Professor of Spiritual Formation
I understand my calling to be primarily about “coming alongside” others as a spiritual guide. I do this as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in service to the church for the sake of the world. To do this with integrity, I study and practice Christian spiritual formation and assist others to do the same, especially those preparing for ministry through formal theological education. My roles have varied across time—counselor, parish pastor, undergraduate psychology professor, spiritual director, graduate theology professor—and across contexts—Canada, the U.S., Africa, Ireland, in the classroom, on retreat, on pilgrimage, in my office, or at a coffee shop.
I especially enjoy the opportunity to teach and learn with students. My classes are experientially-oriented, with a mix of lecture, discussion, and practice. Drawing on both the ancient Christian contemplative tradition and contemporary research in contemplative studies, I intentionally create time and space for silence, listening, and reflection so that learning is accompanied by a personal transformation that goes deep.
My current research includes participation in a moral virtues consultation with Point Loma Nazarene University, a Wabash-funded cohort of theological educators examining embodied pedagogies, and, as president-elect of the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality.
In addition to my work as an educator, I enjoy sharing life at home with my wife, drinking tea, walking and hiking outdoors, playing basketball, traveling to and exploring new places, reading fiction, and eating at my favorite Kansas City ethnic restaurants (Taj Mahal and Thai House).
BOOKS & CHAPTERS
(Co-authored with Dean G. Blevins). Prayer: Sharing Intimate Space with God. (Dialog Series edited by Michael L. Wonch). Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2015.
Christian Disciplines: Creating Time & Space for God. (Dialog Series edited by Michael L. Wonch). Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2013.
Spiritual Formation and Relational Theology (chapter). In Brint Montgomery, Thomas J. Oord, & Karen Winslow (Eds.), Relational Theology: A Contemporary Introduction (pp.80-83). Eugene, OR: Point Loma Press/Wipf & Stock, 2012.
Becoming Who We Are: Formed for Mission. In Missio Dei: A Wesleyan Understanding (chapter 19, pp. 177-186). Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill Press, 2011.
The Pastor and Spiritual Direction. In William H. Willimon et al., The Pastor’s Guide to Personal Spiritual Formation (chapter 9, pp. 111-123). Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill Press, 2005.
A Winnicottian Redescription of Christian Spiritual Direction Relationships: Illustrating the Potential Contribution of Psychology of Religion to Christian Spiritual Practice and Reply to Haynes. In Todd W. Hall & Mark R. McMinn (Eds.), Spiritual Formation, Counseling, and Psychotherapy (chapter 9, pp. 129-147; chapter11, pp. 155-157). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, 2003.
ACADEMIC & PROFESSIONAL/TRADE JOURNAL ARTICLES
Spiritual Formation Today. Grace & Peace: Ministry in a Connected Culture, forthcoming.
Spiritual Formation in the Church of the Nazarene. Grace & Peace: Ministry in a Connected Culture 5 (Summer/Fall 2011): 59-61
What is Spiritual Formation? Grace & Peace: Ministry in a Connected Culture 4 (Spring 2011): 31-33,
(Co-authored with Roger L. Hahn & Jason D. Lewis) Wesley’s Covenant Service: A Relational Practice Connecting Biblical Doctrine with Communal Formation,” Didache: Faithful Teaching, 10:2 (February 2011)
Fictional Spiritual Formation Dilemma: Confronting Disconnects in Ministry, Grace and Peace: Ministry in a Connected Culture (Issue 1, May 7, 2010), 11-12.
Lectio Divina: A Practice for Reconnecting to God’s Word, Preacher’s Magazine: A Preaching Resource in the Wesleyan Tradition, 83:1 (Lent/Easter 2009), 38-41.
Spiritual Direction within a Wesleyan Ecclesiology: The Pursuit of Holiness from the Periphery. Wesleyan Theological Journal, 41:1 (Spring 2006), 148-161.
The Location of Christian Spirituality in the Seminary. The Tower, 7 (2007), 10-16.
Implicit Theologies in Psychologies: Claiming Experience as an Authoritative Source for Theologizing. Cross Currents, 53:3 (Fall 2003), 368-377.
Radical Reductionism in the Psychological Study of Religion: Prospects for an Alternative Critical Methodology. In Nils G. Holm (Ed.), Archiv für Religionspsychologie, 25, 25-41. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2003.
A Winnicottian Redescription of Christian Spiritual Direction Relationships: Illustrating the Potential Contribution of Psychology of Religion to Christian Spiritual Practice. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 28:4 (Winter 2000), 251-263.
A Response to Haynes. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 28:4(Winter 2000), 268-269.
Thomas Merton, Revised New Dictionary of Theology (Inter-Varsity Press, forthcoming)
Contemplative Spirituality, Discernment, Empathy, in Global Wesleyan Dictionary of Theology, edited by Al Truesdale. Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City: 2013, 122-23, 155-56, 173-174.
Self-Will, and Justification (Wesleyan Core Terms), in The Wesley Study Bible. Abingdon Press, 2009, 474 & 1373.
Praying the Christian Year—Advent, The Table (Issue #1, Winter 2016), 20-21.
Teaching Methodology for Sessions 4,5,6 in Adult Leader, 38:3 (March, April, May 2015) Kansas City: WordAction Publishing, 26-43.
Does Prayer Change God’s Mind? Illustrated Bible Life, 38:3 (March, April, May 2015) Kansas City: WordAction Publishing, 30-31.
What is Christian Spiritual Formation? Illustrated Bible Life, 37:2 (December – February 2013-14) Kansas City: WordAction Publishing, 20-21.
Psalms as Therapy. Adult Leader, 35:2 (December, January, February 2011-12) Kansas City: WordAction Publishing, 4-5.
A Christian Theology of Sabbath. Illustrated Bible Life, 34:3 (March, April, May 2011) Kansas City: WordAction Publishing, 34-35.
Building up the Community of Faith. Illustrated Bible Life, 33:1 (September, October, November 2009) Kansas City: WordAction Publishing, 6-7.
Compassionate Prayer. Nazarene Compassionate Ministries Magazine, 4:4 (December 2007), 26-27.
Creation Care as Body Care: A Spiritual Formation Perspective. Nazarene Compassionate Ministries Magazine, 4:1 (March 2007), 14-15.
Prayer in Church History. Illustrated Bible Life, 30:2 (December 2006 - February 2007) Kansas City: WordAction Publishing, 42-43.
Spiritual Directors International web site: http://sdiworld.org/index.pl/what_is_spiritual_direction2.html “What is Spiritual Direction?” posting from the Wesleyan/Methodist Tradition (posted August 1, 2005)
Religion Trickles into Mainstream Psychology. Research News & Opportunities in Science and Theology, 3:2 (October 2002), 9.
Theologians of a Kind: Trinity Church Conference Speakers—What it is to Be Human [Series of Interviews with Kenneth Gergen, Anne Foerst, William Hurlbut, & Warren Brown]. Research News & Opportunities in Science and Theology, 2:1-4 (September 2001-December 2001).
"Who are we?" Scholars Explore Answers in New York's Historic Trinity Church. Research News & Opportunities in Science and Theology, 1:10 (June 2001), 1-2, 6.
Kenosis [poem]. In M. E. Walker (Ed.), Grace in the Academic Community: A Festschrift in Honor of Cecil R. Paul (p. 96). San Diego: Point Loma Press, 1996.
(Co-authored with William L. Selvidge). Review Essay: Some Recent Work on Spirituality and Mission, Journal of Spiritual Formation & Soul Care, 6:1 (Spring 2013), 109-121.
Review Essay: Contemplative Prayer: A Theology for the Twenty-First Century by James Danaher and Sanctuary of the Soul: Journey into Meditative Prayer by Richard Foster. Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality, forthcoming.
Review: The Universal Monk: The Way of the New Monastics by John Michael Talbot. Journal of Christian Ministry [online], 4 (2012).
Review: The Spirituality of Community by Adele J. Gonzalez. Journal of Christian Ministry[online], 3 (2011).
Review: The Holy Longing by Ronald Rolheiser. The Tower, 7 (2003), 72-74.
Review: Finding Space: Winnicott, God, & Psychic Reality by Ann Belford Ulanov. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 13:4 (2003), 287-289.
Review: Psychology and Christianity: Four views edited by Eric L. Johnson & Stanton L. Jones. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 21:2 (Summer 2002), 186-188.
Review: The Desiring Self: Rooting Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Direction in Self-Transcendence by Walter E. Conn. Religious Studies Review, 26:3 (July 2000), 251-252.
Review: Psychology in Christian Perspective: An Analysis of Key Issues by Harold W. Faw. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 7:2 (1997), 133-136.
Destination Weddings—A Message to the Church about Place, Nazarene Theological Seminary Faculty Blog (July 29, 2015)
Do You Believe in the Bible?, Nazarene Theological Seminary Faculty Blog (June 8, 2015)
Amazing!, Nazarene Theological Seminary Faculty Blog (December 3, 2013)
Boots on the Ground, Nazarene Theological Seminary Faculty Blog (September 16, 2013)
Be Strong, Nazarene Theological Seminary Faculty Blog (April 30, 2013)
Reflections at the Intersection of Mission and Spiritual Formation, Nazarene Theological Seminary Faculty Blog (August 28, 2012)
Editorial Review Panel, Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction (2006 – present)
Reviewed manuscript & wrote endorsement for Henry H. Knight III, Is There a Future for God’s Love: An Evangelical Theology, Abingdon Press, 2012.
Reviewed manuscript & wrote endorsement for Diane Leclerc & Mark Maddix (Ed.), Spiritual Formation book, Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill Press, 2011.
Reviewed manuscript & wrote endorsement for Dan Boone, A Charitable Discourse: Talking about the Things That Divide Us, Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill Press, 2010.
Reviewed manuscript & wrote endorsement, Gregory S. Clapper, The Renewal of the Heart is the Mission of the Church: Wesley’s Heart Religion in the Twentieth-First Century, Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2010.
Reviewed manuscript, Journal of Psychology and Theology (September 2008)
Reviewer, Wesleyan Theological Society Dissertation Award (2006 – 2008)
Reviewed manuscript, Christian Scholar’s Review (August 2004)
PhD, Boston University
MA, Fuller Theological Seminary
Med, Northeastern University
BA, Eastern Nazarene College
American Academy of Religion
Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality
Spiritual Directors International
Association of Doctor of Ministry Education
Church of the Nazarene (ordained elder)
Wesleyan Theological Society
Society for the Study of Psychology & Wesleyan Theology
Christian spirituality and spiritual formation; spiritual direction; Celtic, Benedictine, Ignatian, & Wesleyan traditions; contemplative practices
Core Relationships for Christian Ministry
Prayer and Scripture
Sacraments and Asceticism
Ministry of Spiritual Direction
Discernment and Decision Making
Grace, Sins, and Temptation
Theology and Spirituality of Place
Wesleyan Spiritual Practice for Ministry
Elder, Church of the Nazarene
Local Church Involvement
Occasional Sunday School teacher, Prayer Retreat Leader, Ministerial Credentialing Committee, Discipleship Committee