Fall Edition: Faculty, Staff, Student & Alumni Updates

Written by Hannah Mello
October 8, 2015


Tito Cruz, S.M, PhD
Tito Cruz recently presented a paper entitled ?Filipino Labor Migration and Human Trafficking in the United States? at the biennial conference of the International Academy of Practical Theology co-sponsored by the University of Pretoria and the University of South Africa. He was also elected on the executive committee as treasurer, serving the organization?s membership from over thirty countries. During a recent trip to Belfast, he visited with Mairead Corrigan Maguire, founder of the Community of Peace People who, in 1977, received the Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent response to the troubles in Northern Ireland. Tito was also invited to preside at the plenary session of the Association of Practical Theology. Some of the APT events will be held in conjunction with sessions at the United Nations on global migration.

Sharon Henderson Callahan, EdD
After an extensive application process, Dr. Callahan has been elected to a three-year term on the Board of Trustees by both Catholic Community Services and by Catholic Housing Services. Dr. Callahan?s work will enhance the school?s two grant efforts related to public theology and may provide opportunity for the school to design new degrees related to helping people move into social service leadership and family therapy. She has been a lifelong supporter of CCS and other efforts Catholic and Ecumenical and is excited for the opportunity as it plays into her lifelong commitment and action for social justice.?

Leticia Guardiola-S?enz, PhD
Dr. Guardiola-S?enz has been appointed the Fr. Patrick Howell, SJ Professorship of Theology and Ministry. Over her three year term, Leticia will develop a partnership with the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) in Managua, Nicaragua. In one of her first acts as the Howell Professor, she will attend an ecumenical conference this upcoming spring on the campus of the UCA along with other SU faculty. The focus of the conference will be on exploring the ecumenical perspectives in Pope Francis?s encyclical on the environment. Leticia?s biblical background, Mexican heritage, and Baptist religious grounding will serve her well in this role.

Becky Cobb, PhD
In May, Dr. Cobb traveled with a group of students to Hawaii to participate in the annual Shinnyo-en Lantern Floating Ceremony (see the original post here). As a way to share the experience with their members all over the world, the Shinnyo-en Foundation produced a short film about the group?s experience. The video has now been completed and shared with Shinnyo-en members worldwide. See the finished product here!
At the beginning of the month, Dr. Cobb traveled to Austin, TX to attend the national conference for the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) where she was honored with the AAMFT dissertation award for her work on intimate partner violence. ?

Christie Eppler, Ph.D
Dr. Eppler also attended the AAMFT national conference where she co-facilitated one of the workshop presentations entitled, ?Experientially Exploring the Intersections of Resiliency and Spirituality.? The workshop explored the importance of client relationships with spiritual systems such as God/Source/Divine, rituals, and faith communities. The workshop was one of the few during the weekend that sold out! In addition, Dr. Eppler has had numerous works published recently. Visit her faculty profile to view all of her publications and presentations.

Richard Cunningham, DMin
Dr. Cunningham contributed a chapter to a new book on practical theological reflection titled Brimming with God: Reflecting Theologically on Cases in Ministry. ?Edited by Barbara Blodgett and Matthew Floding the book gathers work from twenty-three practical theologians who teach in theological schools or seminaries as contextual or field educators in the US, Canada, and Australia. Each chapter uses a theological reflection method to address a ?case? study. A second contributor offers an alternative reflection. ?Dr. Cunningham?s ?chapter, ?So this is Ministry?? focuses on a theological student intern who questions his pastoral approach and theological assumptions when asked by the pastoral supervisor to meet with a group of individuals getting ready for a church bazaar. He uses a theological reflection method titled: ?What, So What, Now What???a simple but poignant approach to get to the practices and ambiguities of ministry and deeper theological questions.?

Michael Reid Trice, PhD
Dr. Trice has been busy traveling, writing, and presenting all over the world. He wrote an engaging blog post for Religions for Peace USA entitled ?Muslim-Christian Dialogue is for the Birds.? In this timely piece that coincided with the Parliament of World Religions, Dr. Trice writes: ?to state that Muslim-Christian dialogue is ?for the birds,? is to claim that the daily, consistent, normative signs of mutual hope are essential for public life today. ?At heart, this is why interreligious dialogue matters: Society requires consistent signs of hope, like birds that constellate meaning in the branches above us. These living creatures affirm the essential and even sacred aspects of our humanity, which are needed in the maelstrom of our shared civic spaces.? He also traveled to Sweden where he met with theology students at Stockholm University and presented at a conference held at the University of Uppsala titled Mending the World: Possibilities and Obstacles for Religion, Church and Theology.?At the Parliament of World Religions, Dr. Trice gave a presentation entitled The Generosity Project: Re-imagining a Core of Religious Belonging in the 21st Century and participated in a interreligious panel on Suffering as a Pathway to Service.

Erica Martin, Ph.D
In October, Dr. Martin will be teaching a class at Temple Beth El in Tacoma, WA titled ?Judges: Israel Rises and Falters.? This three-week course will take a deep look at the biblical book Shoftim: Judges, a fascinating and troubling part of our Tanach. Students will survey the contents of Judges and explore major theories regarding the way the book was composed, arguments for and against the historicity AND the morality of the tales within: tales of love, bloodlust, piety, and depravity in which ?every man did what was right in his own eyes.?
October 4, 11, and 18, 2015
Members $40; Non-Members $55.
Registration information available at Temple Beth El (253) 564-7101 or shelly@tbetacoma.org


Daniel Kelley-Petersen, MAEd, LMHCA, NCC
The school welcomes Daniel Kelley-Petersen, new Academic Specialist for the Master of Arts in Relationship & Pastoral Therapy?the school?s couples and family therapy program. Daniel graduated from Seattle University's MA in Community Counseling and is a Licensed Mental Health Counseling Associate with his own private practice. Daniel has extensive experience in student affairs and career development including research on service learning as a Research Fellow. As the Academic Specialist, Daniel will be working closely with couples and family therapy students as they progress through their clinical internship sequence. As a clinician himself, he is excited to serve in this role and support students' work as developing therapists.


Trina Banks, MDiv
Trina has been honored as the first recipient of the Rev. Gwen Hall/Lois Peterson Scholarship. The scholarship was named for Rev. Gwen Hall, the founder of Sojourner Truth Ministries and Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry alumna, and Lois Peterson, a member who wanted to see the work of the ministry continue. Trina is recognized for her service to the LGBTQ community demonstrated through her work as a member of Sojourner Truth Ministries, where she provided pastoral care primarily to African Americans affected by HIV/AIDS. Her goal to be credentialed and ordained for leadership as clergy, represents yet another step in her commitment to improving lives and fighting for justice through the works of the church.?

Maureen Crawford, MATS
Current Transforming Spirituality student Maureen Crawford began a new position, as Director of Adult Faith Formation for the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia. As the Director for Adult Faith Formation, Maureen is responsible for providing tools, opportunities, and support, in cooperation with other ministries, for spiritual growth and renewal.?

Heather Thompson, MDiv
After suffering a head injury, student Heather Thompson?s life changed dramatically. Before the accident working as a renowned business strategist, Heather considered herself a ?left-brain? person?she had no interest in anything artistic. Now, a talented painter, she says, ?I have to paint all the time?it?s essential for my brain to function properly.? She even uses color to capture her notes during class. Heather?s story was recently featured in an article on ?accidental savants? published by an Australian news outlet. Read the full article here.

Corey Passons, MDiv
Corey recently gathered with an interfaith community for Muslim prayers and community discernment about how to respond to the Global Rally for Humanity protest that was scheduled in Bremerton the next day. The group decided to meet again at the same time as the protest to pray and sing together and build community. Corey shared his reflections on the event with the Huffington Post: "Some of us call to Allah. Some of us call to the Great Mystery. Some of us bow to the Buddha nature in all. Some follow the way of Jesus. But we all yearn for peace. We all long for a world where peace can prevail."?Corey invites all fellow School of Theology and Ministry students and community members to reflect with him as he preaches at Bethany United Church of Christ (located on the corner of Beacon and Graham). Corey will be preaching on October 25 and December 13 at the 10:30am service.


Rev. Bill Graves, MDiv
Master of Divinity alumni Bill Graves has been appointed a part-time minister at Kittitas Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation, spending one week a month in Ellensburg preceding his service on second Sundays. Previously lay-led, the congregation is looking to Rev. Graves to tend to the needs of the congregation, including counseling people and performing rites of passage, and work to identify where the congregation can put energy for improvement. Bill shares: "I hope I will give them leadership and a greater connection to the world of our denomination outside Ellensburg?and I have a certain amount of experience and four years of training I will bring to them."?Read more here.?

Carol A. Wilson, MATS
Carol Wilson is a Spiritual Director, Veriditas Certified Facilitator and a retreat leader working primarily with twelve-step spirituality. On Saturday, October 17, Carol will lead a retreat entitled: Sunlight of the Spirit. This retreat will be open to men and women, family and friends who are interested in Twelve-Step Spirituality. ?It will touch on each of the 12-steps with sharing, small groups, labyrinth, quiet time, etc. For more information contact Linda Conroy at lnd.conroy@gmail.com?

Sister Marilyn Geiger, MDiv
Sister Marilyn Geiger, a member of the Sisters of Saint Francis of Rochester, MN, celebrated her Golden Jubilee with the Congregation on August 2, 2015. She earned her Master of Divinity in 1991 and spent many years working in the Archdiocese of Seattle, WA, as pastoral coordinator of St. Anne's Parish, and as a family nurse practitioner in a community clinic in Seattle. Presently, she serves as the Congregational Minister/President of the Sisters of Saint Francis, Rochester, MN. ?Sister Marilyn is a member of the Leadership Council of Women Religious (LCWR), serving on LCWR?s National Board of Directors as the Chairperson for LCWR Region 11, and as a participant on the LCWR Global Concerns Committee. ?

Kelle Browne, ?MDiv
Master of Divinity Alumna Kelle Browne is UCC Plymouth?s transitional Associate Minister. After serving in various capacities in both churches and non-profits, Kelle is excited to be in her new position - ?The interesting thing about my move to Plymouth is that my first experience with God was in a UCC church when at age 19, I was invited to sing. That?s when I first realized there was more. In many ways, this is a homecoming for me?being an agent of change. It?s truly amazing.? Read more here.

Fr. John Forman, MDiv
Alumni John Forman is currently serving as rector of St. Elizabeth Episcopal Church. Under his direction, the congregation will be creating and delivering 125 feminine hygiene kits that will help young girls who are otherwise excluded from school because of cultural notions. Each kit will last three to four years. ?They are comfortable, effective and discrete, and will give the girls back days of dignity, participation and safety that they can count on month after month. In addition to the difficulties facing all Southern Sudanese people, girls in South Sudan are under additional social, cultural and economic pressures that make it difficult for them to go to school at all. ?Even if they get there, many do not or cannot finish high school. ?Persuasive research by Lawrence Chickering, the founder of the International Center for Economic Growth, shows that the fastest approach to healthy development in a new country like South Sudan is to educate their young women. In addition to the hygiene kits, St. Elizabeth has started collecting money to help build a dormitory for about 50 young women at St. Mary?s High School in the capital city, Aweil. ?When it is completed in 2016, St. Mary?s will be the first girls? high school in the state of Northern Bahr El Ghazal.

Anyone interested in joining us in these small but focused ways can send a check for any amount to St. Elizabeth Episcopal Church with a notation that the check is for the Rector?s Discretionary Fund. ?Our mailing address is: P.O. Box 66579, Burien, WA 98166. ?If you have questions, please contact John Forman at john_forman@comcast.com. Every nickel donated will go directly to these two efforts.

Kathleen Hosfeld, MATL
Kathleen is currently leading Homestead, a non-profit organization that makes home ownership possible for low- to moderate-income people in the greater Seattle area. Kathleen?s role at Homestead allows her to apply many of the lessons she about transformational leadership and building community at the school. Most importantly, Homestead works for justice on behalf of people who have historically been excluded from owning their own home by discriminatory federal policies and business practices. ?Ownership is one of the final steps on the long road to self-sufficiency for many people. On Saturday October 10, Homestead will be hosting its 3rd annual Evening of fun, Food, & Trivia. Join the Homestead community for food, drinks, and trivia at Pyramid Alehouse from 6:00-9:30pm. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Terra Morgan, MDiv
Terra is now working as a full time chaplain at Providence Hospice of Seattle. She has also been endorsed by Unity Worldwide Ministries and continues to work towards becoming a Board Certified Chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains.

Daniel Tidwell
Daniel participated this year as a presenter at the annual AAR meeting in Atlanta, GA. His presentation entitled: "We Pray What Our Bodies Know: A Formational Response to Bernadette Barton's Pray the Gay Away: The Extraordinary Lives of Bible Belt Gays", explored pastoral responses for the spiritual formation of LGBTIQ people who have been harmed in religious settings.

John Graden, OSFS
John, who graduated from the school in 1978, recently wrote and published a book titled Letting Go, Hanging On. the book offers a Salesian approach to letting go--helping readers examine their own lives in terms of what they hold on to, should hold on to, and what they should let go of in order to grow spiritually. Based on the spiritual journey of St. Francis de Sales, each chapter includes a reflection and ends with a scriptural meditation, questions for reflection and discussion, and an exercise. Click here for more information.