Norris J. Chumley, Ph.D., theologian and adjunct professor at New York University Kanbar School of Film and Television, is also an Emmy-Award-winning documentary producer, director, and author. His work has been featured in theaters, universities, film festivals, churches and community centers worldwide and on American network television on PBS, NBC, ABC, A&E, USA, Showtime/The Movie Channel, HBO/Cinemax, and WNET/13 (New York City). Born in Bloomington, Indiana, he graduated with a B.F.A., Magna Cum Laude, from New York University in 1981, in Film and Television, and earned two Masters degrees, M.A., M.Ph. and the Ph.D. in 2008, in Theology and the Arts, from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York.
Recently, Chumley served as Executive Producer, Director, and Co-Author of Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer, a transmedia project including a feature documentary in theatrical release, a PBS television special seen on 249 stations in 111 U.S. markets, HarperOne companion book, DVD, CD soundtrack, enhanced study guide eBook, and two websites and online stores, and on all major social media platforms.
Chumley has created hundreds of commercials, made-for-television movies, documentaries and specials, including Mark Twain’s: The Diaries of Adam and Eve (for PBS American Playhouse with Meredith Baxter and David Birney), Getting the Love You Want (PBS, with Oprah Winfrey, Harville Hendrix and Helen Hunt), and The Gospel According to Jesus (HBO/Cinemax). Chumley’s NYU Film School senior student documentary, Little Mike, was recipient of the SONY/American Film Institute’s Grand Prize in Video in 1981. His dance performance special, Grand Central Dances, was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, and received the Emmy award for Outstanding Cultural Programming in 1986. Chumley has authored The Joy of Weight Loss: A Spiritual Guide to Fitness, and appears with Susan Sarandon in the documentary DVD, The Spiritual Guide to Weight Loss. He is currently a featured blogger on Huffington Post/Religion, and previously wrote daily columns for Beliefnet.com for over 10 years.
Dr. Chumley is Executive Producer and Director of Media for Columbia University’s Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life, producing and hosting Rethinking Religion a national public radio, iTunes U., and ircpl.org series. Additionally, he is Chairman of Manhattan Neighborhood Networks, New York City, the original and largest local public-access television network in America.
Dr. Norris J. Chumley’s radio series Rethinking Religion: Harlem Renaissance, Music, Religion and the Politics of Race was recently aired across the USA.
There is a “Room For Debate” article in conjunction with the program in the New York Times (Feb. 3, 2012), organized by Dr. Josef Sorett, who is also in the radio programs.
The programs are on the Columbia University Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life website, and soon on iTunes U. as well.