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Guest Speaker & Performer Bios

the gettys

Keith & Kristyn Getty
Keith and Kristyn Getty are GRAMMY®-nominated recording artists from Northern Ireland who have revolutionized the hymn genre with songs such as “In Christ Alone” and “Christ Our Hope in Life and Death.” According to Christianity Today, they have “changed the way evangelicals worship.” Their songs are sung by over 100 million people around the globe each year, and they have written or co-published 38 out of the top 500 CCLI songs in the US/UK. They have performed for presidents and prime ministers and on stages such as Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, and Sydney Opera House. Keith was awarded the OBE from Queen Elizabeth II for services to music and hymn writing. Today they lead a hymn movement involving a diverse group of writers through the Getty Music Organization and Global Foundation. Keith & Kristyn live between Nashville and Northern Ireland with their four daughters.

matt boswell

Matt Boswell
Matt Boswell is lead pastor of The Trails Church in North Texas and the President of Doxology & Theology. He is an author and hymn writer, known for songs including “His Mercy is More” and “Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery”. Boswell earned his MA in Christian Ministry, ThM in Biblical Spirituality, and PhD in Christian Worship from Southern Seminary. He lives in Texas with his wife and four kids.

matt papa

Matt Papa
A veteran songwriter and Christian musician, Matt Papa has carved an even more unique space for himself as one of the world’s top modern-day hymn writers. With songs like, “His Mercy Is More”, “Christ Our Hope In Life And Death” and “Come Behold The Wondrous Mystery”, Matt tours regularly across the U.S. as a songwriter with Getty Music and frequently guests on their tours. A three-time Dove Award nominated artist, Matt is on a mission to write songs that are singable, beautiful, and timeless. He currently serves as an artist-in-residence at Marco Presbyterian Church in Marco Island, FL, and most of all, is a husband, and a father to 5 beautiful children.

nikki lerner

Nikki Lerner
Nikki Lerner is a nationally recognized culture coach, speaker, artist, and author helping individuals and organizations move from monocultural to multicultural. With over 20+ years as a practitioner and leader in the area of multicultural work and life, her passion is to equip others with the inspiration and information needed to move one step closer towards healthy diversity through music and conversation. 
Nikki is the founder and CEO of The Culture Coaching Lab, host of the Culture Coach Podcast, has authored two books entitled Life Whispers and Worship Together: In Your Church As In Heaven.  You can connect with Nikki, hire her for coaching, or have your worship leaders work with her by visiting

thurman williams

Thurman Williams
Director of Homiletics, Covenant Theological Seminary
Church Planter and Pastor of New City Fellowship West End, St. Louis

Thurman serves as the Director of Homiletics at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis and is the founding pastor of New City Fellowship West End Church, also in St. Louis. Prior to planting New City West End in 2019, Thurman served for 5 years as Associate Pastor at Grace & Peace Fellowship in St. Louis. He and his family (wife, Evie and four children) moved to St. Louis from Baltimore, Maryland, where Thurman pastored New Song Community Church for 13 years. Thurman served as a youth pastor and on staff with Young Life in Baltimore prior to the time at New Song. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Chesapeake Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Covenant. Thurman serves on the Boards of Covenant College, The Carver Project, and The Freedom School.

phil nitz

Phil Nitz
Phil Nitz is a Dove-Award-winning arranger, orchestrator, session vocalist, and worship leader from Nashville, TN.

As an arranger and orchestrator he has had the privilege to work with many prominent choral publishers in providing fresh, unique arrangements for use in churches across the globe. These outlets have allowed him to work with some of the finest musicians in the world. He is frequently called upon to create custom arrangements in a variety of styles for collegiate and professional ensembles as well.

As a vocalist, Phil has sung on hundreds of professional vocal sessions. These sessions have covered a range of styles: church choral demos, student choral demos, cinematic scores, background vocals, pop, jazz, classical, and more. Notable clients include Michael W. Smith, Francesca Battistelli, Casting Crowns, Frankie Valli, Seth MacFarlane, and Disney Parks. He's also lent his voice to such notable projects as the Star Wars video game franchise, Fargo television series, and World Expo 2021 in Dubai. 

Phil served as the Staff Arranger and Worship Leader at Christ Church Nashville from 2013-2022. Here he assisted in leading the world-renowned Christ Church Choir in settings both sacred and secular: whether carrying the gospel to Norway and Japan, or backing up artists such as Carrie Underwood and Dolly Parton at the CMA awards.

A 14-time Dove Award nominee, Phil was awarded a Dove Award for Musical/Choral Collection of the Year in 2017, Musical of the Year in 2020, and Musical/Choral Collection of the Year in 2022. He was also awarded the Alumnus of the Year department award from the Lee University School of Music in 2021. To date, his arrangement of Lauren Daigle’s “Noel” remains a best-seller among Brentwood Benson’s Christmas anthems. His arrangement of “What A Beautiful Name” for the Voices of Lee went viral on Facebook in 2017 with over 60 million views.

Beyond his musical accomplishments, Phil's heart is to deliver the message of hope, grace, peace, and love that is found through Jesus Christ in music and worship.

Graduate School of Education

Undergraduate Departments, Majors, Minors, Certificates, Concentrations, and Programs

Academic Certificates

  • Arts Administration
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability
  • Journalism and Society
  • Medical Ethics Consultation
  • Neuroscience
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)


  • Art, 2-D Concentration 
  • Art, 3-D Concentration 
  • Art, Art History Concentration 
  • Art, Graphic Design Concentration 
  • Art, Photography Concentration 
  • Art minor
  • Art History minor

Biblical & Theological Studies

  • Biblical & Theological Studies 
  • Biblical & Theological Studies, Missions Concentration 
  • Biblical & Theological Studies minor
  • Biblical Languages minor
  • History of Christianity minor
  • Missions minor
  • Youth Ministry minor


  • Biology, Biomedical Concentration 
  • Biology, Environmental Concentration 
  • Biology, General 
  • Biology, Health Professions Concentration 
  • Biology minor


  • Business 
  • Business, Accounting Concentration 
  • Business, Finance Concentration 
  • Business, Marketing Concentration 
  • Sport Management 
  • Business minor
  • Sport Management minor


  • Chemistry, Biochemistry Concentration 
  • Chemistry, General 
  • Biochemistry minor
  • Chemistry minor

Community Development

  • Community Development 
  • Community Development minor

Computer Science

  • Computer Science 
  • Computer Science minor


  • Economics 
  • Economics minor


  • Education Studies 
  • Elementary Education (P-5) 
  • Secondary Education Certifications through MAT program 
  • Education minor

Engineering 3:2 Program

  • Natural Science, Pre-Engineering Studies Concentration


  • English 
  • English, Writing Concentration 
  • English minor
  • Writing minor

Health, Wellness and Coaching

  • Coaching minor

History, Politics, and International Studies

  • History 
  • History, Art History Concentration 
  • Political Science 
  • International Studies 
  • History minor
  • Political Science minor

Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Interdisciplinary Studies with Concentrations 


  • Mathematics 
  • Mathematics minor


  • Music, Church Music Concentration 
  • Music, Creative Studies Concentration 
  • Music, General Music Concentration 
  • Music, Instrumental Performance Concentration 
  • Music, Music Education (Pre-MAT) Concentration 
  • Music, Organ Performance Concentration 
  • Music, Piano Pedagogy Concentration 
  • Music, Piano Performance Concentration 
  • Music, Vocal Performance Concentration 
  • Music minor


  • Philosophy 
  • Philosophy minor


  • Physics 
  • Physics minor

Pre-Professional Programs

  • Pre-Law Studies 
  • Pre-Medical Studies 
  • Pre-Nursing Studies 
  • Pre-Physical Therapy Studies 


  • Psychology 
  • Psychology minor


  • Sociology 
  • Sociology, Family Studies & Social Work Concentration 
  • Sociology minor


  • Theatre minor

World Languages

  • French 
  • Spanish 
  • French minor
  • Spanish minor