Kiley Crossland – John Jay Fellow, Fall 2010
Assistant Editor, WORLD Digital
Kiley Crossland completed the John Jay Fellowship in the fall of 2010. A graduate of The King’s College in New York City, Kiley majored in politics, philosophy, and economics. Today, she is an Assistant Editor for WORLD Digital, where she has been reporting on marriage, family, and sexuality for six years. And yet, she never imagined herself becoming a journalist.
“Due to the nature of my undergraduate studies, my head already occupied some of the spaces where John Jay took us. I had read much from the Founding Fathers. I did a lot of thinking about politics and economic policy. But it was groundbreaking for me to consider how my understanding of God influences all issues in life. In retrospect, I see that I had siloed my theology as altogether separate from many critical issues of our time.
At John Jay, I realized that what I believe affects how I think about everything – including the way that I write.”
Kiley creates a weekly roundup of news for WORLD Digital readers focusing on marriage, children, sexuality, and gender. As she researches and ponders these (oft-times) hot-button issues, she finds herself returning to key questions encountered during her fellowship.
“I have learned to ask myself – What is the foundational truth here? What was God’s intent in this matter? How did He create us to live in Eden? John Jay truly shaped and enlarged several of these larger thought categories.”
Kiley and her husband, Caleb, met in the same class of John Jay Fellows. What resulted was a formative season, not just individually, but as a couple; a time of discerning how to construct a life together, which now includes their three-year-old son. Kiley shares how the four-month fellowship would ultimately shape their marriage, parenting, and convictions about community and a faithful life well-lived therein:
“We have a regular prayer time as a family that is directly related to the morning and evening prayer times we practiced at John Jay. On Tuesday nights, we host a weekly dinner with a small group from our church. We live in an urban part of Denver, Colorado so our group is comprised of predominantly singles or young couples, leading to many opportunities for mentorship. We also lead premarital counseling with couples in our group who are getting married – with a good curriculum and the Bible – not simply from our six years of experience.”
We live in a subjective and pragmatic world where many would say that their beliefs and subsequent actions are dependent solely upon circumstances. Principled Christian leaders in families, churches, businesses, etc., must lead with firm convictions that will protect them from being tossed about by the waves of cultural or political correctness.
“John Jay gave me this confidence. And, in a way, I consider myself to be a ‘quiet leader,’ writing about key issues our culture is wrestling with – all from behind my computer screen. I feel a responsibility to think deeply about these matters in light of Scripture and stay true to what the Bible says. This is no easy task! ‘But for God’s grace, there go I’ – I consider this truth as I write, remaining cognizant that there are souls opposite my screen reading the words that I write.”
Today, Americans face the difficulty of knowing how to faithfully engage a post-Christian society. Kiley writes with a refreshing touch of humility– an appreciation for empathy and ongoing learning whilst standing firm on the truths of Christianity.
While occupying a leadership space dominated by firebrand topics such as transgenderism, Kiley believes strongly in the power of thoughtful commentary washed with a mix of conviction and grace.
Kiley and her husband were especially impacted by conversations at the John Jay Institute about natural law. Natural law is relevant to every aspect of life and living... even the ways that we construct our communities:
“The concept of ‘natural law’ helped us think about things in a new way. For example, Caleb is interested in city planning and questions such as ‘Is there a Biblical way to build a city?’ and, ‘How do we establish our lives in such a way that we can know and love our neighbors?’ These are the questions we ask ourselves as we walk around our downtown neighborhood. I think that Christians could be more thoughtful about how our faith informs everything that we do – all of life.”
But society is an ever-evolving creature. Therefore, Kiley sees the need to cultivate new younger leaders as one of great import.
“Caleb and I have a strong desire to help the younger people in our lives understand these truths that we have been taught to seek and to grasp. Ultimately, we have found that this lies in conversation. It comes out of being willing to engage another person – whether by words in an article on WORLD Digital or in conversation around our family dinner table – to push the envelope just a little. But in the end, I have realized that, in order to follow God’s call and make a difference, we must have a posture of receptiveness.”
We are eager to watch as Kiley’s work with WORLD Digital continues to have an impact in the months ahead. When asked what she would share with a prospective John Jay applicant, Kiley said:
“The John Jay Fellowship program is organic in that it develops Christian leaders in every facet of society– be it public service, ministry, motherhood, medicine, business, law, and more. It is so unique and so unusual, to be called into a Christian community and to dive so deep into those topics. You won’t regret it.”
Young men and women come to the John Jay Institute to develop and nurture a vision for principled leadership. Like Kiley, they receive intellectual, spiritual, and cultural training to impact society for Christ’s sake. The John Jay Institute is grateful for the example of Kiley Crossland in the outworking of this vision — using her words and wisdom to reach culture – all for the glory of God.