My professional journey is not unlike that of many STM students. I have always been on a search for the best way to use my gifts in God’s service. After leaving religious life as a novice, I taught French, English, and religion at a Catholic high school in Cincinnati. Several year later, wanting something new, I worked for the first black mayor of Cincinnati, eventually deciding politics probably wasn’t the right life for me either. I migrated to California and worked in health plan administration and public affairs for 10 years. Despite success at climbing the corporate ladder, a certain restlessness persisted. After volunteering to lead a spirituality class for women in early recovery from addiction, I became fascinated with how people heal from life struggles. This stimulated me to enter a Ph.D. program in depth psychology at the Pacifica Graduate Institute.
Pacifica’s motto, “For the sake of tending soul in the world,” spoke directly to what I wanted to do: Help others grow in awareness of themselves, healing pain and suffering that block the full expression of their being—in short, tending soul by connecting to God within. Depth psychology, coupled with my life-long interest in spirituality, seemed like the best way to do this.
I defended my doctoral dissertation at age 50—and then began what I hoped would be an academic career in conjunction with a practice combining spirituality and counseling. Like all of life, it has had its ups and downs. Yet, I am at peace, grateful and enthusiastic for all that I am given to do and to be.
In 1998, I began my affiliation with the School of Theology and Ministry. I was drawn to its ecumenical perspective and wanted to help train healthy, self-aware adults for ministries in the Church and the world. Over the years I have taught many courses here—all of them embodying the intersection of psychology and spirituality. It has been fun and stimulating. To work with such a dynamic faculty and so many wonderful students has been a transformative experience.
For a few years I took a break from teaching at STM. One year I commuted to St. Louis to teach part-time at the Aquinas Institute of Theology, and then worked as a pastoral associate at a large parish in Bellevue. Both experiences enriched my perspective. I returned to STM teaching in 2007.
Despite apparent meanderings, we are led where we need to go. I now do what I was meant to do all along—educate the human heart, enliven the human soul, and serve as companion in healing aches and struggles that beset the human condition. The Hindus say “all roads lead to God.” Mine have and I am grateful.
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