Convener and Chair
The Rev. Dr. Kelly Murphy Mason, Psy.D., convened the Spirituality & Flourishing Interest Group in 2022 and now acts as its co-chair. She is an educator, psychotherapist, spiritual director, and writer whose varied career has been devoted to integrating spiritual wisdom with psychological insight in the service of fostering fuller human flourishing. Dr. Mason has occupied a host of roles in higher education, counseling centers, and faith communities in New York and New England. In the past, she worked as Managing Director for the Psychotherapy & Spirituality Institute and taught on the faculties of Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University, two of her alma maters. Over the years, she has had her essays anthologized and been a presenter for numerous local, national, and international programs. Today she serves as Community Minister for Spiritual Direction at Arlington Street Church in Boston, MA, teaches apprentices at the Phoenix Center for Spiritual Direction, and reviews books for Presence, the quarterly journal of Spiritual Directors International.
LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kellymurphymason
Nicoleta Acatrinei is a scholar and an entrepreneur with a triple backgournd in economics, theology and government studies, and she serves as SFIG co-chair. She received her Master Advanced in theology from the Faculty of Theology, University of Lausanne, in 2004, and a Ph.D. in 2014 from Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration (IDHEAP), Switzerland. She has lead several projects in Switzerland and US on faith in economics, finance and at the work place. She has authored books, book chapters and journal articles, the most recent one: “The Human Nature of Homo Oeconomicus: An Anthropological Investigation in the Homilies on the Gospel of Matthew by Saint John Chrysostom, in Studia Patristica (2021), vol. 25, pp. 255-268.
LInkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicoleta-acatrinei
Academic profile: https://csr.princeton.edu/about/people/nicoleta-acatrinei
SFIG members listed in alphabetical order...
Ed Chan-Stroud is a doctoral candidate at Oxford University, where he is a member of The John Templeton Foundation’s ‘God Concepts and Spiritual Well-Being’ project. His research brings together psychology and theology to explore the nature of Christian spirituality, with a particular focus on the relationship between worship and affective flourishing. His research is explicitly interdisciplinary drawing on resources from both Systematic Theology and Psychology (especially Object Relations Theory and Attachment Theory). As a member of The John Templeton Foundation’s ‘Science for Seminaries’ project Ed was part of the Working Group which designed a science-engaged Soteriology module for Ripon College Cuddesdon (an Anglican seminary in Oxford). Subsequently he served as a guest lecturer at Cuddesdon for the past two years. Ed has also acted as a guest lecturer at Wycliffe Hall at Oxford University, lecturing and leading a seminar on psychologically-engaged theology.
Academic profile: Ed Chan-Stroud | Faculty of Theology and Religion (ox.ac.uk)
John Kesler is the founder and teacher of a spiritual, life and group practice called integral polarity practice (IPP) which is designed to support flourishing through the full spectrum of human development as a complement to any spiritual or cultural orientation. He has shared this practice for over twenty years through the IPP Institute of which he is founder and president. He is also co-founder and chair of YOUnify which is committed to bridging divides of all sorts for the purpose of making progress on the pressing issues of our time in support of interrelated individual and collective flourishing in an ecosystemic context. YOUnify is grounded in IPP principles. John has served as a bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and currently is a teacher of gospel doctrine in that tradition. He was one of the first four individuals transmitted by Genpo Roshi, the founder of the Big Mind Process in the Zen tradition, to be a large group facilitator of that Process. He is certified in scoring and consulting with regard to stages of human development. He was one of four people engaged in the initial scoring research in the highest stages of human development (Metaware Tier) in the Stages model of human development.
John is also a practicing attorney, writer and lecturer and can be reached at: email@example.com
Sharyn Ann Lenhart, M.D., F.A.P.A. is a Harvard Medical School affiliated psychiatrist with over forty years experience as a clinician, author, teacher, and forensic expert. She has also served as a medical school associate dean and as President of the American Medical Women’s Association. She received her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh and her psychiatric training at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Lenhart’s work focuses on the psychiatric consequences and treatment of adverse life events. Dr.Lenhart is the founder of a physician’s international outreach program. She has developed numerous lectures and seminars for use in medical schools, medical organizations, and community education programs. She has co-authored a textbook on the psychodynamic treatment of women and has authored one of the first textbooks dealing with sexual harassment and discrimination. She is a Distinguished Fellow of the A.P.A., a United Nations Woman of Distinction and the recipient of the 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society Women’s Health Award.
Thomas McConkie is the founder of Lower Lights School of Wisdom, an organization born of his deep love for the world's Wisdom traditions. Raised Christian, at the age of 18 Thomas was initiated into Buddhism and has been practicing steadily the last 25 years. He is trained as a developmental researcher, group facilitator and mindfulness teacher. He hosts the Lower Lights Sangha near Portland, Oregon and has been featured on NPR, Religion News Service, Tricycle Magazine and the 10% Happier Podcast with Dan Harris. Thomas is currently doing research and writing on transformative spiritual practice at Harvard University.
Sarah Mitkees is currently a doctoral candidate at University College London (UCL), where her prospective research focuses on the personal and spiritual development of educators. After a career in the software world, she completed her Master’s of Education in Human Development and Psychology at Harvard University, as well as a Master’s in the Study of Religion at Oxford University focusing on spiritual and personal growth in Islam. Sarah has been an instructor at a teacher education program at the American University in Cairo; her previous experience includes consulting for the evaluation of education programs using a participatory community psychology approach. She also works part-time as an education content writer at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkley. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kenneth Primrose is a teacher, writer and consultant based in the UK. He has an MA and MTh in Theology and Religious Studies from the Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh, as well as postgraduate degrees in Education and Character Development from King’s College London and the University of Birmingham. He writes regularly for a range of publications on a variety of issues (including religion and flourishing), and has an ongoing project where he interviews influential thinkers about the question that they are most driven by (weblink below). His interest in spirituality is borne of the conviction that we need spiritual attention and wisdom in order to flourish individually, collectively, and environmentally. He is particularly influenced by the work of psychiatrist and philosopher Iain McGilchrist, and would like to help translate and integrate his insights into the study and praxis of human flourishing.
Examined Life project (podcast forthcoming) - www.examined-life.com
Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kenneth-primrose
Rev. Cheryl Scramuzza holds a Master of Divinity degree with a concentration in pastoral care from Perkins School of Theology at SMU. She was ordained by the Christian Church of the Southwest Region and serves as the sole pastor at Bethany Christian Church (DOC) in Dallas, Texas. She is passionate about spiritual formation and the ways that this work contributes to thriving and flourishing both individually internally and communally. Rev. Scramuzza is a doctoral candidate in SMU’s Doctor of Liberal Studies program exploring what it means to be human through various lenses. And she is passionate about literacy and serves as the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Texas area with Ferst Readers and the Once Upon a Month children’s book program, which is a non-profit organization that mails age-appropriate books to children under the age of five in funded counties at no cost to families.
Paulo Torrens is a Psychotherapist and Social Psychologist with a private practice in Cambridge, Ma. He's a group therapist at Arbour Hospital in Jamaica Plain and a family therapist with Summit Community Services in Boston. Originally from Brazil, he has treated and promoted mental health solutions for Brazilian immigrants abroad through his practice and chair of the mental health division of the Brazilian Aboard Council. Paulo is also a Permanent Deacon with the Archdiocese of Boston and the owner and Founder of VirTute Therapy and Spirituality which sponsor spirituality-based therapies and mental health self-care in Brazil and around the globe. He is also a writer and collaborator at Futebol Viral Program with the Cultural Agents Program at Harvard University, a long term initiative who use soccer and soccer coaching techniques to teach non-violence and conflict resolution to young adults in Brazil. He has a special interest in forgiveness promotion in the event of trauma and abuse.