This week we’re kicking off the second season of text.soul.culture, a podcast from The Seattle School. Dr. Derek McNeil, Senior Vice President of Academics, is joined by Nicole Greenwald, Director of Enrollment Management & Marketing, to look back on the first season and talk about how the podcast will evolve in the months ahead. Derek and Nicole were featured together on the first episode of text.soul.culture last spring, and now they discuss their experience so far and reflect on how this project is growing.

“Each person has felt different. I feel people, and each person feels different in an interesting, distinct way, and I’ve always been curious about who is this person?”

As he sits with guests for the podcast, Derek consistently expresses curiosity about how their unique past shapes who they are today and the work they do—what was their formational process in becoming a Biblical scholar, a psychology professor, or environmental theologian (to name a few)?

This time, Nicole turns the tables and asks Derek about his own formation. What are the places, ideas, and people that shape who he is today? Derek reflects thoughtfully on his mother’s curiosity about the world and his father’s quiet, steady spirituality—both of which he now embodies in a way that Nicole describes as “an expansiveness of imagination and depth of soul.” The story of Derek’s formation illuminates the heart behind text.soul.culture, where we seek to foster the deep listening and responsive reflection that are so needed in an age of violent division and passing soundbites.

“Listening deeply—it’s hard. But if that’s what occurs from these, that we encourage each other and are even held accountable to listen deeply, that would be a good thing. That would probably be the best thing, actually.”

No doubt these conversations will continue in Season Two. Toward the end of this episode, Nicole and Derek talk about changes we’re looking forward to as text.soul.culture evolves, including introducing Shauna Gauthier as co-host, experimenting with “minisodes” that reflect the life of this community, and adding a more robust resource section to accompany each episode.

We’re looking forward to the conversations ahead in this second season. Along the way, we would love to hear from you; if you have feedback, questions, or ideas about potential topics or dream guests, email us at