As the 2016-2017 school year gets underway, The Seattle School faculty are returning from busy summers full of writing, speaking, and researching, as another year of educating and equipping students in our graduate degree programs commences. But before the new year moves into full swing, here’s a look back at some faculty highlights from the previous year.
In March 2016, Dr. Dan Allender, Professor of Counseling Psychology, published Healing the Wounded Heart and an accompanying workbook, exploring recent discoveries about the lasting physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual ramifications of sexual abuse, as well as the realities of working with survivors of abuse. The book is a 25-year retrospective of Dr. Allender’s iconic work The Wounded Heart, but it is more than an updated version. Instead, Healing the Wounded Heart is a vibrant and vital read for both survivors of sexual abuse and those who know and work with others who are living with the effects of abuse and trauma.
Also in March, Dr. Keith Anderson, President of The Seattle School, published A Spirituality of Listening: Living What We Hear, inviting readers on a journey to relearn how to listen. Full of stories, insights, and reflective exercises, the new book compellingly outlines Dr. Anderson’s belief that we can hear God speaking through the moments that make up our days—not by memorizing a formula or 10 easy steps, but by participating in the world around us with a posture of wonder and curiosity. “God is not done with the business of revelation and creation but instead continues to have something to say and something yet to be accomplished in the very culture that isn’t sure if God is done speaking,” writes Dr. Anderson. “My claim is simple: spirituality is grounded in ordinary life experiences. We need to learn to listen to rhythms of life, narratives and creation.”
In November 2015, Dr. Ron Ruthruff, Associate Professor of Theology & Culture, published Closer to the Edge: Walking with Jesus for the World’s Sake. The book explores how the world’s perceptions of Christians—and, therefore, its perception of Christ—might change if our way of doing justice work is as important as the end result. “The way you treat the person you love the least is the way you love God the most,” writes Dr. Ruthruff.
Dr. Caprice Hollins, Affiliate Professor, published Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Strategies for Facilitating Conversations on Race with her business partner, Ilsa Govan. The book is designed to train people in leading dialogues about diversity, particularly in workplace settings, drawing from Dr. Hollins’s years of experience as a facilitator, speaker, and teacher.
Dr. Hollins also led a workshop about racial privilege at the office of Governor Jay Inslee, and she delivered keynote addresses for the Puget Sound Association of Legal Administrators, the City of Seattle’s Department of Education and Early Planning, and Jefferson County Public Library. She was also featured in two interviews (for ParentMap and Q13 Fox News) about how to talk with children about racism.
Academic Publications, Presentations, and Honors
Dr. Chelle Stearns, Associate Professor of Theology, published two pieces in The Other Journal’s 25th issue, which revolved around the theme of trauma: “A Theological Aesthetic of Dissonance: Trauma, Lament, and the Seven Last Words of Jesus from the Cross” and “The Spirit’s Witness: An Interview with Shelly Rambo.” Dr. Stearns also presented “Human Beings Require Tangibility or How Ann Hamilton Changed My Mind” for an October 2015 panel discussion titled “Theology Between Art and The Body: Reimagining Our Future” at Seattle Pacific Seminary, and she presented “‘Human Beings are Constantly Invited to Relate the Given to the Found’: Exploring Ben Quash’s Found Theology through Ann Hamilton’s Playful Participation in the event of a thread and the common SENSE” at Christians in the Visual Arts Conference in June 2015.
Dr. Angela N. Parker presented the following papers: “Transforming Our Body Politic: A Feminist-Womanist Dialogue on 1 Corinthians 12:12-26” at the 2016 International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Seoul, Korea; “When Women Get Angry: Re-Reading the Violence Surrounding Herodias (Mark 6:14-29) in the Age of Ferguson, Charleston, and the Black Lives Matter Movement” and “Disrupting Oneness, Challenging Erasure: A Feminist-Womanist Dialogue on the Body of Christ,” both at the Society of Biblical Literature’s annual meeting in Atlanta.
In addition to speaking at the 2016 Inhabit conference and being an invited juror for the 2017 Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion, Dr. Parker published a book review of Jin Young Choi’s Postcolonial Discipleship of Embodiment: An Asian and Asian American Feminist Reading of the Gospel of Mark in Review of Biblical Literature, and she is under contract with Wipf & Stock for a book entitled Bodies, Violence, and Emotions: A Womanist Reading of σῶμα and πτῶμα in the Gospel of Mark.
Dr. Parker was also selected to participate in the 2016-2017 Wabash Center Teaching and Learning Workshop for Early Career Theological School Faculty. Designed for faculty members who are in their first years of teaching, this workshop—held for one week each summer for two years and a winter weekend retreat—will explore 21st century challenges in theological education, innovative teaching practices, and complex institutional ecologies. In this process, Dr. Parker is joining a community of collaborative thinkers who are wrestling with questions about interdisciplinary teaching, generative learning, and responsible pedagogies in complex institutional and cultural contexts.
Dr. Roy Barsness, Professor of Counseling Psychology, published “The Changing Culture of Faculty Work: A Pedagogy of Cultural Dignity for Engaging the Diverse Other” (co-authored with Richard Kim) in Journal of Theological Education and participated in two panels at the International Conference for the Christian Association for Psychological Studies in Pasadena: “Staying Connected When Things Fall Apart: The Personal and Professional Life of the Therapist” and Towards Cultural Consciousness of Self and Other in the Therapeutic Relationship.” At the same conference in 2015, Dr. Barsness presented “Mapping the Mind of the Relational Psychoanalyst.”
Dr. Barsness was also invited to present on “Multiple Self Theory” at the Brookhaven Institute for Psychoanalysis and Christian Theology in Pasadena, and on “Seven Practices of Relational Psychoanalysis” at George Fox University. He is currently under contract with Routledge to publish a new book, Core Competencies in Relational Psychoanalysis: A Guide to Practice, Study and Research, with projected publication in 2017.
Dr. Doug Shirley, Assistant Professor of Counseling, spoke about self-care and mental illness (“A Community of Self-Care: Counselor Health and Client Well Being” and “Living With the Other in Ourselves and Those around Us: Facing Mental Illness”) at the American Mental Health Counselors Association’s annual conference, Argosy University, University Presbyterian Church, and the Washington Counseling Association. Dr. Shirley also delivered a poster session at the annual conference of the American Family Therapy Academy, titled “Shame, Gender Role, and Alexithymia in Men in Positions of Spiritual Authority”—which was the subject of his doctoral research in Pastoral Community Counseling.
Dr. Chris Keller, Adjunct Faculty and Practicum Leader, co-authored “Courage Embodied: Exploring the Relationship between Courage, Psychological Well-being, and Somatic Symptoms,” which was presented at the Second World Conference on Personality in Buzios, Brazil. He also co-authored two manuscripts that have been submitted for publication: “The Impact of Defensive Anger on Discrete Emotions and Posttraumatic Stress” and “Development and Validation of a Rapid Screening Tool for Cognitive Impairment in Primary Care Settings.”
As our students and alumni know well from their time in class, the generativity of our faculty is at the core of what brings The Seattle School’s mission to life. In preparing students to study and practice at the intersection of text.soul.culture, we are led by our faculty, who continually establish themselves as practitioners, writers, thought leaders, and educators marked by creativity, thoughtfulness, care, and boldness.