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The UpWords Podcast

58 EpisodesProduced by Upper HouseWebsite

An initiative of Upper House in Madison, WI. Through conversations with thinkers, scholars, and leaders, we explore the life of the mind and the questions of soul--to enrich our university, our community, and the Church.

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Understanding Conscience | Peter Cajka

August 8th, 2022


We all have a conscience, but what is it and where does it come from? In this episode, Dan interviews fellow historian Peter Cajka, who has recently …

From the Vault: Speaking Peace in Conflict | Marylin McEntyre

July 25th, 2022


In this callback episode to 2020, we listen in on an interview with author Marilyn McEntyre, hosted by our Director of Programming, Melissa Shackelford. They discuss the immense power of words, and the ways in which …

The Art of Preaching | William H. Curtis

July 11th, 2022


Preaching is one of those things that can often be hit or miss. A person can be captivated, moved and even changed, but other times you have to fight …

From the Vault: A Theology of Soul Food | Adrian Miller

June 13th, 2022


For this next installment of From the Vault (highlighting past talks at Upper House), we're stretching all the way back to February 2020 for a unique …

From the Vault: After Doubt | A.J. Swoboda

May 30th, 2022


For this return of From the Vault (highlighting talks at Upper House), we're listening to a March 2022 event featuring theologian A.J. Swoboda. …

Through the Eyes of a Painter | Catherine Prescott

May 16th, 2022


Susan talks with Catherine Prescott about the fascinating world of portrait painting and the intellectual and spiritual tensions that reside in the work. For more of Catherine's art, see her personal website.

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Faith in Leadership | Steve Preston

May 2nd, 2022


John welcomes Steve Preston, CEO of Goodwill Industries, for a conversation that ranges from Steve's childhood in Janesville, WI to his leadership of U.S. federal agencies. On the way they explore how God enabled Steve, …

Suffering & Beliefs about God | Cynthia Eriksson

April 18th, 2022


Susan speaks with psychologist Cynthia Eriksson about the topic of suffering: how to make sense of suffering and ways social scientists have sought …

Discernment & the Enneagram | Drew Moser

April 4th, 2022


Dan Johnson sits down with Drew Moser, who visited Upper House last month. They talk about on Drew's passion area, the Enneagram personality …

Church Planting and Renewal | Christopher James

March 21st, 2022


John sits down with Christopher James to discuss church planting in the twenty-first century, the challenges facing churches old and young, and …

Cultivating Holy Imagination | Kerri Parker

March 7th, 2022


John sits down with Rev. Kerri Parker to discuss everything from Kerri’s childhood and education to her recent work with the Wisconsin Council of Churches on forming church responses to COVID-19.

Rev. Kerri Parker is …

Crisis of Belonging | Parker Palmer

February 21st, 2022


This episode features a recent conversation hosted virtually by the Awaken Dane initiative with noted author Parker Palmer. The discussion centers on belonging and the sense of lost belonging that pervades modern church …

What is a Crisis? | Christine Jeske

January 24th, 2022


Featured for the second time on the podcast, Christine Jeske joins John to talk about the anatomy of a crisis, thinking through the concept both …

Head, Heart & Habits | Justin Earley

January 10th, 2022


Dan Johnson is joined by Justin Early to discuss the importance of practices, rhythms, and habits to a healthy life with God, and a healthy family life. Justin calls us to embrace a true freedom—not just the absence of …

Food & the Body of Christ | Kendall Vanderslice

December 27th, 2021


Melissa speaks with public theologian and baker Kendall Vanderslice about the intersection of food and theology, food and church life, and the new …

Aging Faithfully | Alice Fryling

December 13th, 2021


Susan speaks with author Alice Fryling about her new book, Aging Faithfully: The Holy Invitation of Growing Older. The conversation ranges from …

A History of Interreligious Dialogue | Tal Howard

November 29th, 2021


Eric speaks with historian Tal Howard about Tal's new book, The Faith of Others: A History of Interreligious Dialogue (Yale University Press, 2021). They cover Tal's background with the study of history and then embark …

Technology & Wisdom | Felicia Wu Song & Lea Schweitz

November 15th, 2021


Lea Schweitz (Upper House's Visiting Theologian for our Higher Pursuits Project) sits down with sociologist Felicia Wu Song to discuss technology, …

God & Modern Art | Bruce Herman & Bobby Gross

November 1st, 2021


Returning to our ongoing conversations with Christian artists, Bruce Herman and Bobby Gross discuss the insights of modern art on the nature of God and the human condition. Much of the conversation centers on the work …

Archeology in the Land of the Bible | Jodi Magness & Gordon Govier

October 18th, 2021


In a partner episode with journalist Gordon Govier, we hear from Dr. Jodi Magness about her work as an archeologist in the land of the Bible. They …

Art, Education & Evangelism | Steve Prince & Mike Winnowski

October 4th, 2021


In this episode, Reverend Mike Winnowski, pastor at Geneva Campus Church in Madison, sits down with the distinguished artist, educator, and art evangelist Steve Prince. They discuss Steve's influences, his deep …

Inside Upper House: UW's Spiritual History | Dan Hummel

September 27th, 2021


In this concluding episode of our Inside Upper House series (for now), the script is flipped and Dan is interviewed by Cam Anderson, Associate Director of Upper House. Dan discusses the work he and others are doing to …

Disrupted Ministry at UW-Madison during a Global Pandemic | Dan Johnson

September 20th, 2021


In this special episode, Dan Johnson, Director of Technology and Campus Ministry Engagement at Upper House, takes the reins as host as he reports on …

Inside Upper House: Pathways | Susan Smetzer-Anderson

September 13th, 2021


Dan talks with Susan, Upper House's communications manager, on the unique way we understand our thematic areas of interest at Upper House. We call these our pathways. For more on the graphic designer of our pathways …

Thirty Years of Ministry | Kirk Morledge

September 6th, 2021


John sits down with Kirk Morledge, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Waunakee, WI, to celebrate thirty years in the pulpit and a career of …

Inside Upper House: Program Curation | Melissa Shackelford & Dan Johnson

August 30th, 2021


How does Upper House come up with ideas for the programs we host? In this episode of Inside Upper House, Dan, Dan, and Melissa discuss the ways they each generate ideas, connect those ideas with Upper House audiences, …

Christianity & the Division of Korea | David Fields

August 23rd, 2021


Dan talks with historian David Fields, associate director of the Center for East Asian Studies at UW-Madison. They discuss David's background and training and then dive into his 2019 book, Foreign Friends: Syngman Rhee, …

Inside Upper House: Campus Ministries | Dan Johnson

August 16th, 2021


Dan Johnson, our Director of Technology and Campus Ministry Engagement, shares about the ecosystem of campus ministries at UW-Madison and the ways …

Psychology and Human Flourishing | Pamela Ebstyne King

August 9th, 2021


Greg Cootsona talks with psychologist Pamela Ebstyne King on her new book, co-authored with Justin Barrett, Thriving with Stone Age Minds: …

Inside Upper House: Science for the Church | Greg Cootsona & Drew Rick-Miller

August 2nd, 2021


Dan talks to the Co-directors of Science for the Church, Greg Cootsona and Drew Rick-Miller. We take the occasion here to focus on their organization, its mission, and its partnership with Upper House. Sign up for …

From the Vault: Science, Faith & Hope | Edgardo Rosado

July 26th, 2021


In this Upper House virtual event from earlier this year, Dr. Edgardo Rosado of the Ciencia, Fe y Esperanza Initiative speaks with Greg Cootsona, …

From the Vault: The Ethics of Gene Editing | Praveen Sethupathy

July 12th, 2021


In this Upper House talk from September 2018, Dr. Praveen Sethupathy explains the science surrounding gene editing, CRISPR technology, and the …

The Church Isn't Broke | Mark Elsdon

June 28th, 2021


John talks with Mark Elsdon, pastor, entrepreneur, author, and a fellow religious worker on the campus of UW-Madison. Mark discusses his life and his new book, We Aren’t Broke: Uncovering Hidden Resources for Mission …

Inside Upper House: Faith & Co. Season 2 | John Terrill & Jean Collins

June 21st, 2021


John and Jean discuss the recent learning cohort they led on Faith & Co. Season 2 (all documentary films available for free), as well as Upper House's broader mission to marketplace leaders in Madison and beyond. 

From the Vault: Ten Myths of Work | Paige Wiley

June 14th, 2021


In this talk from Upper House's "Worked Up" conference in March, Paige Wiley of Made to Flourish debunks myths surrounding the meaning work, calling, …

Inside Upper House: Consortium of Christian Study Centers | Karl Johnson

June 7th, 2021


Dan sits down with Karl Johnson, executive director of the Consortium of Christian Study Centers, to discuss the bigger movement of study centers that Upper House belongs to. We mention the recently published history of …

Walking as Spiritual Practice | Mark Buchanan

May 31st, 2021


John talks with author and pastor Mark Buchanan on his new book, God Walk: Moving at the Speed of Your Soul. They discuss the spiritual practice of …

Inside Upper House: Podcasting | Upper House Team

May 24th, 2021


In this second installment of our new series, Inside Upper House, Dan, Dan, Aiden, and Ilya discuss podcasting at Upper House, and especially our new UpWords Student Voices podcast, which is wrapping up its first …

Evangelicals and Human Rights | Lauren Turek

May 17th, 2021


Historian Lauren Turek, associate professor at Trinity University, joins Dan to discuss her recent book, To Bring the Good News to All Nations: Evangelical Influence on Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Relations (Cornell, …

Inside Upper House: The Fellows Program | Rebecca Cooks & Eric Carlsson

May 10th, 2021


We're moving to a weekly podcast! Alongside our regular stream of interviews with scholars, leaders, and artists, we're adding more conversations …

Art as a Journey | Leslie Iwai

May 3rd, 2021


Artist Leslie Iwai joins Melissa as they discuss Leslie's path toward becoming an installation artist, the themes and concepts in her work, and art's …

Christians and the Vaccine | Curtis Chang

April 26th, 2021


Curtis Chang discusses COVID-19 vaccines and the role that churches can play in the healing of society. He speaks with Science for the Church

Church Conflict & Hope: The Colossian Forum | Rob Barrett

April 12th, 2021


Science for the Church co-founder Drew Rick-Miller interviews Rob Barrett, until recently the chief operating officer of The Colossian Forum, an …

The Beauty of Multiethnic Identities | A "Mixed Blessing" Conversation

April 5th, 2021


Rebecca hosts a group of multiethnic Christians to reflect on the unique beauties--and challenges--of living out mixed ethnic and cultural …

Through the Eyes of an Architect | Peter Tan

March 29th, 2021


Melissa speaks with Peter Tan, the Chief Design Officer at Strang, Inc., an award-winning architecture, engineering, interior design and planning firm in Madison, WI. Together they cover the spiritual significance of …

Art + Faith | Makoto Fujimura

March 15th, 2021


Cam Anderson, Associate Director at Upper House, talks with friend and fellow artist Makoto Fujimura about his new book, Art and Faith: A Theology of …

Healing, Power, and Christianity in Ghana | Paul Grant

March 1st, 2021


Eric Carlsson interviews friend and fellow UW history alumnus Paul Grant on Paul's new book, Healing and Power in Ghana: Early Indigenous Expressions …

Science, Religion, and the Protestant Tradition | James Ungureanu

February 1st, 2021


In this episode, Dan talks to historian James Ungureanu about the origins of the "conflict thesis" between faith and science. In his important new book, Science, Religion, and the Protestant Tradition: Retracing the …

The Women of Exodus | Kelley Nikondeha

January 18th, 2021


Happy MLK Day! In this episode, we replay one of Upper House's speaker events from last October, "Defiant: What the Women of Exodus Teach Us About Freedom" by Kelley Ninkodeha. Kelley is co-director for Communities of …

Learning to Lament | LaToya Wilson & Paul Kamps

January 4th, 2021


In this episode, Rebecca talks to LaToya Wilson and Paul Kamps, two participants in Upper House's recent cohort on the practice of lament. They …

Business on Purpose | Randy Franz & Kenman Wong

December 14th, 2020


In this episode, John talks to Randy Franz and Kenman Wong, two professors at Seattle Pacific University and producers for Faith & Co, a …

Christian Faith and Science | John Lennox

November 30th, 2020


In this episode, Science for the Church co-founder Greg Cootsona interviews mathematician, Christian apologist, and Emeritus Professor at the …

Writing, Teaching, and Living into the Unknown | Marilyn McEntyre

November 16th, 2020


In this episode, Melissa talks with Marilyn McEntyre about writing, teaching, and the creative life. Marilyn's work includes Make a List: How a Simple Practice Can Change Our Lives and Open Our Hearts; her most recent …

The History of Modern American Evangelicalism | Darren Dochuk

November 2nd, 2020


In this inaugural episode, Dan talks with Darren Dochuk, professor of history at the University of Notre Dame,  about his formation as a historian, his contributions to the history of American evangelicalism, and how he …

Trailer to The UpWords Podcast

October 23rd, 2020


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