Educational Background: BA Urban Studies, Goddard College, 1969 Masters In City Planning, UC Berkeley, 1971 Doctorate in Contingency Planning for Disasters, UC Berkeley, Ad Hoc Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program, 1983.
Previous Career: Owner/Principal Planner, Emergency Management Group Inc., Disaster Management Planning Consultant. Developed Disaster Recovery Plans for a variety of clients including Chevron, Neutrogena, Genentech, Berkeley Unified School District, City of Berkeley, the California Dept. of Rehabilitation, and others.
Why did you discern to Seminary?
I was somewhat forced into retirement by the 2008 financial crash. I taught a couple of courses on Sustainability and then joined and led several non-profit Boards of Directors. My wife began pushing me to decide what I was going to do with the remaining third of my life as both my parents had lived into their 90’s. My mother came to live with us for her final 7 1/2 weeks of life. The Hospice Chaplain who came to visit with her modeled a chaplaincy that I could see myself doing. I was so taken with the idea that I actually talked about it with my mother during her final week of life, and she gave me her blessing.
How did you decide to attend CHI ?
My mother’s chaplain was in one of the first CHI groups to get ordained. As my wife was the Associate Medical Director of her Hospice, I was able to meet with her and begin my discernment process. It became clear that I wanted to get a bifurcated education as I wanted to prepare for both a hospice chaplaincy and an Earth Justice/Climate Change ministry. As a practicing Jew, being ordained as an Interfaith chaplain/minister felt to me as though I would not have to give up my Jewish Soul. It was also clear to me that I would need a Masters in Divinity degree if I chose to return to a paid, professional position. The agreement creating the CHI /Starr King Joint Program was signed the week before I called Starr King and asked for an application form. As soon as I became aware of this joint program, I was sure that this was the place for me. In addition, Starr King offered both high and low residency classes so that I would not have to be away from my beloved wife and our home and property for long periods of time.
Now that you are in the Program how do you feel about it?
There is no greater luxury than to be a graduate student at age 68. Given the degrees I have already earned earlier in life, I have nothing to prove academically to anyone. I am reading widely in areas I had previously chosen to ignore. I am writing almost daily. I am getting excellent feedback from both faculty and my fellow students. I am learning a great deal about myself, what I believe, how I interact with others, and am building networks of colleagues for the rest of my life, which I hope will be long and allow me to serve in new and extraordinary ways.
What kinds of ministries do you hope to serve in?
Hospice Chaplaincy and Earth Justice/Climate Change Ministry.