I am a mystic, shamanic practitioner, writer, and ‘one who dreams’. I entered studies at ChI with a quest to cultivate a compassionate heart. At ChI this former Catholic school girl was free to explore, create, and immerse in a rich tapestry of spiritual learning and transformation. The compassionate heart that continues to grow within has opened me to inner healing and self-love. My mystic heart is most revealed in the study and practice of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Peruvian Shamanism. These paths deepen my natural inclinations toward healing through meditation, dreams and writing. I witness and companion others to remember why we came here, and that our lives are sacred; blessed are we. I honor and am deeply grateful for the love of my daughter Kashiko, my ChI friends, and especially my beloved, Rev. Jan Thomas.
Sarah Hayes DonnellOrdinand October '21
Sarah’s ministry flows from her understanding of the arts as a spiritual meeting place where people of any path can connect with their sacred birthrights of beauty, expression, and play. She draws inspiration from the faith of her Celtic ancestors, which merged with Christianity and now meets the influence of the Hindu tradition in her own spiritual life. For years she has combined her experience as a theatre artist, writer, and educator to serve as a playwright, director, performer, consultant, and facilitator using the tools of theatre for social change. Seeking spiritual sustenance to support justice and equity work, she followed a call to ChI’s joint program with Starr King School for the Ministry and completed a Master of Arts in Social Change earlier this year. She teaches through Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre and has a coaching practice specializing in nurturing the creative soul and embodied leadership.
Sally SwanOrdinand October '21
Life in the ruggedly beautiful Pacific Northwest Coast supports Sally’s strong nature-based faith as she celebrates cycles of the Moon and changing of the seasons. In this celebration, you may find her saluting the Sun, honoring the Four Directions, singing to birds, practicing Ananda Yoga, and playing the frame drum.
As an interfaith chaplain with her local hospital, Sally supports others to realize inspiration and meaning in ways that are relevant to each individual. With a respect for traditions of many religions, Sally ministers to those with diverse faith practices…including people who put no label on their spiritual beliefs and affiliations.
Sally is also an Elder at her community church and a certified animal chaplain. With animal chaplaincy and interfaith ministry, Sally offers blessings and sacred service for All Beings.
Lisa RuethOrdinand October '21
Lisa is a minister, birth doula, holistic healer, artist and creator of ceremony & gatherings that matter. Whether circling people around a table, sacred fire, life event, social justice topic or nature herself, Lisa’s intentions are always to connect as deeply as we are capable of and to discover our Oneness. Fueled by a trauma-informed perspective & motivated by stretching the boundaries of tradition, she is determined to create sacred spaces where community can grow spiritually toward the juicy experience of unlearning and remembering our inherent belonging to each other and this Earth. Lisa facilitates crucial conversations in communities facing the realities of a colonial and capitalist society. Lisa’s ministry is present for life’s best moments: relationships, birth, illness, self & community transformation and death. In her free time she scuba dives, hikes, rides motorcycles and writes. She holds a MA in Social Change and an Interfaith ordination.
William H Davis, JrTransfer of Ordination '21
Bill is the first child born to Esther and Bill, a WWII veteran. Bill was three when his parents bought the house where they lived for the next 50+ years. Bill’s parents lived in a long-term care facility which influenced Bill’s call to Retirement and Nursing Home chaplaincy. Bill graduated from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and served as a church pastor, later becoming Director of Chaplaincy Services in Norfolk, Virginia. Bill began questioning the God of Baptist description. Crises of faith and in ministry led to the loss of his first marriage and resulting separation from his son and deep vocational re-evaluation which brought him to ChI. Bill’s second wife became a CPE Educator and the family moved to Houston where Bill found yoga, mindfulness meditation, and the Kagyu lineage Buddhism. Bill has reconnected with his son who is now a father of two boys and enjoys the energy, curiosity, and liveliness of his grandchildren whenever he can.
October 2021 Spiritual Directors
Angela RauschSpiritual Director '21
Angela originally trained as a pharmacist. Since childhood, Angela has practiced her Christianity, and it was this faith that led her to Santa Clara University’s Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries. While raising a family, Angela completed her MA. Her last teacher at Santa Clara was John Mabry who introduced her to the Chaplaincy Institute. Angela’s lifelong passion and desire has been to help others heal and now her passion is to walk beside those that seek a spiritual path with God or the Divine. It is being a witness to the Divine that gives her joy. Every day Angela finds God in her baking, reading, yoga, running, biking, walking and poetry. —”My deepest vocation is to be a witness to the glimpses of God I have been allowed to catch.” Henri Nouwen Arspiritualcompanioning.com
Laura RolenSpiritual Director '21
Laura Lewis Rolen was a school psychologist for 20 years and is a psychology professor and hospice chaplain. In 2008, she moved to Berkeley from an idyllic Virginia town along with her son, two dogs, a cornsnake, and a red-eared slider turtle. Hobbies include reading, traveling, and writing. Writing projects include a book about challenging experiences and children’s books about riding her grandfather’s bread truck, sleigh riding on a blanket in the summer, and experiencing nature. In the 1980s and 1990s she completed a BA in psychology and human services from the University of Tennessee, an MS in psychology and EdS in school psychology from Radford University, and a PhD in child development from Virginia Tech. She completed ChI’s chaplaincy program and an MTS from Pacific School of Religion in 2014. She recently completed a paralegal program to combine with her psychology and theology backgrounds to advocate for reform.
The Chaplaincy Institute's
Countdown to the October 2021 Ordination and Graduation Ceremony