2024 Reality Forum

Thanks for joining us at the Reality Forum, and stay tuned for next year!


Jan 2024 Reality Forum Speaker Bios

John Swinton, Professor, University of Aberdeen

John Swinton is Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care and Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen. For more than a decade John worked as a registered mental health nurse. He also worked for a number of years as a hospital and community mental health Chaplain alongside of people with severe mental health challenges who were moving from the hospital into the community. In 2004, he founded the University of Aberdeen’s Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability. He has published widely within the area of mental health, dementia, disability theology, spirituality and healthcare, end of life care, qualitative research and pastoral care. John is the author of a number of monographs including his recent book: Finding Jesus in the Storm: The spiritual lives of people with mental health challenges. (Eerdmans 2020) His book Dementia: Living in the Memories of God won the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Ramsey Prize for excellence in theological writing.

Jeff McSwain, Ph.D.

Jeff McSwain is the founder of Reality Ministries and a co-founder of the North Street Neighborhood. He is currently developing “The Glen” outside of Durham, a study-center for theological reflection situated in the context of a residential agricultural community. Jeff has earned degrees from Davidson College (B.A.) and the University of St. Andrews, Scotland (M.Litt., Ph.D.) and published multiple books and articles. His third book, Hidden in Contradiction: Humanity in Christ before, during, and after the Fall was released in 2023, with the companion volume to follow in 2024. Jeff enjoys volunteering at Reality Ministries and kayaking the Eno with his wife, Susan.

The Meek Squad – Suvya Carroll, Sloan Meek, and Lee Anderson

Suvya Carroll, Sloan Meek, and Lee Anderson are three friends who love to sing together. They are also neighbors in the North Street Neighborhood – two blocks of beloved community in downtown Durham, born of relationships formed through Reality Ministries. In the summer of 2019 they teamed up with Jeff Crawford (Arbor Ridge Studios) and Daniel Goans (Lowland Hum) to record an album of original music that has grown out of their community life together. During the recording process they received the nickname ‘Meek Squad’ and it stuck. ‘I Am For You: Songs of Prayer and Peace’ was released on March 24th, 2020. They are currently working towards releasing their second album – coming soon.

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