Meet The Academic Faculty Team
Marvin Anderson, PhD
Marvin Lee Anderson, PhD (University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto School of Theology), is presently a visiting fellow at the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies at the University of Toronto, where he continues to research the historical influence of late-medieval German mysticism on the German Reformation. He publishes and consults widely on the practice of rural congregational ministry, on which he has taught for numerous theological faculties and seminaries in Canada and the United States. He lives in Toronto with his wife and sons. Learn more at ruraljustified.com.
Paula Artac, DMin
Paula Artac, DMin, (University of Creation Spirituality), is a professional watercolor artist, certified art therapist, university instructor, liturgical art designer, illuminator and author. Through her non-profit Two Dots And A Line, she has developed art therapy-based programs for adults and children, designed to foster the transformative healing of non-verbal creative expression, Visit 2dotsandaline.com
Chuck Burack, PhD
Charles Burack, PhD (University of California - Berkeley) is an award-winning teacher, scholar, poet and essayist, as well as a spiritual counselor, creativity coach, and lay chaplain. A professor at John F. Kennedy University, he specializes in integrative approaches to spirituality, psychology and the creative arts. Chuck is author of three books and numerous articles, stories, poems, prayers and meditations. A former rabbinical student, he is active in interfaith education, counseling and the arts. Learn more at charlesburack.com
Bruce Chilton, PhD
Bruce Chilton, PhD (Cambridge University), is the Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College, where he directs the Institute of Advanced Theology. At Yale University he was the first Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament. Throughout his career, Bruce has been active in the pastoral ministry of the Anglican Church, and is Rector of the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Barrytown, New York. His most recent publications include “Mary Magdalene: A Biography (2005), The Cambridge Companion to the Bible” (2007), “Abraham’s Curse: Child Sacrifice in the Legacies of the West” (2008), “The Way of Jesus” (2010), “Visions of the Apocalypse” (2013) and “Christianity: The Basics” (2015).
Elise Dirlam Ching
BSN, MA, CAMT, CCHT
Elise has a BS Degree in Nursing, a Master’s Degree in English (Ball State University), and a Master’s Degree in Transpersonal Psychology (John F Kennedy University). She is a Certified Acupressure Massage Therapist and a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. For 25 years, she worked as an RN in the San Francisco County Jail. Elise is a published and an award-winning poet, a practitioner of hatha yoga and Chi Kung (25 years), and a lover of the vanishing wild beyond the edge of the road. She and her husband Kaleo have developed a process that totally engages the body, mind, and spirit. This inner alchemical process entices one to enter into the subconscious realm of the body through Chi Kung and hypnotherapy/guided imagery, then to express its deep wisdom through creative art forms. The process promotes self awareness, empowerment, and the transformation of self and community.
Kaleo Ching, MA
Kaleo Ching holds a Master's of Art from the University of New Mexico. He and his wife Elise have developed a process that totally engages the body, mind, and spirit. This inner alchemical process entices one to enter into the subconscious realm of the body through Chi Kung and hypnotherapy/guided imagery, then to express its deep wisdom through creative art forms. He has extensive teaching experience in the Bay Area at John F. Kennedy University (Arts and Consciousness Department), Wisdom University, LucasFilms, Acupressure Institute, Chi Nei Tsang Institute, Luminous Body Integral School of Energy Medicine, California Institute of Integral Studies (Public Programs), Sofia University, Naropa University-Oakland, Haight Ashbury Free Clinic Jail Psychiatric Services, and University of Creation Spirituality, as well as nationally and internationally.
Judith Dack, MA
Judith Dack, MA, artist, art therapist and counselor of transpersonal psychology. Judith creates spiritual community building art programs using the transformative powers of art making in combination with chanting, meditating and writing. She has served the Jewish Renewal movement in various leadership and faculty positions around the country. Judith is a graduate of Naropa University where she currently serves as a Trustee.
Caroline Douglas, BFA
Caroline Douglas, BFA (University of North Carolina), has worked with clay for over 40 years. Inspired by mythology, fairy tales, dreams and the antics of animals and children, her current figurative sculptures are evocations of a dream world. Caroline’s work is in the National Museum for Women in the Arts and other private collections. See her work at carolinedouglas.com
Neil Douglas-Klotz, Ph.D
Neil Douglas-Klotz, Ph.D. is a world-renowned scholar in religious studies, spirituality and psychology. Living in Fife, Scotland, he directs the Edinburgh Institute for Advanced Learning (www.eial.org) and for many years was co-chair of the Mysticism Group of the American Academy of Religion. He is also co-founder of the International Network of the Dances of Universal Peace (www.dancesofuniversalpeace.org).
Larry Edwards, PhD
Larry Edwards, PhD (Harvard University), is a chemical-physicist and author of many scientific studies. He is co-founder of the Epic of Evolution Society and currently teaches the Universe Story and its implications for a sustainable and fulfilling personal and cultural life at schools in North America and Ireland, and through an at-home online program. His presentations suggest new answers to ancient questions such as “Who am I?” and “Where do I come from?”
Leon Evans, MD
Leon Evans, MD (Emory University Medical School) has practiced Tai Chi for over 35 years. He is especially interested in the application of Tai Chi mind/body principles to psychiatry and has integrated these principles into his psychiatric work by practicing "Mind-Body Psychiatry" or “WholeBody Psychiatry.” Leon has also helped to facilitate many Creation Spirituality retreats with his wife, Dr. Susan Coppage Evans.
Matthew Fox, PhD
Internationally acclaimed theologian Matthew Fox, PhD (Institut Catholique de Paris), was a member of the Dominican Order for 34 years and is now an Episcopal priest. He has authored more than 33 books that have been translated into 63 languages. Rev. Fox started his own university in 1996 called the University of Creation Spirituality in Oakland, California, where he was president and professor until 2005. The university’s emphasis on the “priesthood of all workers” drew students to the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program from all areas of professional life, including scientists, artists, counselors, physicians, business professionals and clergy. Since then Rev. Fox has created innovative youth programs, responded to international invitations to teach and has worked with former students to offer new forms of worship and education. His most recent book is “A Way to God: Thomas Merton’s Creation Spirituality Journey” (2016). Learn more at matthewfox.org
Jeannine Goode-Allen, DMin
Jeannine Goode-Allen, Dmin (Wisdom University) is a performing artist and spiritual healer. She is the founder and manager of Viriditas Productions, a company that creates theatrical productions, films, exhibits, workshops and community events to inspire people to manifest their most powerful creative selves. Jeannine’s healing practice, Doctor of the Soul, uses music, mantra, wisdom literature, ritual and spiritual guidance to help people identify and heal from the deep conditions of soul that are holding them back in their lives. Learn more at viriditasllc.com and doctorofthesoul.com.
Rabbi Nadya Gross, PhD
Rabbi Nadya Gross, is a congregational rabbi, spiritual director and teacher. She and her husband, Rabbi Victor Gross, serve a Jewish Renewal congregation, Pardes Levavot, in Boulder. The congregation shares space, study, occasional worship and good works in the community with Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church. This has been a living laboratory for the practice of Deep Ecumenism – a concept first articulated by Rev. Matthew Fox and developed by her teacher, and founder of the Jewish Renewal movement, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi.
Rabbi Victor Gross, PhD
Rabbi Victor Gross, PhD (University of California - Berkeley), is a congregational rabbi and educator dedicated to paradigm shifting. He serves as a Director of Studies and teacher of Deep Ecumenism, Jewish History and Jewish Thought in the ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal Ordination Programs. Rabbi Gross is the author of “Educating for Reverence: The Legacy of Abraham Joshua Heschel” (1987).
Sid Hall, III, DMin
Sid Hall, III, DMin (Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University) is the lead minister of Trinity Church of Austin – United Methodist & United Church of Christ, in Austin, Texas, where he has served since 1988. He has been a pastor at UCC and UMC congregations in Indiana and Texas since 1979. He is a frequent speaker and workshop leader in the areas of Nature-Based Christianity, Mysticism, Holocaust Studies, and LGBTQ inclusion in the Church. He is on the national board of directors of Creation Spirituality Communities and has been an adjunct professor at Wisdom University and Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Dr. Hall is the author of “Christian Anti-Semitism and Paul’s Theology” (Fortress Press, 1993) and is the co-author of “Three Mystics Walk Into A Tavern – A Once and Future Meeting of Rumi, Meister Eckhart, and Moses de León in Medieval Venice” (Hamilton Books, 2014). Trinity Church has been practicing Creation Spirituality since 1991 and has been LGBTQ welcoming since 1992. He is married to Mary Pratt, an Austin psychotherapist. They have four adult children and two grandchildren.
Andrew Harvey, former fellow (All Soul’s College, Oxford), is founding director of the Institute of Sacred Activism, an international organization focused on inviting concerned people to take up the challenge of contemporary global crises by becoming inspired, effective and practical agents of positive institutional and systemic change. A compendium of his publications is available as “Radical Passion: Sacred Love and Wisdom in Action” (2012). Learn more at andrewharvey.net
Geneen Marie Haugen, PhD
Geneen Marie Haugen, PhD (California Institute of Integral Studies), is grateful to have lived among elk, moose, grizzlies, wolves, big rivers and thermal basins for decades; the wild Ones have been her abiding teachers. Her doctorate is in Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness from CIIS. Geneen guides experiential immersions with roots in ecopsychology—including contemporary vision quest—for the Animas Valley Institute. She believes in the world-transforming potential of the human imagination in service of the anima mundi. Her writing appears in “Kosmos Journal”; “Ecopsychology Journal”; “Parabola”; “Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth”; “Thomas Berry, Dreamer of the Earth” and other publications.
Peg Hilliard, MA
As an artist and educator, Peg Hilliard has worked in a variety of mediums, drawing, painting, sculpture and clay. Having earned her BFA, BAE and MA she enjoys sharing her love for the arts with others. Peg works with all ages and delights in bringing out the creativity in each individual. Most recently, she has been doing Artist-in-Residences with St. Vrain Valley Schools. Working in a variety of mediums, participants create large installation pieces, where everyone contributes to the whole, to beautify the environment. She is also teaching professional development classes for teachers and supervising student art teachers for UNC. In her spare time she is working on her book, “The Peg Hilliard Drawing Method”.
For more information please visit, PegHilliardCreates.com
Robyn Hubbard, DMin
Robyn Hubbard, DMin (Wisdom University) is a spiritual mentor, grief counselor, dreamwork facilitator and bodyworker. She integrates somatic practices into her individual work as well as facilitates groups, retreats, and community rituals using her integrated processes of Soul Dance and the Four Paths of Transformation. She is also the co-creator and facilitator of a grief training program designed to re-establish the support of grieving in our culture as a natural and healthy part of living fully. Learn more at www.corehealingarts.net.
Stuart Lord, DMin
Stuart Calvin Lord is an American educator and academic specializing in leadership and ethics, organizational development, diversity & inclusion, spirituality in education, and academic leadership.
While at DePauw University, Lord served as the Associate Dean of the University, and Executive Director of the Grover L. Hartman Center for Civic Education and Leadership, and University Professor of Sociology and Service Learning. At Dartmouth College, Lord served as Associate Provost, Dean of the Tucker Foundation, and Vice President for Diversity and Equity. During President Clinton's administration, Lord served as the executive director of the President’s Summit for America’s Future.
In 2009 Lord became the fifth president of Naropa University... READ MORE.
Adam Luedtke, PhD
Adam Luedtke, PhD (Sofia University), completed his doctorate by researching the experience of contemporary Christian mystics. He is a transformational coach and founder of the Transformative Life Contemplative Monastic Spiritual Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. Learn more at atransformativelife.org and transformativelife-coach.com
Melissa Michaels, EdD
Melissa Michaels, EdD, creates movement-based cross-cultural community rites of passage events focusing life’s major thresholds. As the founder and director of Surfing The Creative rites of passage programs for youth, Shakti Sisterhood initiatory journeys for women, and the not-for-profit organization, Golden Bridge, Melissa developed the first contemporary international leadership programs rooted in dance. These processes have empowered hundreds of embodied social entrepreneurs and peace builders around the world. From schools in our inner cities, to refugee settlements, to the United Nations, Melissa is a midwife of the soul who has dedicated herself to our collective renewal through the liberation of the creative Spirit. www.GoldenBridge.org
Andrew McFadyen- Ketchum, MFA
Pouria Montazeri, MA
Pouria Montazeri grew up with Rumi’s poetry and teachings. He draws from his 28 years of experience with Sufism, Advaita Vedanta, and other mystical and contemplative practices and his experiences as a teacher, spiritual director/coach, speaker, poet, mindfulness instructor, sangha guide, mentor, and filmmaker to support himself and others to live more creative, peaceful, and meaningful lives. He wrote, directed, and shot Shams & Rumi: The Fragrance of Axis Mundi, which won many international film awards.
Pouria is the founder and guide of In the Footprints of Rumi and he is a Heart-Centered Spiritual Coach.
Pouria loves nature and can always be found on one of his sunrise contemplative hikes with scraps of poetry in his pocket in his home state of Colorado.
Barb Olson uses her camera to capture the visual richness she finds everywhere. Endless colors, patterns and textures inspire her and form her artistic language.
"I am so lucky to be a fiber artist so I can create colors and patterns and textures as a means to communicate my creative voice," Barb says. "I do this by dyeing and painting almost all the cottons and silks in my work. I love handling the cloth; cutting it, sewing it, even ironing it! Then there are the beautiful threads I get to hand stitch with or to machine quilt with, adding another layer of design. "
Barb has been making fiber art quilts since 1998. Her work has been in dozens of exhibits including Front Range Contemporary Quilters, Quilt National 2005, and Art Quilts at the Sedgwick 2003 (now Art Quilt Elements). She has been a member of Boulder Open Studio since 2005.
Ana Perez-Chisti, PhD
Ana Perez-Chisti, PhD (California Institute of Integral Studies), is president of the Sufi Universal Fraternal Institute. She is a senior Sufi teacher (Murshida) and a professor of psychology, religion and philosophy, and ethics. Ana lectures and publishes internationally and has worked in areas of African relief, food distribution, hospice care and prison reform. For further information please see sufiuniversalfraternalinstitute.live
Leah Rampy, PhD
Leah Rampy, PhD (Indiana University), has worked in the field of education, managed various departments in Fortune 100 companies, founded a leadership consulting business and served as executive director of a non-profit. Her passion is contemplative leadership and ecology. Currently Leah leads pilgrimages and retreats, practices permaculture with her husband on their farm and is actively engaged in helping to build a cohousing community. Learn more at illuminedway.com
Theodore Richards, PhD
Theodore Richards, PhD (Wisdom University), is the author of six books and the founder and director of The Chicago Wisdom Project. His teaching focuses on eco-spirituality, sacred activism, deep ecumenism and cosmology. Theodore lives in Chicago with his wife and daughters. His forthcoming book is “The Great Reimagining: Spirituality in an Age of Apocalypse” (2017). Learn more at theodorerichards.com and chicagowisdomproject.org
Bruce Sanguin, MDiv
Bruce Sanguin is a psychotherapist, author, and speaker living in Vancouver, B.C. with his wife, Mia. After twenty-eight years as a pastor in the United Church of Canada he took early retirement to start practicing psychotherapy. He is internationally recognized as a leader in evolutionary spirituality. Bruce is the author of six books, including If Darwin Prayed: Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics (IPPY Gold Medal award winner), and The Way of the Wind: The Path and Practice of Evolutionary Christian Mysticism (IPPY Silver Medal winner). He is Theologian in Residence at Hillhurst United Church, where he offers workshops and preaches. His new book (Bone on Bone: A Clergyman Leaves the Church, Finds Psychedelics, and Gets His Life Back (fall 2018) explores his own healing journey with consciousness-expanding and trauma revealing medicines.
David Sharp, DMin
David Sharp, DMin (University of Creation Spirituality) is an ordained Presbyterian minister and President of Power for Life Now Productions, a company that develops resources for spiritual empowerment. He has performed on Broadway, in movies and television shows and has written for a variety of publications. David’s recently published book, “I’m a Black Man, Who Are You,” centers around issues of race, culture and spirituality. His forthcoming book, “Inspirational Guidance for Daily Living,” is due for release in the fall of 2018, by Woodlake Books. Learn more at powerforlifenow.com.
Mary Reaman, DMin
Mary H. Reaman, DMin (University of Creation Spirituality), is pastor and co-founder of Tree of Life Community in Dayton, Ohio, where she integrates her passion for spirituality, creativity and consciousness in her roles as pastor, preacher and teacher. For the last 15 years, her primary prayer and meditation practice has centered around art-as-meditation. Opening her heart and mind to the “divine presence” or “cosmic consciousness,” Mary comes to her easel, with deep humility, holding in her heart and mind the energy and intention of the person, event or circumstance for which she is praying and meditating.
Aprylisa Snyder, MS.Ed.
Aprylisa Snyder, MS.Ed., International Artist and Coach, serves clients through a creative blend of holistic consciousness technologies that get practical results in personal growth, wellness, and business.
Her Come Home To You program is an integrative coaching series that helps spiritually gifted women find their clarity, purpose and power while making a difference with their unique gifts to help others. The series integrates art, embodiment, and mindfulness practices to awaken powerful connections between body, mind and spirit for more freedom and agency in participants' relationships, work and world.
She also supports global change leaders to create positive outcomes in socially conscious projects through her intuitive consulting work. Client projects include Oprah’s “Belief” series launch at the United Nations, and organizational relationships for a members of the worlds largest Global Social, Environmental, and Health Foundation.
Mirabai Starr, MA
Mirabai Starr, MA (University of New Mexico), is author of numerous books, including “Caravan of No Despair: A Memoir of Loss and Transformation,” new translations of the Spanish mystics, John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila, “The Showings” of Julian of Norwich and the award-winning “God of Love: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity & Islam.” A leader in the emerging inter-spiritual movement, Mirabai leads contemplative interspiritual retreats worldwide. Learn more at mirabaistarr.com
Gail Ransom, DMin
Rev. Gail Ransom, DMin (Wisdom University), is a pastor, educator, visionary worship leader, and ordained Creation Spirituality Minister. She co-leads a weekly Creation Spirituality-based Worship Jam and has organized two national gatherings at First United Methodist Church of Pittsburgh from which she recently retired as education director. Gail is the president of Creation Spirituality Communities, a network of individuals and communities that connect to the sacredness of all creation through the study and practice of Creation Spirituality. Learn more at gailransom.com
Carol Vaccariello, DMin
Carol Vaccariello, DMin, LPC, Obl. (Ecumenical Theological Seminary) follows a Braided Way. Ordained United Church of Christ minister, Independent Catholic Bishop and Creation Spirituality Elder. Founding Bishop of Ordo Hagia Sophia(Order of Holy Wisdom). Carol, a ritual artist, produced/directed Cosmic Masses; Co-directed the DMin program (University of Creation Spirituality); mentored the design of the first Creation Spirituality ordination program. Member of Creation Spirituality Communities. Carol is an inspirational speaker, storyteller, sacred chant channeller, healer, spiritual coach, retreat facilitator, Zen Still Point practitioner and plant whisperer.
This year she published: The Lion of God: Archangel Ari'El ...Personal Encounters. She is a contributing author to Order of the Sacred Earth, (June 2018). More info - Website/Blog: Heartspacecommunity.firstname.lastname@example.org
Pat Waak, DMin
Patricia (Pat) Waak, DMin (University of Creation Spirituality) is a registered nurse and holds a BS (Saint Joseph College) and an MA (Regis University) in psychology. She is certified as a Jungian psychotherapist and an Ageless Grace Instructor. She has dedicated her life to social change and has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer, an international development consultant, an environmental leader, and a political strategist. After an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. House of Representatives, she was elected to three terms as chair of the Colorado Democratic Party.
Pat was appointed to the Carter Administration at the U.S. Agency for International Development from 1977 to 1982. She served as Assistant Director of the Center for Population and Family Health at Columbia University. And she spent 17 years at the National Audubon Society as the director of the Population and Habitat Program.
She is the author of several books and the executive producer of a number of video films. She currently is the President of the board of the League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradans (LOGIC), which is fighting to protect communities from the effects of drilling in their neighborhoods.