Masters in Christian Ministry, Northern Seminary, Lombard, IL
BA in Worship Arts, concentration in Drama, Judson University, Elgin, IL
Academic Interests: Ashley is particularly interested in how certain acting methodologies, particularly the practices of Sandford Meisner, can inform spiritual formation, as well as how they could influence performances of secular yet religiously-inspired scripts such as Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell, and more faithful demonstrations like the Oberammergau Passion Play. She is also interested in the concept of “authenticity” as demonstrated in the parallels between actor-director/playwright-audience and priest-Trinity-congregation.
Other information: After a childhood filled with Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, Ashley has been fascinated by culture in the U.K. and is ecstatic to being studying in Scotland now.
While attending Judson University where she earned her BA, she directed the chapel drama team for three years, as well as appeared in many productions, such as showcasing several characters in a staged production of Spoon River Anthology, Ouiser in Steel Magnolias, and her personal favorite: Malvolio in Twelfth Night. After she graduated she continued a relationship with Judson’s theatre program by directing Fahrenheit 451, assistant directing the two-act compiled script Brew Ha Ha, and both writing and assistant directing Altar-ed: Scenes in a Bridal Shop. She also wrote for the McHenry-based Inhabit Theatre Company, whose original show Scenes in a Coffee Shop was featured in two local coffee shops.
While making sure to always keep one foot solidly on a stage somewhere, Ashley attended Northern Seminary to fine-tune her understanding of worship facilitation and liturgical practice. She began noticing a “golden thread” between liturgy and theatre, and the curiosity about both continued to grow even after she graduated with her MA. She was invited back to her undergraduate alma mater to be an adjunct in the Department of Speech Communication & Performing Arts, where she has been teaching Foundations of Public Speaking, Theatre Appreciation, and Introduction to the Study of Communications since 2014.
When she is not studying, writing, or teaching, she co-hosts The Min/Max Podcast with her husband, Allen, and their mutual friend Kyle, where they discuss all things nerd culture and theology. She is also an avid knitter and a professional cat lady.