A comprehensive resource for spiritual leadership development in the 21st century—for all faith traditions. Experts in the field explore how to train spiritual leaders who bring healing, faith, justice and support to communities and congregations.
Edited by Rev. Willard W. C. Ashley Sr., MDiv, DMin, DH
6 x 9, 384 pp | 978-1-59473-432-8
The first comprehensive resource for teaching spiritual leadership development in the twenty-first century—for all faith traditions.
America is changing. Technology, social networking, global economics, immigration, migration and multiculturalism urge communities of faith to expand their vision of spiritual leadership and reflect on how leaders can better serve congregations and communities in the twenty-first century.
In this multifaith, cross-cultural and comprehensive resource for both clergy and lay persons, contributors who are experts in the field explore how to engage spiritual leaders and teach them how to bring healing, faith, justice and support to communities and congregations. They offer tools, advice, practical methodologies and case studies on how stakeholders—congregational leaders, ordained religious leaders, educators, students and community leaders—learn how to do theology in context and grow into faith leadership roles.
“Invaluable.... The breadth of topics and depth of presentation assures that [this] will be a significant resource for seminary education and practical ministry for years to come.”
—Dwight H. Judy, PhD, professor emeritus of spiritual formation, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary; author, A Quiet Pentecost: Inviting the Spirit into Congregational Life
“Timely, informative and inspirational ... much needed in a world yearning for the creation and nurture of the fundamentally new that is also fundamentally better.”
—Lester Edwin J. Ruiz, MDiv, PhD, director, Accreditation and Institutional Evaluation, Association of Theological Schools
“Bold.... Offers most helpful guidelines for seasoned caregivers as well as a new generation of potential leaders who recognize the extraordinary gift of spirituality.”
—Cain Hope Felder, professor and editor, The Journal of Religious Thought, Howard University School of Divinity
“The book we have been waiting for to move the church forward in an uncertain age. An outstanding resource for congregational leaders. Every member in every pew needs this book.”
—Ralph B. Watkins, PhD, DMin, associate professor of evangelism and church growth, Columbia Theological Seminary
“A practical and necessary resource in theological education.... It models in content and format the richness, multidimensionality and flexibility characteristic of contemporary spiritual leadership.”
—Dr. Carmen Nanko-FernÃ¡ndez, associate professor of pastoral ministry and director, Ecumenical Doctor of Ministry, Catholic Theological Union
“When the nation, corporations and religious communities cry for creative and effective leadership with integrity, this timely book answers the challenge.”
—Hak Joon Lee, professor of theology and ethics, Fuller Theological Seminary
“An incredible cadre of leaders Â… provides insights and tools to help empower the next generation to shape our communities and shepherd our journeys.”
—Rev. David Emmanuel Goatley, PhD, executive director, Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Society
“A treasure chest.... I felt blessed being in the company of leaders, being mentored all at once, at the flip of every page.”
—Rev. Prof. Neal D. Presa, PhD, moderator, 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA); pastor, Presbyterian Church, Middlesex, NJ; affiliate assistant professor for preaching and worship, New Brunswick Theological Seminary
“Persuasive [and] compelling.... Provides a contemporary leadership model that integrates emotional, physical and spiritual aspects of humanity, thereby offering future leaders the tools needed to pursue personal growth and realize self-fulfillment.”
—Yvonne Simons, executive director, the Anne Frank Center, USA
“Helps spiritual leaders ... develop their leadership gifts in the crucible of caring, crisis, community and congregational environments. Your investment in walking through this book will bring gracious and generous returns as you identify and implement the lessons offered by gifted, wise and tested leaders.”
—Rev. Dr. Thomas R. De Vries, MDiv, DMin, general secretary, Reformed Church in America
Rev. Willard W. C. Ashley Sr., MDiv, DMin, DH xiii
What Are the Foundations of Spiritual Leadership?
1. Singing the Creator's Song in a Strange Land
Lisa Sharon Harper, MA, MFA 3
2. The Psychology of Learning to Lead
Jeffrey R. Gardere, PhD 13
3. The Universal Tools of Effective Leadership
Michael Gecan, BA 31
4. Healthy Clergy, Healthy Congregations,
and Healthy Communities
Tanya Pagn Raggio-Ashley, MD, MPH, FAAP 41
Rev. Lee B. Spitzer, MDiv, DMin 59
How Do You Evaluate Spiritual Leadership?
6. Bi-vocational Clergy (and Congregations)
Rev. Renee S. House, MDiv, PhD 73
7. The New Business Model for the Non-Profit Organization
Ronald Thomas, MHCS, SWP 85
8. Teaching Worship
Rev. Gregg A. Mast, MDiv, PhD 95
9. Teaching Ministry in an Urban World:
Evaluating Your Curriculum
Rev. Warren L. Dennis, MDiv, DMin 105
10. Congregations and Communities in Transition
Rev. Earl D. Trent Jr., MDiv, DMin 117
How Do You Care for Others?
11. Pastoral Care as a Foundation for Leadership
Rabbi Stephen B. Roberts, MBA, MHL, BCJC 129
12. Leadership at the Borders of Difference
Rev. Brita L. Gill-Austern, MDiv, PhD 139
13. Healing Those Who Hurt
Mary Pender Greene, LCSW-R, CGP, and
Terrie M. Williams, LCSW 149
14. Safety in Sacred Spaces
Rabbi Diana S. Gerson, MAHL 165
15. "Each Person Is Sacred": Leading toward Full Inclusion
in Faith Communities
Lisa V. Blitz, PhD, LCSW-R, and
Mary Pender Greene, LCSW-R, CGP 179
16. People with Disabilities and Their Families:
"Apart from" to ҁ Part ofӼbr /> Rev. Bill Gaventa, MDiv 193
17. Working with Undocumented Immigrants
Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale, MDiv 207
18. Why Are People Poor?
Rev. David Billings, MDiv, DMin 221
19. Contextual Leadership: An Urban Case Study
Rev. Anthony Miranda 229
How Do You Collaborate with Specific Spiritual Leaders?
20. Kin'dom Come: Houses of Worship and
Gender Justice in the Twenty-First Century
Rev. Sally N. MacNichol, MDiv, PhD 239
21. Working with the Black Diaspora
Antoinette Ellis-Williams, PhD, MPA 249
22. Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latino/a Spirituality:
Hiding Religious Beliefs Out in the Open
Rev. Carlos Alejandro, MS, MDiv, BCC 261
23. Working with Asians
Miyon Chung, MACSW, MATh, PhD 273
24. Working with Jewish Communities: Myths to Be Unlearned
Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, BA, MS, JD, and
Rabbi Craig Miller, BA, MAFM 287
25. Working with Muslims
Imam Muhammad Hatim, PhD, DMin, and
Shaykh Ibrahim Abdul-Malik, PhD, EdD 297
26. Working with Catholics
Rev. Monsignor Richard Arnhols, MDiv, and
Anne Masters, MA 311
27. Working with Protestants
Rev. Rose Niles, MDiv, DMin, and
Rev. Kevin Park, MDiv, PhD 323
28. Leading a Multifaith Disaster Response Group
Rev. Julie Taylor, MDiv, CTR, EMT-B 333
Phyllis Harrison-Ross, MD 345
Shaykh Ibrahim Abdul-Malik, PhD, EdD, earned his first doctor’s degree in science and education at Harvard University and his second in Islamic studies from the Graduate Theological Foundation. Following a twenty-five-year career with the New York City school system, Dr. Ibrahim became a science advisor at UNESCO. In that capacity, he organized and headed the first junior college in the Islamic Republic of Maldives. Shaykh Ibrahim has been part of the adjunct faculty in the School of English, Philosophy, Humanities, and Religious Studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University since 2003. His written works include Islam and Muslims: Twenty-Five Questions and Answers (a widely distributed information booklet written in the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy); Islam and Muslims: Fifty Questions and Answers; Ramadan: A Primer; and Prayer in Islam: A Guide for Beginning Muslims, an Introduction for Non-Muslims.
Rev. Carlos Alejandro, MS, MDiv, BCC, is the clinical pastoral education supervisor at New York’s Calvary Hospital and is certified by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). He has extensive experience in pastoral care and in clinical pastoral supervision in both traditional and challenging venues. The founding director of North General Hospital’s Department of Pastoral Care and Education, Rev. Alejandro also created and led Harlem’s Outreach Program for Emergencies (the HOPE team), a faith-based critical incident stress management (CISM) team. He went on to develop the first clinical pastoral education (CPE) supervisory training program in Puerto Rico, which is based in three hospitals and one major university. A board-certified chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains, he served as a corrections chaplain at Rikers Island Central Punitive Segregation Unit and at the Manhattan Detention Center, known as “the Tombs.” A former journalist, Rev. Alejandro received a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and a master of divinity degree from New York Theological Seminary. An ordained minister with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), he lectures on Afro-Caribbean spirituality and pastoral care, spirituality and trauma, and cultural issues in end-of-life care.
Rev. Msgr. Richard Arnhols, MDiv, is pastor of St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Bergenfield, New Jersey. He is also vicar for pastoral life for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, overseeing more than fifteen departments geared to pastoral service, and is a member of the College of Consultors and Presbyteral Council. He is a regular contributor to the “Seeing and Believing” column of The Catholic Advocate, the official biweekly periodical of the archdiocese. As former pastor of the inner-city St. Patrick’s Church in Elizabeth, New Jersey, he wrote the foreword to the recently released The Grand Old Man of the Port: Dean Martin Gessner, the American Catholic Church, and Parish Life in the Nineteenth Century, written by Carl Ganz Jr.
Rev. David Billings, MDiv, DMin, is a writer, an antiracist historian, and an organizer associated with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond. He is a minister in the United Methodist Church. He currently resides in McComb, Mississippi, where he was born. Throughout his career he has been a teacher and is currently an adjunct professor at the New York University Silver School of Social Work in New York City. He is author of many articles and a forthcoming book, Deep Denial: The Persistence of White Supremacy in American History and Life.
Lisa V. Blitz, PhD, LCSW-R, is an assistant professor of social work at Binghamton University. She brings years of experience as a licensed clinical social worker and advocate for social justice to her teaching and research. Her research focuses on effectiveness of school-based interdisciplinary intervention with elementary and middle school aged children; assessment of an antiracist/anti-oppression model to inform management and supervisory practices in social work and social services; and privilege as it impacts social worker performance in crossracial interactions with clients, staff team members, and supervisors. Dr. Blitz earned her master of social work and PhD in social work from Columbia University.
Miyon Chung, MACSW, MATh, PhD, an associate professor of systematic theology, teaches systematic theology and ethics at Torch Trinity Graduate School, Seoul, Korea. She was born in Seoul but immigrated with her family to the United States in 1979. She received her BA (government/pre-law) from the University of Texas at Austin and subsequently received two master’s degrees at SouthwesternBaptist Theological Seminary, in church social work and in theology. While working on her PhD in theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Chung taught classes in systematic theology as a teaching fellow and concurrently served as academic dean of Dallas Korean Seminary and Guatemala Baptist Seminary. Since returning to Korea, Dr. Chung has been serving at Suwon Central Baptist Church as a translator. She also teaches at the church’s associated Bible College. Her international ministries include working with Baptist World Alliance, Asia Pacific Baptist Fellowship, Diaspora Track of Lausanne Consultation on World Evangelism, and Global Diaspora Network.
Rev. Warren L. Dennis, MDiv, DMin, is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and is the Dirk Romeyn Professor of Metro-Urban Ministry at New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Jersey. He earned the master of divinity degree from Johnson C. Smith Seminary in Atlanta and doctor of ministry degree from United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio. His specific interest is examining issues of poverty, race, and culture in urban theological education.
Antoinette Ellis-Williams, MPA, PhD, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs with a master of Public Administration and earned her PhD from Cornell University, School of Human Ecology. Dr. Ellis-Williams is currently the director of the Lee Hagan Africana Studies Center and professor of women’s and gender studies at New Jersey City University (NJCU). She is also a minister at Bethany Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey. Some of her recent publications include “Discovering the Possibilities: A Study of African American Youth Resistance and Activism” and the poem “Letter from Mama Olewagi.” Dr. Ellis-Williams is executive producer, director, research methodologist, writer, assistant editor, and narrator for the documentary Connecting Generations: The Lee Hagan’s Legacy. She is an active member in the community, serving on several boards including as immediate past president of the board of trustees for East Orange, New Jersey, Hospital Association Governance Committee; the regional policy board for the American Hospital Association (AHA); New Jersey Hospital Association board of trustees; board of directors for the Coretta Scott King Humanitarian Group; and the board of the New Jersey Institute of Social Justice.
Jeffrey R. Gardere, PhD, better known as America’s psychologist, is one of the most widely sought-after experts in the field of mental health. In addition to having a private practice in Manhattan, he has garnered a reputation as being a top motivational and keynote speaker and empowerment and media coach. Dr. Gardere is an assistant clinical professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City. He is also the host of Dad Camp (formerly on VH1), now on Twist TV in Canada, the chief contributor to HealthGuru.com, and is the wellness director for the Philip Stein Company. He is a contributor to NBC’s Today Show, MSNBC, and the FOX Network. Dr. Gardere is the author of Love Prescription and the coauthor of Practical Parenting with Montel Williams, the Emmy award–winning TV talk show host. His first book, Smart Parenting for African-Americans: Helping Your Kids Thrive in a Difficult World, has been lauded as being “necessary for raising African-American children in today’s society” (Black Issues Book Review).
Rev. Bill Gaventa, MDiv, serves as director of Community and Congregational Supports at the Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities and as associate professor at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). In his role at the Boggs Center, Rev. Gaventa works on community supports, training for community services staff, spiritual supports, training of seminarians and clergy, aging and end-of-life/grief issues, and cultural competence. He has edited four books, written a number of book chapters and articles, and served as the editor of the Journal of Religion, Disability, and Health for fourteen years.
Michael Gecan, BA, is codirector of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) and a community organizer. He was trained in part by Saul Alinsky. Gecan is lead organizer for East Brooklyn Congregations and other New York–based organizations as well as the executive director of United Power for Action and Justice, a Chicago-based IAF affiliate. Gecan spent two decades wrestling with New York politicians in an impassioned effort against all odds to build three thousand new homes. His book, Going Public: An Organizer’s Guide to Citizen Action, tells how organized citizens can, with discipline and dignity, outmaneuver bureaucracies and generate change. Gecan’s vision of the richness of community life and the value of public action has roots in the rough Chicago neighborhood where he was raised.
Rabbi Diana S. Gerson, MAHL, has been successfully advancing the New York Board of Rabbis’ leadership role in confronting family violence in the faith community since 2005. As a recognized authority in the field, Rabbi Gerson has provided education and training to more than three thousand members of the clergy and faith leaders around the nation. She has also provided family violence prevention education to more than a thousand teenagers and adults through her extensive outreach in faith communities. In October 2009, Rabbi Gerson founded a new organization, Love Squared, which focuses on building leadership in faith communities to support and engage their members in fostering healthy relationships and healthy marriages. Love Squared will continue to work in partnership with the New York Board of Rabbis as its lead sponsor. She also has developed training programs for the New York City Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence and has educated faith leaders for the New York City Family Justice Centers. Rabbi Gerson serves as a member of the board of directors of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) and continues to chair its Jewish Women’s Caucus. Rabbi Gerson is a recipient of the Faith Leaders Award from Affinity Health Plan and was named one of the “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” by Women’s eNews. Her work in the faith community has been the focus of articles in the New York Daily News, Hadassah Magazine, Moment magazine, Women’s eNews, and the Mann Report. Rabbi Gerson received her rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City. She previously served congregations in Short Hills, New Jersey, and Atlanta, Georgia.
Rev. Brita L. Gill-Austern, MDiv, PhD, is the Austin Philip Guiles professor of psychology and pastoral theology at Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS). She is faculty director of Border-Crossing Immersions and has led border-crossing trips to Nicaragua, El Salvador, and the Mexico-US border. She is committed to interfaith dialogue and work between Jews, Christians, and Muslims. She is a founding member of the Interreligious Center for public policy. As a board member of Communities Without Borders, she is active in work to stop the spread of global AIDS and to educate AIDS orphans and other vulnerable children in Zambia and India, to ensure a more hopeful future for them and our world. She has also led a dual narrative immersion to Israel/Palestine and is designing one in the US criminal justice system. She is an ordained United Church of Christ pastor and served in three parishes in Pennsylvania and California for eight years before joining the faculty at ANTS in 1988. In a coedited volume, Feminist and Womanist Pastoral Theology, she and Bonnie Miller McLemore lift up the contributions of feminism and womanism to the discipline of pastoral theology. She has contributed many articles and chapters to the field of pastoral theology.
Lisa Sharon Harper, MA, MFA, is a speaker, an activist, an author, an award-winning playwright, and a poet. Currently she is director of mobilizing for Sojourners, a national Christian organization committed to faith in action for social justice. Harper was the founding executive director of New York Faith & Justice, an organization at the hub of a new ecumenical movement to end poverty in New York City. Her writing has been featured in the National Civic Review, God’s Politics blog, the Huffington Post, Patheos, Urban Faith, Prism, and Slant33, where she has written extensively on the role of government, tax reform, comprehensive immigration reform, health care reform, poverty, racial justice, and transformational civic engagement. Harper’s faith-rooted approach to advocacy and organizing has activated people of faith across the United States and around the world to address structural and political injustice as an outward demonstration of their personal faith. She earned her master’s degree in human rights from Columbia University in New York City. Her book Left, Right, and Christ: Evangelical Faith in Politics is coauthored by D. C. Innes (an evangelical Republican who is also a Tea Partier). In it, Harper and Innes explore their philosophies of government and business as well as six major issues the next generations of evangelicals must wrestle with to be faithful witnesses in the public square.
Phyllis Harrison-Ross, MD, is trustee, secretary of the New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC) and chair of the Social Service Board for United Social Services, Inc., a NYSEC social action affiliate. She is a trustee and member of the supporting organization for the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. She practices child and adult psychiatry, is emeritus professor of psychiatry and behavioral health sciences at New York Medical College, emeritus attending psychiatrist/chief of psychiatry at Metropolitan Hospital Center and founder and managing partner of Black Psychiatrists of Greater New York. Currently, she serves fulltime as commissioner for the NYS Commission of Correction and chair of the Commission Medical Review Board, which oversees the operation and management of local and state correctional facilities and secure residential juvenile treatment centers operated by the Office of Children and Family Services. She is a past president of Black Psychiatrists of America and received the American Psychiatric Association’s Solomon Carter Fuller Award. The All Healers Mental Health Alliance (AHMA), an organization that Dr. Harrison-Ross, along with the NYSEC and the Social Service Board, was instrumental in forming, received an award for public health leadership at the American Public Health Association meeting in Washington, DC. It was bestowed for AHMHA’s work to bring hope and healing to survivors following the 9/11 World Trade Center tragedy and the devastation caused in the mid-south/Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, the BP oil spill, and the Haitian earthquake. She was recently appointed to the International Advisory Board of the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation.
Imam Muhammad Hatim, PhD, DMin, is Imam Warith Deen Muhammad Professor of African American Muslim Studies at the Graduate Theological Foundation in Mishawaka, Indiana. He has more than twenty years of experience in the informal resolution of equal employment opportunity (EEO) issues. As an imam with the Admiral Family Circle Islamic Community (Admiral Family) in New York City, he headed its justice ministry and the UN Summer Internship Program in Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland; he is also co-founder of the Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X) Human Rights Institute. He sits on several interfaith committees and is a chaplain with Disaster Chaplain Services in New York City. He holds a BS in industrial arts education, an MS in transportation planning and engineering, a PhD in civil engineering (environmental), and a DMin from the Graduate Theological Foundation and is a certified alcohol and drug counselor (CADC) in New Jersey. He is a contributor to the book Disaster Spiritual Care: Practical Clergy Response to Community, Regional, and National Tragedy (SkyLight Paths Publishing).
Rev. Renee S. House, MDiv, PhD, an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America, has been serving on the faculty of New Brunswick Theological Seminary since 1987 in a variety of roles including six years as dean of the seminary. Presently, she serves as associate professor of practical theology. She also ministers at the Metuchen Reformed Church, working with educational ministries and small groups, and leads retreats and workshops through the Reformed Church in America. Her publications include a number of essays and articles related to the theology and practice of ministry and mission. She received her master of divinity degree from New Brunswick Theological Seminary and holds a PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary.
Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale, MDiv, has co-pastored the Reformed Church of Highland Park with his wife Stephanie for the past ten years. Together they are raising three little girls and raising a growing church. In addition to general pastoral ministry, Seth specializes in creating special needs housing and helping undocumented immigrants get released from detention as well as coming up with creative arrangements with Immigration Customs and Enforcement to stop deportation.
Rev. Sally N. MacNichol, MDiv, PhD, has been an antiviolence activist, advocate for survivors of domestic violence, and educator for more than twenty-five years. She has counseled victim-survivors of domestic violence, run empowerment groups for survivors, worked with abusive men, and trained hundreds of staff from child welfare programs and community and faith-based organizations across New York City’s five boroughs. She is currently the co-executive director at CONNECT, a nonprofit organization committed to eliminating gender and family violence in New York City, where she also developed and directs CONNECT Faith, a program dedicated to helping communities of faith address and prevent family violence. She received her master of divinity and PhD in systematic theology from Union Theological Seminary.
Rev. Gregg A. Mast, MDiv, PhD, is president of New Brunswick Theological Seminary. He has served as a pastor in Johannesburg, South Africa; Irvington, New Jersey; and Albany, New York. He has also served as minister of social witness and worship and as director of ministry services for the Reformed Church in America at different times in his career. He is the author of The Eucharistic Service of theCatholic Apostolic Church and Its Influence on Reformed Liturgical Renewals of the Nineteenth Century, In Remembrance and Hope, and Raising the Dead, among other books; was a monthly columnist for the Church Herald for thirteen years; and has published articles in popular and scholarly journals.
Anne Masters, MA, is the director of the Department for Pastoral Ministry with Persons with Disabilities, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark; president of the Religion and Spirituality Division of the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; and board member of the New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Ministries. She has worked in various areas of pastoral ministry as a lay ecclesial minister in the San Francisco Bay Area and northern New Jersey and is a workshop presenter on inclusive religious education and pastoral practices. She has a master’s degree in theology from the College of St. Elizabeth. Her published works include “Inclusive Faith Practices for Children with Autism,” Autism and Faith: A Journey into Community, and a book review of Autism and Your Church in the Journal of Religion, Disability, and Health.
Rabbi Craig Miller, BA, MAFM, serves as treasurer of the New York Board of Rabbis and as a member of the board of directors of the International Rabbinic Fellowship. Rabbi Miller works in the area of interfaith, disaster chaplaincy, and campus spiritual advising. In the latter capacity, he serves the Jewish community of Baruch College, in New York City. Rabbi Miller was one of the original Red Cross chaplains trained after 9/11, and he was stationed at the Family Assistance Center and Ground Zero.
Rev. Anthony Miranda is the executive director of Elohim Community Development and Outreach, Inc., located in the Richmond Hill section of Queens, New York. It is the second largest food pantry in New York City. Each week, Elohim provides eleven hundred families and individuals with enough food to prepare three complete meals a day for the week for a family of four. Miranda is a graduate of the Blanton Peale Pastoral Care Studies program.
Rev. Rose Niles, MDiv, DMin, currently serves as the associate for theological education and seminary relations for the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly Council (GAC). She previously served as the head of staff of First Presbyterian Church of Mount Vernon, New York, and as pastor of Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. At the New York Theological Seminary, she has taught in multiple programs, including the doctor of ministry program, and has taught in their master’s degree program at Sing Sing Correctional Facility. Dr. Niles currently leads the Theological Education Fund effort for the Presbyterian Church (USA) seminaries. As the primary staff-person for the National Seminary Support Network, she coordinates connecting congregations, presbyteries, and synods to Presbyterian seminaries.
Tanya PagÃ¡n Raggio-Ashley, MD, MPH, FAAP, has dedicated her professional life to improving social determinants of health to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities and ultimately create health equity for all. She has taught seminary students and clergy about primary care, public health, and the important role of clergy in health promotion and disease prevention. She was awarded the Dr. Helen Rodriquez-Trias Women in Medicine Award by the National Hispanic Medical Association for her efforts. She has collaborated with her husband, Rev. Dr. Willard W. C. Ashley Sr., to teach and host seminars for clergy, seminary students, congregational members, and the community at large. She has held the position of associate professor of medicine at several universities and is board certified in preventative medicine and pediatrics. She holds a bachelor’s of science and a doctor of medicine from Rutgers University. She completed a master’s in public health and a fellowship in cardiovascular epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.
Rev. Kevin Park, MDiv, PhD, is the associate dean for Advanced Professional Studies at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. Previously, he was a pastor of a multicultural church in New Jersey and worked as the assistant director of the Office of Asian American Program at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Mary Pender Greene, LCSW-R, CGP, is an accomplished individual and group psychotherapist with more than twenty-five years of experience and a thriving private practice. She is a dynamic professional speaker, coach, and clergy consultant. She has been instrumental in advising clergy and religious organizations on compassion fatigue, supervision, referrals, and other mental health issues. The goal is for clients to have healthier, more satisfying relationships with themselves, loved ones, and colleagues. Her inspirational keynotes and leadership development programs include workshops, seminars, and training on a variety of topics. Her background includes executive and management responsibility for a large nonprofit organization.
Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, BA, MS, JD, is the former president and presently the executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis, the largest interdenominational body of its kind in the world. He is also the senior rabbi at Congregation Mount Sinai in Brooklyn Heights, New York. He is the cohost, along with Deacon Kevin McCormack, of WABC’s Sunday morning talk radio program Religion on the Line, and he is the religious commentator for 1010 WINS radio. He also hosts the award-winning television series Faith to Faith. He has served on the New York City Campaign Finance Board, on the New York City Human Rights Commission, and as chaplain of the New York Press Club. As chaplain of the New York City Fire Department and the Fraternal Order of Police, Rabbi Potasnik helped many families cope with the disaster of September 11, 2001.
Rabbi Stephen B. Roberts, MBA, MHL, BCJC, is the editor of Professional Spiritual & Pastoral Care: A Practical Clergy and Chaplain’s Handbook and coeditor of Disaster Spiritual Care: Practical Clergy Response to Community, Regional and National Tragedy (both SkyLight Paths Publishing). He is a past president of the National Association of Jewish Chaplains. Most recently he served as the associate executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis, directing their chaplaincy program, providing services in more than fifty locations throughout New York, and serving as the endorser for both New York State’s and New York City’s Jewish chaplains. Prior to this he served as the director of chaplaincy of the Beth Israel Medical System (New York), overseeing chaplains and clinical pastoral education(CPE) programs at three acute care hospitals, one behavioral health hospital, and various outpatient facilities served by chaplains.
Rev. Lee B. Spitzer, MDiv, DMin, is the executive minister and senior regional pastor of the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey. He has pastored American Baptist congregations in Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Nebraska. He is the author of several books on spirituality and relational theology, including Making Friends, Making Disciples, Jesus Christ from Cover to Cover, and Endless Possibilities: Exploring the Journeys of Your Life.
Rev. Julie Taylor, MDiv, CTR, EMT-B, is a Unitarian Universalist minister specializing in critical incident response, trauma, and disaster spiritual care. She served for five years as the executive director for Disaster Chaplaincy Services, located in New York City. During the 9/11 recovery, Rev. Taylor was a chaplain at St. Paul’s Chapel at the World Trade Center site and has continued to respond to local and national crises, including floods, building collapses, fatal shootings, and airline disasters. In addition to her work with Disaster Chaplaincy Services, Rev. Taylor serves as a board member and a responder with the Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Ministry, is a member of the Hudson Valley CISM Team, and is a volunteer EMT with the Central Park Medical Unit. She is a certified trauma responder through the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists (ATSS) and a board-certified chaplain through the National Association of Veterans Affairs Chaplains (NAVAC). She received her master of divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
Ronald Thomas, MHCS, SWP, is director of talent and human resources solutions at Buck Consultants in New York City. He is also a faculty member of the Human Capital Institute, facilitating two certification tracks (Human Capital Strategist [HCS] and Strategic Workforce Planning [SWP]). HR Examiner ranks him in the top twenty-five among both talent-management influencers and human resources influencers. He is the principal consultant at Strategy Focused HR in New York.He is a member of the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council, the Executive Online Panel at McKinsey Consulting, and the Human Capital Institute’s Expert Advisory Panel on Talent Management Strategy. He is certified by the Human Capital Institute as a human capital strategist (HCS) and strategic workforce planner (SWP). His work has been featured in Inc. Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Crain’s New York Business, Canadian Business, Workforce Management, and Chief Learning Officer. He is a graduate of Benedict College and New York University.
Rev. Earl D. Trent Jr., MDiv, DMin, is the fourth pastor in the one-hundred- year history of the Florida Avenue Baptist Church in Washington, DC. He also currently serves as chairman of the board of Church World Service (CWS), a US-based global relief, sustainable development, and refugee assistance agency, and is active in both the American Baptist USA and the Progressive National Baptist Conventions. In a model of cooperative neighborhood improvement, Dr. Trent led the church in revitalizing the LeDroit Park Civic Association, resulting in a multimillion-dollar fifty-home renovation and rebuild investment by Howard University, Verizon, and Fannie Mae in the LeDroit Park neighborhood.He has served on many boards with special commitments to economic reform, including justice for black farmers, workers’ rights, women ex-offenders, and the battle against sickle cell disease. Author of A Challenge to the Black Church as well as many journal articles, he is married to Dr. Janice Ray Trent, the owner of Hearing Healthcare Services in Bowie, Maryland. They are the parents of three adult daughters.
Terrie M. Williams, LCSW, one of Ebony magazine’s “Power 150” for Activism and Woman’s Day magazine’s “50 Women on a Mission to Change the World,” is an advocate for change and empowerment. For more than thirty years, she has used her influence and communications expertise to educate and engage audiences in causes. She launched the Terrie Williams Agency in 1988, with superstar Eddie Murphy and the late jazz legend Miles Davis as her first clients, and has continued to represent some of the biggest personalities and businesses in entertainment, sports, business, and politics including Prince and Mo’Nique. Her book Stay Strong: Simple Life Lessons for Teens addressed challenges our youth combat everyday. Her critically acclaimed book Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting recounts her personal struggle with depression and the impact the stigma of mental illness has particularly on the African American community. Her creation of a mental health advocacy campaign led to a collaboration with the Ad Council and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) on a national initiative of mental health recovery.