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UST to Launch Digital Evangelization Series in Partnership with the Word on Fire Institute

UST MAX Studio Producers Bridget Richardson, MAFC '17 and Darnell MIller '10, MLA '15 host innovative Digital Evangelization SeriesLife is lived out on social media and Catholics are very much a part of the movement. Harnessing the expertise of major Catholic influencers who evangelize effectively on social media platforms, the University of St. Thomas-Houston MAX Studios in partnership with the Word on Fire Institute, is announcing an innovative video series to demonstrate how to bring the light of the Gospel to the digital world.

Watch the trailer here.

Each episode of the series, The New Evangelization and New Media, will spotlight one of today’s most interesting and compelling Catholic influencers to share their experiences in experimenting with technology and media to get to the heart of our culture and reach their specific audience. They will share their successes and failures, get real about the challenges they face on a particular platform, and explain why it’s important for Catholics to see the value of engaging authentically in a digital space.    

The lineup of influencers slated for the first round includes Australian singer-songwriter and YouTuber Fr. Rob Galea,  Jonathan “Bearded Blevins,” who launched a ministry for gamers on Twitch, Waco’s mom-blogger and Word on Fire Fellow Haley Stewart, better known as @haleycarrots on Instagram, and America’s Next Top Model contestant Leah Darrow to demonstrate the need for evangelization on Facebook. The second round of production, featuring Catholic influencers from TikTok, Twitter and in the podcast space, will be announced in the coming weeks.

Jared Zimmerer, the Senior Director of the Word on Fire Institute, says that “One of the Institute’s Eight Principles is a special commitment to new media. I am very excited to act in an advisory role with the University of St. Thomas-Houston MAX Studios on this project. An aspect of the Second Vatican Council’s call to evangelization is thinking through new methods and approaches in how we bring people into a relationship with Jesus Christ. This production will be of great service to that mission.”

UST President Dr. Richard Ludwick understands both the tremendous power of social media channels to reach people worldwide and the responsibility to use those channels effectively to share the joy of the Gospel in a broken world.   

“At UST, we are constantly seeking innovative ways to experiment with technology and media as tools to form our students and evangelize the culture,” says Dr. Ludwick.  “The Church is as relevant today as it was 2,000 years ago, and the compelling experiences of this team of influencers are proof of that.  The ministry of Word on Fire is proof of that, and we are so excited to team up to equip many more people with the right tools to seek the greater good in this dynamic digital environment.”

Filming for this groundbreaking project is set to take place this month on the campus of UST and in their new state-of-the-art MAX Studios, animated by and dedicated to St. Maximilian Kolbe, with the goal of delivering rich content and conversations to the digital world that reflect the truth, goodness, and beauty of the Catholic faith. Episodes are currently slated to begin rolling out after Easter beginning April 18 and will be available for free streaming online at ustmaxstudios.com and with access from https://wordonfire.institute/.

To request an interview with Dr. Ludwick, Jared Zimmerer, or Bridget Richardson and Darnell Miller, co-hosts and producers of the video series, contact Sandra Soliz at solizs@stthom.edu.


About the University of St. Thomas

The University of St. Thomas is a comprehensive university, grounded in the liberal arts. Committed to the unity of all knowledge, UST offers programs in the traditional liberal arts, professional, and skilled-based disciplines. Graduates of the University of St. Thomas think critically, communicate effectively, succeed professionally, and lead ethically.

About the Word on Fire Institute

The Word on Fire Institute exists to propagate the work and content of Bishop Robert Barron in an interactive, relational, digital education format, and to form missionaries in the Word on Fire ethos of evangelization, emphasizing Bishop Barron’s style and methods of evangelizing the religiously unaffiliated.