Insights for Leadership in Challenging Times


Insights is a series of conversations on topics related to missional leadership. In each conversation Walker Leadership founding director Steve Lawler interviews subject matter experts as they share insights from their work that will strengthen the practice of missional leadership.

  • Kyle Tallman
    • Kyle Tallman, is a film and video editor, a musician, and Director of Youth Ministry for the Episcopal Church of St. Michael and St. George, in St. Louis. His work in advertising led him through roles as production manager, creative director, chief operating officer, and eventually director of global marketing for an international manufacturing firm.  His vast creative experience and current work give him a deep and rich understanding of how churches can use the video toolkit to keep members engaged.
  • Virgil Tipton
    • Virgil Tipton is the Executive Director, Integrated Marketing; Branding, Medical Public Affairs at Washington University School of Medicine. His experience as an award-winning journalist, extensive background in organizational change, technology, and electronic media informs his insights on how to communicate and connect with one’s audience in this time of social distancing.
  • Michelle Barton
    • Professor Michelle Barton, visiting professor at Bentley University in Boston, talks about team resilience and managing when faced with the unexpected.
  • Rabbi Elan Babchuck
    • Rabbi Elan Babchuck a rabbi and an entrepreneur is the Founding Director of Glean Network, an incubator, and network for entrepreneurs who are building new models of faith in action and Director of Innovation at Clal, a think-tank focused on the future of faith in America.
  • Reverend Charles Norris
    • Reverend Charles Norris has been an ordained Minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church since August of 2008. In November 2016, Rev. Norris became the 37th Pastor of St. James AME Church in the Historic Ville neighborhood.Prior to full time ministry, Reverend Norris was employed in various technical, management, and leadership capacities including with University of Illinois – Chicago, Motorola, Corporate Computer Services, and All Saints Episcopal Day School. Reverend Norris led Arizona Episcopal Schools Foundation, Public Policy Director for Phoenix Black Chamber of Commerce, Board member and Secretary for United African American Ministerial Alliance (UAAMAC) of San Diego CA, Executive Board Member of Kiwanis Club in La Jolla, CA, and currently serves as 2nd Vice President for St. Louis Clergy Coalition.In addition to theological training at Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, Fuller Theological Seminary. Reverend Norris has earned a Master of Business Administration, Masters Certificate in Project Management, and a Global Leadership Certificate.
  • Father Chris Collins, S.J
    • Father Chris Collins, S.J., is the assistant to the president for mission and identity at Saint Louis University, where his research and teaching are in the areas of systematic theology and spirituality. He is the author of Three Moments of the Day and The Word Made Love. He received both his MDiv and his STL in sacred theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and his PhD from Boston College. He served as a parish priest on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
  • Rev. Dr. Ben Sanders III
    • The Rev. Dr. Ben Sanders III, assistant professor of theological ethics at Eden Seminary, is a Baptist minister, teacher and social activist. He received his M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. from a joint program of the University of Denver and the Iliff School of Theology. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Black Theology Group, American Academy of Religion, and a board member of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America. He has also been invited to give numerous lectures on topics such as faith-based activism and racism.
  • Alan Cooperman
    • What’s Next in American Religion?
      A Conversation with Alan Cooperman, Director of Religion Research at the Pew Research Center and Steve Lawler, Director of the Walker Leadership Institute at Eden Seminary
      Alan Cooperman is director of religion research at Pew Research Center. He is an expert on religion’s role in U.S. politics and has reported on religion in Russia, the Middle East and Europe. He plays a central role in planning the project’s research agenda and writing its reports. Before joining Pew Research Center, he was a national reporter and editor at The Washington Post and a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press and U.S. News & World Report. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1982 and started in journalism at the Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, Mass. He is an author of Mormons in AmericaMuslim Americans, the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey“Nones” on the Rise and A Portrait of Jewish Americans. He also was the primary editor of Global Christianity and Global Restrictions on Religion. He has appeared on numerous media outlets, including NPR, BBC, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the NewsHour, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, MSNBC and C-SPAN.
  • Shane Claiborne
    • Conversation on Jesus and Justice – Covering topics of Black Lives Matter, Race, Proximity and “a better ethic of life”
      Shane Claiborne is a prominent speaker, activist, and best-selling author.  Shane worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, and founded The Simple Way in Philadelphia.  He heads up Red Letter Christians, a movement of folks who are committed to living “as if Jesus meant the things he said.” Shane is a champion for grace which has led him to jail advocating for the homeless, and to places like Iraq and Afghanistan to stand against war. Now grace fuels his passion to end the death penalty and help stop gun violence.
      Shane’s books include Jesus for President, Red Letter Revolution, Common Prayer, Follow Me to Freedom, Jesus, Bombs and Ice Cream, Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers, Executing Grace, his classic The Irresistible Revolution, and his newest book, Beating Guns. He has been featured in a number of films including “Another World Is Possible” and “Ordinary Radicals.” His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Shane speaks over one hundred times a year, nationally and internationally. His work has appeared in Esquire, SPIN, Christianity Today, TIME, and The Wall Street Journal, and he has been on everything from Fox News and Al Jazeera to CNN and NPR. He’s given academic lectures at Harvard, Princeton, Liberty, Duke, and Notre Dame.