydreamer, and former roller derby skater to lead teams toward creative solutions in branding, volunteer artist development, and storytelling.
(For the video of Sarah’s 2018 Conference talk by topic, go HERE. )