Story slam to open first night of Torrey conference

The CCCA will host Biola’s first story slam for Torrey Memorial Bible Conference.



Barry Krammes, Professor of Art | Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES

Aimee Nelson, Writer

The Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts will host their first ever story slam on Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. as the inaugural evening session of the Torrey Memorial Bible Conference.


This story slam, modeled after NPR’s “The Moth” podcast, will feature 12 participants including students, staff, faculty and alumni, and will count for one Torrey credit, according the event’s webpage.

Each participant will have a five-minute time period to share a personal story. This years’ Torrey Conference theme, “With,” must be reflected in their story, said Barry Krammes, professor of art. Krammes will be heading up the event along with committee professor of communication studies Tim Muehlhoff, alumnus and author Dane Sanders, and professor of English Aaron Adams.

“There will be some stories that are sad, some that make us laugh, some that leave us with our mouths hanging open. There will be a whole range of emotions. And it will hopefully be a wonderful evening for the whole community to come together,” Krammes said.

One of the goals of the committee is to have listeners engage with the story-tellers, Sanders said.

“What is way more interesting is when you tell a story and that helps them remember their own story,” Sanders said.


When choosing the participants, the committee emphasized that they were not expecting perfection, they simply wanted people to have the opportunity to share their story, according to Muehlhoff.

“We just approached people and said I think God’s given you something to say and if you want to, we can give you a platform to do it,” said Muehlhoff. “The one criteria was your speaking ability was not a factor. We’re not looking for the polished people …The rawness of story slam I think is its attractiveness.”

Biola Conservatory of Music alumnus Trevor Gomes will perform improvised piano interludes between stories. Each interlude will be inspired by the story that it follows, according to Krammes.

Senior communications major Amber Smith will be the only student story-teller. She was not expecting to be a part of the story slam, but Muehlhoff, her professor, asked her to participate, Smith said.

“I don’t really like public speaking; it’s not my forte at all, but I just thought it would be an awesome opportunity to share my story,” Smith said.

Adams explained that storytelling is more than just a human faculty, but a divine one as well.

“I don’t think it’s an accident that God chose to reveal himself primarily through stories,” Adams said. “This is something that is fundamental to how we are made up spiritually. We’re wired for this.”

Krammes explained that he has many hopes within this event, but his main goal is to show students the potential of storytelling.

“I think one of the most powerful gifts we have as human beings is the gift of story, and if I can share my story with someone else and have it touch their life, that is a pretty powerful thing,” Krammes said. 


0 0 votes
Article Rating