UPCOMING COURSES & HAPPENINGS

Spiritual Psychology

September 20 @ 9:00 am - September 24 @ 4:00 pm

Spiritual Direction #4

October 11 @ 8:00 am - October 15 @ 5:00 pm

STAFF

Rev. Kari Kopnick

Community Minister
Email: kari(at)chaplaincyinstitute.org

We would like to introduce our incoming Interim Community Minister, Rev. Kari Kopnick! Rev. Kari lives just south of Seattle and is a graduate of both ChI’s Chaplaincy Program and Interfaith Spiritual Direction program. Kari has worked in congregational ministry and faith-based organizations for 15 years in several different roles, including religious education, communications, membership, and community life. She enjoys gardening, writing, and spending time in nature. Kari looks forward to supporting the ChI community and celebrating the next ordination this coming spring. 

Rev Katrina Leathers, MA

Dean of Students & Enrollment
Email: katrina(at)chaplaincyinstitute.org
Phone: (510) 843-1422

Website

Katrina started her worklife in Expressive Therapies, with a focus on movement forms. As a psychotherapist, she used expressive arts for healing childhood trauma and abuse. Over time, her spiritual focus became primary, so she was ordained at The Chaplaincy Institute in March 2012, and later certified as a Spiritual Director. Raised as a Baha’i, and later diving into shamanism, she particularly loves working with people who are “non-affiliated,” spiritual-but-not-religious, agnostic or atheist. At The Chaplaincy Institute, she is joyfully overseeing the Arts for Awakening curriculum, and envisioning new forms for transformational creativity.

Rev Andrew Chirch, MDIV

Executive Director
Email: andy(at)chaplaincyinstitute.org
Phone: (510) 843-1422

Andy is The Chaplaincy Institute’s (ChI) Minister of Operations. He found ChI through Starr King School for the Ministry after two decades in business and finance. Andy is an Interfaith Studies Alum and an ordained Interfaith minister through ChI claiming the title Chaplain of administry. He feels deeply called to cultivate organizational health and wholeness, and is excited about the role that organizations can play in the healing the world needs.

Cecily Knepprath, BA

Systems Specialist
Email: cecily(at)chaplaincyinstitute.org
Phone: (510) 843-1422

Cecily Knepprath is The Chaplaincy Institute’s (ChI) Program Coordinator. She brings more than 25 years of experience working in nonprofits, higher education and human service organizations with a focus in operations and database administration. Most recently, Cecily led the development operations team scattered around the world for Room to Read, an international NGO with a mission of educating children. Cecily’s curiosity about metaphysics, led to her to teaching psychic development classes for the Institute of Noetic Sciences’ community group in Tucson and where she facilitated a support group for mothers who have lost children due to suicide and accidents. Cecily’s educational background includes a BA in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley and is currently an interfaith studies student at ChI. Cecily delights in traveling, spending time out in nature and on adventures with her young grandchildren and family who live nearby.

LaShonda Lewis, BA, BA

Communications and Media Specialist
Email: lashonda(at)chaplaincyinstitute.org

LaShonda Lewis currently resides in North Carolina. She is a 2019 graduate from North Carolina Central University where she earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees. Ms. Lewis holds degrees in Political Science with a concentration in Pre-Law and Theory and Mass Communications with a concentration in Broadcasting. In her previous positions, she operated in the roles of: Social Media Manager, Oral History Coordinator, Administrative Assistant, Customer Service Representative, and Video Production Assistant. In her free time, she enjoys creating visual content on YouTube and working as an Entrepreneur. Ms. Lewis is excited to serve as the new Communications and Media Specialist for the Chaplaincy Institute.

Shae Green, MPA

Administrative Specialist
Email: shae(at)chaplaincyinstitute.org

Shae has begun her journey with ChI in taking on the role of the Administrative Specialist. She has earned both her Undergraduate degree in Organizational Management and her Master’s in Public Administration. Her professional experience consists of work in both the private and not for profit sectors. Shae’s previous work experience ranges from having been an Administrative Coordinator (Sr.), to utilizing her education and knowledge of government and non-profit systems as a Program Consultant, to having been a Program/Project Coordinator and grant lead. Shae feels called to serve others utilizing known and developing gifts, and brings with her an array of experience, a heart to show the world around her love through kindness and service, and the desire to work to provide a quality experience to all of those who are in some way or another a part of ChI’s vast community.

Rev Lauren Van Ham, MA

Lead Consultant & Past Seminary Dean, Interfaith Studies and Spiritual Direction Faculty
Email: lauren(at)laurenvanham.com
Phone: (510) 843-1422
LinkedIn Profile

Raised in the Midwest, Rev. Lauren Van Ham, M.A., worked as a performing artist in NYC before attending ChI.  Following ordination (’99), Lauren served a hospital, focusing in psychiatry, palliative care, and bereavement support.  Her ministry moved to corporations (’07), where she custom-designed employee engagement sustainability programs for multi-national companies.  She returned to ChI (’10) where, for 9 years, she served as Dean. Lauren’s passion for spirituality, art and Earth’s teachings have supported her specialization in eco-ministry, grief & loss, and sacred activism.  Her essay, “Way of the Eco-Chaplain,” appears in a collection of women’s work; and her work with Green Sangha is featured in Renewal, a documentary celebrating environmental activism from diverse faith traditions. Her writing and audio perspectives appear on “Progressing Spirit,” and Vennly, online resources for exploring spirituality and life across different backgrounds and traditions. Currently, Lauren serves as Climate Action Coordinator for the United Religions Initiative (URI).  She also tends a private spiritual direction and eco-chaplaincy consulting practice; and serves as guest faculty for several schools in the Bay Area.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Rev Ineda Adesanya, MA, MDiv, DASD

Board President

Email: ineda(at)chaplaincyinstitute.org
Phone: (510) 843-1422
Website

The Reverend Ineda P. Adesanya, MA, MDiv, DASD is an ordained American Baptist minister and spiritual director. Her divine call is to make the world better by using her spiritual gifts to help others live more abundantly and to experience truth, joy and justice by surrendering all to the Spirit. Rev. Adesanya’s theology of ministry seeks to assist others to lift themselves up through knowledge, encouragement, and spiritual guidance. With an inner conviction that spirituality and justice go hand-in-hand, the goal of her ministry is to communicate the ideals of the faith, enabling Christians to mature and become confident disciples, spiritually healthy, able and willing to follow Christ in providing and advocating for those who are oppressed and marginalized. Rev. Adesanya is a follower of Jesus Christ—one who subscribes to Christ’s greatest command—to love unconditionally. Under that persuasion, she opens wide her ministry, ecumenically and interreligiously, to love and the serve all who would come.

Rev. Adesanya received both her Master of Divinity with concentration in Christian Spirituality, and her Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction from the San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California. She earned a Master of Arts in Religion and Psychology from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California where she is currently earning a PhD in Historical and Cultural Studies of Religion. Rev. Adesanya holds a BA in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley and worked as a land-use planner, facilities professional, and construction industry executive for twenty-five years. She serves as a pastoral counselor for the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.

As Minister of Spiritual Life for the Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, California, Rev. Adesanya provides individual and small group spiritual direction, leads contemplative retreats, teaches seminars and short courses on various aspects of Christian spirituality, and authors a weekly blog for the congregation and community. She is editor and co-author of Kaleidoscope: Broadening the Palette in the Art of Spiritual Direction published in 2019 by Church Publishing, Inc. Discover more about her scholarship at inedaadesanya.academia.edu.

Rev. Adesanya is founder and proprietor of WJoy – A Spiritual Care Ministry providing spiritual direction and care for faith-based institutions, clergy and lay members of the community at-large. Wjoy.org.

Don Morgan

Board of Directors

Email: donontam(at)gmail.com

Phone: (510) 843-1422

Don uses a mix of business development skills, strategic management, and daily practices to assist people and organizations to bring more simplicity into their lives. The result is a reduction of the daily struggles that block profitability, effectiveness, and enjoyment.

Don has served as an Executive Director in 3 social service nonprofit organizations, one of which tripled in size over 5 years employing over 400 people, and serving thousands of families in 6 San Francisco Bay Area counties.

Don’s commitment is to build the daily practices, capacity, and resiliency of people and organizations to more naturally thrive through times of growth and change. His unusual mix of senior management experience, spiritual leadership roles, and personal mindfulness practices of over 20 years, gives him special skills to partner with leaders to evolve their organizations into greater effectiveness and profitability.

He has served as an ordained minister in both Unity and the Centers for Spiritual Living. He is a certified counselor and coach with extensive experience speaking, teaching, and facilitating retreats. He has served in interim senior director roles creating effective transitions for several organizations.

Don presently works with Simplicity Partners, A consultancy applying the principles of simplicity to bring increased effectiveness, profitability, and ease into the workplace and personal life.

Rev Jennifer Bernstein

Secretary – Liaison to Deep Culture Work Group | Member at Large, Board of Directors
Phone: (510) 843-1422

LinkedIn Profile

Rev. Jennifer Bernstein was ordained an Interfaith Minister by The ChI Community in 2014, and received her certificate from ChI as a Spiritual Director in 2017.

Jennifer has been the Campus Volunteer & Guest Relations Manager at Guide Dogs for the Blind for over 16 years. She is currently creating the field of Veterinary Chaplaincy, offering pastoral care to people who are dealing with end-of-life issues for their companion or service animals. Jennifer also volunteers at Halleck Creek Riding Club, a facility that offers equine therapy to people on the autism spectrum and with other cognitive differences.

Jennifer lives in Petaluma with her daughter and their animals.

Marcus Hill

Board of Directors
Email: marcus.r.hill(at)gmail.com
Phone: (510) 843-1422

LinkedIn Profile

Marcus is an experienced communication and storytelling professional having received education and training from award winning public speaking programs at Los Angeles Valley College, California State University, Long Beach, and Illinois State University.

Marcus joins us after 11 years of applying his ever-growing knowledge about communications and storytelling to help various schools, universities, businesses, and individual professionals achieve success in their communication endeavors.

Having been raised by a friend’s warm-welcoming family, Marcus learned the importance of inclusion, humility, and charity early on. It was this foundation that helped him to excel in communications giving rise to a need to bridge learning and understanding of differences with those he worked with throughout the years. He understands without great communication an interfaith community cannot exist. He is excited to be with us and contribute to the ongoing conversation about transforming the world for the better.

Rev. Bonnie Lange

Vice President of Board of Directors
Email: bonniep357(at)gmail.com

Becoming an Interfaith Minister and Chaplain is Bonnie’s encore career. Her
focus is to serve as a compassionate companion for those facing challenges,
particularly related to the end of life. Her current ministry includes volunteering
in various roles for Hospice of Santa Cruz County and leading the pastoral care
team and prayer ministry for Peace United Church of Christ in Santa Cruz, CA.
Bonnie arrived at ChI aer four previous careers and a brief retirement. Her
spiritual homes have been United Church of Christ (current), Unity (25 years), and
Lutheran (childhood) faith traditions. She is also a certified coach for Gallup
Strengths Finder and HeartMath.

Rev. Scott Railsback, M.A.

Board of Directors
Email: srrailsback(at)comcast.net

The Chaplaincy Institute Board of Directors welcomes Rev. Scott Railsback, M.A., a member of the March 2006 ChI clergy cohort. After ordination he earned an M.A. in

East-West Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Scott worked as a chaplain from 2006 – 2019, including ten years at Kaiser in palliative and acute care. In the past 25 years his spiritual journey has continued to honor his Christian roots and deepening his spiritual perspective through travels on shamanic, Hindu and Buddhist paths. A lover of the arts, he is among other things, an accomplished and formerly professional Yidaki (didgeridoo) musician and improvisational musician playing a range or world instruments.

Previously, as an executive and business owner, Scott focused on developing new business opportunities and leading the development and implementation of

large-scale information systems and business change initiatives. He says, “I enjoy change projects that integrate human, business and technical systems… I believe to fully realize the creative power of Divine presence, one must engage both the rational mind and the creative spirit, which I experience through music, poetry and writing.”

As a member of the board, Scott hopes to foster ChI partnerships with healthcare providers and organizations.

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