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About Us

Our unifying vision, the idea that helps to focus all our activities, is:


“The community of [STREAM] participants will be able to see their world anew as a place in which their gifts and faith perspectives contribute to transforming the world for good.”


At STREAM, we will become a community together. In order to create brave space to be our genuine selves and explore our real questions, we will create covenants that will guide the ways we relate to each other. In all that we do, an awareness of the sacred worth of each beloved child of God is the starting point. Each of us has a unique story of the life we have experienced to this point. We each bring our own perspectives and opinions. We are all somewhere on a faith journey, and there are many ways faithful people live their faith. As we gather for these seven days of STREAM, we know God will be present with us. Our task is to listen for God, to look for God, and to be God’s hands and feet for each other and our world.


Meet the Team

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Rev. Marvin L. Gilliam, Jr.

Faculty Director

Rev. Marvin L. Gilliam, Jr. is a native of Chesterfield County, Virginia. In addition to his role as the program director for STREAM, he is a licensed and ordained minister who currently serves as pastor of The Mount Carmel Baptist Church in the Church Hill area of Richmond, Virginia. 


Rev. Gilliam earned degrees from Virginia State University (Bachelor of Arts, Vocal Music) and the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University (Master of Divinity). He served as a public school vocal music educator and choral director for 12 years. He has many years of experience working with young people on the local, regional, and state level. Rev. Gilliam serves on many community boards for organizations ranging from denominational ministry to children’s mental health. Additionally, he is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.


Rev. Gilliam is happily married to Jennifer Gilliam and they are the proud parents of three children, Marvin, III, Jameson, and Leila. He loves sports, history, technology, and all things creative.


Through his life, Rev. Gilliam seeks to serve as a living epistle of God’s grace, mercy, and favor.  His guiding scripture, Romans 8:28, states “All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” With a goal of empowering all he encounters, he desires to be all that the Lord has called him to be, using his gifts and experiences to show a dark world the light and love of Jesus Christ.


Dr. Denise Janssen

Project Manager

Dr. Denise Janssen is the project manager for STREAM YTI, having directed the program for the 2016 summer institute. She is associate professor of Christian Education at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. Dr. Janssen teaches courses in the Master of Arts in Christian Education and Master of Divinity programs, and she crafts foundation proposals and manages grants at the School of Theology. Additionally, she is executive director of The Resource Center and serves as a pastor at a small membership United Methodist congregation. Dr. Janssen is the author of numerous articles and presentations as well as three books: Fostering Faith: Teaching and Learning in the Christian Church, Reclaimed: Faith in an Emerging Generation, and Educating for Redemptive Community: Essays in Honor of Jack Seymour and Margaret Ann Crain. She has served as pastor of American Baptist and United Methodist congregations, and as a youth minister for two decades. Her first career was in professional fundraising. Dr. Janssen earned a dual B.A. in English and Religious Studies from the University of Sioux Falls, an M.Div. from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the Ph.D. in Christian Education and Congregational Studies from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She is an ordained American Baptist pastor. Dr. Janssen is passionate about companioning youth in their life and faith transitions into young adulthood, and about helping congregations consider their next most faithful steps through strategic discernment and visioning.


Erin Keyes

Program Assistant

Erin Keyes is a lover of all things fun, family, food, and God. Keyes aims to curate space for Black Womyn and children to live out loud and reclaim their autonomy. Erin Keyes graduated with a Master of Divinity degree in Theology from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology in May of 2021 and a Master of Arts in Christian Education in May of 2022. Keyes proudly served as the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology Theologue President, Vice President, and Secretary. She is the curator of Black Girl’s Theology,  a licensed Minister, and the Corresponding Secretary for the Virginia Union University National Alumni Association. Keyes aims to live out loud so that others feel the 'permission' to do the same.

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