About Our Faculty

Graduate Program Professors

James Acken, PhD – is a trained medievalist whose work focuses on the culture of poetics around the North Sea, particularly as it relates to Ireland and Scotland. Specializing in Gaelic and Norse literature, he has taught in Scottish cultural studies in both Canada and Scotland. His publications focus more on the poetic tradition of Ireland as illuminated in the didactic text, the Auraicept na nÉces. jacken@cherryhillseminary.org

Erica Baron, MDiv – holds a Master of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Thought and Political Economy from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is an ordained Unitarian Universalist (UU) minister who has served UU congregations in Vermont and New York. She is a high priestess and ordained minister of the Temple of Witchcraft, centered in Salem, NH. When she is not leading religious communities and teaching, she makes quilts.

Amy Beltaine, MDiv – is a spiritual mentor, providing a ministry of helping allies, friends and family of the marginalized and oppressed, whose hearts are breaking, but who wish to break open rather that break down, to mend themselves and the world. When (spouse) Hawthorne and Amy are not pulling their little home behind them they live in Portland, Oregon with (son) Corey, (beagle) Zim, and (cat) Annie. A graduate of Unitarian Universalist Meadville Lombard School for the Ministry, Amy is a professional Spiritual Director and Supervisor, serving on the coordinating committee of the UU Spiritual Directors’ Network, and recent President of the Covenant of UU Pagans.
Amy is a nearly life-long earth-honoring Process-Panentheist, with training in Gardnerian Wicca and Reclaiming, and ancestral roots in Scotland and Slovakia. Amy aspires to become a Love-Ninja. Connect with Amy at http://amybeltaine.info.

Jenny Blain, PhD – originally from Scotland, has lived and worked as a lecturer in Canada and the UK. In addition to her book Nine Worlds of Seid-Magic (Routledge 2002) she has been editor with Graham Harvey and Doug Ezzy of Researching Paganisms (Altamira 2004), author with R J Wallis of Sacred Sites, Contested Rites/Rights (Sussex Academic Press, 2007) and numerous academic articles and chapters on Paganisms, Seidr, Heathenry, landscapes, Ancestors and wights, and lately on Scottish identities. Having recently taken retirement she has returned to Scotland, where after revising her earlier small book Wights and Ancestors (Prydein Press 2016) she is planning a larger volume for Heathen practitioners provisionally titled The Wyrd of the North, in addition to her work as a genealogist helping others uncover their Scottish ancestries. She has identified as ‘Heathen’ for several decades and has been involved with the development and practice of Seidr since the 1990s.

Stacy Brooks, PhD – received her Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Mythology with an emphasis in Depth Psychology, her dissertation titled “Eco-Mythology of the Cherokee in Southern Appalachian Mountains: The Bedrock of Appalachian Culture.” Her Bachelor’s in Elementary and Early Childhood education was earned from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. She has lived the past 20 years in Boone, NC in the high country of the Appalachia Mountains.

Keith Cates, PhD – received his Ph.D. In Counselor Education and Supervision from Auburn University. Additionally he holds an Ed.S in Guidance and Counseling, an M.A. in Psychology, a B.A in Psychology and a B.F.A. in Fine Arts from the University of West Georgia. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has held state licensure in Georgia, Alabama and Alaska. He currently works in higher education and continuing adult education as faculty, clinical director, and consultant in the areas of assessment, accreditation and program curriculum development. His research has centered on non-mainstream and sub-cultural populations and his clinical practice has focused on working with military, EMS, mire and police personnel and providing clinical supervision for counselors seeking licensure. He is a member of the Ordo Templi Orientis where he has served in the role of Bodymaster as well as worked with the OTO’s Psychology Guild to serve the pastoral counseling training needs of the OTO’s clergy. kcates@cherryhillseminary.org

Valerie Cole, PhD – is a practicing Reclaiming Witch in Washington, DC. Previously Chair of the Pagan Pastoral Counseling Department for Cherry Hill Seminary, Valerie currently works as Senior Associate, Disaster Mental Health, at the American Red Cross. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa and began conducting sabbat rituals while in graduate school. She taught graduate and undergraduate courses in the Department of Psychology and helped develop the Masters in Mental Health Counseling program at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY. Valerie also maintained a private psychotherapy practice for several years, focusing mainly on relationships: relationship with the self, with one’s higher power, and with others. She uses meditation, guided imagery and ritual to facilitate personal transformation. Her article “Healing Principles: A Model for the Use of Ritual in Psychotherapy” appeared in Counseling and Values in 2003.

Vivianne Crowley, PhD – is a psychologist and was formerly a professor at the University of London, teaching psychology of religion at Master’s level and supervising PhD students. She is a Wiccan High Priestess and has been teaching Wicca and the Western Magickal Tradition internationally for thirty years. She is on the Council of the Pagan Federation where she focuses on interfaith issues. She is the author of many books on Wicca, Paganism and spiritual psychology, including Wicca: A comprehensive guide to the Old Religion in the modern world. The current focus of her spiritual work is in supporting and fostering the development of those who lead groups and teach others. vcrowley@cherryhillseminary.org

Holli S. Emore, MDiv – is the executive director for Cherry Hill Seminary, Chair of Interfaith Partners of South Carolina, and was the first Regional Lead for Disaster Spiritual Care for the American Red Cross in South Carolina. She is the founding priestess of Temple Osireion which has developed its tradition based on ancient Egyptian religions. Emore is the author of Constellated Ministry: A Guide for Those Serving Today’s Pagans (Equinox, 2021).

James Fielder, PhD – (political science, The University of Iowa, 2012) researches emergent political processes inside of game worlds. He has published and lectured widely on the psychology and ritual aspects of gameplay, including The Conference on Pagan Studies, Gen Con, Summerland, Enheduanna Journal, and the Journal of Political Science Education. James also teaches at Colorado State University and is a roleplaying game content creator for Evil Beagle Games. He is a Non-Officer Director of Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF), a member of ADF’s Denver-based Chokecherry Grove, and founded ADF’s Games & Play Special Interest Group.

Lynne Hume, PhD – is an Anthropologist, Honorary Research Consultant, and Associate Professor (retired) in Studies in Religion at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. She has researched and published on Australian indigenous culture, contemporary Paganism, new religious movements, altered states of consciousness, and sensorial anthropology as well as magical experiences and religion and dress. Her book publications are: The Varieties of Magical Experience co-authored with Dr Nevill Drury) (in press with Praeger ABC-CLIO); The Religious Life of Dress (forthcoming with Berg); Portals: Opening Doorways to Other Realities through the Senses (2007) Oxford and New York: Berg; Ancestral Power: The Dreaming, Consciousness and Aboriginal Australians (2002) Melbourne University Press; Witchcraft and Paganism in Australia (1997) Melbourne University Press; Anthropologists in the Field: Cases in Participant Observation (with Jane Mulcock) (2004) New York: Columbia University Press; Popular Spiritualities: the Politics of Contemporary Enchantment (with Kathleen McPhillips) (2006) Aldershot, England and Burlington, USA: Ashgate. She has also published work in numerous academic journals and several encyclopedias and supervised PhD students through to completion of their doctorates. Hume lives in Australia. lhume@cherryhillseminary.org

Candace Kant, PhD – holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in history from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a Ph.D. in history from Northern Arizona University. She has taught history, women’s studies, and religious studies courses at the College of Southern Nevada since 1976, including such classes as the History of Witchcraft, Goddess Traditions, Introduction to Modern Paganism, and Modern Pagan Thought, all of which she developed. After 32 years of teaching Candace retired and was awarded the title Emerita. She developed and taught courses in practical Pagan and Goddess Spirituality at the Temple of Goddess Spirituality dedicated to Sekhmet in Cactus Springs, Nevada and through the College of Southern Nevada Continuing Education. A devotee of Sekhmet, she was ordained at the Temple of Goddess Spirituality in 2003 and has served as one of the temple priestesses from 2006 to the present. In 2023 she was presented the Hypatia Award for Excellence in Education by Cherry Hill Seminary.

Carol Kirk, MDiv – is a military veteran, having served in the U.S. Army as a trauma nurse from 1966-1986. During that time she served in various military hospitals around the world, including 18 months as an operating room nurse in Vietnam. She retired in 1986 but was called back to active duty for the duration of Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Carol became Wiccan in 1980 and eventually trained in the Oak, Ash, and Thorn Tradition, earning her Third Degree in 1996. She subsequently founded Tangled Moon Coven, a large Wiccan training coven, in 1996 and ran it with her husband until stepping down in 2008. In the fall of 1998 she entered training with a Gardnerian coven, subsequently earing her Third Degree in the Gardnerian Tradition in 2013. Carol holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Michigan State University, a Master of Science from Murray State University in Guidance and Counseling, and a Master of Divinity in Pagan Pastoral Counseling from Cherry Hill Seminary.

Ben Luoma, MDiv – first felt pulled by the Gods while wandering the pine barrens of New Jersey as a child. He eventually found his way to British Traditional Wicca, which he has been practicing for over a decade. He has an M.Div from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and completed Clinical Pastoral Education at Norton Healthcare in Louisville. Since 2018, Ben has served as a staff chaplain at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence. He lives in North Providence with his wife, 2 children, 3 cats, and 1 dog.

Valentine McKay-Riddell, PhD – was born a “Navy brat” in Orlando, Florida and grew up in Canada and Texas. A graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, Valentine is a member of the Adjunct Faculty at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, CA, where she earned a Masters in Counseling Psychology and a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology. She has a private practice in shamanic healing and wellness counseling in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Descended from Scots, Irish, French, and Native American ancestors, Valentine developed a combination of shamanism and art making (Healing Art©) to heal herself from cancer and later founded a nonprofit organization, Orenda Healing International (OHI), devoted to promoting individual and community health and wellbeing. OHI umbrellas many of her research projects, which currently include the influence of the Goddess in Navajo spirituality; filmmaking as a catalyst for intergenerational healing among Native American youth and elders; the possibility of genetic inheritance as the inspiration for shamanic practice; and shamanism as a root philosophy for many of our modern professions, including medicine, religion, and art. She has taught art to young people and adults and Healing Art© to AIDS and cancer patients, challenged youth, developmentally disabled adults, and women in transition for over twenty years. She is a certified Reiki Master in the Usui Lineage. She has lived in Mexico, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, California, Nebraska, Oregon, and New Mexico, and has traveled in England, Ireland, the Virgin Islands, and the British West Indies. A prolific writer, Valentine has published a number of articles in popular and scholarly journals and is celebrating the release of the first two books of her fantasy series for young adults, The Alyssa Chronicles (The River Goddess & Other Stories and Starfriends, 2012, Cool Well Press). She and her husband, Lewis Riddell, share a passion for nature photography, art, theatre, gourmet cooking, and cats. Valentine has two adult daughters and five grandchildren. She believes that her experiences in raising her own family inspired her interest in working with adolescents and catalyzed the writing of her books for young adults. Contact at vmckayriddell@cherryhillseminary.org

Shane Nelson, MDiv – holds a BA in Religion from American Military University, a MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northwest Christian University, and a MDiv from Starr King School for the Ministry. He is a Certified Drug & Alcohol Counselor Registrant, a Licensed Professional Counseling Registered Intern, and a Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist serving veteran, homeless, and forensic populations as a mental health provider. Shane is a veteran with over ten years of military service, including three years of service to Sacred Well Congregation as a Distinctive Faith Group Leader (DFGL). After his separation from the military, Shane served as a middle/high school Career and Technical Education (CTE) Instructor & Assistant Principal working with “at risk” youth and a Primitive Survival Instructor. He was ordained through Sacred Well Congregation in 2013. Shane is a published illustrator, working with Oregon Health Science University (OHSU) and Early Assessment and Support Alliance (EASA).

Thomas Nowlin, MDiv – holds a B.A. from Charleston Southern University in Charleston, SC, with an emphasis in Religious Studies. He also holds a Master of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, with an emphasis in Pastoral Care. He is a graduate of the International Institute for Japan Studies, Nigawa, Japan, and the Kansai Missionary Language Institute, Kobe, Japan. He is fluent in Japanese. Mr. Nowlin completed 5 years of work toward a PhD in Theology, Church History and Missiology at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN, before transitioning to Neopaganism. He also completed independent study in philosophy and Japanese at the University of Memphis in Memphis, TN. After 20 years of Christian ministry – a pastor of three stateside churches in Kentucky and Arkansas (8 years) and a denominational missionary to Japan (12 years) – he became a Neopagan Druid having been influenced by his study of the Shinto paleo-paganism of Japan and the Irish Druidry of his family ancestry. He is a member of the Druid organization Ar nDraiocht Fein (ADF) and has supported the work of the ADF Ozark Druid’s Grove in Fayetteville, AR and the Central Arkansas Pagan and Witch’s Meetup in Little Rock, AR. A graduate of the US Navy’s nuclear power school, and a former submarine nuclear operator during the Cold War, he later became a Conscientious Objector to the use of nuclear weapons. He is currently an electric utility office manager and a pagan farmer in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. He is committed to clean efficient energy use, sustainable agricultural practices, and whole natural foods. Mr. Nowlin is passionate about the study of philosophy, theology, and ethics, and their disciplined practical application in facilitating the health and well-being of our planet, environment, and humanity. He is a practitioner of the spiritual disciplines – simplicity, meditation, virtuous living, piety, study, service, etc. – through which he believes we are better able to honor the Powers, the Kindreds (Nature Spirits, Ancestors, and Deities), the Earth Mother, and our fellow humanity in all its positive potential and rich diversity.

David Oringderff, PhD – is a graduate of Dallas Baptist University, and holds an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Bowie State University (Maryland) and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The Union Institute School of Professional Psychology in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is a Licensed Psychologist and Licensed Professional Counselor. He is currently a consultant and trainer in forensic and organizational psychology, and psychodiagnostics. Dr. Oringderff is a veteran of over twenty-seven years in military and civilian law enforcement and intelligence work. Dr. Oringderff is a Subject Matter Expert consultant to the Department of Defense Armed Forces Chaplains Board on Alternative Religions, Sects and Cults. He has appeared on ABC World News Tonight, Good Morning America, NBC Dateline, VRT Television (Belgium), ZDF Television (Germany), and national and international printed media including Time Magazine, Texas Monthly and US News and World Report. Dr. Oringderff holds a Texas Peace Officer license with Master Certification, a Police Instructor license, a Forensic and Investigative Hypnotist license and serves as a Deputy Sheriff (Reserve) in Comal County. doringderff@cherryhillseminary.org

Robert Patrick, MDiv, PhD – resides in Lawrenceville, GA, a suburb of Atlanta, with his wife and three young adult children. He holds a BA in Biblical Literature from Oral Roberts University, a Masters of Divinity from Emory University, and a PhD in Latin and Roman Studies from the University of Florida. His dissertation focused on the presence of sacred groves in the Metamorphoses of Ovid as nonlinear events, and he has continuing interest in sacred groves in surrounding European and near-eastern cultures, particularly Celtic cultures. An active member of the Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Gwinnett, he co-founded both the Oak Grove CUUPS and the Druid Order of Three Realms (www.druid3realms.org) whose mother Grove, Sylvan Sanctuary meets at UUCG. His religious and spiritual path is labyrinthine including ministry in the United Methodist Church, the Roman Catholic Church, Druidry and UUism. He has special interests in language pedagogy, creating and leading ritual, and spiritual direction/friendship, working with labyrinths, gardening and painting, and is a certified and licensed massage therapist. He understands his Earth-centered spiritual path as the way of weaving together all of these aspects of his life.

Jo Pearson, PhD – is a British academic now resident in Canada. She has a degree in early modern history, and gained one of the first Religious Studies Ph.D.s in Britain in the field of contemporary Paganism, with a thesis on Religion and the Return of Magic: Wicca as Esoteric Spirituality. She previously worked at the Open University, Cardiff University, and Winchester University in the UK, before moving to Canada in summer 2012. She has organised two international conferences on Paganism, and delivered papers at international conferences over the past 20 years. Her publications include Wicca and the Christian Heritage and Nature Religion Today, plus numerous articles. She is presently working on a study of post-Christian priest/esshood and contributing to explorations of disability in ritual contexts.

Megan Rose, PhD – is an initiated ceremonial magician, Shakta Tantric practitioner, and is a senior apprentice to Orion Foxwood in the Celtic Faery Faith tradition of Faery Seership. She is also an ordained inter-faith minister through Seven Sisters Mystery School. Megan Rose holds a doctorate in East-West Psychology from the School of Consciousness and Transformation at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and a master’s degree in Religion in Society from the Graduate Theological Union. She has a private practice specializing in transformational psychology, holistic healing, divine embodiment practices, and eco-spirituality.

Rev. Chris Rothbauer, MDIV, MALS (they/them) is a Unitarian Universalist minister, spiritual companion, and dreamworker based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. They earned their Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Leadership studies from Meadville Lombard Theological skill. Throughout over a decade as a minister, they have served in a variety of contexts, including parishes, religious education, hospital chaplaincy, social justice ministry, and spiritual direction. They are a member of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) and a dedicant in Ár nDraíocht Féin. Chris lives in Lewisville, Texas with their partner; a senior rescue beagle; and a spoiled rotten cat.

Deirdre Sommerlad-Rogers, PhD – has served as Cherry Hill Seminary faculty since 2011. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from San Jose State University, in Psychology and Sociology, and her Ph.D. in Sociology from Bowling Green State University, with minors in Women’s Studies and Social Psychology. She had held the position of tenured professor and Department Chair in Sociology and Criminal Justice. She is currently consulting as a statistical and dissertation consultant. Her areas of focus and teaching have included criminal justice, inequalities, and social construction of difference.

Michael F. Strmiska, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of World History in the Global Studies Department at SUNY-Orange in New York State in the USA, and has also taught courses in Modern Paganism and New Religious Movements at Hampshire College in Massachusetts. He was the editor and a co-author of Modern Paganism in World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives. His research on Baltic and Norse-Germanic Paganism has been featured in a number of journals including Nova ReligioThe Pomegranate and the Journal of Baltic Studies. In the fall of 2015, he was a visiting lecturer at Masaryk University (Czech Republic). Dr. Strmiska is currently at work on a book entitled Unchristian Eastern Europe: Pagans, Jews and Gypsies. His research interests involve the political dimensions of modern Pagan and Native Faith movements in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and the United States, the interaction between popular culture and Paganism, and developing ethnically-rooted but non-racist forms of Paganism.

Francesca Tronetti, PhD –  has a passion for the mythology and folk tales of the United States. I’m a monthly contributor to Return To Mago, an online publication for women interested in the Feminine Divine and Women’s Spirituatity. This year I joined the editorial board of S/HE: The International Journal of Goddess Studies. For the past several years, I’ve hosted a public radio program on green living and the organic gardening movement and have a large collection of books and articles on everything from homesteading to survivalists. Outside of academia, I work as a museum educator for a small railroad museum in North East, PA. I’m also a published poet and short story author who enjoys scaring my readers just a bit.

Caroline Tully, PhD – is a Pagan, Witch, and Archaeologist. Her interests include ancient Mediterranean religions, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Thelema and contemporary Paganisms, particularly Witchcraft and Pagan Reconstructionism. Caroline is an expert on Egyptomania and the religion of Minoan Crete. She is the author of The Cultic Life of Trees in the Prehistoric Aegean, Levant, Egypt and Cyprus (Peeters 2018), and many academic and popular articles. Caroline has curated exhibitions of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman antiquities, and regularly presents lectures and workshops on ancient religion and magic. See her work at: https://unimelb.academia.edu/CarolineTully and at her blog: http://necropolisnow.blogspot.com/

Margo Wolfe, PhD – earned her Ph.D. at Walden University in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment and has taught at several universities in her hometown. She has over 25 years-experience leading Pagan groups in Northwest PA and New York and has served in multiple organizations including the Sisterhood of Avalon. In addition, Wolfe has liturgical experience in the larger religious community, has presented at various festivals and conferences such as Sirius Rising and PantheaCon, and is published in several Pagan anthologies. In her spare time, she creates large-scale interactive and immersive art installations with her partner.

Michael York, PhD – has retired as Professor of Cultural Astronomy and Astrology with the Bath Spa University’s Sophia Centre. He also directed the New Age and Pagan Studies Programme for the College’s Department for the Study of Religions and coordinated the Bath Archive for Contemporary Religious Affairs. He continues to direct the Amsterdam Center for Eurindic Studies and co-direct the London-based Academy for Cultural and Educational Studies. His major publications are: The Roman Festival Calendar of Numa Pompilius (1986); A Sociology of the New Age and Neo-pagan Movements (1995); The Divine versus the Asurian: An Interpretation of Indo-European Cult and Myth (1995); Pagan Theology: Paganism as a World Religion (2003); Pagan Ethics: Paganism as a World Religion (2016); and Pagan Mysticism: Paganism as a World Religion (2019). myork@cherryhillseminary.org

Insights Instructors

Kristal Barrywood, MA – is a recent graduate from the University of Chicago with a MA in Liberal Arts. Her research interest in Paganism through the lens of Cultural Anthropology is reflected in her master’s thesis: ‘Inherent by Proxy: A Study of Intentional Environmentalism Within Pagan Rituals’. Inspiration for her academic research stems from her personal Pagan path that she has been practicing and evolving since 2013. She intends to continue her career in Pagan Studies by enrolling in a PhD program for 2022. Until then, Kristal leads a small coven and resides near the Twin Cities in Minnesota with her fiance, Rich, and her furry baby, Mochi.

Katherine Bayne, MA – holds a Master of Arts in Thanatology as well as graduate training in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Having previously maintained a blog dedicated to the ancient Greek gods, Katherine Bayne now has many research, writing, poetic and practical projects centered around the Morrígan, the Celtic Faery Faith, Appalachian Folklore and Irish Witchcraft. She currently lives near the beautiful Appalachian mountains with her husband and beloved daughter, and studies IT Security.

Alison Beyer, MFA – received her MFA from Columbia College Chicago (2008) in Interdisciplinary Arts & Media where she currently teaches in the Television Department as well as teaching at Cherry Hill Seminary. A working artist and an open Pagan educator Ali was raised in an out Pagan family in Madison, Wisconsin, and her artwork is created from an inherently Pagan perspective. Ali is also a Pagan Minister and a member of Prodea Coven in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Angela Chamberlain, MA – is a speaker, researcher, and a perpetual student. She earned her first degree, a B.S. in Biology, Psychology, and Sociology from Drury University in 2010. She earned a M.A. in Counseling (with emphases in Marriage, Family, and Children) from Webster University in 2013. She earned a MA in Psychology from Fielding Graduate University in 2019. Angela is currently working on her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA. Her theoretical orientation is Humanistic and she strives to be a whole, authentic, and congruent human in all areas of her life. She is provisionally licensed as a professional counselor in the state of Missouri. She co-founded the Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling in the state of Missouri. Angela is a 1st degree Correllian priestess and a Priestess Hierophant with the Fellowship of Isis. She is the founder of the Pulaski County Pagan Alliance in Missouri. Angela is currently working on two pieces of research – her dissertation on the spiritual identity of Wiccan women experiencing infertility and a project using Archetypal Imagery with women who have experienced infertility. In her personal life, she resides in the state of Missouri. She is the wife to the love of her life, Jeremy, and mom to their 9 children. She helps homeschool their children. She is also a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) who trains and competes with her dogs – a bunch of unruly Belgian Malinois.

Robin Douglas, PhD – is a writer and researcher based in London. His academic background (PhD, Cambridge) is in the ancient and modern history of Paganism and Pagan ideas. He is the author of The Pagan Revival (Equinox, 2024) and the co-author, with Francis Young, of Paganism Persisting (Exeter University Press, 2024). He has also published a growing series of articles on Pagan history.

Sandra D. Costa – is a founding member and elder of Treibh na Tintean in Joliet, IL and a lay community minister at the Universalist Unitarian Church of Joliet. She is an artist, activist, healer, writer, and college instructor. She works for social justice and interfaith harmony. Her great loves are community organizing, rites of passage, her Dark Moon group—the Seedling Seesters, and ritual choir.

Angela Farmer, PhD – has taught at the university level for over a decade and has mentored initiates since 2008. She is published extensively in in national and international peer-reviewed journals as well as writing several articles for internet-based Pagan and Heathen magazines (under her pen name, Ehsha Apple). Angela holds a Ph.D. in English-Gender Studies from Auburn University. She earned her Master of Arts in English from Saint Xavier University, where she also earned a Certificate in Pastoral Ministries. An ordained Pagan minister and Grove Steward, Angela is active in her local Pagan community.

Justin Ferko – is an interspiritual Spiritual Pathfinder and a 2022 New Contemplative with Spiritual Directors International. He is a Board Member of Oasis Ministries for Spiritual Development, and instructor and supervisor in multiple spiritual direction training programs. He and his spouse Craig live along the banks of the Susquehanna in East Pennsboro with their dogs Yeshe and Benny where Justin practices relationship with the More-Than-Human world. He celebrates the spiritual giftedness of the LGBTQIA+ community and provides spiritual pathfinding to individuals and groups as Earth-to-Earth Companionship. He is a Certified Forest Therapy Guide with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (August 2022), Spiritual Director (Oasis Ministries for Spiritual Development 2021), professional chaplain (5 years), Tibetan Buddhist, and Carpathian Mountain spiritual practitioner.

Michelle Gilbert, BA, CA – is an aromatherapist, Reiki Master, and Shamanic practitioner. She holds multiple certifications in aromatherapy, Shamanism, Reiki, ancestral healing, life transition coaching, and more. Michelle attended Youngstown State University (Ohio) and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. Michelle has studied aromatherapy with Katherine Graf, Shanti Dechen, CCAP, Bruce Berkowsky, Ph.D., and Aromahead Institute. She has trained with the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, where she earned a certificate in Harner Shamanic Counseling™, and studies Shamanism with Valentine McKay-Riddell, Ph.D. She has studied ancestral healing techniques with Daniel Foor, Ph.D. and is a certified Seasons of Change ™ transition coach. Michelle is also a nationally recognized artisanal soapmaker. Michelle’s journey through illness and personal trauma taught her that at the root of all disease is a disconnection of self and spirit, and the practices she has used to heal herself are the ones she offers to her own clients. In 2015, Michelle has conducted research into the role of intuition in transpersonal aromatherapy practices, and how these practices impact well-being from a psychoneuroimmunological standpoint. In her spare time Michelle can be found visiting her favorite hickory tree and revitalizing her property, converting it into a wildlife habitat and home for native plant species.

Heather Greene, MA – is a freelance editor, writer, and journalist in Atlanta, Georgia. She is also currently an acquisitions consultant with Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd, the former Managing Editor and writer for The Wild Hunt. She has served as public information officer for Covenant of the Goddess, Dogwood Local Council and has worked with Lady Liberty League as a media consultant. Her writing has appeared in Circle Magazine and various online blogs. Her professional background is in advertising, public relations and information technology. She has a master’s degree in Film History and Criticism. Her first book Bell, Book, and Camera: A Critical History of Witches in American Film and Television was released in Spring 2018, has since been revised and updated as Lights, Camera, Witchcraft: A Critical History of Witches in American Film and Television.

Race MoChridhe, MTS – is an independent scholar of religion working from the Traditionalist perspective. His publications include work on the symbology of the Tarot, notes on Sanskrit translation, and multiple entries on modern Paganism for the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions, due out from ABC-CLIO. He took his Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree from Nations University in 2013 with a thesis on ancient Israelite attitudes toward Egyptian paganism. His current research interests lie at the intersections of feminist thealogy, New Religious Movements, and the sophia perennis. MoChridhe is also an Ovate in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, in which capacity he he has hosted a talk radio show about earth-centered spirituality in southern Alaska, been interviewed on British radio about the significance of the solstice, led public ritual in northern Colorado, and published poems and essays in English, German, and French all over the world. You can learn more about his work at his website, racemochridhe.com

Scott Mohnkern, BA, JD – founder of http://www.modernheathen.com began his computer training in 1979. While he has developed many skills, including dancer, musician, lawyer, teacher, and others, he has always been drawn back to the technical fields, particularly with respect to educational endeavors. Scott’s technical background includes working for the University of Denver, owning his own Internet Service Provider, doing research and development on Video Conferencing, System Administrator for the National Weather Service, as well as serving as a technology consultant for various companies, being director of education, and ultimately President of the Capital PC User Group. His spiritual upbringing was originally Methodist. Since that time he has migrated through various philosophies which ultimately brought him to heathenism, where he has been active for more than two decades. He currently teaches courses about Asatru and Heathenism online, and provides instruction at pagan gatherings. Scott received his B.A. from Beloit College in both International Relations and Music, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Denver College of Law. He currently resides with his wife and her partner, in Germantown, MD. smohnkern@cherryhillseminary.org

Sushmita Mukherjee – Rev. Dr. Sushmita Mukherjee is an interfaith/interspiritual minister, educator and soul-companion, and a practicing biomedical research scientist. Her work emphasizes encountering the divine by living an “imaginal life.” For her, image, imagination and creativity serve as portals to approach a lived sense of wholeness. In this space, apparent dualities of sacred and profane, light and dark, consciousness and the unconscious, cease. Instead, they emerge as dance partners, as members of an orchestra, or as colors of paint on the palette, interweaving and intermixing to create a rich, expansive and multi-faceted experience of life. Sushmita’s soul-work involves engaging with the archetypes that arise from myths, dreams, poetry and art, to deepen an encounter with the divine. Her work is deeply influenced by Jungian thought, and post-Jungian thinkers such as James Hillman, Joseph Campbell and Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

Aline O’Brien – M. Macha NightMare, Priestess and Witch, is a ritualist, both solo and collaborative, and a published author. Macha joined in the formation of Reclaiming Collective, to teach Craft and to perform public sabbats in San Francisco. The collective evolved into a Craft tradition, and eventually dissolved itself in 1997, to re-emerge as a much larger and more inclusive international entity. Macha co-created with Starhawk The Pagan Book of Living and Dying: Practical Rituals, Prayers, Blessings, and Meditations on Crossing Over and is author of Witchcraft and the Web: Weaving Pagan Traditions Online and Pagan Pride: Honoring the Craft and Culture of Earth and Goddess. She has also contributed to several anthologies, religious studies textbooks, encyclopedia entries, and guest blogs. Macha holds Elder and ministerial credentials through The Covenant of the Goddess. A member since 1981, she currently serves as one of the Covenant’s national interfaith representatives. She’s a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Nature Religion Scholars Network, and Marin Interfaith Council, a Cooperation Circle of the United Religions Initiative, She also serves on the Sacred Dying Foundation Advisory Council. When the opportunity presents itself, Macha travels the broomstick circuit, where she enjoys immersing herself in the diverse community that is American Witchcraft. Visit Macha’s Broomstick Chronicles Blog: http://besom.blogspot.com/

Ava Park – is the Founder and Presiding Priestess of The Goddess Temple of Orange County, a “world sacred site of devotional pilgrimage, historical education and spiritual ceremony,” now in its ninth year of service to the spiritual community of Southern California, with Sunday Goddess Services both for women only and for all genders. The Temple, a permanent structure of 3,200 square feet in Irvine, California, maintains the “Goddess Antiquities Collection,” an ongoing display–open to the public, free of charge–of educational artifacts, statues and information telling the ignored, denied and suppressed 30,000 year history of goddess spirituality and women’s power on earth.

Diana Paxson – Co-founder of The Troth, former First Officer of Covenant of the Goddess, Heathen leader, and noted author of both novels and Heathen books, as well as editor of Idunna, journal of The Troth.

Steven Posch – Called “the pagan rabbi” and “one of Paganism’s top ritualists,” Steven Posch draws liturgical experience from a wide variety of backgrounds: Wicca, the Regency, and the Pagan Movement in Britain and Ireland, as well as Vaishnava Hinduism, Conservative and Reconstructionist Judaism, and Eastern Orthodox Christianity. He is co-founder and chief liturgist of Prodea, the Twin Cities’ oldest continuously-operating coven, and Beit Ashera Congregation (known humorously as “Golden Calf Synagogue”), of which he is cantor emeritus. His rituals are widely known and influential throughout the Midwestern US. sposch@cherryhillseminary.org. Katharyn Privett-Duren, PhD – specializes in Goddess Theology, Feminist Rhetoric and 20th Century American Literature and has taught university courses (both undergraduate and graduate level) since 2000. As a family traditional witch and priestess, she has led the Gangani Tribe of Alabama (a Southern Cherokee/Celtic coven) since 2008. Both an academic and an ordained minister of Pagan faith, Katharyn has published in academic, peer-reviewed journals as well as Pagan anthologies and is a recurring columnist for Crone Magazine.

Ryan Ridpath, MA – received his MA in Viking and Anglo Saxon Studies from the University of Nottingham and a Community Ministry Certificate from Cherry Hill Seminary. He is the ordained Ewart (High Priest) of Reginveg, an inclusive religious fellowship in North Carolina that seeks to create communities that reconnect to the ancient Germanic gods, spirits, and ancestors. Starting his career in identity formation and emotion in the Viking Age, his research has brought him to Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine. As a committed educator, Ryan has designed and implemented social studies curriculum for diverse student backgrounds, from tribal communities to migrant groups. Currently, he provides undergraduate advising support in the UNC System and pastoral support in his community. In his spare time, he enjoys a good bonfire, playing with his cat, and being an uncle to twins.

Kristin Rivers, PhD – is an educator with over 16 years teaching experience in public high schools, and eight years in corporate technical training and writing. Her doctorate is in Psychology with a concentration in Transpersonal Psychology and a specialization in Creative Expression from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. Her Master’s degree is in Organizational Management (essentially an MBA for non-profits). Kristin is a practicing Wiccan and shamanic journeyer who is grateful for the opportunity to apply her experience, education, and passion for learning to Cherry Hill Seminary. Kristin contributed to the anthology, It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living. She has presented the topic and research method of her dissertation, Transpersonal Genealogy: An Autoethnographic Study Juxtaposing the Lived Experience of An Early Mormon Ancestor With Her Lesbian Descendant, at a myriad of conferences, and is currently co-authoring a book tentatively titled, Rescuing The Beauty: Healing Trauma Through The Ancient Art of Moxibustion. Kristin lives in San Jose, California, with her wife and three children.

Liz Watkin, MA – is a fiber artist and practicing witch in Western North Carolina. She has been hand sewing since a child and runs a small business called Open Coven selling embroidery kits based on her own artwork and teaching fiber art classes. She has a Master’s in Liberal Arts from UNC Wilmington where she focused her scholarship on witchcraft and the occult. Liz is currently training to be a Pagan minister through Cherry Hill Seminary’s Community Ministry Certificate and writes occasionally for the Wild Hunt.

Community Ministry Certificate Faculty-Mentors

Erica Baron, MDiv – see above

Stacy Brooks, PhD – see above

Cynthia Cebuhar, MA, MDiv –

Dana Doerksen, MLIS – earned her Master of Library and Information Studies from the University of British Columbia and her Bachelor of Arts and Certificate of Liberal Arts from Simon Fraser University. She has worked in public, academic, corporate, and special library settings doing research, teaching classes, and providing reference. She has been a long-time supporter and student of Cherry Hill Seminary and has served on the Board of Directors, the Votaries Alumni Association, and other committees. She completed the Community Ministry Certificate through Cherry Hill Seminary and was subsequently ordained through Sacred Well Congregation as a minister and cleric priestess. She is an elder and high priestess in the Georgian Tradition of Wicca and has studied and practiced ceremonial magick in the Golden Dawn tradition for 20 years. She is a member of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) and serves the community in her UU church and more generally in the Seattle Pagan community. She lives in the Seattle area with her husband, daughter and two dogs, Pixie and Ruby.

Holli S. Emore, MDiv – see above

Wes Isley, MDiv – holds a Master of Liberal Studies from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and a Master of Divinity from Cherry Hill Seminary (CHS). In addition to 20+ years in publishing, Wes is a Pagan and Interfaith minister with experience in grief workshops, LBGTQ Pride events and the spiritual dimensions of racial justice. They have worked as a hospital chaplain and served as a volunteer chaplain with the American Red Cross and a local sheriff’s department. A CHS Faculty Mentor since 2018, Wes recently joined Starr King School for the Ministry as a Spiritual Advisor for its chaplaincy program. They have also served as founding Chair for the CHS Votaries Alumni Circle. Wes is a kanzo initiate of LaSource Ancienne Hounfo and is ordained by Sacred Well Congregation where they also serve as Congregational Chaplain. They live with their husband and black lab Harley in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Carol Kirk, MDiv – see above

David Oringderff, PhD – see above