333 S. Spring Garden Street, Carlisle, PA 17013 717-249-1512 x1006 centerformation1@gmail.com Shop Amazon Smile

Faculty

Rhonda Strouse
Rhonda Strouse
Center Director

It is with deep gratitude that I accept the directorship legacy and begin my service with the Center for Spiritual Formation. I anticipate a collective “we” to enjoin in an expansive and dynamic spiritual leadership journey that brings God’s transformational presence into lives around the world. We can accomplish this as a community of holy collaboration, communal discernment, and led by divine will. Being invited to serve alongside the Center’s long-dedicated and faithful leadership over time is a great privilege.

Leaning into my “second act,” I combine my two passions as a spiritual companion and leadership consultant. I began receiving spiritual direction in 2014, completed the MSD program in 2019, and now serve as MSD faculty. I serve as Pastoral Care Coordinator for Centenary UMC in Lexington, KY. There, I work with individuals and groups, focusing primarily on crisis response, grief, and transitions. An independent partner with Wiley Publishing, I provide leadership assessment, succession strategies, and talent development. This work encompasses leadership coaching and facilitation as primary elements of my consultancy. Combining these multiple commitments as a spiritual companion, pastoral care coordinator, independent consultant, and now as the incoming Center’s Executive Director, there is much crossover as God weaves together purposeful alignment and intersections. It is an exciting time of spiritual adventure.

Prior to spiritual leadership, I had a longstanding professional career in higher education. I served as an executive administrator and instructor in leadership and student development, overseeing a broad portfolio of student engagement programs and staff teams. I earned my MA degree in Adult and Higher Education with an emphasis in Counseling from Morehead State University (KY), and have served and led with many leadership special projects, professional and community boards, and committees. I enjoy spending concerted time in writing, speaking, and partnering to develop and lift up others. It is an honor to stand with all those committed to the Center’s presence and passions, to see how God leads and defines our work and service together as we journey forward. Peace in His Presence…Rhonda

Kathy Harvey Nelson
Kathy Harvey Nelson
Center Director Emeritus

Kathy is an ordained Elder in the Susquehanna Conference-UMC, and is serving as the Director of The Center for Spiritual Formation.

She has been a Spiritual Director for numerous people since being certified by the Center for Spiritual Formation in 2006. As a director, Kathy is committed to walking the journey of deepening spiritual relationships and exploring creative ways of practicing the presence of God.

Kathy is married and mother of two grown children. In her spare time she enjoys reading, travel, and hand-crafts. She is also the author of a children’s book, “Eva: The Perfect Little Puppy,” a reflection of the love brought into her life by her current fur-baby.

Laura Baber
Laura Baber

Laura is an ordained deacon in the Susquehanna Conference-UMC.

She received her M.Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky; a B.A in English Literature from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, and completed the Ministry of Spiritual Direction Program through the Center for Spiritual Formation in 1999. Laura has been practicing the art of spiritual direction vocationally full time since 2006 and works primarily online from her home in Florida.

JP Bohanan
JP Bohanan
Finance Chair

JP Bohanan is the new Finance Chair for the Center for Spiritual Formation. He is an ordained elder in the Susquehanna Conference of The United Methodist Church and has served as a pastor since 1992. JP and Robin have been married for thirty years and have two sons. Jesse is an IT professional and Caleb is a music teacher. Though the boys are grown, JP continues to coach soccer for the local league and gets a new team of seven-year-olds each fall.. He also plays guitar, sings, and writes a little music; enjoys children’s literature and classical theology; plants vegetables, herbs, and flowers; and likes to cook (when he has time). Robin is a nurse practitioner in family practice with a specialty in HIV/AIDS. In addition to practicing in the USA, she trained nurses and providers in HIV/AIDS care in Lesotho, did research on the role of CRNPs in HIV/AIDS care in South Africa, and provided assessment and developmental planning for a program in Ghana.

Russell Hart
Russell Hart
Center Director Emeritus

Russell has been a ministerial member of the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church for over fifty years, having served parishes in Three Springs, Altoona, Harrisburg and Red Lion, PA.  In 1995 he became Center Director of the Center For Spiritual Formation, retiring in 2017.

He received a Ph. B. from the University of North Dakota in 1966, an M. Div. from Wesley Theological Seminary, in 1970 and a D. Min. from United Theological Seminary in 1979. In 1984 he received a call to become an iconographer and in 1991 received instruction at l’Ecole Russe de St. Georges in Meudon, France.

His publications include The Icon Through Western Eyes, Crossing The Border:  An Introduction to the Practice of Christian Mysticism, and Communing With The Saints, from Templegate Publishers, and the Spanish language edition of the latter entitled En Comunion Con Los Santos, from Neo Person Publishers. He also co-authored Reclaiming Your Calling:  A Guide for Managers And Supervisors In The Health & Human Service Field, Open Minds Publishers.  He is a contributor to The Upper Room Dictionary of Christian Spiritual Formation, and A Guide to Prayer For All Who Seek God, also by the Upper Room.

Russell directs the Center’s two-year Ministry of Spiritual Direction program, edits The Center Quarterly, and leads retreats and seminars on sustainability and the life of prayer.

Beth Knight, MAPC
Beth Knight, MAPC
Spiritual Director/Pastoral Counselor

Beth Knight holds a master’s degree in Pastoral Counseling from Asbury Theological Seminary. She is a Commissioned Ecumenical Minister through Federation of Christian Ministries and a seasoned Spiritual Director of 16+ years. Beth received her Spiritual Director’s Certificate at Holy Spirit Center of Anchorage, AK (2005) and a Certificate in Supervision of Spiritual Directors through Audire’ School of Spiritual Direction (2019) in Orlando, FL. She also is a trained Chaplain via several units of CPE with both VITAS Hospice and Florida AdventHealth. Most recently, Beth became certified as a Conscious Aging ® facilitator through Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS).

Beth is a contemplative and passionate about both one-to-one spiritual support processes and retreat/workshop ministry. She uses the affirming and transformational art of spiritual direction and/or eclectic pastoral counseling to encourage and support the positive health and identity of a person’s spirituality. Beth serves through the healing art of contemplative deep listening, evocative questions, discernment and reflective conversation. She has led ecumenical retreats for over 14 years, both in Alaska and Florida.

Beth is affiliated with the following professional organizations: Spiritual Directors International (SDI); Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE); Federation of Christian Ministries (FCM); Shade and Fresh Water Ministry UMC FL; Exploring the Grace of Now (Adjunct Program of Audire’ Orlando); and Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS).

Having lived in Anchorage, Alaska for 19 years, Beth now makes her home in Clermont, FL. Married to Gordon (36 years), they have one daughter (married), two grand-children whom she adores (plus one more on the way due Feb. 2021), and one Labrador grand-dog. She loves spending time with family, outdoor walks, the smell of pine trees, butterflies, prayer walking with labyrinths and circle gatherings with other spiritual companions.

Barbara Lemmel
Barbara Lemmel

Barbara is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. She the coordinator of the New England Conference Parish Consultants, and works with corporate clients through the Coaching Center of Vermont.

Barbara studied conflict mediation and family systems theory with the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center in Chicago and with the Center for Pastoral Effectiveness in New Orleans. In 2003, she developed Tending the Fire, reaching more than 300 pastors, five judicatories and several churches. She has served congregations in Vermont and upstate New York. As Troy Conference Minister, she facilitated conference re-structuring and offered programming and spiritual guidance to churches and pastors.

Barbara lives in Vermont with her husband and two children. She is committed to learning that is transformational and fun.

Kimberly Preske
Kimberly Preske

Kimberly received her Master of Social Work (MSW) from Temple University (2014) and a B.S. in Environmental Forest Biology from the State University of New York (1992). She is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW).

She blends her personal experience as an adult school shooting survivor with her professional training as a social worker and spiritual director. In 2008 she completed the Center for Spiritual Formation’s Ministry for Spiritual Direction. Increasing awareness and providing pre education about school disaster planning, trauma, self-care and mental health are her primary focus.

She currently provides mental health therapy in an outpatient setting.

Bill Stewart
Bill Stewart

Bill is a 1979 graduate of the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park NY and for many years worked in Business Dining. Since 1997 has worked in full time food service ministry at The Tuscarora Inn, a large Christian conference center in Mt Bethel PA, that is owned by the Lutheran Brethren Church.

Bill grew up with his wife Peggy, attending grade school, church and confirmation together. They were married in the church where they grew up in 1986, and moved to the Poconos. They have three grown children.

Bill has served as a UMC District Lay Speaker. He is a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Stroudsburg PA, and is an Associate of Holy Cross Monastery in West Park NY.

Susan Stewart
Susan Stewart

Susan is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the Shippensburg/Chambersburg area. She earned her Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy and Master of Divinity degrees from Evangelical Theological Seminary. She trained with the Center for Spiritual Formation as a spiritual director and recently became a health coach. Her private practice focuses on holistic healing – mind, body, spirit, and community.

Susan leads workshops and seminars on a variety of health topics, including healthy relationships and the intersection of physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

Susan formerly served as a United Methodist pastor in the Susquehanna Conference and still enjoys preaching and teaching in local churches.

Carol Swift
Carol Swift

Carol Swift uses her roles as educator, group leader, and speaker to heighten awareness of the dimensions of grief and mourning.  Carol received an MS in Education from Johns Hopkins University and completed the required course work to earn the Death and Grief Studies Certification from The Center for Loss and Life Transition founded by Dr. Alan Wolfelt. Her volunteer experiences include serving as a companion and group leader at Olivia’s House, A Grief and Loss Center for Children and volunteering on visitation teams for Hospice and Community Care. Carol has co-authored Called To be a Comfort, a resource used in the church and in the community to help others create safe, sacred space as they walk alongside those who mourn.

Ron Swift
Ron Swift

Ron Swift holds a Masters in Theology from the Ecumenical Institute of Saint Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland. Ron received training as a lay caregiver at the Center for Loss and Life Transition under the direction of Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt and participated as a volunteer in the educational program offered by Olivia’s House in York, Pennsylvania for children and teens and their parents suffering the grief and loss resulting from the death of a loved one. Ron also attended trainings offered by Dr. Larry Crabb through the School of Spiritual Direction. Ron has acted as a retreat organizer, camp dean and teacher at both the local church and conference levels.

Cynthia Willis
Cynthia Willis

Cynthia has served in many capacities in life including enriching supportive care and worship for those in local nursing facilities, and coordinating an active lay ministry to meet their needs as well as offering communion to congregational shut-ins. She has developed a lay grief care ministry and has served her congregation’s emergencies in the pastor’s absence, including celebration of life services.  As an active participant in her congregation, she brings a deep sense of spirituality and compassion to her role with the students.

Cynthia serves the wider church as a Candidacy Mentor and as a member of the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. She also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Center for Spiritual Formation.

Cynthia Willis is the recipient of The Marlene Atanasoff Award for 2019.  When being nominated for this award, Cynthia had this to say, “I am ever grateful to those who have gone before me, those who currently surround me and those who will go after me. I believe that our love of one another, our corporate love of Christ, blessings of the Holy Spirit, and Bible understanding, will bring us closer to the God we so long for.” She is a 2015 graduate of The Center’s Ministry of Spiritual Direction program where she serves as both Spiritual Integration Coordinator and facilitator.

Cynthia is currently serving spiritual direction clients virtually and can be contacted at sheeplike55@gmail.com.

 

Tammy L. Young
Tammy L. Young

Tammy is a Drug & Alcohol Therapist at CenClear Child Services, Clearfield PA and also a Healthy Relationship Program Coordinator at Children’s Aid Society, Clearfield. She was Corrections Unit Manager at SCI Albion PA for 20 years before retiring in 2010.

Tammy received her B.A. in Psychology (Religion Minor) from Lycoming College, Williamsport, in 1980, an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Slippery Rock University of PA in 1983, and an M.A. in Counseling Ministries from Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Delaware OH in 2010.

Ed Zeiders
Ed Zeiders

Ed retired in 2014 after 50 years of active ministry. In addition to serving several churches in the Susquehanna Conference-UMC, he was a District Superintendent (Wellsboro) and Council Director of the former Central PA Conference; President of United Theological Seminary, Dayton OH; Principal, Dimensions4 LLC: Coaching and Consulting Services; Stewardship Foundation Consulting Specialist, The Stewardship Foundation of Pennsylvania; and Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Council, United Theological Seminary. Most recently he was the Principle Preacher at Grace UMC, Hanover, from 2016 to 2017.

He has also served on several General and Jurisdictional agencies, and many ecumenical and community organizations.

He received a BA (Sociology) from Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA, in 1970; an M. Div. (Pastoral Theology) from United Theological Seminary, Dayton OH, in 1973; and a D. Min (Religion and Psychology) from Boston University School of Theology, Boston MA, in 1983.

Ed lives in Stewartstown with his son, Eddie, near daughter Chris and her family. Daughter Jody and her family live in Concord, NC. He remains active in the Stewartstown United Methodist Church.