Meet Our Board of Reference
Howard Baker, Th.M.
Ph.D. candidate at Trinity College, University of Bristol, England. Assistant professor of Christian formation at Denver Seminary in Colorado. Adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary in Colorado. Spiritual director and retreat leader. Author of Soul Keeping: Ancient Paths of Spiritual Direction and The One True Thing. Contributor to The Transformation of a Man’s Heart and The Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible and consulting editor for Between Heaven and Earth: Prayers and Reflections That Celebrate an Intimate God.
David G. Benner, Ph.D.
Internationally known depth psychologist whose life’s work focuses on the interaction of psychological and spiritual dynamics and the pursuit of transformation via the unfolding of the self through the journey of awakening. Author or editor of more than 25 books, including the recent titles Soulful Spirituality: Becoming Fully Alive and Deeply Human and Spirituality and the Awakening Self. A master teacher at the Rohr Institute’s Living School for Action and Contemplation. Learn more on his website, or connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.
Simon Chan, Ph.D.
Doctor of philosophy graduate from Cambridge University, England. Earnest Lau Professor of Systematic Theology at Trinity Theological College in Singapore with research interest in the relationship between liturgy, spirituality, and theology. Spiritual director and ordained minister in the Assemblies of God denomination. Author of several books, including Spiritual Theology: A Systematic Study of the Christian Life and Liturgical Theology: The Church as Worshiping Community. Consulting editor for the Dictionary of Christian Spirituality.
James Finley, Ph.D.
Former monk at the cloistered Trappist monastery of the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky, where the world-renowned monk and author, Thomas Merton, was his spiritual director. Retreat and workshop leader throughout the United States and Canada, attracting men and women from all religious traditions who seek to live a contemplative way of life in the midst of today’s busy world. A clinical psychologist in private practice in Santa Monica, California. Author of Merton’s Palace of Nowhere, The Contemplative Heart and Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God. .
Margaret Guenther, Ph.D.
Ordained Episcopal priest, retreat leader, and professor emerita of ascetical theology at General Theological Seminary, where she served as director of the Center for Christian Spirituality. Spiritual director and mentor of spiritual directors. Author of Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction, Toward Holy Ground: Spiritual Directions for the Second Half of Life, My Soul in Silence Waits: Meditations on Psalm 62, The Practice of Prayer, Just Passing Through: Notes From a Sojourner, and At Home in the World: A Rule of Life for the Rest of Us.
Terry Hershey, M.A.T.
Writer, inspirational speaker, humorist, and advocate for spirituality. An ordained Protestant minister turned landscape designer whose work has been featured on the Hallmark Channel, CNN, PBS, and NPR, Terry speaks throughout the U.S. on the topic of spirituality and gardening, among other things. Author of several books, including Soul Gardening: Cultivating the Good Life and his tenth book, The Power of Pause: Becoming More by Doing Less, about finding the sacred in the everyday and regaining emotional and spiritual balance.
Richard Peace, Ph.D.
Robert Boyd Munger Professor of Evangelism and Spiritual Formation at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Author, co-author, or editor of more than 80 books and resource guides, some of which have been translated into more than 10 languages, including Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Korean, and Zulu. Recent titles include Holy Conversation: Talking About God in Everyday Life, Noticing God, and Conversion in the New Testament: Paul and the Twelve. Ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.
Susan Phillips, PH.D.
A sociologist and spiritual director who lectures and teaches internationally, leads retreats, and writes about Christian spirituality and culture. Executive director and professor at New College Berkeley, an affiliate of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. Adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary (Menlo Park campus) and San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California. Serves on the boards of Christian graduate schools, journals, ministries, and her church. Author of Candlelight: Illuminating the Art of Spiritual Direction.
Charles R. Ringma, Ph.D.
Holds a Ph.D. in philosophical hermeneutics from the University of Queensland, Brisbane. Worked for twenty years in social welfare and subsequently taught at Asian Theological Seminary in Manila, Philippines, Regent College in Vancouver, B.C. and The University of Queensland in Brisbane. Author of many books on Christian spirituality including The Seeking Heart: A Journey with Henri Nouwen and the most recent one, Hear the Ancient Wisdom. Serves as a companion of the Northumbria Community, Brisbane.
Fr. Richard Rohr, O.F.M.
Franciscan priest of the New Mexico province and globally recognized ecumenical teacher bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the perennial tradition. Founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is home to the Rohr Institute, where he is the academic dean of the Living School for Action and Contemplation. Author of numerous best-selling books, including Everything Belongs, The Naked Now, Falling Upward, and Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self. Learn more on his website.
Fr. Ronald Rolheiser, O.M.I., Ph.D.
Roman Catholic priest and member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. President of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. Community-builder, lecturer, and writer of several books on spirituality and theology, including the best-seller The Holy Longing, which won the USA Catholic Press Book Award in 2000 for the best hardcover book on spirituality. His most recent release is Prayer: Our Deepest Longing. Weekly newspaper columnist in more than 70 Catholic papers worldwide. Visit his website for more information.
Margaret Silf, M.A.
Writer and retreat facilitator, trained in the Ignatian tradition and committed to working across and beyond traditional denominational divisions. Author of numerous books for 21st century spiritual pilgrims, including: Inner Compass, Sacred Spaces, The Other Side of Chaos, Just Call Me Lopez and Simple Faith. Passionate about making Christian spirituality accessible and relevant to today’s searchers, and with a special affinity with those who find themselves on, or over, the edges of institutional religion.
Ekman Pui Chuen Tam, Ph.D., Psy.D.
President of Christian Contemplative Spirituality Institute, a charitable organization registered in Hong Kong. Holder of Ph. D and Psy. D., and recipient of an honorary D. Div. from Graduate Theological Foundation. Clinical Fellow of American Association of Marital and Family Therapy and Counseling Psychologist of HK Psychological Society. Writer and teacher in spirituality, psychotherapy, and spiritual direction.
Siang-Yang Tan, Ph.D.
A licensed psychologist and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association who also teaches at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena and pastors First Evangelical Church Glendale. Part of the Ministry Team of Renovare, an international organization started by Richard Foster for spiritual renewal. Serves on the editorial boards of several professional journals, including the Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care and Conversations. Prolific author of numerous articles and books, including Disciplines of the Holy Spirit and a major textbook, Counseling and Psychotherapy: A Christian Perspective.
Phyllis Tickle, L.H.D.
Founding editor of the religion department of Publishers Weekly. An authority on religion in America and a much-sought-after lecturer on the subject. Prolific author of more than two dozen books, including Emergence Christianity: What It Is, Where It Is Going, and Why It Matters, and compiler of the popular Divine Hours series of manuals for observing fixed-hour prayer. Recipient of two honorary doctorate degrees from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University and North Park University. A lay eucharistic minister and lector in the Episcopal Church.
Norvene Vest, Ph.D., Obl. O.S.B.
Spiritual director, Episcopal laywoman, Benedictine oblate, and national and international retreat leader with graduate degrees in theology, mythology/depth psychology, and political theory. Author of six books on Benedictine spirituality, including Preferring Christ: A Devotional Commentary on the Rule of St. Benedict, and editor of two books on spiritual direction. Primary focus of ministry is attention to shared exploration of a deepened relationship with the Holy One, both through traditional practices and in conversation with contemporary shifts in religious understanding.