This week we are thrilled to launch text.soul.culture, a new podcast from The Seattle School. Hosted and curated by Dr. J. Derek McNeil, Academic Dean, text.soul.culture is guided by a commitment to understanding narrative, wrestling with intersections, resisting reactivity, and fostering radical hospitality. Every other week, Derek will be joined by faculty members, alumni, visiting thought leaders, and other conversation partners to explore what it means to foster wisdom and imagination for a world in need of complex thinkers and healers.

On this first episode, Derek is joined by Nicole Greenwald (MA in Counseling Psychology, 2011), Director of Enrollment, to discuss the vision behind text.soul.culture. Nicole and Derek talk about how this podcast is an outgrowth of the dialogue and reflective wisdom that are foundational parts of our vision: training people to be competent in the study of text, soul, and culture in order to serve God and neighbor through transforming relationships. “If dialogue is a way of leaning into relationship that pushes beyond reactive splitting,” says Nicole, “there is something counter-cultural about that.”

In a rapidly shifting world and a political climate that breeds reactivity, how can we be people of discourse and engaged wisdom? We hope to wrestle with that question on text.soul.culture in a way that moves beyond trending topics and easy sound bites. “It’s our opportunity to explore with you a different way of seeing,” says Derek, “a different way of making sense in the world, and of translating what we do at the school.”

This new podcast is an effort to reach beyond our classrooms and extend the conversations we have here to our alumni and to those outside of our building. As Nicole and Derek reflect on the heart behind text.soul.culture and their excitement about the guests who will join Derek in future episodes, we hope you hear in their words an invitation to join the conversation and partner with us in fostering wisdom, discourse, and thoughtful engagement.

We’ll continue the conversation on our next episode, when Derek sits down with Jimmy McGee to talk about the false dichotomy between spirituality and social activism, and about fostering the kind of transformation that drives us to action.