This is me in a nutshell, minus my love of biking and mediocre handyman skills.
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 pleased when the College asked me to teach a course on sport and religion. I was always interested in sport but hadn't taken seriously its role in society and its impact on young people. I began to understand why several Christians took leading roles in modern sport and wanted to learn more.
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.