About Us

Cinetheologian is dedicated to creating a movement in the Church through cinema.

What Kind of Movement?

We seek to re-energize church congregations by encouraging them to focus on the active and transformative presence of God.

Church attendance in the Western world is declining.  A major reason is that churchgoers are not authentically encountering God as a personal being who can positively transform their lives.

But the Good News is that God is there for us, in a very real and personal way.  Jesus’ death and resurrection removed the separation between us and God.  The Church will only survive—and thrive—through the Holy Spirit, God’s active presence among us.

So Cinetheologian is starting a movement to make relationship with God the primary focus of the Church.  All other purposes, including worship, missional service, fellowship, and social justice, will naturally result when God’s presence is the center of our lives.

Why Cinema?

Cinema, the “motion picture” is the language of the modern day.  In addition to films and video, cinema also includes video games, interactive websites, smartphones and tablets.  Cinema has the power to engage us emotionally as well as intellectually, and in this screen-dominated culture, it holds our attention in ways that mere text and spoken word no longer can.

Cinetheologian creates cinematic stories that challenge people’s established perceptions of reality.  One reason we are all disconnected from God is that we hold perceptions of reality that simply aren’t true—where we humans are in the center of it all, and God is off to the side, if present at all.  Through cinema, we want to get people thinking and discussing how to shift the focus back to God.

Who’s Leading This Ministry?

Cinetheologian is led by Michael Steffen, a Christian filmmaker, interactive media artist, professor, and lay minister.  Prior to founding Cinetheologian, he produced Daily Bread, a short film about a college student who receives messages from God in loaves of bread; and Telmahre, an interactive game about a man so obsessed with controlling his own fate, that he loses faith in the God who can save him.

Michael’s background in ministry leadership includes the CONNECT Young Adult Ministry, where he pilot-tested a new live worship format for 20-somethings called “The Gathering”.  Michael is also trained as a ChristCare small group leader.

Michael currently teaches multimedia and digital filmmaking at San Diego Mesa College.  He holds an MFA in Interactive Media from the world-renowned USC School of Cinematic Arts, and has previously worked for Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.