Sierra Lyons is a freelance journalist covering race, education, politics, Christianity and their intersections. Her work has been featured in the Washington Post, New York Magazine, and the Huffington Post.

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When Christian Colleges Fire ‘Woke’ Professors, Who Will Stop Them?

by Sierra Lyons 08-17-2023

Sam Joeckel, an English professor at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida, is seen at his North Palm Beach home on Feb. 21, 2023. Joeckel’s contract with the Christian university has been terminated early after a parent complained about a racial justice unit he taught in one of his courses. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS via Alamy)

Professor Sam Joeckel’s 21-year tenure at Palm Beach Atlantic University ended after a single complaint from a parent who stated that Joeckel was indoctrinating his students. What started out as a typical day in February soon became a nightmare for Joeckel as the dean and provost of the university waited for him outside his classroom to inform him his teaching contract wouldn’t be renewed.

The Revival White Christians Are Missing

by Sierra Lyons 07-05-2023

June 7, 2020 - Washington, D.C. "Jesus was lynched" sign at a protest for the death of George Floyd. Credit: Reuters/Photo by Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA.

Despite the many revival services and conferences held every year across the country, it seems white Christians in the U.S. have yet to be radically transformed when it comes to justice advocacy. I’m not looking to label others’ revival experiences as “true” or “false.” Instead, I’m hoping that Christians in general — but white Christians specifically — learn to expand their understanding of what a revival entails. After the harm and reprimand I experienced in the white evangelical church for my dedication to social justice, I have returned to the Black church tradition in which I was raised. Being in this space has affirmed my belief that worshiping Christ and fighting for a more just world go hand in hand.

Ultimately, I think there are times when revival spreads to the streets for weeks on end but because it doesn’t happen within the four walls of a church where there is ambient lighting and bottomless coffee, we don’t recognize it.