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Symposia: The Art of Resilience

In Ancient Greece, the symposium served as a venue for philosophers, poets, musicians, and leaders to gather and share ideas. Symposia were forums for conversations that would fuel innovation and imagination. Standing at the intersection of many schools of thought, The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology fosters an environment of conversations and exploration, seeking to be a symposium for the modern age.

With that history and vision in mind, we are proud to present the 3rd annual Symposia, The Art of Resilience. This year’s symposium-style event will feature nine alumni presenters and a keynote speaker, Dr. Roy Barsness, gathered together to share about their innovative work at the intersection of theology, psychology, and culture.

The spirit of dialogue and collaboration behind Symposia is rooted in this basic premise: We all have much to offer, and we all have much to learn. We can’t wait to learn from our alumni presenters to discover what they are offering the world through their intelligence, creativity and compassion.

Regular tickets for this unique gathering are $25. Each ticket will include a $5 voucher to be used as a direct contribution that will help further the work of the presenter of your choice. The Seattle School will match all contributions by 100%. Also included with each ticket is a two-drink voucher redeemable at the reception to follow Symposia from 4:00-6:00 PM.

We look forward to robust dialogue that inspires imagination with our alumni, current students, faculty, staff and neighbors in the greater Seattle community and virtually at Awaycomings with our non-local alumni as they gather together across the nation. All are welcome. We’re excited for you to join us!

Childcare is available by request by emailing

Knox Burnett | Utilizing the Body as a Compass in the Process of Transformation
Knox Burnett (MACP ‘13) is a licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Personal Trainer working in private practice in Seattle, WA. His body-oriented, integrative approach to therapy has been born out of a myriad of educations including work with college athletes, addicts, holistic health professionals, and people struggling with issues of food, body, and movement. As a speaker, writer, and clinician, Knox is passionate about translating the beauty and interconnectedness of life in all the places it flourishes so that all may feel the embrace of the Kingdom of God. Learn more about Knox’s work»

Rachael Anne Clinton | Trauma & Spiritual Formation: Healing, Hope, and Radical Welcome For Disordered Bodies & Disordered Imagination
Rachael Anne Clinton (MDiv ‘10) serves as the Assistant Director of Program Development & Admissions for The Allender Center, as well as a part of the teaching and facilitation staff. Rachael is a stormborn woman of the Oklahoma plains, a trauma survivor and specialist, a preacher, a plant lady, and an unapologetic sports fan. She’s fiercely committed to bringing healing and hope at the prophetic and pastoral intersection of trauma, embodiment, spiritual formation, and biblical imagination.

Lacy Clark Ellman |Beyond Borders: Cultivating Awareness, Resilience, and Transformation through the Practice of Pilgrimage as seen through the Hero’s Journey
Lacy Clark Ellman (MACS ‘12) holds a certificate in Spiritual Direction and was selected as a New Contemplative by Spiritual Directors International in 2015. Professionally, she is a spiritual director, maker, and guide who speaks the language of pilgrimage and is always ready for the next adventure, having traveled to over twenty countries on four continents. Personally, she is a lover of food, books, spirituality, growing and making things, far-off places and lovely spaces. Find her work at A Sacred Journey»

Eric Mason | Rethinking Gender & Genesis: Male, Female, and Being Other
Eric Mason (MACP ‘13) holds an MDiv from Yale University and works as a licensed psychotherapist and an ordained Episcopal priest. Eric currently serves as the rector of St. Laurence Anglican Church in the metropolitan area of Vancouver, BC.

David William Rice | The Resilient Pastor: Leading Change in the Traditional Church by Embracing Pain & Loss
David William Rice (MDiv ‘10) and his wife, Wendy, are parents to two young boys. They live, work and play in Northern Michigan where they enjoy exploring the natural beauty of the lakefront landscape and centering their family around good food, and endless amounts of children’s literature. An avid gardener and cook, David can often be found growing things in his backyard, getting lost in the hope of a seed catalog or cooking up something delicious in the kitchen. David been serving as Lead Pastor of Markey Church since 2014

Richard Kim & Ron Ruthruff | Community in a Fragmented Society
Richard D. Kim (MDiv ’11) is a husband to Grace and father to Caleb. Richard is the Intercultural Credibility Coordinator and Consultant at The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology where he works to support the integration of culture and identity frameworks in the formational development of pastors, therapists, artist and leaders. Richard is also the owner and principal consultant at RDKim Consulting helping organizations understand and engage culture and identity paradigms. Richard is from Minnesota by way of Florida and currently lives in Issaquah, WA.

Ron Ruthruff, Associate Professor of Theology and Culture at The Seattle School, is also an ordained clergy person providing pastoral care, training, and support for grassroots urban leaders serving youth and families in hard places around the world. His education is an eclectic blend of social work, counseling, and theological studies, including a doctor of ministry in complex urban settings degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He is the author of The Least of These and Closer to the Edge. He and his wife, Linda, live in Rainier Valley, a multicultural neighborhood in south Seattle.

Amber Saldivar |Unexpected Joy: What Happens When We Create Places of Abundant Hospitality for People with Disabilities
Amber Saldivar (MACP ‘13) is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Developmental Disabilities Mental Health Specialist in Edmonds, WA. She specializes in working with people with disabilities and chronic illnesses and their caregivers. Her unique 18-year journey into the world of disability has fueled her lifelong passion to advocate for and include this population. She is a Church Disability Advocate within her church’s denomination, and co-facilitates a community support group for caregivers of people with disabilities in Mountlake Terrace.

Matthew Smith | Creating Resiliency: The Link Between Creative Expression and Trauma Recovery
Matthew Smith (MACP ‘15) serves as the Executive Vice President for First Aid Arts, a Seattle based non-profit that equips trauma care providers with arts based tools and training. In addition to his work with First Aid Arts, Matthew serves as a mental health counselor in the Seattle area through his private practice. Learn more about Matthew Smith and his work with First Aid Arts»

Jenny Wade | Finding Beauty in Embodied Resistance
Jenny Wade (MACP ‘13) spent four years as a group and primary therapist at Opal: Food + Body Wisdom, an eating disorder clinic. As a trained yoga teacher and licensed psychotherapist she teaches individuals to develop a deep trust in their body and inner voice. She believes that all bodies are good and is on a mission to help every person learn to come home to their body. Learn more about Jenny and her work at Haven Yoga»

Courtney Warren | Back from the Brink: What I’ve Learned from Suicidal Clients
Courtney Warren (MACP ‘13) works as a Lead Intake Specialist at Valley Cities Counseling & Consultation at the Meridian Center for Health. Before that, she worked at their Renton clinic as a primary Intake Specialist and a Next Day Appointment Program Clinician where she worked with clients that have fallen through the cracks of care and treatment in King County and beyond to help connect them to resources and care.

Featured Artists | Leanna Ramsey (MACP ’14) and Ava Swift (MACP ’14), are practicing therapists and artists who will be sharing their artwork with us.