I'm a pastor, an author, and nonprofit development and communications professional. My passion, my mission, and my calling is bringing people together to do good, with a particular focus on serving people who are experiencing poverty and other forms of marginalization.
I became the pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ (DeWitt, Iowa) in 2018. Prior to my life as a pastor, I served as a professional fundraiser with Back Bay Mission, Northeast Ohio Medical University, and Chicago Theological Seminary. I have also served as a fundraising consultant for a variety of churches and small nonprofit organizations.
I hold my M.Div. from Chicago Theological Seminary and my B.A. (Philosophy) from Knox College. I have also completed substantial continuing education at the Fundraising School at the Lilly School of Philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis; the Nollau Institute of the Council for Health and Human Services Ministries of the United Church of Christ; and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Right now, there is a movement in churches and nonprofits arguing that charity is toxic, that helping hurts, and that the entire nonprofit sector needs to be reformed to truly lift people out of poverty. These charity skeptics are telling Christians that traditional charity deepens dependency, fosters a sense of entitlement, and erodes the work ethic of people who receive it. Charity skepticism is increasingly popular; and it is almost certainly wrong.
Available from Wipf and Stock’s Cascade Books imprint, Radical Charity: How Generosity Can Save the World (And the Church) weaves together research and scholarship on topics as diverse as biblical scholarship, Christian history, economics, and behavioral psychology to tell a different story. In this story, charity is the heart of Christianity and one of the most effective ways that we can help people who are living in poverty. Charity—giving to people experiencing poverty without any expectation of return or reformation—can save the world and help make God’s vision for the church a reality.