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The Stage as Pulpit

Khristi Adams' performing arts ministry
Khristi Adams

Khristi Adams, MDiv ‘08, is a powerhouse—counselor, chaplain, teacher, preacher, and advocate for girls. She serves as the Firestone Endowed Chaplain at the Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania where she teaches religion and film. Her creative work—writing, producing plays, and making films—brings audiences to their feet. Fortress Press will release her second book in spring 2020, telling the stories of African American girls through parables.

“I started a performing arts ministry at Temple—we managed to put on productions for the community in North Philadelphia. In Seminary, I wrote a play about African American women, “The Herstory Exhibitions.” We premiered on campus, sold out, then took it to the Crossroads Theater in New Brunswick,” she says.

“In many ways, writing, theater and film can serve as better pulpits than the regular pulpit. We have people’s attention in a much more powerful way than we do on Sunday morning.”

“At Princeton, we had precept groups—we’d engage text and debate. That gave me confidence to have those conversations anywhere. It was very challenging. I made a lot of mistakes, but I felt pretty comfortable being myself and not feeling like I had to conform.”

After Princeton Seminary, Adams served as associate pastor at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey—then the youngest woman ordained in the church. She and a colleague led teens writing and performing “Yesterday I Died,” a play about gun violence.

When Adams took a campus ministry position at Azuza Pacific University, she wrote her first book The Misinterpreted Gospel of Singleness. She also began making films—docudramas called “Chivalry is Dead” and “Narrow Road.” Her upcoming book, Parable of the Brown Girl: The Sacred Lives of Girls of Color will be available in February 2020.

As a chaplain in residence at Georgetown University, Adams preached in the Protestant chapel, then served as a chaplain for the university and law school. There, she partnered with students to write the docudrama “God and Country,” about campus activism, the Charleston Nine, and the Ferguson protests.

She says, “In many ways, writing, theater and film can serve as better pulpits than the regular pulpit. We have people’s attention in a much more powerful way than we do on Sunday morning.”

Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Special Advisor & Founding Director, IJM Institute

Bethany Hoang, Class of 2004

“The rooting of justice in our spiritual formation in Christ requires careful thought and teaching. I was equipped to lead in this way through my time at PTS.”