The Rev. Dr. Christian Scharen is Vice President of Applied Research and leads of the Center for the Study of Theological Education at Auburn. His main research and writing interests center on practical theology and theological education, with a particular interest in what strengthens leaders of faith and moral courage in facing the big challenges of the 21st century. A leading scholar working at the intersection of social science and theology, he lectures and writes in the areas of innovation and change in theological education and leadership of faith communities today. Scharen is Co-Director of the Learning Pastoral Imagination Project, an ongoing longitudinal, ecumenical, national study of learning ministry in practice. He loves and writes extensively about faith and pop music, including U2, Leonard Cohen, Billie Holiday, Kanye West, and The Roots. Prior to joining Auburn, Scharen was Assistant Professor of Worship and Theology and Director of Contextual Education at Luther Seminary in St. Paul MN. He has also served as Director of the Faith as a Way of Life Program at the Yale Center for Faith & Culture and Assistant Professor of Congregational Studies and Practical Theology (Adjunct) at Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT (2004-2008). The author of many books and articles, he received the Ph.D. in Religion from Emory University (2001). In his spare time, he runs and bakes pies, pursuits which create balance in his life. His spouse, Sonja, is the Lead Nurse-Midwife for Westside Community Health, a collection of Federally-Qualified Health Clinics in St. Paul, MN. They have two teenage children, Isaiah, and Grace.