Welcome to my website! I’m Kat (Katrina) J. Olson, a PhD candidate 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’ve also been awarded a fellowship in Program in Theology and Practice which aims to form excellent scholars and professors in the area of practical theology.
My calling to serve the church has always been a focus in my life. My entry was through worship ministry. Starting in seventh grade, I began 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 am currently working on my dissertation: Worship Wider, Worship Deeper: Coorienting Relationship in the Christian Imagination. In this dissertation, I use the social developmental model of coorientation to examine all elements of worship, from song to preaching, from prayer to offering. In this project I aim to create a tool that is both evaluative and constructive by 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 blog reflects my passion to serve the church. It will have a great deal to do with worship and preaching as my core research and passions to serve lie here. However, it also reflects my passions in their entirety. My feminist readings of scripture and tradition may make it into liturgical posts, but I also hope to develop Christian feminist resources for people like me, who grew up believing that those two words were antithetical. Blogs about the practical realities of faith in response to the world around us will also make their way in here. My greatest desire is to build up the church, and I hope to engage a wide variety of topics and provide a wide variety of resources on this site that does just that.
So thank-you for visiting. 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