John Malcomson, MDiv

MDiv.- Interfaith Chaplaincy, Claremont School of Theology

Center Program Coordinator

Phone: (206) 296-2661

Pronouns: he, him, his

Growing up the son of an American Baptist minister and academic, John was encouraged from a young age to follow his own path to the sacred.  Attending a Quaker high school, and later traveling and living in Asia for a number of years, helped him integrate the deep wisdom practices of Buddhism and Christianity in order to further develop his understanding, ground his faith, and connect with people of many cultural backgrounds.  John has been in the leadership of two faith communities, founding Lotus and Lily:  Buddhist-Christian Study and Practice, and ordaining as a Zen Buddhist minister in the tradition of the Vietnamese teacher Thich Nhat Hanh.  He has engaged with compassionate end-of-life care completing a certificate in Buddhist Chaplaincy with the Upaya Zen Center, and is pursuing his vocation as an Interfaith Hospice Chaplain studying for two years in STM and now with Claremont School of Theology (MDiv).  John also worked in the Asian American and immigrant community (Asian Counseling and Referral Service-ACRS for 10 years+), and as a secretary with the Department of Asian Languages and Literature (Asian L&L) at the University of Washington (3 years), which has helped him understand the importance of practicing humility while finding ways to offer and develop skillful means that create space for empowerment and connection.  John lives in Seattle, WA with his partner Heidi.


John on working for CEIE: “It is wonderful to continue my connection with Seattle University, which began with my father Rev. Dr. Bill Malcomson helping to found the ecumenical side of the School of Theology and Ministry. Looking more deeply, I find myself tied to the mission of CEIE through my identity as a Christian Buddhist, as Buddhist minister, in my study to become an Interfaith Chaplain, and my long interest in interfaith dialogue and intercultural understanding.  Doing work that matches my history and my vocation is a privilege I am grateful for.” 


Appreciation from the Director: “John is a gift to the Center, to its leadership and vision. Drawing from an intergenerational commitment to dialogue and intercultural engagement, John’s vocation is also fully his own. He brings warmth, depth, intelligence, and dedication as the lead coordinating presence in the Center. The whole team is appreciative in an additional way, because whereas some may find a position or portfolio, John sees a home.  He invites those around him to inhabit themselves and their work with intentionality, inquiry, and humor too. Through a sense of leadership expressed so well in the Bhagavad Gita 3:21, this Team values John’s leadership, as do I as its director.”


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