Faculty, Staff, Student, Alumni Updates

December 6, 2016


Dr. Eppler, Dr. Rodriguez, and Nicole Chilivis
This fall, Dr. Christie Eppler presented at the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy National Conference in Indianapolis, IN with Dr. Jeanette Rodriguez adjunct professor in the Couples and Family Therapy Program and Nicole Chilivis, Doctor of Ministry student.
Dr. Eppler and Nicole presented on spirituality and cinemetherapy exploring film’s unique ability to create images that explore meaning and transcendence in ways that often elude words. This session used various film clips to explore spiritual themes, images, metaphors, and sacred symbols. Themes included those of mystery, transcendence, hope, beauty, and the sacred. The session employed the guidelines (assessment, implementation, and debriefing) for using cinemetherapy with clients. Additionally, the use of storyboards and a brief writing exercise facilitated participants’ further exploration of their own meaningful images and metaphors. This interactive session provided opportunities to explore spiritual themes through the medium of film and invited participant response through discussion and other creative formats.

Eppler, C., & Chilivis, N. (2016, September). Exploring Spirituality through Cinemetherapy. American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy National Conference. Indianapolis, IN.

Dr. Jeanette Rodriguez and Dr. Eppler presented on incorporating critical race theory and the intersectionality of race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, spirituality, and nationality into therapy assessments. One way to do this is to adapt qualitative measures to promote culturally competent assessment and treatment. Clinical assessments must include protocol related to social location and social justice. Modified Ecomaps, Genograms, and Timelines afford therapists the opportunity to build systemic hypothesis related to the presenting problem and help clinicians understand the clients’ cultural context. In this workshop, clinicians learned the theory and application of using culturally sensitive, social justice-oriented family assessment tools to aid in culturally competent work with clients.

Eppler, C., & Rodriguez, J. (2016, September). Using Creative Assessments to Promote Social Justice. American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy National Conference. Indianapolis, IN.

Dr. Michael Trice

Michael Trice now serves a three year term as the Secretary for the Parliament of the World’s Religions. He recently published a chapter in a forthcoming book on the response of Christian organizations in the United States to the privatization of the prison management in the country. Dr. Trice likewise published an article in Ecumenical Trends (June) that reviews Lutheran-Catholic relations on the eve of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Finally, Dr. Trice has accepted the invitation to serve as co-Chair on the task force of the National Council of Churches in response to the world Christian response to climate change, and he is working on a book this autumn and winter on the theological DNA of generosity as a key to our shared human future.

Dr. Tito Cruz

Dr. Cruz recently contributed 10 extensive articles in The Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States. The Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States outlines the myriad roles Christianity has played and continues to play. The five-volume reference work includes biographies of major figures in the Christian church in the United States, influential religious documents and Supreme court decisions, and information on theology and theologians, denominations, faith-based organizations, immigration, art, evangelism and crusades, the significant role of women, racial issues, civil religion and more.
Additionally, Dr. Cruz contributed a book chapter to Conundrums in Practical Theology edited by Joyce Ann Mercer and Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore and published by Brill in Leiden, Belgium. His chapter entitled The Tension between Scholarship and Service is part of this landmark volume that gathers work from a number of internationally recognized scholars addressing key intellectual and practical conundrums that not only trouble practical theology but also reflect biases and breakdowns in the construction of theological knowledge in academy and religious communities at large.



Simone Winston, Information and Instructional Technology Coordinator
Beth Smith, Budget Manager

In November, Beth Smith and Simone Winston were among over 100 participants from The Association of Theological Schools member schools that attended the conference for financial officers and technology professionals in Orlando Florida. The overall theme of the conference was resourcing theological education. Financial officers focused on administration and allocation of limited resources. The technology professionals focused on facilitating and supporting effective online teaching and learning.


Cindy Pickreign and Maria Nassali
Last year, Cindy and Maria (both alumna of the school) were awarded the P.E.O (Philanthropic Educational Organization) International Peace Scholarship to fund a project they developed in Uganda. Over the summer, they took a trip to Uganda to implement parts of the project. They describe the trip as “short but very fruitful.” Maria writes:

We were welcomed by two sisters from the airport who took us to the mother House where we stayed for three weeks. We visited several families living in villages around the mother House. These were families known by some of the sisters since they work in the fields for the sisters. These women directed us to several other families in their locality that were very poor.
We took several pictures and stories of these families. While we were there, we managed to construct pigsties for three families and also delivered three pairs of pigs to these families. We also bought them some pig feeds to start with. We bought the pigs from the sister’s farm - very nice pigs. You cannot imagine the joy we brought to these families! Some of them could not believe what had been done for them. Many families that did not receive pigsties while we were there told us that they cannot wait to have theirs built. The project was so welcomed and the sisters were very supportive too. Another thing we did was to help the sisters get WIFI. We are so grateful to God for the graces and the energy we had to do all these things.