Staff

John White

JOHN WHITE

Director

Contact: John_B_White@baylor.edu

John is a native of the Midwest, and in particular, he is a Hoosier. One of his sports highlights came when he raced in the legendary cycling race "The Little 500" at Indiana University on Team Cutters (dramatized by the film Breaking Away). Along with his involvement with Team Cutters, John managed to make time for school, receiving a B.S. in Business with his favorite subject being Economics.

After college John sensed God's call to sports chaplaincy and ministry. His work included serving and ministering on various college campuses, at the Olympic Training Center, and in Europe. While serving in ministry, he also completed an M.Div. and an M.A. at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He graduated summa cum laude for both of his graduate degrees.

John eventually moved with his wife Cindy and three children to Scotland to study moral theology and to earn a Ph.D. from The University of Edinburgh. After graduating, he came to Baylor University to assume the position of Harold and Dottie Riley Associate Professor of Practical Theology and Director of the Sports Chaplaincy Program. John’s publications have appeared in Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, Implicit Religion, Studies in Christian Ethics, Practical Theology, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Bible and Ethics, and he recently co-edited books with Routledge Press (2016, 2018), Cambridge Scholars, and Mercer Press (2017).

He is grateful to serve at a research university like Baylor University where his scholarship and leadership can integrate faith and sports in order to contribute to the transformation of the people and culture of sports.



Cindy White

CINDY WHITE

Co-Founder

Contact: Cynthia_A_White@baylor.edu

Cindy grew up in a family of nine in Akron, Ohio, where she played volleyball, basketball, and softball competitively. She went on to earn All-American honors in volleyball and graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Health and Human Performance with graduate studies in Exercise Physiology. Following a year of coaching at The University of Texas, Cindy received an M.A. from Moody Bible Institute in Biblical Studies and Ministry which prompted her to pioneer the women’s campus ministry with Athletes in Action, where she has served for 35 years.

Cindy develops curriculum for global leaders in sports and has traveled the world speaking at retreats and conferences, particularly in the areas of identity formation and mentoring in elite sports. She has co-authored or contributed to three books related to sports and faith and is committed to helping young people aspire to true greatness. She also is Adjunct Professor at Truett Seminary and facilitates ministry in Baylor Athletics. She is married to John and has three wonderful adult children.



Brian Gamel

BRIAN GAMEL

Postdoctoral Fellow

Contact: Brian_Gamel@baylor.edu

Brian grew up in the Show-Me State (Missouri) where he attended the University of Missouri and received a B.A. in Microbiology and ran far too many 5k, 10k, and half marathon races. Although he was planning for medical school, upon graduation he chose instead to work on staff with a local college church in Columbia, MO, ministering to college students for six years.

He went on to pursue an M.Div. at Duke University before heading to Baylor to complete his Ph.D. in New Testament. He has taught classes on Scripture, Theology, Interpretation, and History at Houston Baptist University, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Baylor University’s Department of Religion, and Truett Seminary. In 2017, he published his first book, Mark 15:39 as a Markan Theology of Revelation: The Centurion's Confession as Apocalyptic Unveiling, with T&T Clark's "Library of New Testament Studies" series. He has also authored several articles for the Lexham Bible Dictionary and the Journal of Theological Interpretation.

Brian joined the Faith & Sports Institute as its first Postdoctoral Fellow in 2020, with the goal of writing a new book on the athletic imagery in the New Testament. He has three amazing children. In his free time, he runs, reads, and pretends to be learning how to play the guitar.



Paul Putz

PAUL PUTZ

Assistant Director

Contact: Paul_Putz@baylor.edu

Paul was born and raised in McCook, a small town in the southwest corner of Nebraska. Although he grew up in football country, basketball was his sport of choice. He played in high school and in college at Grace University, where he graduated with a degree in secondary education. Later, he earned an M.A. in history from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and a Ph.D. in history from Baylor University. He has spent most of his professional life in education, serving as a high school social studies teacher and a college history professor before accepting his current position with the Faith & Sports Institute at Baylor.

Paul’s research focuses on the intersection of sports and Christianity. His first book, The Spirit of the Game: American Protestants, Big-Time Sports, and the Contest for National Identity, is under contract with Oxford University Press. His research and writing has appeared in a variety of media outlets, including Christianity Today, Religion & Politics, Religion News Service, Slate, Sports Illustrated, and NPR’s “Only A Game” radio program.

When he’s not working, Paul enjoys spending time with his wife, Bethany, and his three children.



Elizabeth Bounds

ELIZABETH BOUNDS

Assistant Administrator of Online Programming

Contact: Elizabeth_Bounds@baylor.edu

Elizabeth Bounds grew up in Michigan and graduated from Hope College with a double major in in Psychology and Spanish and a minor in French. While at Hope she played both basketball and soccer—in the latter, she set the single-season school record for goals scored. She was also one of nine athletes invited by the NCAA in 2016 to participate in the Sports and Social Impact Summit hosted by the United Nations Office on Sport For Development and Peace International. After Hope, Elizabeth enrolled in the Sports Ministry Program at Baylor’s Truett Seminary, graduating in 2020 with an M.Div. While at Truett, Elizabeth took on a variety of leadership positions and roles, working as an FSI Retreat Mentor in 2018 and as Retreat Program Director in 2019, while also serving as the Volunteer Assistant Coach for Baylor Women’s Soccer. She has also contributed to the writing and development of FSI curriculum. After graduation, Elizabeth was hired to serve with FSI as an assistant administrator and retreat coordinator.



Kim Stuebben

KIM STUEBBEN

Program Coordinator

Contact: Kim_Stuebben1@baylor.edu

Kim grew up in Red Oak, Texas watching sports with her parents and sister and attending all of the high school football games while participating in drumline. Her love for sports and education led her to The University of Oklahoma where she graduated with her B.A. in Religious Studies. After taking a year off, Kim enrolled in Truett Seminary to focus on her faith. She graduated in 2017 with a M.Div. in Spiritual Formation and Discipleship and went on to get her Yoga Teacher Certification. She served as the Office Manager at University Baptist Church in Waco before working full-time as a yoga teacher for a year. Kim started working with FSI in October 2020 and enjoys cross-stitching, reading, and baking in her spare time. Kim is married to Gerhard Stuebben, a doctoral candidate at Baylor University, and they have a cat and a dog.



Joshua Ehambe

JOSHUA EHAMBE

Graduate Assistant

Joshua Ehambe is a graduate student in the M.Div. program (sports ministry concentration) at Baylor’s Truett Seminary. Prior to Truett, Joshua attended the University of Kansas where he played football and graduated with a degree in communications and sports management. While at Kansas University, Joshua was involved in the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), and the Leadership Council for the Kansas football team. He currently serves as a Graduate Assistant for the Faith & Sports Institute, helps with Baylor Athletics, and serves in the community and his local church. Joshua’s goal is to spread the Word and love of God and to be there for people from various backgrounds.



Abby Lee

ABBY LEE

Graduate Assistant

Abby was born in Alabama, but has grown up all over the Unites States, including in Maine, Oregon, Louisiana, and New York. Throughout each of her many moves, only three components were constant: her family, her faith, and her sport. She has been playing basketball her entire life, and the sport is quite literally a family affair—she and her two sisters have all played collegiate basketball.

In 2019, Abby graduated from Columbia University in the City of New York with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Psychology. During her undergraduate years, she started an online bookstore named Little Fox Books, which continues to grow and develop. She has coached and volunteered at several high school and collegiate camps and clinics in both Louisiana and New York.

Abby is currently a graduate student at Baylor’s Truett Seminary pursuing an M.Div. with a Certificate in Sports Ministry. Abby came to Baylor to receive the best possible theological education and also learn from the sports ministry pioneers John and Cindy White. She is excited to be a part of the Faith & Sports Institute team because she enjoys showing young people the joy that sports can manifest when approached in a faithful way.



Anna Steggerda

ANNA STEGGERDA

Graduate Assistant

Anna Steggerda is a student at Truett Seminary and is serving as a Graduate Assistant for the Faith & Sports Institute. She is from Des Moines, Iowa and attended the University of Iowa for her undergraduate degree in accounting. In college, Anna was a student manager for the University of Iowa baseball team and has continued serving as a student manager at Baylor University. During her senior year, Anna served on leadership for Athletes in Action and traveled overseas to spread the gospel and challenge athletes to apply their faith to their sport. In her gap year, Anna started a non-profit program called RePlay, which collected and "RePlayed" used sports equipment in the Des Moines area. With a heart for athletes of all ages, Anna decided to attend Truett Seminary for the Sports Ministry program to learn how to utilize the gift of sports to glorify God. Anna is excited to be a part of the FSI team and cannot wait to see the lives that are touched through the summer program.

George W. Truett Theological Seminary