Dr. Steven Waller
I am very thankful for the privilege of serving as president of the Christian Society for Kinesiology, Leisure, and Sport Studies (CSKLS). If you are new to our society, I am certain that you will find a thoughtful, intelligent, fun-loving, hospitable and committed community of Christian scholars and practitioners.
We are a society that embraces diversity on multiple levels. Former pastor/practical theologian Howard Thurman once stated, “a community cannot for long feed on itself; it can only flourish with the coming of others from beyond, their unknown and undiscovered brothers [and sisters].” If you are an old friend, thank you for your continued commitment to make our little slice of Kingdom work more engaging and enlightening. If you are just stopping by for a visit, please – make yourself at home and get to know us a little bit. To be a part of this organization is to be a part of something special.
All of us are members in professional organizations related to our specialties; all of us are members of a local body of believers. But, CSKLS offers the exceptional opportunity to connect both our professional lives and our spiritual lives. One of the most important blessings that CSKLS has given to its members is the opportunity to discuss professional issues in a Christian context and atmosphere. As past-president Tom Visker wrote, “Through the lens of the Biblical Christian faith we have pondered philosophy, shared best practices, explored research, mentored colleagues, and discussed the trends within our disciplines … our goal is to become the go-to source for faith-based thinking regarding wellness, fitness, sport, recreation, and leisure not only for our members, but also for teachers, pastors, administrators, and other leaders who are searching to see how the Christian faith impacts these areas.”
Now in our 29th year, we believe that we are offer a distinct and unique perspective on Christianity and its relationship to kinesiology, sport and leisure studies. We also believe that, although we have accomplished great things in the past, the best of what CSKLS has to offer still lies ahead. As immediate past president Matthew Ruiz stated, “With the support of the membership, the Board of Directors is committed to constant improvement, innovation, and invigoration in a number of areas, including our social media presence, embracing new members and reinvesting in long-time members, exploring new possibilities, partners, peers, and programs, and delivering a world-class experience at our annual conference where we can be uplifted, challenged, informed, and maybe even changed.” Finally, we believe that there is great value in considering, from a Christian perspective, sport, exercise, fitness, sport, leisure, recreation and parallel disciplines. The international scholars who make up our society are world-class professors, writers, and professionals, all of whom share a passion for Jesus Christ.
During my term as president, our annual conference will be hosted by Judson College, Elgin, IL (2018) and then in 2019 our conference will be held in Grand Rapids, MI at Calvin College as a part of the Second Global Congress on Sports and Christianity October 23rd-27th. We’d love to have you join us or engage with us via Facebook and/or Twitter (@CSKLS)! Welcome, be blessed, and stay encouraged!