Dr. Timothy Stevens
Northwestern University - University Chaplain, Office of Religious and Spiritual Life
The Rev. Timothy Stevens has been University Chaplain at Northwestern since 1986. He conducts university chapel services each Sunday of the academic year in Alice Millar Chapel. Along with two associate chaplains, he advises over 30 religious groups on campus and works with leaders of diverse religious communities to create a positive environment for religious expressing and inter-religious cooperation. He is available for personal counseling and informal conversation on a range of issues. Members of the Northwestern community are welcome to stop by for a chat. Chaplain Stevens also teaches courses on subjects such as: “Interfaith Conflict and Dialogue,” and “Faith and Service.” Chaplain Stevens is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity) and Northwestern University (Ph.D. in English Literature). He is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ. He enjoys travel. Each year, he co-leads a spring break trip abroad. These trips are known as “Friendship Missions.” The aim is to increase global awareness and establish relationships with communities in other countries. Recent destinations have included Russian, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Cuba.
Rev. Dr. Alison Boden
Princeton University - Dean of Religious Life and Dean of Chapel
I am an ordained minister in a Protestant denomination and serve as the head of all religious activities at Princeton University, a secular institution that gradually (and casually) gave up its Protestant founding and heritage in the early 20th century. The University is considered the most welcoming to religious communities of any of its peers, and perhaps consequently the student body is the most religiously active. The University (students, staff, and faculty) is also extremely diverse in its current religious identification, with a strong presence from each of the world's major religions and traditions as well as many smaller ones. We try to use this fact as an opportunity to educate — not only about the religions per se but also about how to engage difference, how to articulate one's own ethics and beliefs in a pluralistic setting, how to listen well to others, and how to create solidarity. The overall culture of our institution, however, is quite secular, and the feeling that my colleagues and I have is that many people (particularly faculty) are skeptical of our work. Some see us as outdated, anti-intellectual, even harmful to the process of training young intellectuals. They are surprised to find themselves partnering with us (the Office of Religious Life) on issues about which they are passionate, such as refugees, the environment, etc. We are constantly thinking of ways to reach out to more of them.
Daijaku Judith Kinst
Graduate Theological Institution - Director of Buddhist Chaplaincy Program
Daijaku Judith Kinst is the Noboru and Yaeko Professor of Buddhist Chaplaincy at the Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS), a member of the core doctoral faculty at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) and director of both the Buddhist Chaplaincy graduate program and the Certificate in Soto Zen Studies program, at IBS/GTU. Rev. Kinst is a Soto Zen priest and teacher in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki. After her priest training at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center and San Francisco Zen Center, she completed an MA in counseling psychology, and a PhD in Buddhism and psychology. She also trained as a chaplain at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center. In addition to teaching at the GTU, she has been actively involved in the development of Soto Zen clergy as a member of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association and as an International Teacher (koku-sai-fukyo-shi) with the Japanese Soto Zen School. With Rev. Shinshu Roberts, she is guiding teacher of Ocean Gate Zen Center, in Santa Cruz, California.
Rev. Dr. Hershel Wayne House
Faith International University - Vice-President of Academic Affairs, Distinguished Professor of Theology, Law and Culture
H. Wayne House (ThD, JD) is distinguished research professor of theology, law, and culture at Faith Evangelical College and Seminary, Tacoma, Washington, and formerly was professor of law at Trinity Law School, Trinity International University. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Charts of Cults, Sects, and Religious Movements; and Charts of Christian Theology and Doctrine; Charts of Apologetics and Christian Evidences; Intelligent Design 101; and Reasons for Our Hope: An Introduction to Apologetics. Dr. House travels each year to the Mediterranean and Middle East and has taught internationally in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the South Pacific. He enjoys reading, travel, playing word games with his wife and grandchildren. He is past president of the Evangelical Theological Society. He and his wife Leta reside in Silverton, Oregon, and have two children and five grandchildren.
Dr. Ryan Richardson
Baylor University - Associate Chaplain, Office of Spiritual Life; Director, Worship and Chapel
Greetings from Texas in the United States! I am Dr. Ryan Richardson and have been involved with Christian service on college campuses for most of my life. My wife and I moved to Waco, Texas to attend seminary at Baylor University in the Spring of 2000. After earning a Master of Divinity degree from Truett Theological Seminary in 2004, I became the Director of Worship & Chapel in the Office of Spiritual Life. I earned a bachelor degree in business from Mississippi State University with a minor in music and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from the School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. My research interests include college student retention and success, faith-based higher education, religious diversity, the role of curiosity in student success, and pathways to college student thriving. I have traveled extensively in the countries of Kenya, Rwanda, and Ghana in Africa leading teams of students on discipline-specific ventures. I oversee University Chapel services at Baylor University with approximately 4,200 students in attendance twice per week. In addition to leading the chapel experience, I teach undergraduate classes through Baylor’s School of Education and a PhD seminar in Student Success. My wife and I have three sons: Syler (age 10), Alden (age 6), and Mayer (age 3).
Metropolitan Nikitas Lulias
Graduate Theological Institution - Director Patriarch Anthenagoras Orthodox Institute
Metropolitan Nikitas of Dardanellia is the titular Metropolitan Bishop of the Metropolis of the Dardanelles, under the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. He is currently assigned as the Director of the Berkeley, California-based Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute, a member of the Graduate Theological Union. He frequently visits Orthodox parishes, often serving the Divine Liturgy at the request of local Orthodox metropolitan bishops, or teaching adult classes in Orthodox Christian topics. Before being selected as the metropolitan of the Dardanelles in Turkey, he served as the first Metropolitan bishop of the Greek Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. He was named to this office by the Sacred and Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 14 December 1996. He was enthroned (formally installed as the metropolitan of the metropolis) on Sunday, 12 January 1997 at the Cathedral of Saint Luke the Evangelist in Hong Kong.
Fr. Dr. John D. Jones
Marquette University - Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy; Orthodox Christian Chaplain
My principal area of research at present is compassion and the spiritual life within the Orthodox Christian tradition. This new area adds to my longstanding interests in (1) Dionysius the Areopagite, focusing on the interpretations of the Divine Names and Mystical Theology in terms of the Greek Patristic/Eastern Orthodox, Latin Scholastic, and Neoplatonic traditions; and (2) poverty and social marginalization, focusing on philosophical and theological approaches to these issues. I regularly teach undergraduate courses in Theory of Ethics and Applied Ethics. In recent years at the graduate level, I have taught Plato as well as Plotinus and Early Christian Neoplatonism. I’ve taught special topics courses in Dionysius the Areopagite, Greek Patristic/Byzantine Philosophy, and Needs and Human Welfare. I am a priest of the Orthodox Church in America.
Dr. Grant Revon Underwood
Brigham Young University - Professor, Department of History
Underwood received his B.A. in 1977 and M.A. in 1981, both in history, from BYU. He received his Ph.D. in history from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1988. His advisor was Daniel Walker Howe. During his BYU graduate studies, Underwood worked as an LDS Seminary teacher at Thunderbird High School in Phoenix, Arizona from 1977 to 1981. While studying at UCLA, he taught at the LDS Institute of Religion in Los Angeles (1981–86), and later became Director of the Institute in Pomona, California (1986–92). He was then a religion professor at Brigham Young University–Hawaii from 1992 to 1999, where he was elected Teacher of the Year multiple times. In 2000 he joined the faculty of BYU in Provo, Utah as a professor of history and Research Historian with the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History. In 2009 Underwood was on leave from BYU and working on the Joseph Smith Papers Project. Underwood has been active in the Mormon History Association, serving on its Council from 1987 to 1990 and on the Board of Editors for the Journal of Mormon History from 1984 to 1987. In Hawaii, he was active in the Mormon Pacific Historical Society and served on its Board of Directors. In 2007 Underwood created a Mormon studies unit for the American Academy of Religion and served as co-chair.
Rev. Meghan Benson
Duke Divinity School - Chaplain of Divinity School
The Rev. Meghan Benson became chaplain of Duke University Divinity School in July 2015. In that role she is responsible for overseeing daily worship, pastoral care, and spiritual formation for more than 600 students. Originally from Colorado, she is an ordained elder in the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Methodist Church. She has degrees in religious studies and psychology (1998) from Southern Methodist University (Dallas, Texas), and an M.Div. from Duke Divinity School (2002). Prior to becoming chaplain, Meghan worked for the Chief Information Officer of Duke University from 2003-2006, where she gained appreciation for the concerns of the wider university. In 2006 she moved to Duke University Chapel where she served as director of worship for nine years. In her time at Duke Chapel she oversaw all the weekly worship opportunities, including Sunday morning worship for 800-1000 people each week. The fact that Duke Chapel is a year-round congregation, sustained by the wider Durham community, distinguishes it from most campus chapels, which gather only when classes are in session. She worked with undergraduates extensively during her tenure, including leading undergraduate spring break trips to Belize and Christ in the Desert monastery in New Mexico. Her experience working with students at the undergraduate and graduate level has given her particular appreciation for the ways students struggle to negotiate their faith and encounters with difference among their peers, especially within the university setting.
Dr. John Paul Thompson
Oral Roberts University - Director of Doctor of Ministry Program Assistant Professor of Missiology and Leadership
Dr. John Thompson is currently the Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program and Assistant Professor of Missiology and Leadership at ORU’s Graduate School of Theology and Ministry (GSTM). He received a Bachelors in Church Ministries: Evangelism in 1990 and a Master’s in Biblical Literature in 1992 both from Oral Roberts University. He earned a Doctorate of Strategic Leadership from Regent University in 2007. Prior to joining the faculty at ORU, Dr. Thompson planted and pastored All Nations Fellowship, a multi-national church in Tulsa, Oklahoma from 2003 to 2013. He also founded and leads Global Equip, a ministry that equips leaders in developing nations. Dr. Thompson has served as an executive director of several non-profit ministries, as well as on pastoral staff in the local church. He has lived overseas and traveled to thirty-seven nations. Dr. Thompson is married and has three sons.
Professor Justin L. Barrett
Fuller Theological Seminary - School of Psychology
Justin L. Barrett is Acting Dean and Program Chair for Fuller Theological Seminary’s Graduate School of Psychology. He is also Chief Project Developer for Fuller’s Office for Science, Theology, and Religion Initiatives. An experimental psychologist (Ph.D., Cornell University), Barrett taught for five years in Oxford University’s School of Anthropology, and is best known for his research on religion. While at Oxford, Professor Barrett helped establish and became the Director of the Centre for Anthropology and Mind, and the Institute for Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology. Early in his academic career, Professor Barrett served as an assistant professor of psychology at Calvin College and was a research investigator and visiting professor at the Institute of Social Research and the Culture and Cognition Program at the University of Michigan. Professor Barrett is regarded as one of the founders of the field of the cognitive science of religion. He has authored more than 100 chapters and articles concerning cognitive, developmental, and evolutionary approaches to the study of religion. His interdisciplinary interests are evident in that he has scholarly journal publications in anthropology, philosophy, religious studies, psychology and even literary studies in interdisciplinary journals. His authored books are Why Would Anyone Believe in God? (2004), Cognitive Science, Religion, and Theology: From Human Minds to Divine Minds (2011), and Born Believers: The Science of Childhood Religion (2012). He has also edited a four-volume collection Psychology of Religion (2010, Routlege) and, with Ryan Hornbeck and Madeleine Kang, edited Religious Cognition in China: Homo Religiosus and the Dragon (2017, Springer). Previously he served as a member of the JTF Board of Advisors.