Here you can find a few further details about my academic work and writing.


Ph.D., English. University of Massachusetts Amherst. 2001.

M.A., Christian Apologetics. Biola University. 2011.

M.A., English. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 1997.

B.A., English. University of Massachusetts Amherst. 1995.

Research interests

J.R.R. Tolkien; C.S. Lewis; literary and imaginative apologetics; fantasy literature.

Current project: Tolkien’s Modern Reading: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages (Word on Fire Academic, 2021)


Word on Fire Institute

2020-present: Fellow of Faith and Culture, Word on Fire Institute

Previous Teaching Experience

Houston Baptist University, Houston, TX.

2020-present: Visiting Professor of Apologetics

2012-2020: Professor of English, Faculty in Dept. of Apologetics; 2014-2020, Program Coordinator, Master of Arts in Apologetics; 2012-2014: Chair, Department of Apologetics.

Courses taught in the MAA: Apologetics Research and Writing; Creative Writing and Apologetics; Ancient Philosophy and Culture; Medieval Culture and Philosophy; Modern and Post-Modern Culture; Advanced Apologetics Writing/Thesis. Designed and developed each of these courses for the MAA program, both residential and online.

Other courses taught: Great Books I, Great Books II (undergraduate courses for the English department)

MiraCosta College. Oceanside, CA. 2005-2012

2010-2012: Professor of Letters

2006-2010: Assistant Professor of Letters.

2005-2006: Associate Professor of Letters

Courses taught: Introduction to Literature; Shakespeare Studies; Composition and Reading; and Composition, Critical Thinking, and Literature.

University of Massachusetts Amherst. 1997-1998.

Instructor, Writing Program. Taught composition, honors composition, and creative writing.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 1996-1997.

Instructor, Department of English. Taught composition.



Apologetics and the Christian Imagination: An Integrated Approach to Defending the Faith. Emmaus Road Publishing, 2017.

Not God’s Type: An Atheist Academic Lays Down Her Arms. Revised 2nd edition. Ignatius Press, 2014.


“Recovering a Vision of the Cosmos: Tolkien’s Creation Narrative.” In The Story of the Cosmos: How the Heavens Declare the Glory of God, ed. Daniel Ray and Paul M. Gould. Harvest House, forthcoming 2019.

“Seeing the Forest and the Trees: Defining Fantasy.” In Impossible Geography: Portals, Thresholds, and Boundaries in the Novels of C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Dorothy L. Sayers, Charles Williams, G. K. Chesterton, and George MacDonald, ed. Jonathan Thorndike and Ronnie Littlejohn. Forthcoming.

“Medieval Arthurian Sources for the Inklings: An Overview.” In The Inklings and King Arthur: J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, C.S. Lewis, and Owen Barfield on the Matter of Britain. Ed. Sørina Higgins. Apocryphile Press, 2018. The Inklings and King Arthur received the 2018 Mythopoeic Society award for Scholarship in Inklings Studies.

“Further Up and Further In: My Journey Home.” In From Atheism to Catholicism: Nine Converts Explain Their Journey Home, ed. Brandon McGinley. EWTN Publishing, 2017.

“Looking ‘Along’ the Problem of Evil: Shakespeare’s Macbeth.” In Evil and a Selection of its Theological Problems. Ed. Benjamin Arbour and John R. Gilhooly. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017.

“Stonecrop: Lewis Takes His Place in Poets’ Corner.” In C.S. Lewis at Poets’ Corner. Ed. Michael Ward and Peter S. Williams. Cascade, 2016.

“Come and See: The Value of Storytelling for Apologetics.” In A New Kind of Apologist. Ed. Sean McDowell. Harvest House, 2016.

“C.S. Lewis on Love and Sex.” In C.S. Lewis and Women. Ed. Carolyn Curtis and Mary Key. Lion Hudson, 2015.

“Williams, Descent into Hell.” In C.S. Lewis’s List: The Ten Books that Influenced Him Most. Ed. David Werther. Bloomsbury Academic, 2015.

“Guy Gavriel Kay.” Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 251: Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors. 2002.



 “Recovering Halloween” – St Paul Center for Biblical Theology, 29 Oct. 2018.

“Tolkien’s Catholic Genius” – Word on Fire, 31 August 2018.

“The Maker of the Maker of Middle-earth” – review of the Bodleian Library’s “JRR Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth” exhibit, Oxford, England. Christianity Today, 21 August 2018.

“The Trauma of the Given.” Word on Fire, January 5, 2018.

“Symbols of the Faith.” Catholic Answers Magazine, Winter 2017.

“‘Your Word Is a Lamp to My Feet’: Metaphor and the Work of the Apologist.” Christian Research Journal, Winter 2017.

“Why Evangelism Requires Both Logic and Loveliness.” Christianity Today online, July 2017.

“Looking Along the Beam: Apologetics and the Christian Imagination” – May 15, 2017 for Transpositions, University of St Andrews Institute for Theology in the Arts (ITIA).

“The Gospel as a Good Catastrophe: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Literary Apologetics.” The City: Vol. VIII, Issue 2. Winter 2015.

“Once Upon a Time: The Enduring Appeal of Fairy Tales.” Christian Research Journal. October 2015.

“Re-writing My Life.” Books and Culture, July/August 2015.

“Imagination, Reason, and the Challenge of Meaningful Apologetics.” Solutions Magazine, Summer 2015.

“The Canary in the Coal Mine? Thoughts on Allegory” – June 17, 2015, for Transpositions. University of St Andrews Institute for Theology in the Arts (ITIA).

“Charles Williams and Fantastic Fiction.” Sewanee Theological Review, Summer 2014.

“Reading Tolkien’s Beowulf: Understanding Intent.” The City: Vol. VII, Issue 2. Summer 2014.

“C.S. Lewis: An Integrated Vision.” Renewing Minds: A Journal of Christian Thought. Winter 2013.

“Why I Am a Christian.” Interview in Christianity magazine, August 2013.

“Reversals: Gerard Manley Hopkins’ ‘The Starlight Night’” Nov. 11, 2013, for Transpositions. University of St Andrews Institute for Theology in the Arts (ITIA).

“Further Up and Further In: Representations of Heaven in Tolkien and Lewis.” Journal of Inklings Studies, Vol. 3 no. 1, April 2013.

“Confronting the Apologetic Challenges of a Secular Culture: Reflections on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Christian Research Journal. Vol. 35. no. 5. Winter 2012.

“Truth in Darkness: The Hunger Games as an Unexpected Resource for Apologists.”  Christian Research Journal. Vol. 35 no. 2. Spring 2012.

“What Has Poetry to Do with Apologetics? T. S. Eliot’s ‘The Journey of the Magi’ for the Apologist.” Christian Research Journal. Vol. 34 no. 6. Winter 2011.

“Why Is Atheism Popular and What Can We Do About It?” Rick Warren’s Ministry Newsletter: June 23, 2010.

“The Garden, the Cross, and the Tomb.” Neue Magazine: April 10, 2009.

“In Whose Image Are You Made?” ENTSCHEIDUNG (German edition of DECISION, published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association). April, 2008.

“Teaching Process, Not Product: Two Techniques.” inside english: Journal of the English Council of California Two-Year Colleges. 2006.


Book reviews:


Mapping Apologetics: Comparing Contemporary Approaches, Brian K. Morley. Christian Scholar’s Review, 45, no. 4. Summer 2016.

Charles Williams: The Third Inkling, Grevel Lindop. Lead review in symposium. The Journal of Inklings Studies, Spring 2016.

The Intellectual World of C.S. Lewis by Alister McGrath. Religion & Literature (University of Notre Dame). Vol. 47.1, Spring 2016.

C.S. Lewis and His Circle, ed. Roger White, Judith Wolfe, and Brendan N. Wolfe Catholic World Report, August 29, 2015.

The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings, Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski. Catholic World Report, July 22, 2015.

The Ideal of Kingship in the Writings of Charles Williams, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien by Christopher Scarf. Sehnsucht: The C.S. Lewis Journal. Vol. 7, 2014.

C.S. Lewis’s Perelandra: Reshaping the Image of the Cosmos. Ed. Judith Wolfe and Brendan Wolfe. Mythlore: The Journal of the Mythopoeic Society 124, Spring/Summer 2014.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fall of Arthur. Ed. Christopher Tolkien. The Englewood Review of Books. Featured Reviews Volume 6, November 2013.

Plain to the Inward Eye: Selected Essays on C.S. Lewis by Don W. King. Mythlore: The Journal of the Mythopoeic Society. Fall 2013.

Imaginative Apologetics, ed. Andrew Davison. Themelios: An International Journal for Students of Theological and Religious Studies. Spring 2013.

C.S. Lewis and the Middle Ages by Robert Boenig. Mythlore: The Journal of the Mythopoeic Society. Spring/Summer 2013.

The Loss and the Silence: Aspects of Modernism in the Works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams by Margaret Hiley. Mythlore: The Journal of the Mythopoeic Society. 119/120, Fall/Winter 2012.

Mythopoeic Narnia: Memory, Metaphor, and Metamorphosis in The Chronicles of Narnia by Salwa Khoddam. Mythlore: The Journal of the Mythopoeic Society. 117/118, Spring/Summer 2012.

Arda Reconstructed: The Creation of the Published Silmarillion by Douglas Charles Kane. Mythprint, the monthly bulletin of the Mythopoeic Society. Volume 48:11, no. 352. November 2011.


“A Sudden Goldfinch” and “Paradigm Shift: Angelus” in Love, Remember: 40 Poems of Loss, Lament, and Hope, ed. Malcolm Guite. Canterbury Press, 2017.

Six sonnets in Theology, 119.5, Sept/Oct, 2016.

“Maps.” The Word in the Wilderness, ed. Malcolm Guite. Canterbury Press, 2014.

“Broceliande.” Sehnsucht: The C.S. Lewis Journal. Vol. 7, 2014.

“A Twitch upon the Thread.” Windhover: A Journal of Christian Literature. Volume 18, Spring 2014.

“Maps.” Dappled Things: A Quarterly of Ideas, Art, and Faith. Spring 2013

“Light.” Californios Review. Winter 2013.

“Temptation in the Wired Wilderness.” God and Nature. Summer 2012.


Lectures and addresses (selected):

Francis A. Schaeffer Institute Special Lectures, Covenant Theological Seminary, St.Louis, MO. Sept. 21-22, 2018.

“Imaginative Apologetics: What It Is and Why We Need It”: Plenary address, Steubenville Defending the Faith Conference, Franciscan University at Steubenville, July 27, 2018.

“Tolkien and the Function of Fantasy.” C.S. Lewis Institute of Northeast Ohio & Youngstown State University, Youngstow, OH. April 13, 2018.

“Hidden in Plain Sight: Tolkien’s Influences from Children’s Literature and Popular Fiction.” Oxford C.S. Lewis Society, Oxford, England. January 16, 2018.

Plenary: “Tolkien’s Modern Sources: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages”. For “Influences on the Work of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien” (joint event with Michael Ward), sponsored by the C.S. Lewis Sociey and the Tolkien Society of Madison, WI, and the Bradshaw-Knight Foundation. Madison, WI. Sept. 23, 2017.

Plenary: “The Effects of Friendship: The Influence of the Inklings on J.R.R. Tolkien.” Canadian Round Table, Cambridge, England. Sept. 16, 2017.

“Imaginative Apologetics” sessions – C.S. Lewis “Oxbridge” Summer Institute, Oxford, England. July 25-27, 2017.

“Not God’s Type: From Atheism to Catholicism” – Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, NY. April 4, 2017.

“Past Watchful Dragons: Imaginative Apologetics and Why We Need It” – Regina Angelorum Academy, Ardmore, PA. Feb. 7, 2017.

The Strauss Lectures, on “Imaginative Apologetics.” Lincoln Christian University, Lincoln, IL. Oct. 4-5, 2016.

“Modern Medievalists: William Morris and J.R.R. Tolkien.” Second Spring Centre for Faith and Culture, Summer School programme on “The Quality of Mercy: English Catholic Culture from Reformation to Revival.” Oxford, England. Aug. 9, 2016

“The Life and Work of Charles Williams.” Inklings Fellowship, Union University, Oxford, England. July 21, 2016.

“Tolkien and the Function of Fantasy”. Auburn University in Oxford, England. July 18, 2016.

“C.S. Lewis as an Integrated Apologist”. The Bible & Beer Consortium, Houston, TX. Feb. 28, 2016.

“Metaphor and Meaning: The Role of Imagination in Communication about Science and Faith”. Reasons to Believe, Houston, Texas, Feb. 13, 2016.

“Tolkien’s Modern Sources: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages.” The Oxford C.S. Lewis Society, Oxford, England. Jan. 19, 2016.

“Tolkien and Modern Fantasy.” Southwest Baptist University, Bolivar, MO. Oct. 19, 2015.

“Imaginative Apologetics.” Northwest University, Seattle, WA. Sept. 23, 2015.

“Tolkien and Modern Fantasy.” Regent University, Oxford, England, June 22, 2015.

“J.R.R. Tolkien’s Literary Apologetics.” Reasons Apologetics Conference, The Woodlands, TX. May 2, 2015.

Seminar: “Imaginative Apologetics.” C.S. Lewis Foundation Summer Institute in Oxbridge. Oxford, England. July, 2014.

Plenary address: “Charles Williams and Fantastic Fiction.” The Inklings Fellowship. Oxford, England, August 2013.

Keynote speaker: “‘Mere Christianity’ as a Strategy for Evangelical-Catholic Dialogue.” At the sixteenth annual Christianity in the Academy Conference, held at Union University. March 2013.

Plenary address: “The Influence of Charles Williams’ Descent into Hell on C.S. Lewis” at the conference “The Ten Books that Most Influenced C.S. Lewis,” sponsored by the C.S.Lewis Society of Madison, Wisconsin and the Bradshaw-Knight Foundation, Madison, WI, Oct. 18-20, 2012.

“Imagination in Service to Truth: Literature as a Mode of Apologetics” at the Evangelical Philosophical Society Apologetics Conference, Milwaukee, WI, Nov. 17, 2012.

Other media (selected):

Radio: studio guest on Unbelievable? with Justin Brierley, Premier Christian Radio, London

  • “The Ex-Atheist and the Ex-Christian”, July 9, 2016
  • “Literature, C.S. Lewis, and Conversion”, June 29, 2013

Film: interviewed in Convinced documentary, directed by Donald Johnson. September 2015.

Television: guest on The Journey Home with Marcus Grodi, EWTN. June 1, 2015.

Co-host, The City Podcast, with Dr. John Mark Reynolds and Cate MacDonald. 2012-2015.

Weekly show discussing culture, education, literature, politics, and other topics.

Guest on All About Jack: A C.S. Lewis Podcast for the “Essay Chat” feature:

  • Podcast series with Michael Ward, on The Narnia Code, July 2012.
  • “Is Theology Poetry?” June 2012.
  • “Sometimes Fairy Stories May Say Best What’s to Be Said”, April 2012.

Contributing writer:

  • Transpositions, the Institute for Theology and the Arts at St Andrews University, Scotland.
  • All Nine Muses
  • HBU School of Christian Thought blog