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1

Facing the Issues

The 3rd Global Congress on Christianity and Sport is set for August 18-21, 2022 in Cambridge, UK. SportFaithLife will interview all of the scheduled keynote speakers.  Today’s episode features Dr. Steven Waller, professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

2

On the 8th Day

As a boy, professor and author Matt Hoven attended an Edmonton Oilers hockey game and saw a sign that read, On the 8th day, God created Gretzky. This memory prompted Matt and his two colleagues to write a book on a Catholic theology of sport, aptly titled, On the 8th Day. The book explores unique […]

3

Training the Body in Faith and Sport

Training the body is and essential part of both sport and of faith, seeking a harmonious balance between body, mind, and spirit. We explore this concept with David Torevell, Associate Professor in Theology and Education at Liverpool Hope University in the UK. Dr. Torevell is an editor and author for new book on sport and […]

4

I’ll Be Back

You may remember the film Terminator about a machine built to look like a human with superhuman capabilities. It may have been futuristic, but human enhancement technologies like biohacking and artificial intelligence are playing an increased role in life and sport, raising many ethical and spiritual questions. We explore this fascinating topic with ethicist Dr. Tracy […]

5

Vulnerability in Sport

It’s a regular practice to highlight and celebrate strength in sports, but could we be missing something? Perhaps, says Kristin Graff-Kallevåg, an associate professor at the Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society, where among other things, she studies intersections between vulnerability, faith, and sport, suggesting we may actually find strength in being vulnerable in […]

6

Glorifying God from the Bench

After getting cut from every team early in high school, Brian Smith found his sport in track and cross-country and became a successful student athlete at Wake Forest University.  Soon after, he joined the staff at Athletes in Action where has been for the past fifteen years.  A few years ago Brian authored The Assist, […]

7

Sugar is Sweet

Melvin ‘Sugar’ Mcaughin earned his nickname by being one best long-range shooters the game of basketball has ever seen, with a silky sweet shot, long before the invention of the three-pointer.  Author Vern Wendt tells his story in a new book titled Sweet Shot: The Basketball Life and Legacy of Melvin ‘Sugar’ Mcaughin. The The […]

8

063 | It’s On!

It’s a special day on the SportFaithLife podcast, one with a big announcement!  The Third Global Congress on Sport and Christianity is set for August 18-21 this year in Cambridge England, and Professor Andy Parker joins us to announce the plans to hold the conference in person!  We are so thrilled to partner with Andy […]

9

062 | Sport Identity & Jesus

Rasheed Flowers play two sports at the NCAA Division I level, so it’s no surprise that he found his identity in sport and sport performance. But early on, due to his Christian faith and connection with sport ministry organizations like AIA and FCA, Rasheed knew identity in sport was a losing proposition. Now a doctoral […]

10

061 | Sport & Christianity Conference in Nigeria

Dr. Clement Fasan, a sport management teacher, researcher and man of deep faith is convening The Africa Conference on Christianity and Sport at Lagos State University in Nigeria, February 1-5.  We talk with Dr. Fasan about this conference and invite all to join the conference online through the link on the SFL website.

11

060 | Would Jesus Play Ice Hockey?

Ever wonder if Jesus played sports?  Well, we do too. In these episodes, Brian and Chad play with the idea of Jesus playing sports.  We picked 6 sports to explore one at time, asking ourselves what about the sport speaks to humanity in unique ways?  What are the goods inherent in the sport? We do […]

12

059 | Would Jesus…Powerlift?

Ever wonder if Jesus played sports?  Well, we do too. In these episodes, Brian and Chad play with the idea of Jesus playing sports.  We picked 6 sports to explore one at time, asking ourselves what about the sport speaks to humanity in unique ways?  What are the goods inherent in the sport? We do […]

13

058 | Would Jesus Play Basketball?

Ever wonder if Jesus played sports?  Well, we do too. In these episodes, Brian and Chad play with the idea of Jesus playing sports.  We picked 6 sports to explore one at time, asking ourselves what about the sport speaks to humanity in unique ways?  What are the goods inherent in the sport? We do […]

14

057 | Would Jesus Play Pickleball?

Ever wonder if Jesus played sports?  Well, we do too. In these episodes, Brian and Chad play with the idea of Jesus playing sports.  We picked 6 sports to explore one at time, asking ourselves what about the sport speaks to humanity in unique ways?  What are the goods inherent in the sport? We do […]

15

Would Jesus Run?

Ever wonder if Jesus played sports?  Well, we do too. In these episodes, Brian and Chad play with the idea of Jesus playing sports.  We picked 6 sports to explore one at time, asking ourselves what about the sport speaks to humanity in unique ways?  What are the goods inherent in the sport? We do […]

16

Would Jesus Play…Soccer?

Ever wonder if Jesus played sports?  Well, we do too. In these episodes, Brian and Chad play with the idea of Jesus playing sports.  We picked 6 sports to explore one at time, asking ourselves what about the sport speaks to humanity in unique ways?  What are the goods inherent in the sport? We do […]

17

054 | True Grit

Would you like your athletes to be more resilient, on and off the field?  Grit Leadership teachers leaders to communicate in better ways, focusing on process over outcome, and delivering feedback with high expectations, yet in a warm, relationship-focused way. Grit Leadership coach and Christian school athletic director Kevin Broene shares how Grit leadership has […]

18

053 | Bicycling in Belgium

How does a catholic church historian get interested in sport?  Much like many of us Dries Vanysacker grew up riding his bike and playing games with a ball. This boyhood love, together with is academic training as a church historian, has formed a line of work which documents and investigates sport and the catholic church, […]

19

052 | Faith and Coping with Injury

Injuries happen to all of us, sometimes in sports. Sport psychologists like Diane Wiese-Bjornstal have studied the social factors that relate to physical activity injury risk and recovery for years, but now her research is focused on something from her own Christian faith and athletic experience, something called religiosity. Diane shares her in-depth knowledge of […]

20

051 | Seize the Day

There’s nothing quite like living in community. With his wife and children, Will Whitmore lives chaplaincy from sun up to sundown at Mercersburg Academy, a boarding school in Southern Pennsylvania, USA. The immersive experience allows pastor Whitmore to connect with high school age students in all areas of life, including sports. While Will serves as […]

21

050 | Sport Symbols of Faith

Michael Jones felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit. In response, he finished his doctoral degree, kept coaching basketball, and wrote a book.  The book explores the symbolic connection between the sport of basketball and faith. Michael is a practitioner, on the court every day, trying to better understand both his sport and faith, and […]

22

049 | A Good Fit

Chaplaincy has become part of the DNA of UK sports. Chaplains are now part of clubs at every level, for players with all abilities, in every sport. Growing this mission are pastors and chaplaincy experts Warren Evans and Matt Baker who serve as senior leaders for Sports Chaplaincy UK. Together they are expanding the reach […]

23

048 | Pray, Play, Say

A young athlete sat on a bus in England and dared to tell a younger athlete that he followed Jesus, and that made all the difference. That young listener was Graham Daniels, who since has done it all in UK football.  He’s played professionally,  been a coach and manager, and was a broadcaster for BBC […]

24

047 | The virtue we don’t have time for

Though most will say that sport builds character, the evidence is far more mixed. Professor Sarah Schnitker of Baylor University studies personality and social psychology, focusing on how things like religion and even sport facilitate or hinder human character. Sarah shares the results of her research thus far, and dives deeply into the rarely studied […]

25

Tebow Redux

Northern Ireland’s Drew Gibson is a fan of sports. He follows Ulster Rugby and the Northern Ireland football (soccer) club, so it makes sense that’s he never really heard of American football player Tim Tebow or about his attempted comeback. But as a pastor and practical theologian, Drew engages in culture in a very intentional […]

26

Eye Black Comeback?

Tim Tebow is trying to resurrect his NFL career.  This offseason, the now 33-year-old Tebow surprised the sports world by earning a tryout with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars in his home state for Florida.  But this time, the Heisman trophy winning quarterback is trying to make the team as tight end, a position he hasn’t […]

27

Hope Springs Eternal

This last year was no fun for athletic directors. It was a year of checking Covid 19 data, interpreting ever changing policies, developing protocols, testing athletes, enforcing masks and distancing, and delivering bad news.  Hope College AD Tim Schoonveld is no exception.  He recalls a year he’d like to forget, but along the way remembers […]

28

043 | Listen to the Grasshopper

The 3rd Global Congress on Sport and Christianity is set for August 18-21, 2022 at Ridley Hall in Cambridge, UK. But though over, the 2nd congress continues to add to the conversation.  Building on the work of Bernard Suits in his famous book on play and games featuring the grasshopper as the main character, Brian […]

29

042 | Cranmer for Jocks

By day Ashley Null is an Anglican priest and scholar specializing in the theological notebooks of reformer Thomas Cranmer – and by night, he’s a chaplain to the most elite Olympic athletes providing as he describes, “Cranmer for jocks.” Elite athletes have to earn their worth, and this performance based identity can trickle into their […]

30

041 | Win. Build. Send.

No matter where’s he’s been in the world, the words win, build, and send have been central to the mission and work of Dean Bouzeos.  Dean is currently Director of Operations for Athletes in Action, a ministry organization based in Xenia, Ohio known for using the visible platform of sport to win people for Christ, […]

31

040 | Pitch Imperfect

A single question asked of Brad Kenney on a soccer field prompted a 20 plus year calling into sport ministry.  Reverend Brad Kenney is the Chaplain for the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer USA and founder and executive director of Soccer Chaplains United, an organization created to grow sports chaplaincy in soccer communities, including […]

32

039 | A Unique Take on Christian Women in Sports

Why would a self-described non-athlete and atheist write a book about Christian women and sports ministry? We put that question to Annie Blazer, an anthropologist of religion and author of Playing for God: Evangelical Women and the Unintended Consequences of Sports Ministry.  Annie shares her story and the sometimes unexpected discoveries of her study.  Annie […]

33

038 | Sport and Virtue in Brazil

In a quickly changing world, families and communities need something to rally around, and Brazilian pastor, author, and sport enthusiast Alexandre Borges de Magalhães believes sport has positive a role to play.  Alexandre works at home in Brazil and though his broad connections across numerous countries to draw out the virtues of sport for youth […]

34

037 | A Team for Every Child

Play Like a Champion Today is a youth sport organization that sees great value in sport. The non-profit organization is leading a worldwide effort to promote a youth sports culture of opportunity, fun, and character development for all children. With deep roots in her Catholic faith, former gymnast, Notre Dame football cheerleader, and current PLCT […]

35

036 | Love Extravagantly – Serve Selflessly

Veteran FCA leader and sport team chaplain Roger Lipe recounts how he entered the world of sport ministry with little knowhow, but instead with a love of sport and a genuine desire to love and serve athletes where they are. Now a quarter century later, Roger shares his learned wisdom on a weekly blog to […]

36

035 | Technique and Spirit on the Ice

Lace up your skates and join us for pond hockey with Matt Hoven, Professor of Catholic Religious Education at St. Joseph’s College at the University of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada.  When teaching sport and faith, Matt probes far beyond simple connections, choosing instead to thoughtfully dissect both the turmoil and joy that sport has to […]

37

034 | Colombia, Soccer, and Jesus

The famous ESPN 30 for 30 documentary The Two Escobars describes Colombia soccer by its connection to drug cartels, corruption, and violence.  Christian Union Soccer Club founder Marcos Wittig tells his own Colombian soccer story, but with a much better ending.  In this episode Marcos describes how a small soccer club in Colombia grew into […]

38

033 | The Tracy Hanson Initiative

Tee it up! Tracy Hanson was a standout NCAA student athlete at San Jose State University and from there played 15 seasons as a professional golfer on the LPGA tour and around the world. After retirement Tracy began to explore the anxiety and unhappiness that plagued her professional life, leading her to come to terms […]

39

032 | Team Player & Congress 2022!

Don’t know much about Dr. Andrew Parker? He calls himself unremarkable, but he’s not. Dr. Parker has traveled a unique path, combining his expertise in criminal justice, research, and sport with a Christian faith driven heart to help the most vulnerable. Beyond his distinguished career studying the sport-faith connection and sport chaplaincy, he’s a wonderfully […]

40

031 | Character Building

When signing children up for sports programs, people always say that “sports build character.” However, it is obvious to those who play and study sports that that character is not always positive. In this episode, Dr. Bolt and Dr. Carlson talk to Andrew Meyer, associate professor at Baylor University, about the character of sport. Andy […]