Faculty and Staff
Allisyn Thomas, MDiv
SFM Rector; Liturgics; Preaching
Allisyn is canon for spiritual formation in the bishop's office at The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego. Allisyn has a particular interest in how liturgy shapes the formation of individuals and communities and how liturgical leaders can develop self-awareness in the liturgical life of the church.
The Rev. Dr. Mark Mann
Dean of Studies
In addition to his duties with the School for Ministry, Dr. Mark H. Mann serves as Associate Professor of Theology and Christian Ministry and Director for the Honors Scholars Program at Point Loma Nazarene University. He is a member of All Souls Church in Point Loma where he serves as a lector and chalice bearer and enjoys teaching adult forums. Mark and his wife, Melissa, have four children: Naomi, Nathaniel, Madeleine and Norah.
Alex Nagy, PhD/STD
SFM Director of Field Education, Liturgics 1 & 2
Alex studied theology/liturgics in Rome during the writing, approval and implementation of the liturgical renewal of Vatican II. In addition to teaching it for 13 years at a Theologate, he taught liturgics to clergy in English and Spanish-speaking parishes, as well as implementing what he taught while he served in Spain and in parishes in Texas, Idaho, San Diego and Canada.
Pamela Rieger, Deacon
Pam enrolled at SfM in 2013, in the “inaugural” class of SfM. In 2014, she became a postulant to the Deaconate. After graduating in 2015, she went on to be ordained as a vocational deacon in November of 2015.
Her first assignment was at All Souls’ Episcopal Church in Point Loma; she now currently serves St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church. She is on the Executive Council, leads a Street Church Ministry at the ECC on Wednesdays, and works with the Showers of Blessings at the ECC.
Keren's role at the SFM is to field all inquiries regarding registration, payments and general information about the SFM; to coordinate classroom needs; and to offer faculty and other administrative support to the school. Keren also works as the registrar in the bishop's office.
SFM Liaison to Executive Council
Judy Cater is a member of the Executive Council (governing body) of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego. She is a member of Holy Cross, Carlsbad. If you have any questions about the School for Ministry, she is a good place to start. Judy holds an AB from Mount Holyoke College in American Culture, an MS in Library Science from Simmons College and an MA in History from the University of San Diego. Prior to her 2013 retirement, Judy worked at Palomar College for 38 years, 34 as a librarian and four as the interim dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
Regina Ballard, DMin
Ecumenism and World Religions
Regina has taught in Pawtucket, Rhode Island and in her hometown of San Juan Capistrano at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School. She currently chairs the department of Religion and Ethics at the Bishop’s School, La Jolla, where she has taught New Testament, Hebrew Bible, Comparative Religions, Ethics, Feminist Readings of the Bible and a groundbreaking course on the Nag Hammadi documents. During the summer months, travel is the first thing on Regina’s agenda. Over the past ten years she has traveled extensively to Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, China, Costa Rica, and Europe.
Paige Blair, MDiv
Paige's greatest joy in ministry is encouraging others to live out their baptismal ministries, and watching in excitement and delight as they become the people God is calling them to be in Christ. Born on March AFB in Riverside and raised in an Air Force family, primarily in Alaska and Colorado, Paige "went East" for college at Boston University, and 21 years later was thrilled to return to the state of her birth. She received her BA in International Relations at Boston University in 1992, and MDiv in Holy Scripture at the Boston University School of Theology in 1995. She continued with post-graduate studies at the Episcopal Divinity School and at the Harvard Divinity School, both in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Paige served as Chaplain Associate at Boston University's Marsh Chapel from 1992-1995, as part of the Episcopal Interim Chaplaincy Team at Boston University from 1996-1997. From 1997-2000 she served as Assistant, and then Associate, at St. John's in Beverly Farms, MA. In 2000, she was called to be Rector of St. George's in York Harbor, Maine, and enjoyed ministry there until joining us at St. Peter's Del Mar in May of 2009. Paige's "civilian" joys include time with her dogs, GracieRoo, Benny and Scout and running the hills of Del Mar. She loves a good murder mystery and a yoga class that reminds her that humility is an essential spiritual discipline. Iconography is a regular practice of the discipline of letting go, and allowing the process do its work. Paige's iconography blog may be found here: Transformation Iconography.
The Rev. Kent Branstetter
Seminar on Ordained Ministry
Kent Branstetter is rector of St Dunstan’s, San Diego, a return to the county where he grew up and the parish that sponsored him for ordination 35 years ago. He was recently appointed Missioner for Area Two (Christ the King, Alpine; St. Alban’s El Cajon; St. Andrew’s, La Mesa; St. Dunstan’s; and St. Columba’s, Santee). He has served in the dioceses of San Diego (3 years and counting), Newark (8 years), and Atlanta (20 years). In Atlanta, Kent worked on the Diocesan Examining Chaplains and was dean of the Northeast Metro Convocation for 15 years.
He is a perpetual student (M.A., Point Loma College; M.Div., Yale; M.Phil., Drew) who believes in the value of a good field trip: he worked in the cow shed on a kibbutz in Israel (1975-76); walked through Ephesus, whirled in Konya, snorkeled in the Red Sea, and picnicked in the ruins of Nicaea. Kent is also a compulsive teacher, including a stint of team teaching a philosophy course at Alberta Magnus College, CT.
Kent and Rebecca, his wife of 26 years, live in El Cajon. They have two sons.
Michael J. Christensen, PhD
Figures in Christian Spirituality
(M.A., Yale, Ph.D., Drew) is an author, speaker, trainer, and theologian affiliated with Drew University and Point Loma Nazarene University. Currently, a Scholar-in-Residence at the Wesleyan Center and Adjunct faculty member at PLNU, Dr. Christensen also serves as Professor of Spirituality and Missions and Executive Consultant at Northwind Institute. He has published eleven books and many articles on various topics of practical theology, spirituality and social justice and leadership development, including: Equipping the Saints: Mobilizing Laity for Ministry; Children of Chernobyl: Raising Hope form the Ashes; The World After Chernobyl; City Streets, City People; C. S. Lewis on Scripture; Partakers of the Divine Nature: Deification in the Christian Traditions; andThe Heart of Henri Nouwen. He is also the co-editor (with Rebecca Laird) of three posthumous books by Henri Nouwen known as The Nouwen Trilogy: Spiritual Direction, Spiritual Formation and Discernment.
He also is Founder of WorldHope Corps whose mission is to train community leaders to raise the quality of life in particular communities with the greatest need; and to provide resources for educational scholarships, clean water, and community health initiatives in Malawi and Uganda.World Hope Corps.
Profile: http://www.amazon.com/Michael-J.-Christensen/e/B001IGNLTW (Links to an external site.)
Lark received a BA, Magna Cum Laude from the University of Portland, Oregon before spending a year as a Jesuit Volunteer working in a food bank, helping to provide low income Seniors with additional groceries, and teaching ESL in Southern California. She then headed east spending three years in New Haven, CT, completing a Masters in Divinity and a Certificate in Anglican Studies at Yale University. After being ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church she has spent her career on the West Coast. For nearly ten years, Diaz served as the Chair of the Religion and Philosophy Department at St. Margaret's Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano, CA, and currently is on the faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego.
Orlando Espin, PhD
Orlando Espin is professor of systematic theology and religious studies, at the University of San Diego. He completed the dual doctorate in systematic and practical theology at the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He has specialized in the theological study of popular religion, as well as in theologies of culture and traditions. He is regarded as one of the founders of U.S. Latino/a theology. He is the author or editor of eleven books, co-edited an award-winning dictionary of theology and religious studies, and edited the recent (2015) ecumenical and massive Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Latino/a Theology. He has published over 400 articles in U.S., European and Latin American professional journals, and many book chapters. He has received several national and international awards for his theological work on popular religion and on the sensus fidelium. Espín has also received an honorary professorship and an honorary doctorate. Espín founded and was first chief editor of the Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology, and has served in various roles in the Hispanic Theological Initiative, and in the Hispanic Summer Program of Theology and Religion. He is active in various professional associations of theologians.
Nan Hardison, PhD
Nancy Hardison is Professor Emerita, Point Loma Nazarene University and a retired Volunteer for Mission in the Episcopal Church. She has served as Principal of St. Philip’s Theological College in the Diocese of Maseno North, Anglican Church of Kenya. While teaching at Point Loma Nazarene University she took students to Mexico, Cost Rica, Romania and Albania. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Boston University and an M.B.A. from San Diego State University. She and her husband, Gerry, have two children, 4 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren. They live in Ocean Beach and volunteer at the Episcopal Church Center.
Mark Hargreaves, PhD
Mark is Rector of St. James by-the-Sea in La Jolla. He came to that post after 25 years as a priest in the London diocese. He did his undergraduate studies in Theology at Oxford University and then took a PhD at Cambridge University. The topic of his thesis was the authority of the Bible. In recent years Mark completed a Masters degree at the National Gallery in London on “Christianity and the Arts”. He trained and worked as a teacher before ordination and has taught at every kind of educational institution from nursery school to University. He is looking forward to adding the School for Ministry to that list.
Anastasia McAteer, MDiv
Stasi holds a Master of Divinity with a concentration in Worship, Theology and the Arts from Fuller Theological Seminary, and has done doctoral work in Liturgical Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkley. She authored the popular blog Feminary while at Fuller, and has written and edited worship resources for clayfire.org and Augsburg Fortress Press (ELCA). She has also served as a liturgical consultant for several local churches. Stasi’s other publications include a reader’s theater version of the Book of Revelation, and the essay "Exorcising the Spirit" in the collection Jesus Girls: True Tales of Growing Up Female and Evangelical (Cascade Books, 2009). She has also published critiques of film, television, theater, and music, and is a speaker and blogger on the topics of missional worship and foodie spirituality.
John McAteer, PhD
Ethics; Church, Mission & Society
John is an Assistant Professor and Chair of the online Liberal Arts program at Ashford University, where he specializes in interdisciplinary humanities courses. In addition to a PhD in Philosophy from the University of California at Riverside, John earned a BA in Film from Biola University and an MA in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics from Talbot School of Theology. Since 2002, he has taught a variety of philosophy, theology, film, and aesthetics courses, and he has published academic papers on a wide range of topics including ethics, environmentalism, and the history of philosophy. Outside academia, John also lectures at churches and other gatherings on the religious dimension of art and popular culture. He lives in the Ocean Beach neighborhood of San Diego with his wife and two children.
David Moseley, PhD
Hebrew Bible 1 and 2; New Testament 1 and 2
David Moseley, Ph.D., Teaches Religious Studies and Philosophy at The Bishop’s School, La Jolla, where he also serves as Director of Global Education. He has also been teaching Theology and Biblical Studies at the University of San Diego as an adjunct faculty member since 1997. Dr. Moseley holds undergraduate and graduate Degrees in Law, Theology and Philosophy from Oxford University; and a Doctorate in Theology from Cambridge University. He is also the Theologian-in-Residence at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in San Diego, and Teaches Adult Education Classes throughout the County.
Babs M. Meairs, MDiv, MA, BCC
Babs worked as a chaplain in the Department of Veterans Affairs for many years. Her career included specialization in spinal cord injury, rehab medicine, medical ethics, and end of life issues. She served on the VA's national advisory team on palliative care and has presented about ethics, spirituality and end of life care. In 1998 she received the VA secretary's hands and heart award for patient care and was recognized in 1999 for excellence in chaplaincy with a national chaplain of the year award. She is certified for disaster response through a VA and Red Cross program. She co-founded the clinical pastoral education program in collaboration with the Navy Medical Center and served on the professional consultation committee of the CPE program at the center for urban ministry. She is a retired Episcopal priest and a veteran of the US Marine Corps.
Doran Stambaugh, MDiv
Fr. Doran is a 1996 graduate of Wheaton College, and graduated cum laude from Nashotah House Theological Seminary in 2005. Doran serves as Rector of St. Michael's by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Carlsbad, CA. Doran is passionate about the ancient Christian faith and its prudent application to modern times. He enjoys writing, surfing and spending time with his family.