Dr. De La Torre (he/him) – international scholar, documentarian, novelist, academic author, and scholar activist. Professor of Social Ethics and Latiné Studies at the Iliff School of Theology, he authored 100+ articles and published 43 books (6 won national awards). A Fulbright scholar, he has taught in Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, Germany; and lectured in Costa Rica, Cuba, Palestine, Thailand, Taiwan. He was the 2012 President of the Society of Christian Ethics, and recipient of the 2020 AAR Excellence in Teaching Award and the 2021 Martin E. Marty Public Understanding of Religion Award. Recently, he wrote the screenplay to a documentary on immigration, screened in over 18 film festivals winning over 7 awards. Additionally, he wrote an autofiction magical realism novel.
Grace Ji-Sun Kim (she/her) was born in Korea, was educated in Canada, and now teaches in the United States as professor of Theology at Earlham School of Religion. She is the author or editor of 21 books, most recently, Invisible, Keeping Hope Alive and Intersectional Theology. She is the host of Madang podcast which is hosted by the Christian Century and is an ordained Presbyterian Church (USA) minister. More of her writing and work can be found on her blog site Loving Life. Please follow her work and subscribe to her substack: Loving Life.
Father Greg Boyle (he/him), is a native Angeleno and Jesuit priest from 1986 to 1992, served as pastor of Dolores Mission Church in Boyle Heights, then the poorest Catholic parish in Los Angeles that also had the highest concentration of gang activity in the city.
Father Boyle witnessed the devastating impact of gang violence on his community during the so-called “decade of death” that began in the late 1980s and peaked at 1,000 gang-related killings in 1992. In the face of law enforcement tactics and criminal justice policies of suppression and mass incarceration as the means to end gang violence, he and parish and community members adopted what was a radical approach at the time: treat gang members as human beings.
In 1988 they started what would eventually become Homeboy Industries, which employs and trains former gang members in a range of social enterprises, as well as provides critical services to thousands of men and women who walk through its doors every year seeking a better life.
Father Boyle is the author of the 2010 New York Times-bestseller Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion. His new book, Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship, was published in 2017.
He has received the California Peace Prize and been inducted into the California Hall of Fame. In 2014, President Obama named Father Boyle a Champion of Change. He received the University of Notre Dame’s 2017 Laetare Medal, the oldest honor given to American Catholics. Currently, he serves as a committee member of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Economic and Job Recovery Task Force as a response to COVID-19.
Jesse Bassett (he/him) is a clinical social worker, educator, and researcher whose work focuses on trauma, bereavement, and recovery. Jesse spent nearly a decade in leadership at a local New Jersey nonprofit, Good Grief, which provides free, community-based support services to children and their families after experiencing loss. While at Good Grief, Jesse was the architects of a school-based program that now serves students, educators, and caregivers throughout the Tri-State area. Jesse is passionate about helping youth, caregivers, and leaders navigate and make meaning out of the complexity of the human condition. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife and two children, where he works in community-based mental healthcare. Jesse holds a B.C. in Philosophy from Indiana Wesleyan University, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Master of Social Work from Case Western Reserve University.
Carmelle Beaugelin (she/her) is a Haitian-American visual artist, Design Consultant, and “holy cheerleader” based in Princeton, NJ. Her creative focus includes abstract impressionism/expressionism painting inspired by Afro-Latin Caribbean art styles and Christian spirituality. She is the Founder and Lead Curating Artist at BeauFolio Studio, an emerging arthouse at the intersection of sacred art, human-centered design, and restorative equity.
Carmelle has served as Artist-In-Residence, innovation consultant, and creative partner for teams and organizations such as The Institute For Youth Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary, NEXT Church, Ministry Incubators, A Sanctified Art, Leadership Education at Duke Divinity School, and the Lilly Endowment.
Chris Curtis (he/him) is the Founder and Chief Executive of Youthscape, a UK-based nonprofit working to renew the church’s engagement with young people. Prior to this, Chris was a schools development worker with The George Muller Foundation and received a Masters in Educational Psychology from the University of Birmingham. With Youthscape, he helped develop Launchpad to help smaller churches start innovative youth ministry projects from scratch and co-created Essentials, a new youth ministry training program for volunteers. He is also in charge of the National Youth Ministry Weekend, the largest annual gathering of Christian youth workers in the UK. He is married with two children and also a proud foster caregiver.
Megan Dewald (she/her) is the director of the Institute for Youth Ministry, where she oversees research, facilitates training, and designs resources for people engaged in youth ministry. She is also the creator and host of the IYM’s podcast, Disrupting Ministry, which shares stories of faith communities that are disrupting the status quo in the church by developing innovative forms of ministry with young people. With two decades of experience in youth and young adult ministry, Megan is passionate about nurturing authentic connection and friendship among people from different social locations and equipping leaders to understand and navigate systems, structures, and relationships. She writes and speaks for national and international audiences and served as a collaborating author with Kenda Creasy Dean and Ron Foster on the revised version of The Godbearing Life: The Art of Soul Tending for Youth Ministry. Megan holds a BA in Communication from the University of St. Thomas and an MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary.
The Reverend Laura Di Panfilo (she/her) serves as Associate Rector at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Mt. Lebanon, PA. Laura has over 450 hours of Kripalu yoga instruction and has taught classes in both yoga studios and churches. She enjoys creating classes that help people connect with their bodies and God. Her classes are often described as “meditations in motion” and offer students space for both stillness and fiery movement all in the same session. Through linking breath to movement, classes offer playful times of discovery and self-exploration. Laura is passionate about teaching yoga for all skill levels and hopes her students will leave class feeling calm and empowered.
Dr. Justin Forbes (he/him) is the Assistant Professor of Religion and Director of the Youth Ministry Program at Flagler College in Saint Augustine, Florida. He is also the director of The Missing Voices Project, a Lilly Endowment funded initiative aimed at re-centering historically marginalized young people in youth ministry spaces. He co-authored “Delighted: What Teenagers are Teaching the Church about Joy“. Justin has been married to Bethany for 20 years now and has six children with an extensive background in Youth Ministry. A PTS Alum, he is thrilled to be back on campus for this years Forum.
Barbara Holland (she/her) handles all the logistics for programs and events for the Institute for Your Ministry(IYM). She serves as initial point of contact for IYM meetings and events, working as a liaison for event management between program leaders, appropriate Seminary offices, and external vendors. A graduate of University of South Florida, Barbara lives with her family in Hopewell, NJ.
Rev. Dr. John Huh is passionate about restoration and renewal of mental, emotional, and spiritual health of people. As a bilingual, bi-cultural Korean American, he is active in the community as an ordained pastor, a counselor, and a professor.
Dr. Huh is a proud graduate of Boston College (B.A.) and Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div., Ph.D.). After 8 years of youth ministry, he co-planted and led New Mercy Community Church, an emerging church in northern New Jersey with the vision to be a “church for the broken.” Currently, Dr. Huh is the Dean of Chapel and Vice President of Student Life at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Some of his research interests include pastoral care and counseling in the Asian American context, positive psychology, church planting, and leadership. Moreover, Dr. Huh is the founder and director of The Lighthouse Counseling Network, a non-profit organization that provides counseling through a network of churches and therapists.
As much as he enjoys work, he loves spending time with his wife Hannah and his two kids, Benjamin and Noelle. For self-care, he prefers playing basketball, golf, and taking naps.
Sarah Jordan (they/them) is the inaugural Behavioral Health Chaplain Fellow at a stand-alone psychiatric hospital in the Advocate Aurora Health hospital system, where they work with pediatric and adult patients. They have previously worked in congregations, shelters, substance abuse recovery centers, medical hospitals, and community organizing. They are a community-taught artist who incorporates art and poetry into their work as a chaplain. They received their BA in Religion from Davidson College and their M.Div from Vanderbilt Divinity School. They completed their CPE residency at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital outside of Chicago. They grew up in Mobile, AL and have lived throughout the southeastern and midwestern United States. They currently live in Milwaukee, WI with their dog and fiancé.
Micky ScottBey Jones (she/her) is a womanist, multi-faith movement chaplain, certified enneagram coach, facilitator and nonviolence practitioner. She authored Keep the Fires Burning: Conquering Stress and Burnout as a Mother-Baby Professional and contributed to Becoming Like Creoles: Living and Leading at the Intersections of Injustice, Culture and Religion and Keep Watch With Me: An Advent Reader for Peacemakers and contributed to the Journal of NAIITS: An Indigenous Learning Community and Center for Action and Contemplation’s Oneing Journal. She’s contributed to online and podcast communities Christians For Social Action, The Porch Magazine, Sojourners, Our Bible App, Red Letter Christians, Lord Have Mercy and Love Period & more. Micky is a co-host on Bruce Reyes-Chow and Friends.
Ryan Juskus (he/him) is an Environmental Fellow in the High Meadows Environmental Institute at Princeton University. He earned a Ph.D. in religion from Duke University with a focus on Christian environmental ethics and theology. His teaching and research treat themes of environmental justice, Christian responses to environmental change, ethical leadership, and environmental virtue. Prior to his studies, Ryan led urban affordable housing campaigns and managed an academic certificate program focused on Christian responses to global poverty, injustice, and ecological change. Ryan serves on the board of directors of Peace and Hope International, a Latin America-based organization that accompanies victims of violence and helps communities live free of violence and injustice.
Kenji Kuramitsu, LCSW, M.Div (he/him) is a mental health and spiritual care professional living in Chicago, IL. Kenji currently manages the group psychotherapy program at an LGBTQ health center serving the Midwest and maintains a small private practice. Kenji has served as teaching faculty for the American Group Psychotherapy Association and is an adjunct professor at McCormick Theological Seminary. He is trained as a health care chaplain and serves as a Community Care Chaplain for the Barack Obama Foundation. Kenji’s creative writing has appeared in Asian American Writers’ Workshop and has been nominated for a 2019 Pushcart Prize. Kenji is the author of “A Booklet of Uncommon Prayer: Collects for the #BlackLivesMatter Movement.” He enjoys gardening, travel, flossing, and fermented foods.h
Rev. Ruth Perkins Lee loves the local church. As a preacher, educator, facilitator, and conversation partner, Rev. Perkins Lee has enjoyed journeying with churches as they navigate the complexities of ministry.
She is a graduate of Columbus State University (BA in Psychology) and McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University (M.Div. with an emphasis in Christian Education). She served for 10 years in the local church as Minister of Students where her work included students from 6th grade thru graduate school. Rev. Perkins Lee then moved into denominational work at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship where her love of the local congregation continued to grow. Currently, she serves as the Project Director of the Ministry Collaboratory at Princeton Theological Seminary funded by the Lilly Endowment’s Young Adult Initiative.
Rev. Perkins Lee is married to Scott, a brilliant chaplain, and they have 2 daughters, Dora and Abby Kate. Their favorite family past times are storytelling and laughing.
Jon Carl Lewis (he/him) is a writer and spiritual director working with students at Princeton Theological Seminary and various spiritual seekers around the world. He has a particular interest in the intersections of contemplative spirituality, identity, and sexuality. Having participated in a number of faith traditions and philosophical schools, he now makes his home in a radically-inclusive United Methodist congregation where he is a cantor and occasional preacher. As a writer, he is particularly interested in exploring how a contemplative approach to all aspects of human life can bring healing not only to the world, but to our relationships with our neighbors, ourselves, and the divine.
Rev. Dr. Lakisha R. Lockhart (she/her) is a mother, wife, daughter, sister, former Zumba instructor, Womanist and coolest auntie around. She believes in the power of play, movement, aesthetics, and creative arts in life and in theology, using the body as a locus for theological reflection. She is a consultant, executive secretary for the Religious Education Association, and in her professorial role as Assistant Professor of Christian Education at Union Presbyterian Seminary she is not only a teacher, but a facilitator, rope jumper, game-player, advocate and catalyst for critical consciousness and engagement in educating in faith and actually living into that faith through various spiritual and artistic practices.
The Rev. Julia McKeon (she/her) has an active practice of Spiritual Direction accompanying those seeking a deeper relationship with the Sacred and engaging in spiritual and vocational discernment. She brings use of lectio divina, enneagram and dream work, as well as her experience with group spiritual direction and grief and trauma. She is a priest in The Episcopal Church currently serving assignments to churches in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Julia also brings to spiritual direction her background as a hospital chaplain and many years in non-profit management.
Elizabeth “Liz” Moore (she/her) is the new Assistant Director of the Institute for Youth Ministry, where she oversees the Certificate in Youth and Theology program and helps develop training and resources for Christian leaders who minister with young people. She started her career in ministry working for FOCUS, a parachurch campus ministry serving preparatory and boarding school students, faculty, and staff. Working for nearly a decade in boarding schools, Liz traveled all over New England to establish and run meetings on campuses, supported faculty and volunteer leaders, and ran weeklong summer programs. In 2015, she headed to Duke Divinity School for ther MDiv and a chance to rest and play from active ministry while studying theology. After completing her degree, she moved to Mercer County, New Jersey, to start planting a church with Vineyard USA, with the hopes of encouraging people in their journey with God. She is thrilled to now be part of the IYM team and looks forward to getting to know the broader IYM community at the Forum this year.
Carrie Myers (she/her) is an experienced writer and educator, with a MA/PhD in English and American Literature from NYU, and a former faculty member and Writing Center Director at City Seminary of New York. I’ve authored several children’s non-fiction books as well as poems and academic articles and hold certificates in Spiritual Direction and Ignatian Exercises accompaniment from Sustainable Faith as well as certificates in Ministry in the City, Arts Ministry, and Safe Pastor Ministry with the LGBTQ+ community. Currently, I am a worship leader and spiritual director withVineyard One NYC. I am drawn to spiritual direction as a space where each of us can encounter God as our authentic selves and experience acceptance, love, and transformation. My website is spiritualdirectionnyc.com.
Hayley O’Connor (she/her) is an ordained PC(USA) minister living in northern New Jersey. She has recently returned to the States after spending seven years as an Associate Minister in Edinburgh, Scotland. In addition to working with Ministry Architects, Hayley serves as the Associate Minister at First Presbyterian Church New Vernon. She is also a graduate of the Shalem Institute’s Spiritual Guidance Program, former Co-Director of Shalem’s Young Adult Life & Leadership Program, and has helped to organize and lead pilgrimages to Edinburgh, Iona, and Paris.
LeQuita Porter (she/her) is a pastor, educator, and workshop leader who is currently serving as the Project Director for The Isaiah Partnership (IP), a project at Princeton Theological Seminary funded by the Lilly Endowment’s Pathways for Tomorrow initiative. The IP will partner pastors and congregational cohorts with practical, congregational, and scholarly research developing a theological framework to promote innovation and change in, with, and through congregations and in seminary pastoral leadership formation. Dr. Porter earned an MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2002 and a DMin from Acadia Divinity College of Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada in 2018. Her doctoral research developed a Transformational and Empowering Leadership Project that would impact the church and community and resulted in an Empowerment Academy that continues today. She has worked as a pastor, nonprofit leader, church planter, entrepreneur, and lawyer, and in addition to her theological education, she holds a J.D. and M.B.A. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Porter trained and was certified as a Healing Group Facilitator with the American Bible Society’s Trauma Healing Institute.
Erin Raffety (she/her) is a Lecturer in the Princeton University Writing Program, the Associate Research Scholar with the Institute for Youth Ministry, an Empirical Research Consultant at Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Research Fellow with the Center of Theological Inquiry. Dr. Raffety is the author of two books, From Inclusion to Justice: Disability, Ministry, and Congregational Leadership, and Families We Need: Disability, Abandonment, and Foster Care’s Resistance in Contemporary China. She is Practical Theologian who uses empirical research methods to study congregations, is an ordained PC(USA) pastor, and a disability advocate.
Abigail Visco Rusert (she/her) is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and has served in a variety of roles in ministry, including associate pastor, youth director, chaplain, camp counselor, and most recently, as director of the IYM. Abigail is passionate about researching and designing programs that serve congregational leaders and transform Christian communities, and she has facilitated more than $4 million in grant funding to foster changemaking in the church. A graduate of Valparaiso University, Princeton Theological Seminary, and a current PhD student at the University of Zürich, she is the co-author of the book Delighted: What Teenagers are Teaching the Church About Joy. Abigail and her husband, Thomas, have three kids—Dorothy, Solveig, and Frank—and live in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where Abigail serves as a small group leader at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
Martin Saunders (he/him) is the Director of two teams at Youthscape, a UK-based nonprofit working to renew the church’s engagement with young people. The first is the Innovation team, which creates resources and events for Christian youth workers seeking to connect creatively with teenagers in their communities. The second is the team that organizes Satellites, a five-day gathering that is designed to inspire teenagers to live with God at the center of their lives for the other 360 days of the year. A prolific writer and speaker, Martin was the editor of Youthwork magazine prior to his time at Youthscape. He’s a father, husband, dog-dad, Indian food enthusiast, and (authentic) football fan.
Elizabeth Steel (she/her) is a PhD student in the Practical Theology department in the area of Christian Education and Formation. She earned a BA in Art History from the University of Virginia and an MDiv/Master of Arts in Christian Education and Formation from Princeton Seminary. Prior to doctoral work, Elizabeth owned a small business in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Elizabeth’s research focus at Princeton Seminary is located at the intersection of theology, art, and education, specifically exploring the necessary role that imagination plays in the Christian faith and how art and aesthetic education can cultivate this imagination and to what effect. She is also interested in the potential that radical imagination holds to move the church forward and to affect faithful social change.
Lieutenant Marie “Marty” Tracy (she/her) is a Chaplain of U.S. Navy currently serving Littoral Combat Ship Squadron ONE in San Diego, CA. She was born in Westfield, NJ, and earned a B.A. from Fordham University in 2006, when she was also commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force Reserve through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. She earned a Master of Arts in History from Columbia University in New York, NY, followed by a Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. She completed a Clinical Pastoral Educational residency at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia and was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 2018. LT Tracy was commissioned as a Navy Chaplain in August 2021, the same month she married her wife, Tara, who is an ordained United Methodist Elder.
Dr./Dra. Nabil Tueme (she/her) is a sociologist and Associate Researcher at Springtide Research Institute. Her research focuses on the spiritual lives of Latino young people and other young Black, Indigenous, People of Color. She frequently speaks and writes at this intersection.
The Rev. Dr. Kimberly Wagner (she/her) serves as the Assistant Professor of Preaching at Princeton Theological Seminary. She received a B.S. in Secondary Life Science Education from Miami University (OH), and her MDiv and PhD from Emory University. Dr. Wagner is ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Previous experience as a science teacher and pastor fuel and inform her work. She is passionate about supporting students’ formation and helping religious leaders navigate the realities of an ever-changing world and church. Dr. Wagner’s book, Fractured Ground: Preaching in the Wake of Mass Trauma, offers guidance for preaching and ministry in the aftermath of communal trauma, including mass violence, natural disasters, and public health crises.