Trevecca Nazarene University

Finding A New Way To Communicate The Gospel

His experiences teaching To Kill a Mockingbird to his high school students in Ohio led Matt Litton ’96/MAT ’00 to the realization that the classic American novel conveys an essential Christian message. “This novel is really about what it means to be a good neighbor, what it means to practice compassion,” Matt said. Knowing that To Kill a Mockingbird is the most widely read book in the English language, Matt recognized that it offered a new way to communicate gospel truth. His The Mockingbird Parables: Transforming Lives through the Power of Story was released August 18 by Tyndale House Publishers.

In mid-November, Matt visited Trevecca, speaking in chapel and to graduate students, explaining the importance of stories–the stories that Jesus told, the stories found in great literature, listeners’ own stories, and those of their friends. In The Mockingbird Parables, Matt includes stories of friends from his Trevecca days and how their current expressions of faith are making an impact in the world. Matt notes that their expressions of faith made an impression on him: “The older I get the more I realize how meaningful my friendships from TNU are to me.”

The publication of Matt’s book in the 50th year since the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird has allowed Matt opportunities to share his faith nationally. His articles and op-eds about faith have appeared on and in Relevant Magazine On-line, The Dallas Morning News, and Christianity Today. He has also been featured in national publications (The Methodist Reporter; The Living Church, the national Episcopal newspaper; Publishers Weekly; and CNN, among others), and he has been the featured guest on national radio networks (USA, IRN, CBS, XM/Sirius, and Moody).

He and his wife, Kristy (Shackelford) ’96, live in Cincinnati, Ohio, with their four children: sons Noah, Elijah, and Jakob, and daughter Raegan. Matt’s Website is


(Caption for picture 7 – closest to camera)
Matt Litton responds to questions from Chaplain Tim Green, during a Trevecca chapel service.