Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Whitworth alum launches online journal about Christianity in the Pacific Northwest


Matthew Kaemingk, M.Div., Ph.D., a 2003 Whitworth alum, recently founded the online journal, Christ & Cascadia, which focuses on Christianity in the Pacific Northwest. The collaborative journal draws material from over 15 contributors, including Whitworth Professor of Political Science Julia Stronks and Whitworth Professor of History Dale Soden. For more information on the journal, visit www.christandcascadia.com.

“Our mission is to cultivate conversations about faith and northwest life,” Kaemingk says. “We are convinced that the Pacific Northwest is a unique cultural environment that presents some distinct cultural challenges and opportunities for the Christian faith. Part of the reason why I started Christ & Cascadia sprung from the desire to explore what it means to be an evangelical minority in a progressive non-Christian culture.”

Kaemingk, the editor-in-chief of Christ & Cascadia, most recently wrote the article, “Cascadian Culture: Grasping a Slippery Salmon,” in which he explores what makes the region of Cascadia’s culture distinct. The Cascadia region includes Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and parts of Alaska, California, Idaho and Montana.

“The Pacific Northwest is known for being a rather challenging region for the church,” Kaemingk says. “That said, while the church in the Northwest is small, we believe that its humble size makes it both nimble and creative. The Pacific Northwest is full of Christian individuals, organizations and churches that are creatively imagining what it means to follow Christ in this culture.”

As a Whitworth student, Kaemingk majored in political science and minored in peace studies, religion and sociology. He says he was greatly influenced by Whitworth professors from a variety of disciplines, including Stronks and Soden, as well as economics & business professor Jack Burns; and theology professors Jerry Sittser and Jim Edwards, and Dean of Spiritual Life Terry McGonigal (now the director of the Whitworth Office for Church Engagement). . He completed graduate work in theology, ethics and culture at Princeton Theological Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary and Vrije Universiteit (Free University) Amsterdam.

In addition to launching the online journal, Kaemingk is the executive director of the Fuller Institute for Theology and Northwest Culture, in Seattle. He has also published articles in journals and magazines including Comment, Fieldnotes and Evangelical Interfaith Dialogue. As a recipient of a 2011 Fulbright scholarship, he studied at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.