2013 Scholars

Ellie Anders founded an interfaith dialogue at West Texas A&M, and from that experience grew a desire to work in higher education promoting the interfaith movement. She completed a Masters in History and a year serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Multicultural Initiative at Salt Lake Community College. Ellie was honored to be chosen as a Chair to assist in the establishment of the Young Adult Council for the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable. To date, Ellie has had the privilege of attending Interfaith Youth Core’s Interfaith Leadership Institute and the first Alumni Gathering. Ellie was again humbled and honored to be chosen as a 2014 NAIN Young Adult Scholar.

EstherEsther Boyd is the Communications Director for State of Formation, as well as the Manager for Curriculum Development at Interfaith Youth Core. She is a humanist chaplain interested in American religious identity, storytelling, and identity formation. While in graduate school, she founded Yale Divinity School’s interfaith student cooperative, Open Party, sparking her deep interest in interreligious education. Esther is also an editor for the Humanist Chaplaincy thinkblog Applied Sentience.

biophotoKatelynn Carver is a Master of Theological Studies candidate at Harvard Divinity School. Raised nominally Catholic, she is best described as a spiritual seeker. She pursued the sciences and other humanities before she became enraptured by religious studies, and graduated summa cum laude from Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio with a BA in History and Religion and a BS in Psychology (2011). From this background, she does her utmost to prioritize the integration of diverse perspectives—religious, disciplinary, cultural, and otherwise—in lending academic discussions of the central questions of human experience not only the breadth and depth they deserve, but also the context and applicability to lived experience that they demand. Katelynn’s most recent work has sought to highlight the interdisciplinary threads of deep intersubjectivity in human relationships, specifically within a Whiteheadian framework, to better understand the multifaceted reality of human suffering.

-2Elizabeth Simson Durant received her Master of Divinity degree from Marylhurst University in 2013. Her Master’s thesis focused on reading strategies for racial justice in Christian biblical interpretation. From 2009 to 2012, Liz co-coordinated Wisdom’s Feast, an interfaith women’s spirituality conference in the Portland-Vancouver area. A busy mom, passionate preacher and dedicated advocate for racial justice, Liz is working (slowly) towards ordination in the United Church of Christ. Read her blog at racismisawhiteproblem.com.

IMG_1911_2Sarah Fein is a PhD student in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. She is especially interested in the ways in which the roles of women and gender were constructed in the Hebrew Bible, and how these roles were later interpreted by early Jewish communities. Sarah received her MTS in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament from Harvard Divinity School (2014) and her BA in Religion with Honors from Oberlin College in Oberlin, OH (2009). She also received a MS in Special Education from Hunter College in New York, NY (2011) while serving with Teach for America in an under-resourced public school. She continues to be passionate about working with children and improving education in this country for every student.  Sarah was raised in a liberal Protestant household and was an active member of her church growing up. She credits this experience with developing her sense of religious community and social justice. After discovering a passion for Jewish history, thought, and practice in college, and with the support of her husband, who is Jewish, Sarah converted to Judaism in 2011. She is thoroughly enjoying the challenge and adventure of studying Jewish women academically while living as an observant Jewish woman.

twoDeborah-Ruth Ferber graduated cum laude from Tyndale University College (Toronto, Canada) and then continued graduate studies in peace and theology at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (Elkhart, Indiana).  Deborah has a special interest in international development, social justice/social change, and economic justice.  Currently she is giving special consideration to exploring the intersection of peace and marginalization and the Theology of Constructing the Other, specifically in relation to people with developmental disabilities.  Deborah is currently employed by L’Arche Daybreak (Richmond Hill, Ontario), an intentional community for people with varying degrees of developmental disabilities.  Her previous work experience includes being a Campus Food Strategist for the NGO: Meal Exchange, and doing various pastoral and social work internships.  Eventually, she hopes to pursue her Doctorate of Ministry.  You can email her at deborahruthferber@gmail.com, visit her personal blog at http://debdebbarak.wordpress.com/, or follow her on Twitter at @pandamennodeb.

_1069852642Adam Zagoria-Moffet is currently a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary, after having graduated from Hamline University (St. Paul, MN) in 2011. Concurrently, he is pursuing an MA at JTS in Jewish Thought, concentrating on Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah. His interests are in Sefardi halakha and culture, human rights, ethics, and mysticism. He is married, has an infant son and two cats, and enjoys cycling and classical music in his free time. He blogs at kabbalunch.com.


oneJaime Myers is pursuing an M.A. with a concentration in Inter-religious Dialogue at Union Theological Seminary.  She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Fordham University in 2005 with a B.A. in Philosophy and a minor in Religious Studies.  Jaime’s academic interests include comparative religion, in particular looking at Dharmic religions v.s Judeo-Christian faiths,mysticism, and the role that doubt and skepticism play in different religious traditions.  Jaime is deeply committed to interfaith work, and is currently the Director of Programming at Faith House Manhattan, a non-profit that focuses on experiential religious education.  She is also the author of the blog “This Too is God”, which chronicles her experiences practicing different religious faiths.  Jaime is culturally Jewish, but religiously unaffiliated.  She recently married her husband, Kevin, a Catholic, in an eclectic inter-faith ceremony in upstate New York; they now live in Fort Lee, NJ.

JamesNagle 2James Nagle is a high school theology teacher and retreat director in the Pacific ‘unchurched’ Northwest. His research and work focus on formation and religious education with youth and young adults. He earned an M.A. from Andover Newton Theological School and conducted post-grad studies at the BTI and Portland State University. Currently, he is a M.Div candidate at Marylhurst University.


-3Chelsea Steinauer-Scudder holds a Bachelor degree in Religious Studies and Political Science from the University of Oklahoma (2010). After working as the Director of Communications for the Xenia Institute – a small community-engagement non-profit – Chelsea returned to school to complete her Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School (2013) where she focused on Comparative Religion. With a passion for community development and interfaith dialogue, Chelsea has interned with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Institute of Interfaith Dialogue, the Heartland Institute for Religion and Public Life, and Interfaith Power and Light of Massachusetts. She is now living in Amman, Jordan where she is working with Syrian refugees and continuing her Arabic studies.

-1Santa Poudel graduate from Texas A&M University, USA, and moved to India to get new insights on spirituality. During undergraduate studies, he was introduced to a new philosophy, a new spiritual vision known as the Tartamya vision. It unraveled him to the breathtaking similarities between the Eastern (Vedic Religions) and the Abrahamic religions of the West. After graduating in 2011, he went to India and attended the Ashrama (spiritual center) to learn the essence of faiths and spirituality. As he studied this philosophy, he became more convinced than ever that religious harmony and the making of safer world for the coming generation is possible through the illumination of this new vision that accepts most of the tenets of Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Hinduism among other world’s major religions.

-1Daniel A. Rodriguez Schlorff works as a hospice chaplain for a hospice in Connecticut and currently pursues the Doctor of Ministry and Certificate of Sexuality and Religion from Pacific School of Religion. He completed his prior coursework at Hartford Seminary, Meadville Lombard Theological School, and Olivet Nazarene University. Schlorff taught world religions at Carthage College and developed the LGBT Studies program for the University of Wisconsin—Parkside. He is in care with the United Church of Christ and is a brother of the Order of St. Luke.


The Reverend Chris Turner was ordained as an interfaith minister in 2013. Chris’ assignment of ministry is under the Center of Spiritual Light in Bronx, NY, where he works closely as a Global Elder to co-create programs focused on coaching and consulting using spiritual practices to enrich the soul of work. Chris is pursuing a PhD in Religious Studies at the University of Sydney, examining the history, current state and future potential of interfaith ministry in an Australian context. Chris holds an MA in Sustainable Business and Communities from Goddard College in Vermont and a BA in Environmental Studies and Economics from SUNY College at Purchase in New York. Chris is a Founding Member of the Association of Interfaith Ministers in Australia and New Zealand, an organization created for the purpose of creating the structures and recognition to allow interfaith ministers to legally and openly serve in their respective societies.

Wendy WebberWith respect, curiosity, and humor, Wendy Webber is actively engaged in nurturing not just interfaith, but interbelief dialogues and initiatives.  Wendy is currently circling the globe working on drinkable water and thinkable education with Pathfinders Project–a humanist service year. She has a Masters of Arts in Religion from Yale Divinity School. Wendy is a published author whose writing can be found in Glossolalia and on her blog, The “H” Word. She is a founding member of the Open Party—an atheist, agnostic, interfaith, and multi-faith group at Yale Divinity School that fosters inter-belief dialogue on and off campus as well as community service projects that include religious and nonreligious alike.

Joseph Wiinikka-Lydon is a doctoral student at Emory University’s Graduate Division of Religion in the Ethics and Society course of study. He is also a member of Emory’s Religion, Conflict and Peace-building Initiative. His interests include religion, conflict and peace; comparative religious ethics; modern Christian thought; the effect of social change on moral development; and the intersection of sociology and religious ethics. Most recently, he was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for Humanities to study classical Buddhist texts and prepare courses on comparative ethics. You can find more information on his work at http://emory.academia.edu/JoeWiinikkaLydon.

Michael CMichael_2asey W. Woolf is a progressive candidate for ordination in the American Baptist Churches USA, a third-year Master of Divinity student and Ministry Fellow at Harvard Divinity School, and a passionate voice for both LGBT-inclusion within American Baptist congregations as well as faith-based community organizing. Born and raised in Alabama, Michael graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2011 with a degree in Religious Studies. After graduation, Michael plans to serve in local congregations, where he views his role as that of story-teller, helping people connect narratives from the Gospels with the needs, desires, and yearnings of everyday life. At Harvard Divinity School Michael serves as the Editor-in-chief of Cult/ure: The Graduate Journal of Harvard Divinity School, the Director of Harvard Divinity’s Baptist Community, and the Coordinator of Academics for HDS’ Student Association – Life Together. In his second year, Michael founded the Interfaith Caucus for Worker Justice (ICWJ), a group that brings together Harvard Divinity students from many (and no) religious traditions to organize for worker justice. ICWJ emerged from his previous experience as a seminarian organizer for the Massachusetts Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, where he planned and executed a program that connected workers with Boston-area faith communities and helped them plan a labor-themed service. Follow Michael on twitter, or visit his website.

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