The Practitioner-in-Residence Program represents collaborative learning. Through this program, the School of Divinity will open the doors of the School and University through short term (one- or two-week) residential experiences to ministry practitioners, offering relatively unstructured space to reflect on, read and write about, ritualize, and be in conversation with curious students, faculty, staff, and community members who share interests in the practitioner’s field of work. 


During the Spring of 2018, the School of Divinity will host:

Harry Pickens speaks (photo from Kentucky Refugee Ministries)

Harry Pickens, a world-renowned jazz pianist, will explore through two workshops connections between creativity, contemplative practices, and leadership formation.

In 2013, Mr. Pickens completed a Certification in Applied Positive Psychology program offered through The Flourishing Center. As a life transformation coach, he develops and shares practical applications of cutting-edge research in the science of well-being. Founder and director of BrainMind ReDesign™, he helps his individual and organizational clients learn how to rewire their brains for less stress, more joy, greater productivity, and more ease.

Blending his artistic identity with cutting-edge research in peak performance psychology, he has taught over 20,000 musicians how to transform performance anxiety into rock-star confidence through his From StageFright to Standing Ovation workshops and has presented keynote concerts, workshops and seminars for hundreds of organizations in business, education, government, and the arts.

Anna Woofenden leaders a celebration of communion during Community Worship at the School of Divinity

Rev. Anna Woofenden, is the founding pastor of the Garden Church in San Pedro, CA, will aid our community in re-imagining church by sharing her passions around spirituality, justice, food, the earth, beauty, compassion, and community.

Rev. Woofenden has become a leading voice in the food and faith movement, particularly in the area of liturgy and entrepreneurial ministry. At the end of 2017 she transitioned the Garden Church to new leadership and is now working with the Swedenborg Chapel in Cambridge, MA consulting on outreach and new ministry opportunities, teaching, writing, speaking, and coaching across the country and is the founder and co-host of the Food and Faith Podcast.

Rev. Woofenden received her Masters of Divinity from Earlham School of Religion and is an ordained minister in the Swedenborgian Church of North America.  She enjoys nature, gardening, art, children, writing, community, singing, laughter, and a good cup of chai.

Rev. Dr. Heber Brown III is a community organizer, beginner farmer, social entrepreneur, and pastor. As a catalyst for social change, he will share the ways he sees systemic problems needing systemic solutions.

Rev. Dr. Brown is the Founding Director of Orita’s Cross Freedom School. Based on the Freedom Schools of the 1960’s, his works to reconnect Black youth to their African heritage and inspires them in the direction of communal self-reliance. He also launched the Black Church Food Security Network which combats food apartheid by providing seed funding and support to help congregations begin growing food on church-owned land. The Network also works to partner Black Churches and Black Farmers in the Mid Atlantic region in an effort to create a community-controlled, alternative food system based on self-sufficiency and Black food and land sovereignty.

He earned his B.S. degree in Psychology from Morgan State University, a Master of Divinity degree from Virginia Union University, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Wesley Theological Seminary.

“It is our hope that the Practitioner-in-Residence Program allows the practitioner to come away from their time in residence with a sense that they enjoyed some space to step out of their day-to-day work to bring to their own consciousness, reflect on, and deepen the wisdom they have developed around their practice of ministry by engaging with School of Divinity community members.” Rev. Dr. John Senior, Collaborative Director, Director of the Art of Ministry Program, and Assistant Professor of Practical Theology and Religious Leadership