After Katelyn Beaty graduated from Calvin College in 2006, she spent a capstone semester abroad at Oxford University to study theology and to contemplate the course of her career.
When she returned, her job search quickly yielded a ground-floor editorial assistant position at Christianity Today, the flagship evangelical periodical published in Carol Stream, Ill.
Little more than five years later, at the age of 28, Beaty was appointed last October to the post of Christianity Today’s managing editor, becoming the first female and youngest ever to oversee the publication’s daily editorial operations.
She credits her expansive and challenging Calvin education for preparing her for the job.
“Calvin was a revelation to me,” she said. “It was all about the academics and the integration of faith and learning. The ability to critically engage as a Christian is fundamental to what I’m doing now.”
Beaty hopes to attract a greater number of next-generation and female readers and writers to the magazine, envisioning an editorial approach that sets a “thoughtful and charitable tone” and encourages the publication to “continue being a big tent with wide boundaries” for evangelical readers.
She majored in communications arts and sciences at Calvin and began exploring the engagement of faith and culture in her classwork and in her extracurricular activities on the Chimes staff, and in the student activities office, where she worked part time for two years.
“I found my niche as a cultural discerner, learning from my professors and in my work for Ken Heffner in the student activities office about the ways in which we can engage the arts and culture from the Christian perspective,” Beaty recalled.
Heffner said Beaty, even as a sophomore, had an uncanny knack for “connecting the dots and wrestling with the big ideas of Calvin College and the implications they had for culture.”
He added that now she is taking those ideas to a national platform both with the magazine and as a speaker, for example, at the Q Conference in Los Angeles this spring, where she presented “Beyond Pink Bibles: What Do Christian Women Want?”
“Calvin helped me to gain my footing and my perspective,” Beaty said. “I am passionate about words, for the worlds that they allow us to enter into, for what they allow us to comprehend, feel, and experience without leaving a chair. And I am passionate about learning about our world and educating others about it through the lens of faith.”