Matthew Vines, Executive Director
Matthew Vines is the founder and Executive Director of The Reformation Project. He is also the author of God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships, published by Convergent Books in 2014.
In 2012, Matthew delivered a speech at a church in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas, making the case that Christians should affirm gay Christians and their marriage relationships. His speech went viral, having been seen more than a million times and leading to a feature story in The New York Times. In 2013, Matthew launched The Reformation Project to equip and empower Christians to advocate for LGBTQ inclusion in their faith communities. He speaks regularly at churches, universities, and conferences across the country.
Dr. James V. Brownson
Dr. Jim Brownson is the James and Jean Cook Professor of New Testament at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. He is an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America, where he has served as moderator of the Commission on Theology, dean of Western Theological Seminary, and General Synod Professor. He has taught the New Testament for more than 25 years and is the author of a number of books. In 2013, Brownson published Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships, which was hailed by The Boston Globe as “perhaps the most extensive, accessible, and direct evangelical reckoning with the Bible’s passages on homosexuality.” Brownson was a guest lecturer at The Reformation Project’s inaugural conference, and his lecture series from that event can be found here.
Darren Calhoun is currently the Worship Leader at Urban Village Church - South Loop in Chicago and previously served as a volunteer worship leader at Willow Chicago for 9 years. Worship has been a central part of Darren’s ministry life, including leading choirs, dance teams, and visual arts ministries. Additionally, racial justice and LGBTQ+ inclusion are especially important to him. Darren is an Associate Fellow for Racial Justice with Evangelicals for Social Action and a long-time volunteer with The Marin Foundation. In 2015, he co-facilitated The Academy for Racial Justice at TRP in Atlanta, and led worship at TRP in Kansas City. He brings with him an intentional focus on the church being inclusive of a diversity of people and expressions as an authentic reflection of the Kingdom of God. Lastly, Darren is an extrovert who loves hugs, anything involving chocolate and peanut butter, and social media. Follow him on Twitter at @heyDarren or through his blog, DarrenCalhoun.com.
Kristin Romens is a Senior Consultant for The Learning Agenda, where she leads engagements focused on nonprofit strategy, research and development, and organizational learning. Ms. Romens has over 15 years of experience as a nonprofit leader. Before joining The Learning Agenda, she served as Vice President of Research, Innovation, and Growth at Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, where she provided oversight and guidance to a network of 325 affiliates in the areas of research and evaluation, program development, and professional learning. She set the research agenda and program strategy for the network, which serves almost 200,000 children annually, enabling affiliates to improve program quality at scale. Ms. Romens also has wide-ranging experience advising nonprofit leaders as a consultant with the Bridgespan Group. At Bridgespan, she worked with nonprofit clients to develop sustainability and growth plans, professional development and performance management frameworks, and replication strategies. Ms. Romens’ educational background is in the social sciences and law. She holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and began her career as a human rights attorney, then a litigation associate at the law firm of Wilmer Hale.
Nancy Bartell (BOARD CHAIR)
Nancy graduated from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School with a Master of Divinity Degree. Her studies focused on the imago deiand how our image of God informs racial justice issues. She recently was the Director of a Federal Bureau of Prisons Transition and Treatment Center, aiding inmates in their transition back to their families and their communities.
Nancy is the first openly gay student to graduate from TEDS and she continues to be in dialogue with members of that community as well as future pastors being trained there regarding the LGBTQ Community and their inclusion in the church. She is an avid Cubs fan, loves the beach, and is looking forward to helping TRP continue to work for inclusion in the church.