Rev. Dr. James Bryan Smith
September 8, 2013
Rev. Dr. James Bryan Smith is a theology professor at Friends University in Wichita, KS and is a writer and speaker in the area of Christian spiritual formation. Jim is an ordained United Methodist Church minister (ord. 1987) and has served in various capacities in local churches since ordination.
Jim serves as the Director of The Apprentice Institute on Christian Formation at Friends University and was a founding member of Renovaré, a spiritual renewal ministry started by Richard J. Foster in 1987. He has been a popular speaker for Conferences across the country, speaking at over 50 regional conferences. He is the author of eight books including The Apprentice Series: The Good and Beautiful God, The Good and Beautiful Life and The Good and Beautiful Community.
Jim received his B.A. in Religion and Philosophy from Friends University in 1984, where he was named “Outstanding Religion Major” at graduation. He received his M.Div. from Yale University Divinity School; won the coveted John Wade prize for Outstanding Preaching; and he received his Doctorate in Ministry from Fuller Seminary in 1997.
Rev. Jane E. Vennard
January 19, 2014
Rev. Jane E. Vennard is a United Church of Christ pastor who serves as adjunct faculty at Iliff School of Theology, a United Methodist Seminary. She teaches courses on prayer, spirituality, leadership development, spiritual direction and retreat design. Jane is a spiritual director and has been leading retreats for over 15 years.
She has authored books and articles, including Embracing the World: Praying for Justice, Peace; The Praying Congregation: The Art of Teaching Spiritual Practice and Intercessory Prayer;Praying with Body and Soul and others. Her latest bookentitled Fully Awakeand Truly Alive: Spiritual Practices to Nurture Your Soul was featured during her presentation.
Jane is a gifted speaker and workshop leader and is ordained in the ministry of teaching and spiritual direction. She is a graduate of Wellesley College, Stanford University and the San Francisco Theological Seminary.
Dr. Dwight H. Judy
March 9, 2014
Dwight H. Judy, Ph.D., is Professor of Spiritual Formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. He has guided retreats in spiritual formation practices since 1980 and was privileged to assist in developing the nationally recognized United Methodist Professional Certification in Spiritual Formation. He is a licensed psychologist and holds a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology.
Dwight serves as an editor for Presence, the quarterly journal of Spiritual Directors International and has authored nine books including: Embracing God: Praying with Teresa of Avila, Christian Meditation and Inner Healing, Quest for the Mystical Christ: Awakening the Heart of Faith, and The Journey and Discerning Life Transitions. Dwight’s book: A Quiet Pentecost: Inviting the Spirit into Congregational Life has been acclaimed as one of the best resources for congregational life in the United Methodist Church. Dwight’s book and vision for the Church will enrich our own congregation.