Crosswise Summer Experience: God and the Brain | Crosswise Institute | Concordia University Irvine

2018 Crosswise Summer Experience Highlights

Future Issues. Enduring Faith.

Crosswise Institute is an intensive six-day summer experience for high school students who are willing to grapple with the most remarkable issues confronting our communities both now and into the future. This year’s theme will explore the relationship between our brains, our biology, and our beliefs.

Matt Popovits

Matt Popovits serves as Pastor of Our Saviour New York as well as the host of “The Spiritual Howcast” and “THREDPops” on YouTube, which offer insightful yet simple answers to the cultural and spiritual questions of skeptical people. He’s also the author of “Tough Call: A Little Book on Making Big Decisions” available at Amazon.com and the founder of VoxCon, a conference designed to help people become communicators that can’t be ignored. He and his high school sweetheart Lisa proudly live in the borough of Queens with their two children, Ava and Jack Matthew. You can connect with Matt via Twitter: @MattPopovits or at mattpopovits.com


Destin Sandlin

Destin Sandlin is an American engineer best known for his educational video series Smarter Every Day (SED), hosted on a YouTube channel of the same name launched in 2007.

Sandlin's YouTube channel garners over 5 million subscribers and over 425 million views. In early 2016, Sandlin was one of three YouTube personalities chosen to conduct a one-on-one interview with then-president Barack Obama after his final State of the Union address. The interviews were sponsored by Google and were part of a White House initiative to reach Millennial audiences.

Sandlin has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Alabama and an M.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). He is currently a Ph.D. student in Engineering at UAH and a full-time Missile Flight Test Engineer at Redstone Arsenal. Destin is married with four children (two daughters and two sons).


S. Joshua Swamidass (MD, PhD)

S. Joshua Swamidass is a physician, scientist, and Assistant Professor of Laboratory and Genomic Medicine at Washington University in Saint Louis. He leads a computational biology group that studies information at the intersection of biology, chemistry, and medicine. He also is a speaker for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and Veritas Forums. Recently, he served as a Science Advisor for AAAS Science for Seminaries, and now blogs at Peaceful Science


William Struthers

Dr. Struthers' lab research interests are in the neural mechanisms that underlie behavioral arousal and the processing of novel environments. His research employs the use of stereotaxic surgery, immunochemistry, and behavioral manipulations to investigate gene expression in the cingulate cortex and basal ganglia.

He recently received a grant from the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, an interdisciplinary research enterprise based at St Edmund's College, Cambridge University (UK) to examine uses and abuses of neuroscience research in society. Dr. Struthers has also been named a Visiting Research Fellow to Biola University's Center for Christian Thought in 2014 for his work on the impact of sexual exploitation on spirituality, and is part of the Oxford Interdisciplinary Seminars in Science and Religion: Bridging the Two Cultures of Science and the Humanities.


Steve Young

Steve Young is a Professor of Music at Concordia University Irvine where he directs the Commercial Music and Worship Band programs. He teaches music theory, music technology, ensemble leadership, worship arts, composition and keyboard performance.

Steve has been a clinician and conference speaker throughout the country for over 20 years in the areas of music and worship arts and comes to Concordia Irvine with more than 25 years of professional experience as a studio and touring musician, composer, arranger, producer, creative consultant and church leader. His book, All About Music Technology in Worship (Hal Leonard) was published in 2004.
Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, VT, MFA, Music Composition
Concordia University, Irvine, CA, BA, Liberal Studies: Music
Grove School of Music, Los Angeles, CA, Music Composition
Grove School of Music, Los Angeles, CA, Keyboard Performance


Featuring the artistic talents of:

Micah Bournes

Micah Bournes is a poet, rapper, and blues singer from Long Beach, California. His work often touches on themes of culture, justice, and faith. Over the last 5 years, he’s grateful for the opportunities he’s had to share his work all over the world.


Blake Flattley

Blake Flattley is a singer, songwriter, liturgist and multi-instrumentalist. After 12 years serving churches as a Director of Parish Music (Southern California, New York City, Houston and Phoenix), Blake founded CommunionArts in 2017, an organization committed to providing training and creative resources to churches and empowering artists to create fulfilling works that enrich their communities. You can learn more about Blake and his music at BlakeFlattley.com and Communionarts.org
Concordia University, Irvine, California, M.A. 2017 (Theology)
Concordia University, Irvine, California, B.A. 2007 (Humanities: Music)

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