May Edition: Faculty, Staff, Student & Alumni Highlights

Written by Hannah Crivello
May 21, 2015



Dr. Faustino (Tito) Cruz&Dr. Mark Chung Hearn
Both Drs. Cruz and Hearn have received copies of the three volume encyclopedia on Christian Education in which they both published three works. Dr. Cruz published on Dialogue Education and Jane Vella, Alfonso M. Nebreda, and Transformational Leadership. Dr. Chung Hearn published on the topics of Men and Christian Education, Men's Spirituality, and Sports and Physical Training.

Dr. Christie Eppler
Dr. Christie Eppler, Howell Professor of Leadership and Spirituality, offered an all-day workshop entitled "Narrative Therapy: Healing Stories of Faith and Hope" to members and friends of Washington Pastoral Counselors Association. Counselors from schools, private practices, and agencies were able to practice infusing spiritual assessment into narrative therapy practice. They also practiced therapeutic interventions such as externalizing conversations, creating an altar, bolstering resilient traits, and using social deconstruction in a counseling session.

Dr. Rebecca (Becky) Cobb
Dr. Cobb gave a guest presentation at the same workshop as Dr. Eppler--exploring an approach she created and published called "Altered Book Making as a Form of Art Therapy." Additionally, Becky collaborated with current MA in Relationship & Pastoral Therapy student Elizabeth Theriault to present using an altar as a narrative intervention. Participants reported that they enjoyed the creative, interactive nature of the workshop.

Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda
Dr. Moe-Lobeda was invited to the position of full Professor at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and has accepted the opportunity. While she will be very much missed in our Seattle University community, we celebrate all that this opportunity will bring her and her family.


Dr. Michael Reid Trice
Dr. Michael Reid Trice and Transforming Spirituality student Nindyo Sasongko have been asked to present at the conference ?Mending the World? Possibilities and obstacles for Religion, Church, and Theology? in Uppsala, Sweden in October. The aim of the conference is to explore if, how, and in what ways religion, church, and theology can contribute to the future of a global society in constructive ways. Dr. Trice will be presenting his paper entitled, ?The Future of Generosity: What On Earth Are We Here For?? exploring the following questions: is generosity an essential religious dimension of meaningful existence? In what manner must generosity serve as an essential telos for the future of humanity? How does a lack of generosity damage persons and threaten a human future?

Dr. Ruby Takushi
Dr. Takushi presented at the Western Regional Conference on Problem Gambling Awareness: Focus on the Future. The conference brought together healthcare providers, gaming industry members, educators, researchers, prevention specialists and policy makers to discuss impactful programs and services for problem gambling. Dr. Takushi drew from her extensive experience working with individuals with addictive behaviors to speak on Co-occuring Disorders.

Dr. Mark S. Markuly
Northwest Catholic, the official news magazine and website for the Archdiocese of Seattle, published a piece written by Dr. Markuly in their May issue. The article, entitled ?Encountering God in the Face of Suffering? reflects on the tragic death of US aid worker, Kayla Mueller, and the inspiration that can be taken from her commitment to relieve suffering in the world. See the article online here. Dr. Markuly was invited by the University of Washington?s Shinnyo-en Buddhist Student Association to speak about cultural harmony and understanding and the unifying power of spiritual symbols and ritual in light of his experience at the Shinnyo-en Buddhist Lantern Floating Ceremony that he attended in Hawaii last year.? Read last month?s post about School of Theology and Ministry Faculty and students attending the Shinnyo-en Buddhist Lantern Floating Ceremony in Hawaii this year, here.
Dr. Markuly joined Dr. Mike Raschkoto take part in the first-ever God debate at Western Washington University (WWU). ?Does God Exist,? hosted by the freethinkers of WWU and Newman Catholic Campus Ministry, featured Dr. Markuly and Dr. Raschko debating for the existence of God joined by Bob Seidensticker--author of an atheist blog on the Patheos network, and Valerie Tarico, Ph.D?psychologist and author of "Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light."

Dr. Michael Kinnamon
The Rev. Michael Kinnamon, Ph.D. presented a workshop at Prospect Congregational UCC Church entitled ?Renewing Our Passion for the Wholeness & Unity of the Church: Accountability to God, to the World, and to One Another." Followed by working group discussion, the gathering was inspired by the ecumenical vision of Dr. Kinnamon, as laid out in his new book, ?Can A Renewal Movement by Renewed? Questions for the Future of Ecumenism.?

Dr. Jessica ChenFeng
Dr. Jessica Chenfeng discussed her passion to serve Asian American immigrant populations. Through her personal experiences and being a participant in AAMFT?s Minority Fellowship Program, Dr. Chenfeng ?developed a more contextual understanding of immigrant and minority experiences.? The articles linked the results from her dissertation, The Lived Experience of Chinese American Christians in Family Life, with her cross-cultural and clinical experiences. She writes, ?one thing that remains an interest to me is how we educate, train, and support MFT students to have critical consciousness about social context and identity.? Dr. Chenfeng will teach this summer?s STMC 5510 Advanced Pastoral Skills Class, open to pre-clinical MARPT students.


Lisa Gustaveson, MNPL
Lisa represented the school at the Washington State Low Income Housing Alliance conference, and presented a workshop on "Unleashing the Capacity for Deeper Collaboration Amongst Congregations, Service Providers and People Experiencing Homelessness" with standing room only. The presentation included current Doctor of Ministry student Rev. Jan Bolerjack?s perspective as a pastor who receives calls from homeless families almost every day.


Sheila Houston? |? Doctor of Ministry
Here pictured (left), Sheila presented to a packed room on "Informed & Transformed Thinking around Survivors of Domestic Sex Trafficking & Their Connection to Homelessness" at last week's Washington Low Income Housing Alliance conference.

Nindyo Sasongko? |? Master of Arts in Transforming Spirituality
Nindyo?s paper showing a comparative study of the experience of the black community in the US and Chinese-descent people in Indonesia as two minority groups using the thought of Ren? Girard has been accepted for presentation at the 2015 Colloquium on Violence and Religion at St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri. The Colloquium will be held July 8-12.?


Melissa (Mia) Smith, MDiv '14
Melissa Smith has just begun a new position as Director of Older Youth & Young Adult Ministry at Federated church of West Lafayette in Indiana. Melissa says about her time at the school:
?I have share with you, with all sincerity, that every single day I am grateful for the education I received at the School of Theology and Ministry. Everything I experienced prepared me for faith leadership, including the challenges I experienced --- they gave me examples of how to be (and not be) in ministry. From healthy boundaries to practicing self-care, the school addresses the whole person and I learned much more than I was able to process or reflect on as it was occurring.?

Rev. Jan Bolerjack, PBPLD '07 - and Current Doctor of Ministry student!
Rev. Jan Bolerjack was honored by the Church Council of Greater Seattle with the Gertrude Apel Pioneering Spirit Award for her ministry of restorative healing and social justice, borne out in a love of people and hope for the future. Senior Pastor of Riverton Park United Methodist Church in Tukwila, Rev. Bolerjack has been a leading spokesperson for the effort to increase SeaTac's minimum wage for hospitality and transportation workers to $15/hour.

Mike Bathum, MTS '94
Mike Bathum had an exhibition on view at the Jansen Art Center in Lynden during September and October of last year and is currently developing a new work for the 2015 exhibition season. He will be entering the annual regional exhibition at the Museum of Northwest Art in LaConner in June. Additionally, he serves as liturgical artist in residence and a member of the peace and justice committee at First Congregational Church in Bellingham. He recently completed illustrations of the Twelve Stations of the Cross for his congregation that hung in the church chapel during Lent. View Mike?s work at
Kelly Hickman, MATS '10
Kelly Hickman was honored by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) for her work with the Archdiocese of Seattle?s Missions Office and dedication to using the Rice Bowl Program to connect Catholics in the US to those in need worldwide.? CRS Rice Bowl is a Lenten program that encourages Catholics to practice prayer, fasting, and almsgiving to help alleviate hunger around the world. She received the 2015 CRS Rice Bowl Award from Catholic Relief Services at the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington, D.C. The Archdiocese of Seattle is the top diocese in the US in participation and total collections for the Rice Bowl Program.

Maggie Breen, MDiv '13
Maggie Breen was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the PCUSA at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church on February 8. Maggie?s new role will be the Associate Pastor for Youth, Families and Community and her call includes a charge to provide leadership to the ecumenical community in Renton as Executive Director of REACH. Maggie shared that she is ?so proud of this church for supporting a role that so deliberately and thoughtfully links what we do at church with how we offer love and care in the world? and she is also ?thankful for the many dear friends, family and teachers who have been part of this journey.