This web site was developed by the Valparaiso Project on the Education and Formation of People in Faith, a project of Lilly Endowment based at Valparaiso University. The Valparaiso Project launched PracticingOurFaith.org as a way to extend the invitation offered in Practicing Our Faith: A Way of Life for a Searching People (1997; second edition, 2010). Both book and website explore twelve time-honored practice shaped by the Christian community over the centuries and still richly relevant to contemporary experience. These Christian practices are shared activities that address fundamental human needs and that, when woven together, form a way of life that is faithful and has integrity.
Dorothy C. Bass
Director of the Valparaiso Project
Dorothy directs the Valparaiso Project on the Education and Formation of People in Faith (www.practicingourfaith.org), a Lilly Endowment project based at Valparaiso University that develops resources to help contemporary people live the Christian faith with vitality and integrity in changing times. The Project has sponsored grant programs, seminars, books, conferences, and web sites for adults and youth. Dorothy is the author of Receiving the Day: Christian Practices for Opening the Gift of Time and editor or coeditor of Practicing Our Faith: A Way of Life for a Searching People; Way to Live: Christian Practices for Teens; and On Our Way: Christian Practices for Living a Whole Life. Two additional co-edited books explore implications of attention to practices for ministry and theological education: Practicing Theology: Beliefs and Practices in Christian Life and For Life Abundant: Practical Theology, Theological Education, and Christian Ministry.
With her husband, Mark Schwehn, Provost and Professor of Humanities at Valparaiso University, she edited Leading Lives That Matter: What We Should Do and Who We Should Be (Eerdmans, 2006), an anthology of contemporary and classical texts--including fiction, autobiography, and philosophy--that offers challenge and insight for those reflecting on what to do with their lives.
Dorothy is a graduate of Wellesley College, Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and Brown University. She is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Associate Director of the Valparaiso Project
Susan is a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America who works to educate and form communities of faith and their leaders in worship practices and the way of life in and for the world that flows from worship. She preaches, presides, and teaches in church gatherings across the United States, and she has written several widely-used liturgical and hymn texts. She has taught preaching and parish worship at Wartburg Seminary.
Susan is a coauthor of Holden Prayer around the Cross: A Guide to the Liturgy (Augsburg, 2009) and Turn My Heart: A Sacred Journey from Brokenness to Healing (GIA, 2003), and also the author of numerous essays in books and periodicals. Her work with the Valparaiso Project on the Education and Formation of People in Faith included coediting On Our Way: Christian Practices for Living a Whole Life and contributing to Way to Live: Christian Practices for Teens.
Previously she served with her husband, Martin Wells, as Executive Director of Holden Village (www.holdenvillage.org), as campus pastor at Pacific Lutheran University, and as pastor of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Bellingham, WA. She lives in Spokane, WA.