April Edition: Faculty, Student and Alumni Updates

April 26, 2016


Mark Markuly, PhD
Dr. Markuly was recently interviewed by King5 news to comment on Pope Francis’s controversial statement about birth control in regards to the Zika Virus. See the interview here: http://www.king5.com/story/news/2016/02/18/pope-francis-allows-birth-control-zika-countries/80583896/

Tito Cruz, PhD
In March, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Tito Cruz was in Frankfurt, Germany. Upon the invitation of the Diocese of Limburg, he facilitated conversations with scholars and church leaders on the pastoral care of migrants and refugees. He presented his current research to the Institute of Mission and Global Church of the German Conference of Catholic Bishops, located at Saint George Jesuit School of Theology and Philosophy.

Erica Martin, Ph.D
April has been a busy month for Dr. Erica Martin! This month, her article, Preaching Against the Text: When the ‘Good Book’ Isn’t,” was published in the Jewish Reform Quarterly. She served on a Panel at the Seattle University IgnatianQ (Ignatian and Queer) Student Conference, which featured speakers from a variety of religious traditions and explored different visions of positive, queer-inclusive spirituality.
She spoke on the topic "Judaism 101" at Epiphany Parish in Seattle, WA, invited by one of our STM students, Emily Linderman and presented a paper titled Holy Dissent: Teaching Religious Leaders to Preach AGAINST the Text at the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Religious Leadership in Chicago, IL.

In a response to the paper, Prof. Steven Sprinkle of Brite Divinity School wrote:
Professor Martin calls us: that interpretation of sacred scriptures should always direct us toward justice in word and deed. The answer to the question of whether one is to live or die by an appeal to justice depends upon the historical, social, political, spiritual, and cultural situation of the respondent, and how she sees herself. So, ‘justice’ must also be continually queered in order to reset the moral and rational compass of the interpreter, every bit as much as the meanings of sacred texts. Like the God of Jesus the Christ of the Holy Bible, and G-d of the beloved Torah, and Allah of the Holy Qu’ran, the Divine is always, always queer, never pin-down-able, box-able, distillable, and therefore reducible to our idolatries, no matter how sincerely held. The Divine moves across the face of the deep, infinitely restless yet with us. Any divinity that settles down is not worthy of our worship.

Finally, she taught a class at Temple Beth El in Tacoma, WA, titled From Moses to Midrash which explores the major theories regarding the production of the Torah, a text so familiar and essential to the Jewish community and worship, but so mysterious in origins and riddled with computational conundrums.

Michael Trice, PhD
Dr. Michael Trice serves as a part of Our Muslim Neighbor Voices, a group of scholars, activists and religious leaders from various religious and cultural backgrounds, who possess a unique understanding and awareness of Islamophobia as it exists within the United States. Our Muslim Neighbor is a national campaign of Religions for Peace USA that fosters grassroots community building efforts to build relationships of trust between Muslims and non-Muslims. OMN Voices takes the simple idea that islamophobia is bad for everyone, and carries on the conversation online. Every month they feature 2 articles by religious leaders and activists profiling important work they do, speaking out on an important topic, or participating in a co-facilitated dialogue with another member of OMN Voices. See Dr. Trice’s featured article here: http://ourmuslimneighbor.org/how-is-religious-bigotry-playing-into-current-u-s-american-politics-michael-reid-trice/.


Jane Strong, MARPT
Jane recently accepted a position with the Downtown Emergency Services Center with the Mobile Crisis Team. DESC is a non-profit agency that has a long history in Seattle of helping folks experiencing homelessness. Jane will also continue to work towards licensure as a mental health counselor.

Cindy Pickreign, MATL | Maria Nassali, MATL
Cindy and Maria have been awarded the Jones Progress Award, a $10,000 grant for students and recent alums in ramping up their new businesses by providing a solid infrastructure of mentoring, grant funds, and connections within the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Corey Passons, MDIV | Alissa Cowan, MARPT | Chrysty Hendrick, MDIV | Julie Gunter, MAPS | Marci Weis, MDIV
This month, these students were inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu. Alpha Sigma Nu, the honor society of Jesuit institutions of higher education, recognizes those students who distinguish themselves in scholarship, loyalty and service. The only honor society permitted to bear the name Jesuit, Alpha Sigma Nu encourages its members to a lifetime pursuit of intellectual development, deepening Ignatian spirituality, service to others, and a commitment to the core principles of Jesuit education.

Laura Baumgardner | MDIV
Laura Baumgardner (UMC) who is doing her MTI internship with Earth Ministry had a short clip on Kiro7. She was at a rally in Tacoma to protest the possible construction of a methanol plant there. Her onsite supervisor, Jessie Dye, mentioned that she energized and wowed the crowd of 1,000 during her talk. See here: http://www.kiro7.com/news/hundreds-weigh-in-on-proposed-methanol-plant-in-tacoma/72290412

Kathleen Hosfeld | MATS
Kathleen is currently Executive Director of Homestead Community Land Trust. She recently wrote a piece for the Faith & Family Homelessness blog about the importance of creating opportunities for affordable homeownership as a way to begin to close the wealth gap and foster more stable communities. See here: Addressing the Affordability Crisis: Homeownership and the Housing Continuum.


Tsukina Blessing | MATL ‘15
Tsukina was recently hired as the Advocacy Program Manager at Real Change. Real Change is an award-winning weekly newspaper that provides immediate employment opportunity and takes action for economic, social, and racial justice. Tsukina graduated with her MATL degree in 2015 and brings more than 30 years organizing experience in the areas of interfaith coalition building, food security, racial equity, economic justice and homelessness. Tsukina will use her experience to magnify the voice of the Vendor Organizing Committee to demand much-needed change in the Seattle community for homeless and low-income people.

Julie Coleman | MATL
Julie was recently hired as interim Associate Vice-Chancellor for Advancement at Seattle Colleges. Graduating with her MATL degree in 2013, Julie has over 25 years of experience with multi-year, multi-million dollar capital campaigns, primarily in the field of education. She is dedicated and passionate about higher education in all areas of development with a strong focus on capital campaign management, campaign leadership, volunteer recruitment and management, strategy and implementation. Julie worked for Seattle University Advancement for over 8 years and is president of the Grace foundation. She is deeply rooted in higher education believing in the power and promise of our young adults.

Nindyo Sasongko | MATS ‘15
Nindyo has been busy publishing, presenting, speaking and leading workshops on a variety of topics. See a list of his most recent projects below:


  • “Spiritual Companionship: A Forgotten Art of Ecclesial Practice in Contemporary Churches?,” Public Lecture, Jakarta Theological Seminary, March 25.
    Project Proposals:
  • “Joy, Deformed and Reformed in the Protestant Church: Humour and Laughter in the Thought of Luther and Calvin,” Sixth Annual RefoRC Conference 2016, the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, May 26-28 (accepted).
  • “Revisiting the Church as Political Body: Toward a Political Theology of the Nonviolent Koinonia,” Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference and Festival, Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, ON, Canada, June 9-12 (accepted).
  • “Saved in the Hiddenness of God: How (Not) to Talk about Revelation in the Context of Plurality,” Theology Connect Conference, Sydney, Australia, July 8-9 (accepted).

Peer Reviewed Publications:

  • “Angling the Trinity from the Margin of Power: Vernacular Trinitarian Theology in Hadewijch of Brabant and Feminist Theology,” Feminist Theology (accepted).
  • “The Christified Universe and the Vanquished Creatures: The Perspectives of Ilia Delio and Elizabeth A. Johnson,” Dialog: A Journal of Theology (Wiley, accepted—forthcoming, Winter 2016).
  • “‘The Dearest Freshness Deep Down Things’: Environmental Justice and Mission in an Ecumenical Perspective,” International Review of Mission 105.1 (World Council of Churches/Wiley, accepted, May 2016).

Community Workshops:

  • Workshop for Pastor Candidates, the Conference of Muria Christian Church in Indonesia:
    Spiritual Disciplines
    Contemporary Spiritual Styles
  • Guest expert speaker, Preparatory Session of the General Assembly, the Synod of the Oikumene Christian Church in Indonesia.
  • Spiritual Recollection for theology student candidates, Conference of the Muria Church of Indonesia, Puncak-Sukabumi, West Java (eight sessions).

Hannah Hochkeppel | MAPS
Hannah Hochkeppel, an alum of the MAPS program, is currently working as the program director for Kids4Peace, a nonprofit organization that brings together Muslim, Jewish, and Christian youth for interfaith education and peacebuilding dialogue. On top of the program’s lens for faith-based social change in our community and in the world, is also recognizes the complexity of growing in one's intrafaith learning when they begin to engage with other faith traditions that are not their own.

Karen Hollis (Kennell) | MDIV ‘12
Karen was recently approved for ordination in the United Church of Canada. She will be ordained this summer!

Jen Sherer (Leard) | MATL ‘15
Jen is the newest Regional Development Officer at Saint Louis University (SLU) Her position will involve traveling about 50% of the time to different cities west of the Mississippi, engaging with alums, friends and donors. She says:

Not only do I feel that I have the industry knowledge on leadership and best practices, but I have the emotional intelligence and self-awareness to be confident in my own leadership style. My work in fundraising is not just about bringing in the most amount of money, it's about truly listening and connecting with people and helping them make a meaningful impact on a community they hold dear to their heart.

Ben St. Hilaire | MATL ‘15
Ben was just hired as the technical assistant at the Marysville branch of the Sno-Isle Library system. He will be assisting library patrons with various library technology resources, especially electronic media access, and entering the rotation to teach various intro-level technology classes.