Faculty & Staff of the Russell Lockwood Leadership School (RLLS)
Faculty & Staff of the Russell Lockwood Leadership School (RLLS)

Meet the 2016 RLLS Faculty and Staff

Keynote Biography

The Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt, Keynote

The Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt became President of Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA on July 1, 2014. She also is a Professor of Unitarian Universalist Ministry and Heritage. For 13 years, she was Senior Minister of The Fourth Universalist Society in the City of New York. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, she is a graduate of Yale University and Drew Theological Seminary.

The Rev. Ms. McNatt was an editor and widely anthologized writer for more than 20 years before answering the call to ordained ministry. She is a former editor at the New York Times Book Review; the author of three books, including her memoir, “Unafraid of the Dark;” a former contributing columnist for Beliefnet.com; a former commentator on MSNBC; a contributing editor to UU World; and a cultural critic whose work appears regularly in The Huffington Post, The New York Times Book Review, Essence and other print and online publications. Her current projects include serving as a co-editor for a planned anthology of Unitarian Universalist historical writings, as well as continuing research into the multiracial liberal religious coalitions of early 20th century Chicago. In 2002, she helped to found the Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Ministry, created to provide culturally sensitive liberal religious responses to mass disaster and other significant trauma.

Faculty Biographies

Pastor Jacqueline Duhart, Faculty

Pastor Jacqueline Duhart is a 2008 graduate of Starr King School for the Ministry. She serves as the Minister for Faith In Action at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland in Oakland, California. She identifies as African descent, lesbian and her preferred pronoun is she. She is a mother, advocate hiker and gardener and she shares being human with her life partner Cynthia. Her favorite spiritual practices are dance/sacred movement and sitting meditation.

Rev. Kathleen McTigue, Faculty

Before joining the staff of the Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice in 2012, Rev. Kathleen McTigue served for 25 years as a UU parish minister, including 21 years as senior minister to the Unitarian Society of New Haven, Conn. A core part of her ministries has been public advocacy and faith-based organizing for marriage equality, immigrant rights, economic justice, and peace. Her previous experience also includes multiple roles with Witness for Peace and a yearlong economic study in Tanzania. McTigue earned a master of divinity degree from Starr King School for Ministry and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University.

Rev. Tandi Rogers, Faculty

The Rev. Tandi Rogers has professionally served UU congregations since 2002: Pacific NW program specialist, Interim Director of the UUA Youth & Young Adult Office, UUA Growth Strategist, and now Congregational Life Innovation & Network Specialist. Having been dean of  GoldMine Youth Leadership School since 1999, she spread it around the wider UUA and Canada in 2008. She designed Innovative Learning Circles, largely inspired by Parker Palmer’s Circles of Trust. She is a Credentialed Religious Educator, master level and adjunct faculty for Meadville-Lombard Theological School. Being Chaplain and organizing covenanting circles at Eliot Institute UU family camp are among her favorite roles, so RLLS will be a real treat for her!

Rev. Wendy Bartel, Faculty

The Rev. Wendy Bartel serves as a co-minister at the Sierra Foothills Unitarian Universalists in Auburn, CA. Over the past 20 years, Wendy feels blessed to have worked with and learned from some of the best worship leaders in Unitarian Universalism, laity as well as clergy. Most recently, along with the Rev. Dr. Leon Dunkley and the Rev. Lynn Gardner, Wendy co-led the Opening Worship and Celebration at GA 2015 in Portland, OR, weaving, poetry, music, dance, spoken word, and spiritual practices into a tapestry of beauty and meaning. Wendy was the Music Coordinator for the Pacific Central District Assembly 2014 worship and co-facilitated the Friday opening worship as well as a multigenerational Sunday morning service. At the Pacific Western Region in 2013, Wendy was the Music Coordinator for 5 worship services/teams. Wendy graduated with a Master’s of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry. Before seminary, Wendy’s undergraduate work was in Music Therapy, working with people of a variety of abilities and diagnoses, in MA and CA.

Rev. Sue Phillips, Faculty

Rev. Sue Phillips has been a congregational president, parish minister, and denominational executive. She is the creator, along with Hilary Allen, of Unitarian Universalism’s crowdfunding site FAITHIFY. Sue currently serves as our UUA’s Regional Lead for New England.

Rev. James Ishmael Ford, Faculty

James Ishmael Ford is both a Zen Buddhist priest and a Unitarian Universalist minister. He is a senior guiding teacher with Boundless Way Zen, and minister-emeritus of the First Unitarian Church of Providence (in Rhode Island). He currently is interim minister at the Pacific Unitarian Church in Rancho Palos Verdes. James is the author of five books touching on aspects of Zen and meditation; his most recent is If You're Lucky, Your Heart Will Break.

Rev. Lynn Gardner, Faculty

The Rev. Lynn Gardner serves as a co-minister at the Sierra Foothills Unitarian Universalists in Auburn, CA. Lynn has a fondness for stories and the ways they can transform our perspective, our relationships, our lives, and our world. Along with the Rev. Dr. Leon Dunkley and the Rev. Wendy Bartel, Lynn co-led  the Opening Worship and Celebration at GA 2015 in Portland, OR, weaving story, music, dance, ritual, and a multi-vocal reading into a tapestry of meaning and beauty. Lynn co-facilitated the multigenerational PCD District Assembly 2014 Sunday morning service, having met with the children and youth on Saturday to craft their parts of the service into a wonderful story that inspired all who attended. Lynn earned a Master’s of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry. Before seminary, Lynn ran a multicultural in-home day care for young children in CA and OR.

Rev. Jan Christian, Faculty

The Rev. Jan Christian serves as Congregational Life Staff for the Pacific Western Region focusing on stewardship and ministerial transitions. Before assuming this position, she served for thirteen years as minister of our congregation in Ventura, California. During that time, she also served for eight years on the Unitarian Universalist Fund for Social Responsibility. Her previous professional life included decades of work in and around Arizona’s social service and juvenile justice systems and many years teaching public policy and service learning courses at Arizona State University. She holds a B.S. in American History and a Master of Counseling degree from Arizona State University and an M.Div. from the Pacific School of Religion. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her partner and exploring the central coast of California where they make their home.

Staff Biographies

Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kwong, jkwong [at] uua [dot] org (subject: RLLS%20Query) (jkwong [at] uua [dot] org,) Academic Dean

The Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kūpono Kwong, UUA Congregational Life staff in the Pacific Western Region, has served four congregations in Hawai‘i and California–both Unitarian Universalist and Metropolitan Community Church, including emerging and multi-sites. He was the Executive Director of the Counseling & Spiritual Care Center of Hawai‘i and API (Asian Pacific Islander) Equality-LA. Dr. Kwong obtained his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Claremont School of Theology in California.

Diane Larson, rlls [at] uua [dot] org, Administrative Dean

Diane Larson is an enthusiastic alum of Russell Lockwood Leadership School. She currently serves as a Worship Associate for the Unitarian Universalist (UU) church in Hillsboro, Oregon, and particularly feels passionate about researching, writing, and delivering sermons. She was co-chair of her church's Adult Religious Enrichment program for many years, and enjoyed creating workshops, such as "Growing Your Spirit Outdoors" and "Color: Lift Your Spirits!" Her career background is in communications and special events management for nonprofit organizations. She also is a long-time freelance editor.

For more information contact pwr@uua.org.

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