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 leaders, helping them follow their call to build up God’s gospel goodness in the the world.
I am also an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church in 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 in connection to my call to serve the church. 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, during which I returned to school part time to work towards a Master of Theology in Worship and a Master of Divinity, both from Calvin Theological Seminary.
After this I turned to full time education, earning an MA and 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. Through this program I was able to teach preaching and worship courses at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary as a visiting instructor for the 2021/22 academic year.
I defended my dissertation in March 2022, Worship Wider, Worship Deeper: Coorienting Relationship in the Christian Imagination. 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 practical theological musings, worship resources, public responses, and a point of contact. 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
** Since March 2023. Previously ordained in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. In June 2022, the governing body of CRCNA made key confessional decisions regarding homosexuality and the queer community with which I strongly disagree. You can read more about my dissent here.