Postcard from the Field
It's just past 9:00 a.m. in Culver City, CA and a blank screen beckons. Screenwriter Craig Detweiler (MDiv '93) is ready to engage culture--and Hollywood--in a spiritual conversation. The conversation will begin here, in Craig's home, ten miles from the heart of the entertainment industry, as ideas and fingers fly for the next four hours. A missionary with a seemingly unlikely calling, Craig is writing scripts...and building bridges.
"I want to tell stories about real sinners saved by real grace...I'd like to see the church engage culture, rather than fear or simply critique it," Craig explains. His mission, to bridge the gap between the church and Hollywood, is timely, prescient, and formidable.
Historically, the church and the media have been at odds, a segregation that has bred distrust, animosity, and fear. Craig fears that if the church does not take steps to engage and incorporate a media-saturated world, the church will be shutting its doors to a whole generation of people seeking Christ.
Through his ministry, Craig hopes to find ways to keep those doors open - to embrace and engage rather than to retreat and reject.
Keeping those doors open is a challenging and varied ministry, but with his M.Div. degree from Fuller and an M.A. from the University of Southern California's School of Cinema and Television, Craig is up to the task.
While Craig can usually be found writing in the mornings, he's more difficult to track down later in the day. He is Chair of the Mass Communications Department at Biola University, and is an adjunct professor in Fuller's School of Theology, where he is currently teaching a class on theology and pop culture as well as pursuing his Ph.D.
You may also find him partnering with Fuller on such endeavors as the City of Angels Film Festival, the Reel Spirituality Conference, or as a consultant for the Brehm Center on Worship, Theology, and the Arts.
Whatever role he is in, Craig's belief that "Hollywood is in the largest spiritual search mode it has been in for 50 years" drives his passion to create bridges. To the glitzy entertainment world that seems larger than life and that touches an immeasurable number of lives, Craig is committed to bringing the message that gives life.