School of Theology and Ministry
News & Events

News and Events

  • Faculty, Student & Alumni Highlights: June 2013



    SeattleUAppreciationCelebration.png On Friday, May 31, Seattle University honored our school's Dean Mark Markuly for 5 years of leadership at the university and the School of Theology and Ministry (almost 6 now), as well as Dr. Leticia Guardiola-Sáenz for 5 years, honored staff retiree Sue Hogan for 34 years, and professor emerita Dr. Marianne LaBarre for her 28 years at the university. 


    FacultyClass.png Have you wondered where the school's faculty are on Thursday afternoons this quarter? They're actually taking a class together. More info coming soon!


    CynthiaMoeLobeda75Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda

    Adjunct Faculty and Search For Meaning Book Festival author, Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, traveled to Oslo this month to share a talk on: "Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Economic-Ecological Vocation", her new book. Dr. Moe-Lobeda was also one of eight presenters from six different countries at a conference in Geneva (information here), entitiled "Redeeming the Marketplace: Theological Contributions to an Alternative Economy." Her two presentations were entitled "Moral-Spiritual Agency toward Moral Eco-nomy" and "The Economic-Ecological Debt of the Global North and Why `We` Fail to See It".


    DrAndrewDavis.jpgDr. Andrew Davis

    Dr. Davis' article article “Hidden Treasure in Job 14:17” was just accepted for publication in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly.



    MarianneLaBarre.jpgDr. Marianne LaBarre 

    Newly named Professor Emerita, Dr. LaBarre, will be giving retreats in the coming months on the second half of life and discernment. More information via the events' flyer here.

    Watch Dr. LaBarre's recently released faculty interview video here as well.


    Leticia2.jpgDr. Leticia Guardiola-Sáenz

    Dr. Guardiola-Sáenz is celebrating her fifth year anniversary at Seattle University this year. She recently gave a lecture for Highline Community College's "16th Annual Unity through Diversity Week" entitled "Reading the Bible Contextually." Information on the series, including the lecture's description here. Watch a recent video interview with Dr. Guardiola-Sáenz here as well!





    StudentsVolunteering2.pngStudents in the Community! (alongside Alumni & Staff)

    The monthly May open mic at Seattle's Recovery Café was organized, as it is every month, by current MA in Transformational Leadership (MATL) student Jen Leard. Jen was joined by MATL student Ryan Fallgren, Master of Divinity student Melissa Smith, and new full-time staff person Hannah Hunthausen in serving dinner to the guests. Our new 2013 MA in Relationship & Pastoral Therapy Alumna, Carolyn Dougherty, was the night's Master of Ceremonies.


    SusanSmithMDIV2.jpgSusan L. Smith
    Master of Divinity

    On April 26, the Covenants Ministry team of the Central Pacific Conference of the United Church of Christ approved Susan for ordination, pending call. Susan will be in touch to confirm her call (church of pastoral ministry) and ordination by the end of the summer. Susan will continue to serve bi-vocationally, teaching at environmental and natural resources law at Willamette University as well as engaging in water justice ministry. Susan is passionate about water, sanitation and health education programs, water for food, and food security and sovereignty issues. Active in the Ecumenical Water Network, the World Council of Churches' water justice program, Susan presented two workshops on behalf of the Network at the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in Kingston, Jamaica in April 2011. She also gave the first keynote address, "The Human Right to Water and the Environment," at the International Interfaith Workshop on Water as a Human Right in Manado, Indonesia in March 2012. Susan acted as a principal facilitator at that workshop of 60 representatives of Southeast Asian national and regional faith communities. She is working to create dialogue within the World Council of Churches and with other Christian and interfaith partners to establish consensus-based ethical principles for water resources management. 


    GAStories_Eliacin.jpgEliacin Rosario-Cruz
    Master of Divinity

    Eliacin will be presenting at the Wild Goose Festival on the east coast in August. View his speaker profile here. His presentation alongside Mark Van Steenwyk will examine ways of re-politicizing spiritual practices (and re-spiritualizing political action).


    AnnMayerMDIV.jpgAnn Mayer
    Master of Divinity

    First year Master of Divinity Student, Ann Mayer, spoke at Federal Way United Methodist Church on Sunday, May 26th for "Peace & Justice Sunday" on the theme of "Ecological Justice". Ann shared with us that she addressed themes explored this Spring Quarter in "Christian Ethics" with Dr. Moe-Lobeda.



    Jamie Yslas
    MA in Transformational Leadership

    Jamie received the 2013 Student Recognition Award, "The Mission Award for Outstanding Leadership in Care". The award recognizes students who demonstrate genuine care for others in their attitude, interaction, and involvement. These students consistently act with care toward others, while understanding the importance of self care. Jamie is also a Seattle University Veteran Navigator. We will be sharing more on his story. Stay tuned!




    ThuongMARPT2013.jpgThuong ChuChe
    MA in Relationship & Pastoral Therapy, 2013

    Thuong is co-facilitating a workshop called "Vietnamese-American Youth Living the Faith" at The 12th Bi-Annual Vietnamese-American Catechetical Conference in Baton Rouge, LA this month, on the weekend of June 21-23, 2013. The theme of the conference is "Cetechesis Advancing the Life of Faith."

    Watch a video released this week, where we interviewed Thuong about her experience in the degree program, here!


    BenMATL.jpgBennet McConaughy
    MA in Transformational Leadership, 2011

    Transformational Leadership's 2011 alum, Ben McConaughy, has been chosen to attend the Multi-Faith Exploration of Jewish Texts program at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem this summer.  Eight graduate students in theology from around the world have been chosen for the program which provides the opportunity for three-weeks intensive study of Hebrew language and Jewish texts.  The participants come from North America, Africa and Europe and from Catholic, Protestant, Greek Orthodox, and Jewish traditions.  All attend graduate programs training for pastoral and academic leadership.
    The Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem is the only fully egalitarian, traditional Beit Midrash (Jewish house of study) in Jerusalem, providing students with skills and motivation to continue the study of Jewish texts.  The Multi-Faith Exploration of Jewish Texts program includes courses in Hebrew Bible, Rabbinic literature and contemporary Jewish theology, along with courses on Creating Inclusive Communities and Engaging with Israel.   Participants will also have the opportunity to interact with students of all ages and backgrounds attending the Conservative Yeshiva Summer Program and to participate in a Torah in Action weekend of study, focused on the connection between text study and social action.  The program is generously supported by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.  For more information about the Conservative Yeshiva Summer Program, see

    We recently sat down with Ben to hear more of his story. Stay tuned for more soon!


    PeterTranMATL.jpgPeter Tran
    MA in Transformational Leadership, 2013

    On May 10th, Peter presented at Seattle University's Graduate Student Council's "Celebration of Student Research" event. Peter's talk was entitled "Leading from Within: Connecting Your Deepest Core to your Life's Work." The presentation was a synthesis of his experiences in the Transformational Leadership program and his practicum at the City of Seattle as an Organizational Development Consultant. His research and experience in organizational effectiveness and behavior got him interested in "Meaning-Making" or "Meaning-Quotient" which is the process or sense that what a person does at work and life makes a difference to who they are as a person, and to their society. This sense of purpose for employees unlocks the untapped human capital that allows for healthier living, productive working, and innovative problem solving.

    The main point that Peter made in his presentation was that in order to harness this human potential in others, we ourselves must lead from within--to learn to become fully alive in our own skin. It is in our own aliveness that we learn to relate to others in a resonating way, and inspire others to live their lives out more fully. Secondly, Peter had the participants engage in an empathy-building activity that got them sharing and being present to one another as they tried to articulate what made them come fully alive. It demonstrated for them in a bodily way, that these important conversations do not happen enough and how you treat one another makes a difference on how that person finds purpose in their lives. By being intentional about creating space for meaning-making, whether in casual conversations or formally at the workplace, you plant seeds in others that might eventually help them grow into their fullest potential.

    Read the transcript of Peter's talk here.

    Peter shared with us this month:
    "Howard Thurman says all of this in the most concise and beautiful way, 'Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is for people to have come alive.' This is a hungry generation. And what they are longing for is a sense of purpose and connectivity to people, society and the earth. That what they do with their lives makes  a difference to those around and that they can be of help to others."



    Award_MaggieBreen2013.jpegMargaret Breen
    Master of Divinity, 2013

    Margaret was awarded the school's most prestigious award, the Leo Standford Leadership Award which is given on occasion to an outstanding student or alumni of the School of Theology and Ministry who realizes its vision. The award was recognized at Commencement at Seattle Center's Key Arena on Sunday, June 16.



    DerekFarmer2013.jpgDerek Farmer
    MA in Pastoral Studies, 2013

    Derek was just awarded a fellowship to study interreligious dialogue in Rome the next academic year. (Photo: at the end of Derek's pilgrimage to Santiago a few years ago)

    About the Fellowship:
    The Russell Berrie Fellowship Program is a timely initiative at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum). Along with the establishment of an Annual Lecture Series on Interreligious Studies, the goal of the Fellowship Program is to build bridges between Christian, Jewish, and other religious traditions by providing the next generation of religious leaders with a comprehensive understanding of and dedication to interfaith issues. Russell Berrie Fellows are expected to complete the program and return home to their parishes and communities to lead others in efforts to promote interfaith understanding. The Fellowship targets clergy, religious, and members of the laity for the purpose of studying at the Angelicum to obtain a Certificate in Interreligious Studies. Applicants of all faiths and backgrounds from around the world- including students currently enrolled at the Angelicum- who have a demonstrated interest in Interreligious Studies are encouraged to apply.


    ColleenTredwayMARPT.jpgColeen Tredway
    MA in Relationship & Pastoral Therapy, 2010

    Colleen Tredway, a 2010 alumna of the MA in Relationship & Pastoral Therapy program, has officially completed all requirements for full licensure as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Washington. Colleen has been in private practice providing Pastoral/Christian counseling services in Snohomish and Bellevue Washington for the past three years post graduation. Colleen and her husband have recently made the decision to relocate back to her home state of Florida and with her new licensure status she plans to continue the pastoral counseling work in Florida that she finds so rewarding.


    Alfredo_MDiv2.jpgAlfredo Feregrino
    Master of Divinity, 2013

    Alfredo was ordained to the Episcopal denomination's Sacred Order of Priests on Thursday, June 13 at St. Mark's Cathedral in Seattle. We will be following Alfredo in the coming year with more news. Stay tuned!

    Watch a video interview we just released highlighting Alfredo's story, here. 


    TimothyGreerMATS.jpgTimothy Greer
    MA in Transforming Spirituality, 2013

    Timothy is now the Director of Catholic Campus Ministry for Longwood University & Hampden-Sydney College in Farmville, VA and is also the new Online Facilitator for the University of Dayton's Virtual Learning Community of Faith Formation teaching Bible Basics & Catechetical Methodologies.


    JaneFrancesMDIV.jpgSr. Jane Frances Nabakaawa, DM
    Master of Divinity, 2010

    Sr. Jane Frances Nabakaawa, DM belongs to the Order of the Daughters of Mary whose Mother-house is in Masaka Roman Catholic Diocese in Uganda, and who serve in many countries of Africa. Sr. Jane received both undergraduate and graduate education at Seattle University. At undergraduate, She majored in Theology and Religious Studies with a minor in Music in 2007. In the same year, she joined the School of Theology and Ministry to pursue a Masters of Divinity specializing in Catholic Studies which she completed in 2010.
    Sr. Jane serves as a Theology Instructor at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa at Gaba-Campus, Eldoret-Kenya. She teaches the university's Core Theology Courses such as Christology, Introduction to the Bible, Church History, Christian Ethics etc. She also teaches some Music Theory classes in the music school, and is a full lecturer in the AMECEA Pastoral Institute. In addition to teaching, she serves as a Campus Ministry leader in charge of Liturgy, the Church Choir, and community outreach helping the sick, the prisoners, street children and people in slums.

    Sr. Jane shared with us this month:
    "All that I can say is that Seattle University - STM provided me with an open space to explore new subjects, topics, issues, problems, spiritualities and mysteries I would never otherwise explore. It did not only open space and left it empty but it filled it with new knowledge, creativities, thoughts, patterns, methods, skills, theories, principles, Ideas etc.  And not only just being filled with all the above mentioned valuables but also it showed me the way of connecting them with the world around me that is full of challenges. In other words it trained and prepared me to nurture the world and change it accordingly using what I got."


    LorenzoHerman.jpgLorenzo Herman, SJ
    MA in Transformational Leadership, 2013

    Lorenzo received the The Archbishop Raymond G. Hunthausen Award for 2013 from Seattle University. Lorenzo shared with us that this great honor is in large part due to his studies at the School of Theology and Ministry. He shared remarks at the May 21st ceremony in Campion Ballroom and was honored at the Commencement Ceremony at the Key Arena.
    About the Award: "As Seattle University's most prestigious honor, the Archbishop G. Raymond Hunthausen Award recognizes the culmination of our most treasured values. Awarded to two outstanding graduating students, one undergraduate and one graduate, it embodies integrity, faith, leadership and passion for learning. Most importantly, recipients live the Seattle University mission of being a "person for others". We celebrate their gifts of service, justice, collaborative leadership and academic excellence to the University and global community."


    JoeCotton.jpgJoe Cotton
    MA in Pastoral Studies, 2012

    Joe has agreed to become the new Director of Youth Ministry at St. James Cathedral beginning July 1st.  Joe shares:
    I am excited about creating a service and justice oriented youth program that empowers young people to actively be the hands and feet of Christ in the world, an exciting endeavor particularly in light of the priorities being modeled by Pope Francis right now."

    Terri Stewart, a fellow 2012 school alum, has also invited Joe to play a leadership role with Kairos Torch, a national retreat/mentor program for juvenile inmates that Terri has brought to Seattle. Through that program, Joe still involved with incarcerated youth, as he was when we interviewed him earlier this year, where he served as a leader in King County's Youth Detention Center.

    Watch Joe's video interview here.

    DevlynMcCreightMARPT.jpgDevlyn McCreight, MAPC / MARPT, LGPC
    MA in Relationship & Pastoral Therapy, 2010

    Devlyn is currently a Ph.D. student in Pastoral Counseling at Loyola University Maryland, as well as a private-practice therapist at CentrePointe Counseling, Inc. He was recently named as National Chair & Coordinator for the Emerging Professionals and Scholars Initiative of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.


    DreaChicas2013.jpgDrea Chicas
    MA in Transformational Leadership, 2013

    Back in March, we highlighted here a workshop Drea presented at the first annual ALDES El Salvador Human Rights Conference for the LGBTQ issue in San Salvador. Her talk was entitled "Art, Spirituality and Human Rights." The purpose was to show how art can be integrated in human rights movements to raise awareness and also name the deeply spiritual fruits (love, joy, peace, dignity). Participants were LGBTQ human rights activits in El Salvador, several delgates from around the United States, and students at Universidad Central Americana (a Jesuit university).

    Here are some photos and captions from that experience.


    Drea giving her talk on spirituality, art and human rights. (Photo credit: ALDES Facebook)




    DreaChicas_Workshop2.jpgParticipants using pastels to draw their feelings.






    Participants were invited to write a message of hope or their thoughts on 3x5 notecards, and were also invited to commemorate a friend who had been victims of a hate
    crime by drawing on paper bags.










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