This is me in a nutshell, minus my love of biking, my mediocre handyman skills, and my inability to speak French (as reported by my young children).
I was raised in rural, central Alberta. I had family throughout the countryside, many of whom were educators and many of whom liked sports. We lived next door to the local Catholic church, so we would set up Sunday Mass or host priests for a nightcap after a Lenten penitential service. Extended family discussions often touched on religion. Faith was woven into the fabric of my life; that’s probably not typical for someone of my generation.
I liked school, especially playing competitive sports in secondary school, and so it was no surprise when I earned my education degree at the U of A and became a schoolteacher. Combined with my interest in religion, I received a doctorate in religious education at the Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C., in 2011. I was pleased to be hired at St. Joseph’s College at UAlberta because, as an undergraduate, I had hung out at the small college: a farm kid seeking a supportive, faith-engaged community—like the one I was raised in.
I was floored when the College asked me to design and teach a course on sport and religion; this was getting my cake and eating it too! My interest in this field has deepened and I incorporate it into my work as a religious educator. Overall, I am happy to work at the College and University: to think and talk about religion, sport, and education all day. That’s the really cool thing about my job.
Of course, I couldn’t be who I am without the support of others—my wife, Crystal, our children, my parents and in-laws, extended family, friends, colleagues, and the different communities I am a part of.