Welcome to my website! I’m Kat (Katrina) J. Olson, and my calling to serve the church has always been a focus in my life.
I am the Visiting Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Pastoral Theology at Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, CA. I love teaching current and future ministry leader, helping them follow their call to build up God’s gospel goodness in the the world.
I am also an ordained Minister of the Word in the Christian Reformed of North America.**
My own ministry began in seventh grade, playing the piano regularly for my local church’s services. From that point my relationship with worship grew to the point of making it my career. After earning a Bachelor of Music, I worked as a worship coordinator for a church that celebrated two weekly services: one that embraced a litany focused liturgical order and a second that was based on a praise and worship model. I worked there for nine years and in the process I returned to school and to work towards a Master of Theology in Worship and a Master of Divinity, both from Calvin Theological Seminary.
I earned my PhD at Vanderbilt University in the Graduate Department of Religion specializing in the area of Homiletics and Liturgics with a minor in Feminist Practical Theology. I was also awarded a fellowship in the Theology and Practice Program which aims to form excellent scholars and professors in the area of practical theology. I defended my dissertation, Worship Wider, Worship Deeper: Coorienting Relationship in the Christian Imagination, spring 2022. In it I expand a social developmental model called coorientation to create a tool for examining all elements of worship, from song to preaching, from prayer to offering. My aim was both evaluative and constructive, examining how language creates reciprocal formation of both worshiping bodies and the individuals within them. In doing so, I not only expose limiting or harmful patterns to remove or rework, but I also show how to create fluidity in categorization for more inclusive and thoughtful worship and preaching. I contend that this is possible by paying careful attention to multifaceted role-taking rooted in scriptural witness. As a result, this model enhances communication on both a vertical and horizontal axis which creates more effective worship, ethically shapes our imagination for better public theology, and offers greater opportunities to deepen our relationships with God, with others, and with ourselves.
This website generally reflects my passion to serve the church. Here you will find a mix of responses, practical theological musings, and worship resources. My greatest desire is to build up the church and my hope is that this website will be a resource for a variety of people, from the curious to the faithful, from the firm to the shaky, from the stranger to the sibling.
Bless the Lord, O, my soul; and all that is within me, bless God’s holy name! ~Psalm 103
** In June, 2022, the governing body of my denomination made some confessional decisions regarding homosexuality and the queer community with which I strongly disagree. You can read more about my dissent here.