Who We Are

Team Members

Larry Linenschmidt

Executive Director

Before launching Hill Country Institute, Larry Linenschmidt was a banker (Regional Vice President with a major national bank) and a consultant for banks and privately held companies. After becoming a Christian in 1979, he was impacted by the works of C.S. Lewis and Francis Schaeffer.  Dr. James Houston of Regent College mentioned a saying of Lewis’ which greatly impacted Larry:  "We should be like birds with two wings, developing both in our faith and in our careers."  Larry responded to this advice by attending numerous conferences and seminars, taking seminary courses and being mentored. In 2001, he and several friends worked as volunteers to organize C.S. Lewis conferences and related events to serve the Body of Christ in Central Texas.  That was the beginning of what would become the Hill Country Institute. In 2006 Hill Country Institute for Contemporary Christianity was officially formed, and this work became Larry's full-time vocation as well as his avocation. He is now focused on assisting the Body of Christ in engaging the culture, building partnerships to advance the Kingdom, and facilitating conversations on critical (and often divisive) issues of concern to Christians.


Special Advisors

Dan Heinze

Resident Scientific Advisor

Dan Heinze received a B. S. from Texas A&M University in 1970, an M. S. from MIT in 1973, and a Ph. D. in geophysics from Texas A&M in 1977. He married Judith Leigh Spencer, the love of his life, in 1977, and they have three sons whom they homeschooled through high school.  Christ’s grace has subsequently added three magnificent daughters (wives of sons) and seven grandchildren. During postdoctoral studies on earthquake prediction at Carnegie Institute of Washington, D.C. in 1978, he and Judith incorporated Applied Geophysical Software, Inc. (AGS). Dan started as CEO of AGS and carried out several other missions over its history including watering the plants and washing the dishes; exiting it in 2007 upon its sale to PGS.  Subsequently, he and Judith have enjoyed a mix of serving their family, science, a few vacations, and now working with some of the coolest people on earth to build these resources on the Christian faith and science.

For over thirty years Dan, when at church, would be asked (in various forms): "You're a scientist? I thought you were a Christian!"; and at work, the reverse: "You're a Christian? I thought you were a scientist."

Christ used these experiences as well as the building of a personal apologetic to confirm in Dan a mission and passion for communicating the truth that "Science supports Christianity and Christianity explains science." In other words, the revelation of God in His Word and His Creation will ultimately be seen to be consistent with and mutually reinforcing of science.

Larry Linenschmidt and Dan became friends through the C. S. Lewis conferences and other forums which Larry directed, and they joined forces to communicate the truth about faith and science that is so widely misunderstood. In the process of pursuing this mission, Christ has brought Larry and Dan to the awareness of a number of other important faith and science related issues such as the mind/brain problem and the image of humankind, climate prediction and creation care.

In terms of priority and immediate need, however, Larry and Dan feel most strongly called to help create safe places where the sometimes difficult interaction between faith and science can be thoroughly explored in an atmosphere of mutual respect and grace.


Patrick Welton

Resident Researcher

Patrick is a gentleman farmer who, with his wife and two children, lives in the Texas Hill Country.  He received a B. S. in engineering from Texas A&M University in 1989, and later a M. A. in mathematics from UT.  He spent ten years employed as a research scientist at the University of Texas.  Currently, he is home schooling his two children.  Classic Christianity has built Patrick's faith.  He has taught in five of the churches at which he worshiped and has come to appreciate the beauty of the many streams of Christ's body. As an avid reader and student, Patrick continues to read and amass books.  “I don't understand half the books half as well as I should like; and I understand less than half of them half as well as they deserve.” At the end of 2006, Larry was introduced to Patrick as ‘someone who likes C. S. Lewis too’, and, by January 2007, Patrick was working with the Institute as a regular volunteer.

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