Joel Mayward


Tacoma, WA

MA, Theological Studies; Portland Seminary (George Fox University), Portland, OR
BS, Biblical Studies, Youth Ministry; Multnomah University, Portland, OR

Thesis topic
Under the supervision of Gavin Hopps, my research focuses on the intersection of theology, ethics, and film. Particularly, I’m exploring the oeuvre of Belgium filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne through the lens of theological aesthetics (Hans Urs von Balthasar, Paul Tillich) and moral philosophy (Emmanuel Levinas, Alasdair MacIntyre). I’m interested in how cinema affects and informs the viewer’s theological and moral imagination, how filmic stories operate as present-day parables.

Other information
Joel Mayward is a pastor, writer, youth worker and film critic. The author of three books, including “Jesus Goes to the Movies: The Youth Ministry Film Guide,” he has written about film and theology for the Journal of Religion & Film, Christianity Today, Think Christian, Bright Wall/Dark Room, Christ and Pop Culture, Fuller Seminary’s Reel Spirituality, Youth Worker Journal, and Immerse Journal. He’s been a pastor for over a decade, serving in churches in Oregon, Arizona, and British Columbia.

As a film critic, Joel is a member of the Online Film Critics Society and serves on the Arts & Faith Ecumenical Jury. He writes weekly film reviews for his personal website, Joel is married to Katie, and they have three delightful children, Copeland, Eloise, and Alister.