The Team

Editorial Team

Jake Morley (Editor) is studying towards his PhD at the Institute for Theology, Imagination, and the Arts at the University of St Andrews. His broader research interests include theological aesthetics as well as the relationship between poetry and theology, while his more specific research covers English poetry from Spenser to Milton and the application to literary study of the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar. Prior to beginning at St Andrews, Jake taught English and Bible at The Stony Brook School in New York and performed freelance editorial work for InterVarsity Press. His previous academic work includes an MA in English from Middlebury College and an MA in systematic theology from Wheaton College.

Karen McClain Kiefer (Associate Editor) is originally from Ohio, and has also lived in Maryland, Arizona and Minnesota where she built a career in corporate management and consulting, followed by service in pastoral, social and theatre ministry.  She entered the PhD program in the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts at the University of St Andrews after earning a Masters in Theology at Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary in Collegeville, Minnesota.  She is currently researching the nature of otherness and “empty space” in suffering and how improvisation can inform a theological context which may help us respond meaningfully. While at Saint John’s, Karen served as co-editor for the journal Obsculta.

Joel Mayward (Associate Editor) is a pastor, theologian, and film critic. The author of three books, he is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts where he is researching the intersection of theology, ethics, and cinema in the films of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. Joel has journal articles and reviews published in TheologyJournal of Religion & Film, and Journal of Youth and Theology; he’s written on film and theology for Christianity Today, Think Christian, Bright Wall/Dark Room, Christ and Pop Culture, Fuller Seminary’s Reel Spirituality, Youth Worker Journal, and Immerse Journal. Raised in the Pacific Northwest, he’s been a pastor for over a decade, serving in churches in Oregon, Arizona, and British Columbia. As a film critic, Joel is a member of the Online Film Critics Society and INTERFILM, and serves on the Arts & Faith Ecumenical Jury. You can read his movie reviews at his personal website,, and follow him on Twitter: @joelmayward.

Jenna Schmidt (Editorial Assistant) has research interests focused on the interaction between pagan storytelling and the early British church, and on how this interaction influenced the nature of heroic literature in the past as well as the present. Specifically, she has worked on Beowulf’s use of language with dual sacred-secular meaning, but she is interested in the whole of the Nowell Codex’s inclusion of both sacred and secular themes. While she is primarily a fiction writer and poet, she has also done academic editing in a range of different fields.

Dr. Gavin Hopps (ITIA Director, ex officio Editor) is Senior Lecturer in Literature & Theology and Director of the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts at the University of St Andrews. He has been involved in ITIA since he came to St Andrews as an RCUK Academic Fellow in 2006. Prior to this, he was a Lecturer in English at the universities of Aachen, Oxford and Canterbury Christ Church and a CRASSH Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge. His research is broadly concerned with theology and the arts, with a particular focus on Romantic literature and contemporary British popular music, though he is also interested in the relationship between theology and modalities of lightness (such as comedy, camp, leisure and play). He has published numerous articles on Romantic writing, a collection of essays on the spectral, the spiritual and the supernatural in Byron, a co-edited collection on Romanticism and Religion, and a monograph on the singer-songwriter Morrissey. He is currently working with Dr Jane Stabler in the School of English on a new edition of the complete poetic works of Byron, a volume in the New Directions in Religion and Literature series, a monograph on the levity of Byron’s Don Juan, and another on popular music and radical wonder, entitled The Kitsch Epiphany.

Regular Contributor(s)

Kevin Antlitz received his M.Div. (2010) and his Th.M. (2011) from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston, MA, while also completing coursework at Harvard Divinity School and Boston College. He currently serves as a Ministry Fellow with Christian Union at Princeton University. Prior to his work at Princeton, he taught as an Adjunct Professor at Gordon College.

Amber Noel received her M.Div. from Duke University in 2012 after additional graduate coursework in theology and literature, but she does not yet need glasses. She’s worked as a teacher, writer, youth minister, and party-thrower, and lives in Dallas, Texas, where she pulls together various combinations of pastoral and creative shenanigans for the good of the church. She adores hot yoga, dubstep, and bedtime snacks, as well as spending time with fine humans and animals.