Brian D. McLaren is a prominent, controversial evangelical pastor. He was recognized as one of Time magazines 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America in 2005, and is the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, Maryland. Born in 1956, Brian McLaren graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with BA and MA degrees in English. After several years of teaching English and consulting in higher education, he left academia in 1986 to become the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church, a nondenominational church in the Baltimore-Washington region. Many of the books that McLaren has authored, including the A New Kind of Christian trilogy, deal with Christianity in the context of the cultural shift towards a new emerging church movement.