Summer Session 2013 - Instructors

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Ann Ameling

Ann AmelingAnn Ameling is emeritus professor of psychiatric-mental health nursing at Yale University School of Nursing. Her work focused on development of curriculum and associated research programs in Spirituality, Healing, and Health Care. She directed an interdisciplinary program at Yale funded jointly by the Teagle Foundation and the John Templeton Foundation to develop interdisciplinary courses in spirituality and end of life care. Her 1982 book with Judith Krauss, The Chronically Ill Psychiatric Outpatient in the Community, was named The American Journal of Nursing Book of the year and served for many years as the standard nursing reference on the subject. Ann holds a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School, and is an Oblate of a Roman Catholic cloistered order of monks and affiliated with The New Camoldese Hermitage in Big Sur, California. Believing that it is important to examine the spiritual roots of many alternative and complementary therapies, she is trained as a Reiki Master practitioner and a certified Labyrinth facilitator as part of Veriditas at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

Teaching: Living with Dying


Americ Azevedo

Americ AzevedoA lifelong meditator, Americ Azevedo has taught meditation and facilitated meditation retreats in spiritual, educational, and business settings. He currently teaches a large meditation class at the University of California, Berkeley. His other classes at U.C.B. have included Introduction to Nonviolence, Religion Peace and Conflict, Engineering Ethics, Time Money and Love in the Age of Technology, and Introduction to Computers. Courses at other universities include Spirituality and Leadership (Saint Mary's College), Eastern Philosophy and Religion (Dominican University of California), Mysticism and Science (San Francisco State University), Introduction to Philosophy, Management of Organizational Change, and Management Information Systems. He combines a background in philosophy and world religions, with years of experience in business and technology, where he was a pioneer in online education and virtual communities. His teaching style is student-centered utilizing Socratic dialogue and building a strong environment of mutual trust and support. He is author of Meditation: Waking Up to Life.

Teaching: Dialogue as Spiritual Practice


Cameron Barr

Cameron barr photoRev. Cameron Barr is a lifelong member of the United Church of Christ. A graduate of Davidson College and Vanderbilt Divinity School, he serves as Associate Minister at Plymouth Church in Des Moines, Iowa.

Teaching: UCC History and Polity at General Synod 2013 with K. Ray Hill & Carol Barriger



Carol Barriger

Carol BarrigerReverend Barriger is a graduate of Pacific School of Religion and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, with an M.Div. and an M.A. in Biblical Studies. She has served 3 parish ministries and as a chaplain at Stanford and Lucile Packard Children's Hospitals. She has written, consulted and preached throughout the Northern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ, and served as Associate Conference Minister for 6 years.  She is currently on the adjunct faculty at PSR teaching United Church of Christ Ethos, Polity, and Ministry, and in the Theological Education for Leadership program.

Teaching: UCC History and Polity at General Synod 2013 with K. Ray Hill


Jon Berquist

Jon BerquistJon L. Berquist is president of Disciples Seminary Foundation.  He has taught Hebrew Bible at a number of seminaries, including Pacific School of Religion, Vanderbilt University Divinity School, and New Brunswick Theological Seminary.  He is the author of ten books in biblical studies and religion, including Reclaiming Her Story: The Witness of Women in the Old Testament and Judaism in Persia’s Shadow: A Social and Historical Approach.

Teaching:Disciples of Christ History and Polity


Miguel De La Torre

Miguel De La TorreThe Rev. Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre, Professor of Social Ethics and Latino/a Studies at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado was elected President of the Society of Christian Ethics in 2012. Dr. De La Torre has received several national book awards and is a frequent speaker at national scholarly religious conferences, focusing upon topics concerning the intersection of race, class and gender with religion.

Since obtaining his doctorate in 1999, Dr. De La Torre has authored numerous articles and books, including the award-winning Reading the Bible from the Margins, (Orbis, 2002); Santería: The Beliefs and Rituals of a Growing Religion in America (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2004); and Doing Christian Ethics from the Margins, (Orbis, 2004). Within the academy he has served as a director to the Society of Christian Ethics and the American Academy of Religion. Additionally, he has been co-chair of the Ethics Section at the American Academy of Religion.  In 2012, he was elected President of the Society of Christian Ethics.  That same year he received a Fulbright, teaching a course on postcolonialism and Christianity in Indonesia.

Dr. De La Torre has been an expert commentator concerning ethical issues (mainly Hispanic religiosity, LGBT civil rights, and immigration rights) on several local, national, and international media outlets. A scholar-activist, Dr. De La Torre has written numerous articles in popular media. He writes monthly columns for Ethics Daily that continuously creates controversies for his unique approach of religiously analyzing social issues from the perspective of the dispossessed and disenfranchised.

Teaching: Biblical Ethics: Applying the Bible to Modern Ethical Dilemmas


Carla DeSola

Carla Desola

Carla DeSola, MA 1993, a pioneer in liturgical dance in the United States, studied dance at the Juilliard School of Music and founded the Omega Liturgical Dance Company at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City in 1975. She is the founder and director of Omega West Dance Company in the Bay Area, and since 1989 has taught classes in sacred dance at the GTU, sponsored by PSR and the Center for the Arts, Religion and Education. As an author, educator, and choreographer, she has inspired countless students, and her work/choreography has been reflected in many worship services, including those at PSR. Among her writings are two books, The Spirit Moves: A Handbook of Dance and Prayer and PeaceRites: Dance and the Art of Making Peace.

Teaching: Beyond Words: Embodying Interfaith Ritual through Dance and Prayer (CANCELLED)

Mahsea Evans

P. Masea EvansPeter “Mahsea” Evans is completing his MA and Masters of Divinity at the Graduate Theological Union and Pacific School of Religion.  Before pursuing his degree work, he taught creative writing workshops and performed as a spoken word artist in venues on the East Coast. His work combines his passion for poetry and theology with a commitment to social change.

Teaching: Unleashing the Within: Spoken Word Poetry as Creative Arts Ministry


Jehon Grist

Jehon GristJehon Grist, Ph.D., is Executive Director of Lehrhaus Judaica, the Bay Area School for adult Jewish education. He received his Ph.D. in ancient Near Eastern cultures from UC Berkeley after doctoral research at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and archaeological field research in Israel, the Gaza Strip, and Egypt. He has published articles and photos on the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, and the Biblical Archaeology Review. An instructor and assistant professor at UC Berkeley, and Cal State Fresno, Dr. Grist has spent the last 20 years administering Lehrhaus and teaching courses at various Jewish community and secular institutions in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

Teaching: Witness to the World of Jesus: the Life and Times of Flavius Josephus


K. Ray Hill

K. Ray HillK. Ray Hill is the Pastor of Maple Temple UCC Raleigh, NC. He serves as an instructor for the Southern Conference Pastoral Leadership Development Program and has 22 years of urban and rural pastoral experience.  Rev. Hill has served as Area Conference Minister of the Southern Conference United Church of Christ. 


Teaching: UCC History and Polity at General Synod 2013 with Carol Barriger


Dwight Hopkins

Dwight HopkinsDwight N. Hopkins is Director of MA Studies and Professor of Theology at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He has authored Being Human: race, culture, and religion and Shoes That Fit Our Feet: sources for a constructive black theology. He is an editor of The Cambridge Companion to Black Theology (2012); Changing Conversations: religious reflection & cultural analysis; Religions/Globalizations: theories and cases; and Liberation Theologies, Postmodernity, and the Americas. After graduating from public schools in Richmond, VA, Hopkins attended the 8th to the 12th grades at Groton School (an Episcopalian, all-boys boarding school); Harvard University (BA); Union Theological Seminary, New York (M.Div., M.Phil, Ph.D.); and University of Cape Town, South Africa (Ph.D.) He is ordained in the American Baptist denomination.

Teaching: Being Human: Race, Culture, and Religion


Robert Kramish

Robert KramishRobert Kramish is a doctoral student in biblical studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. He has taught courses in biblical languages and literature at the GTU and its member schools, including PSR.

Teaching: Biblical Hebrew I and Biblical Hebrew II



Boyung Lee

Boyung Lee Dr. Lee is Associate Professor of Educational Ministries at PSR. She is a United Methodist whose ministry experience ranges from one of Korea's poorest communities to an affluent New England suburb. She considers Korea's poor, particularly its women, to be brilliant commentators on justice and realized eschatology. One of Dr. Lee's pedagogical goals is to help people find truth within themselves and to reflect critically on it in their present life contexts, thus to descry new futures/creations. Dr. Lee's research interests are communitarian Christian religious education, postcolonial biblical pedagogy, Asian feminist theology, and racial/ethnic and sexual identity formation. Dr. Lee received her BA from Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, 1987; her ThM from Yonsei University, 1989; her MDiv from Claremont School of Theology, 1994; and her PhD from Boston College, 2004.

Teaching: Introduction to Christian Education (CANCELLED)


Tat-siong Benny Liew

Tat-siong Benny LiewDr. Liew is Professor of New Testament at PSR. He is most interested and invested in transdisciplinary study of the New Testament. Alongside New Testament studies, his scholarly interests include literary theory, postcolonial studies, gender/sexuality studies, and ethnic studies (particularly Asian American history and literature). Dr. Liew is the author of What Is Asian American Biblical Hermeneutics? Reading the New Testament (2008), and Politics of Parousia: Reading Mark Inter(con)textually (1999). He also edited Postcolonial Interventions: Essays in Honor of R. S. Sugirtharajah (2009), They Were All Together in One Place? Toward Minority Biblical Criticism with Randall Bailey and Fernando Segovia (2009), and the last issue of the journal, Semeia, with Gale Yee on "The Bible in Asian America" (2002). Dr. Liew also serves on several international editorial boards, and is currently the book review editor of the journal, Biblical Interpretation. Dr. Liew received his BA from Olivet Nazarene University, 1984; his MA from Olivet Nazarene University, 1986; his MA from Vanderbilt University, 1994; and his PhD, Vanderbilt University, 1997.

Teaching: Myths, Gospels, and Human Lives


Richard Lindsay

Richard LindsayRichard Lindsay recently earned his PhD in Art and Religion at the Graduate Theological Union. His scholarship and teaching explores the intersections of popular culture and religion.   A native of Kentucky, Richard holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Louisville and a Master of Divinity from Yale University.

Teaching: Unleashing the Within: Spoken Word Poetry as Creative Arts Ministry


Karen McClintock

Karen McClintockKaren A. McClintock, M.Div, Ph.D is a psychologist specializing in shame recovery. She teaches in the psychology department at Southern Oregon University. She is a national lecturer and workshop leader on shame and grace, healthy relationships, and sexual abuse prevention. Her books on shame recovery include a new book Shame-Less Lives, Grace-full Congregations, and her previous book Sexual Shame: An Urgent Call to Healing (Fortress Press).  She is an ordained United Methodist clergyperson with a passion for religious diversity and sexual diversity. Her passion is to rid people of debilitating shame, much of which is taught in religious ideologies and institutions. More information is available at:

Teaching: Shame-less Lives, Grace-full Congregations


Angel Méndez Montoya

Angel Méndez MontoyaDr. Angel F. Méndez Montoya, is a Lay Dominican Brother from the Province of Saint Martín de Porres, US. He holds a B.A. in dance, an M.A. in philosophy, M.A in theology, and M.Div., and a ph.D. in philosophical theology from the University of Virginia. He wrote his dissertation at Cambridge University (UK) as a scholar in residence, and his work was published in 2009 by Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK, under the title, The Theology of Food: Eating and the Eucharist.  This work was nominated for the Michael Ramsey Prize 2011. In 2010 this same book was published in Spanish by Editorial JUS, in Mexico City, under the title, Festín del deseo: hacia una teología alimentaria. He currently teaches theology, philosophy and cultural studies at several universities in Mexico City, and gives lectures primarily in Mexico, Latin America, US, and Europe.

Teaching: Critical Texts in Contemporary Christian Theology and the Arts


Jim Mitulski

Jim MitulskiRev. Jim Mitulski PSR's co-director of worship and a campus pastor, as well as being pastor of New Spirit Community Church ( which meets in the PSR chapel.  Jim has been a pastor for 27 years, serving churches in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as being a Merrill Fellow at the Harvard Divinity School.  He was pastor of the Metropolitain Community Church in San Francisco during the AIDS years from 1985-2000 and performed many weddings, in addition to many funerals.  He holds a BA from Columbia University, an M.Div. from PSR, an honorary doctorate in sacred theology from Starr King School for the Ministry.

Teaching: Liberation Liturgies


Tafa Muasau

Tafa MuasauRev. Muasau is president of Kanana Fou Theological Seminary in American Samoa.  He is an important figure in theological education in Oceania and has been active in the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians (EATWOT) Pacific branch for many years.  He is also a strong supporter of women’s leadership in the church.  Rev. Muasau holds a BD and MTh from Pacific Theological College.

Teaching: History of Christianity in the Pacific Region with Randi Walker


Robert Peach

Robert PeachRob Peach is a doctoral student in Interdisciplinary Studies at the Graduate Theological Union. An avid listener of rap music, his doctoral work is concerned with exploring the liberating dimensions of African American expressive culture, particularly hip-hop, and its role as a vehicle for social change. He has performed spoken word pieces at the Hippie Gypsy in Berkeley and the Berkeley Poetry Slam.

Teaching: Unleashing the Within: Spoken Word Poetry as Creative Arts Ministry


Michael Piazza

Michael PiazzaMichael Piazza currently serves as the Co-Director of the Center for Progressive Renewal, specializing in church multiplication and renewal. Rev. Piazza served as the senior pastor of the Cathedral of Hope during a time of unprecedented growth. When he arrived in Dallas in 1987, the church had 280 members and a budget of $280,000. When he retired to become Dean of the Cathedral, the church’s membership was more than 3,500, with a consolidated budget of more than $3 million. This growth took place in a setting that was hostile to the church’s constituency and during a time in which the church performed more than 1,500 funerals for persons with HIV/AIDS. Today Rev. Piazza lives in Atlanta, GA.

Teaching: reNEW: Skills for Leading New and Renewing Progressive Churches


Elizabeth Ritter-Conn

Elizabeth Ritter-ConnBeth Ritter-Conn is a doctoral student in Systematic and Philosophical Theology at the GTU. Her research centers on theological anthropology and issues of embodiment, including gender, sexuality, and non-normative bodies in relation to the Christian tradition. Beth holds a B.A. in English and a M.A. in Theological Studies, both from Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee.

Teaching: The Art and Technique of Effective Academic Writing


Gene Robinson

Gene RobinsonThe Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, and graduated from the University of the South with a B.A. in American studies and history. He completed the MDiv degree in 1973 at the General Theological Seminary in New York, and was ordained deacon and then priest, serving as curate at Christ Church, Ridgewood, NJ. Robinson is a Senior Fellow at American Progress. He was elected bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003, having served as Canon to the Ordinary (assistant to the bishop) for nearly eighteen years. He retired as bishop in 2013.

Widely recognized for his work on civil rights for gay, lesbian, and transgender people, he is also known for advocating for debt relief, socially responsible investment, and access to healthcare. He initiated "Fresh Start," a two-year mentoring program for all clergy in new positions in New Hampshire, and co-authored the Fresh Start curriculum, now in use in nearly half of the dioceses of the Episcopal Church. Co-author of three AIDS education curricula for youth and adults, Robinson has done AIDS work in the United States and in Uganda and South Africa. He holds two honorary doctorates and has received numerous awards from national civil rights organizations including the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and the Equality Forum. His story is featured in the 2007 feature-length documentary, "For the Bible Tells Me So" and "Love Free or Die." Bishop Robinson gave the invocation at the opening inaugural ceremonies for President Obama at the Lincoln Memorial on January 18, 2009.  His 2012 book is titled, God Believes in Love: Straight Talk about Gay Marriage.

Teaching: Finding Your Prophetic Voice - CANCELLED


Pat Schneider

Pat Schneider

Pat Schneider (, author of nine books, including Writing Alone and With Others (Oxford University Press) and Wake Up Laughing: A Spiritual Autobiography, has pioneered a writing method that has gained international attention, both for its effectiveness in deepening the artistry of the individual writer, and as a way of empowerment for low-income and other under-served populations.

Teaching: Creative Writing Workshop


Randi Walker

Randi WalkerDr. Walker is ordained in the United Church of Christ and has served as a pastor in the Southern California Conference. Her current research focuses on the cultural diversity of Protestantism in the North American West from 1850 to 1950, including Mexico, the United States and Canada. Dr. Walker studies the places of interaction across lines of race and culture among Protestants in the North American West, particularly with regard to public policy issues relating to race and culture. Her writings include The Evolution of a UCC Style: History and Ecclesiology of the United Church of Christ (2005), Emma Newman: A Frontier Woman Minister (2000) and Protestantism in the Sangre de Christos 1850-1920 (1991).

Teaching: History of Christianity in the Pacific Region with Tafa Muasau

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