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Susan S. Phillips, Ph.D.--
Executive Director; Professor of Sociology and Christianity
Sharon Gallagher, M.T.S.--Professor of Christianity and the Media
Margaret Alter, Ph.D.--Professor of Psychology and Christianity
Jill C. Boyce, M.A.--Spiritual Director
Chris Corwin, Ph.D.--Visiting Professor of Biblical Studies
David Fetcho--
Visiting Professor of Arts and Worship; Artist-in-Residence 
Susan English Fetcho--Visiting Professor of Arts and Worship; Artist-in-Residence
Sue Gibbons, M.A.--Spiritual Director
Virginia Hearn, B.A.--Professor of Communications
Walter R. Hearn, Ph.D.--Professor of Science and Christianity
Margaret Horwitz, Ph.D.--Visiting Professor of Christianity and Literature
Bonnie Howe, Ph.D.--Visiting Professor of Ethics and Biblical Studies
Sarah Johnson, M.A.--Spiritual Director
Mark Labberton,--Ph.D.--Visiting Professor of Biblical Studies
Elizabeth Lawhead--Spiritual Director
Marilyn McEntyre,--Ph.D.--Visiting Professor of Poetry and Spiritual Formation
Earl Palmer, D.D.--Visiting Professor of Biblical Studies
Christine Shiber, M.Div.--Spiritual Director
Robin C. Wainwright, M.Div.-- Visiting Professor of Church History and Christian Life
Nancy S. Wiens, M.Div., Ph.D.--Spiritual Director

Russell Yee, M.Div., Ph.D.--Visiting Professor of Theology and Worship



Faculty Biographies

Margaret G. Alter, Ph.D.,
is Professor of Psychology and Christianity at NCB and a licensed marriage and family counselor in private practice in Berkeley. Her most recent book is Resurrection Psychology: An Understanding of Human Personality Based on the Life and Teachings of Jesus, which provides a practical model of human personality observable in Jesus’ life and teaching. Margaret Alter received her Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley, California. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in English and received an M.A. in Psychology and Counseling and an M.Div. from the Pacific School of Religion. Her most recent NCB class was Appropriating the Forgiveness of Christ. In addition to her work with New College Berkeley, Margaret has taught psychology classes at Pacific School of Religion and School of Applied Theology.

Jill Chamberlain Boyce (spiritual director, NCB) received her spiritual direction training from San Francisco Theological Seminary and has been a spiritual director for the past 9 years both in Vancouver, BC and the Bay Area. She also studied Applied Theology at Regent College in Vancouver where she completed a Master's degree in 2010. Jill has had chaplaincy training and has worked as a nurse practitioner in marginalized communites. She co-leads the Ignatian Exercises and spiritual retreats for New College Berkeley.

Chris Corwin, Ph.D. teaches Hebrew Scriptures, World Religions, and Philosophy.Hehas two B. A.’s, one in Math and one in English, from San Francisco State University, an M.A. in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Arlington and a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.His interests include: poetic analysis of the Psalms, theology of the Hebrew Scriptures, the book of Samuel, the Song of Songs, and Ancient Near Eastern Literature.,

David Fetcho and Susan English Fetcho are Visiting Professors of Arts and Worship and Artists-in-residence at NCB. David Fetcho has worked as a multidisciplinary artist, writer, and composer for nearly thirty years. His training is in creative writing, music, theatre, photography, and video production. Susan English Fetcho has been a performer, teacher, choreographer and administrator of dance and theatre for twenty-seven years. Her training is in dance/choreography, theatre, mime, Laban Movement Analysis, and video production. She is currently on the Performing Arts faculty at St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Oakland, California. 

Together, David and Susan served for fourteen years as co-artistic directors of the intermedia performance ensemble, New Performance Consort, writing, producing and directing fourteen original dance/music/theatre productions for both theatrical and liturgical venues. They’ve performed and taught in the greater San Francisco Bay area, and on tour to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, England, and Bali, Indonesia. Many of NPC’s works have incorporated original film and/or video segments as integral creative components. As founders and creative directors of, they bring their wealth of experience as performance directors to the creation of compelling video content. produces work for the educational, religious and corporate markets; family histories; and independent documentary films aimed at finding the hidden lights of individuals and groups who are laboring with love and passion outside the mainstream of media attention.

Since 1978 Susan and David have organized conferences focusing on issues in theology and the arts, including several arts conferences for New College Berkeley, as well a national CIVA (Christians In the Visual Arts) conference in 1995.

Sue Gibbons, M.A. received her Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction from the San Francisco Theological Seminary in 2004.She has been a facilitator in the NCB Group Spiritual Direction program since its inception under the supervision of Susan Phillips.She has a keen interest in small groups dedicated to contemplative listening for the Spirit in the ordinary fabric of life.Ms. Gibbons is part of a team implementing Companion Groups in her church congregation. She held the position of Chair of Contemplative Ministry in her local congregation for ten years.

Virginia Hearn, New College Berkeley’s professor of communications, was on the founding Board of NCB in the mid-’70s. Since then, she has led her journal-keeping workshop, one of NCB’s best-known courses, over 70 times. Together she and her husband, Walter Hearn, have also taught NCB classes on writing, editing, and Christian lifestyle. Ginny has a long history as a writer and editor, both free-lance and in-house for various publishers. In the late ’80s she edited Update (national newsletter of the Evangelical Women’s Caucus) and for three decades has been copy editor for Radix magazine in Berkeley. Along with working on almost 200 books for many publishers, Ginny has three books of her own— Just As I Am: Journal-Keeping for Spiritual Growth ; Our Struggle to Serve: The Stories of 15 Evangelical Women ; and What They Did Right: Reflections on Parents by Their Children.

Walter R. Hearn, Ph.D., professor of Christianity and science at NCB, has a doctorate in biochemistry (Illinois, 1951).While a professor at Iowa State University, he lectured widely on the interaction of science and faith, and has continued to do so. He has contributed chapters to over half a dozen edited volumes, from Russell Mixter’s Evolution and Christian Thought Today (Eerdmans, 1959) to John Templeton’s Evidence of Purpose: Scientists Discover the Creator (Continuum, 1994). Dr. Hearn was co-author of Teaching Science in a Climate of Controversy (American Scientific Association, 1986), and based his own book, Being a Christian in Science (IVP, 1997), on his 23 years’ experience editing the Newsletter of the American Scientific Affiliation. He has published many articles, reviews, and poems, including a recent essay-review on "Finding Your Way in Science and Faith" in Radix magazine (2004).

Margaret M. Horwitz, Ph.D., is an NCB Visiting Professor, with a doctorate in Film and Television Studies from UCLA.  She has taught for NCB on Christian ethics in Jane Austen’s novels and their filmed adaptations. She has also given presentations for the Jane Austen Society of North America, and at UC Davis.  She presented on the 2005 film, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for NCB.  At an NCB film conference, she spoke on Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol and the film, It’s a Wonderful Life; and, an article based on her talk was published in the Christmas 2006 issue of Radix magazine.  In spring 2007, Margaret taught an NCB class for GTU credit, “Grace Under Fire: Films About Extraordinary Faithfulness,” on Holocaust rescuers and others of courage, including Mother Teresa. 

Bonnie Howe, Ph.D., is a NCB graduate (M.A., Christian Ethics, ’92) and earned a Ph.D. in social ethics and New Testament interpretation from the Graduate Theological Union. She is interested in the ways people talk and write when we are thinking about good and evil, and the ways Christians read Scripture and use it in ethical reflection and argument. Her research employs cognitive linguistic theories and methods to analyze moral discourse. Dr. Howe’s publications include several articles for the New Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible (Abingdon) and her newest book is entitled Because you bear this Name: Metaphor and the Moral Meaning of 1 Peter. (Brill Academic, 2006). Bonnie is interested in the way Christians seek to be formed by Scripture and look for moral guidance in its pages. She’s interested in how our reading habits (especially our Scripture-reading strategies) shape our social ethic and our life together.

Sarah Johnson (spiritual director, NCB), completed her seminary training at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley with a focus on Christian Spirituality, the Christian mystics, and praying through grief and loss. She is an adjunct faculty member at New College Berkeley, leading and facilitating group spiritual direction. She also works as a consultant and leadership development coach facilitating positive change in the personal and professional lives of individuals and organizations. She is a former hospice chaplain and a registered nurse.

Mark Labberton, Ph.D., is president of  Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the author of The Dangerous Act of Worship. He has a B.A. from Whitman College, an M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminar, and a doctorate in theology from the University of Cambridge, England. His Ph.D. dissertation topic was "Ordinary Bible Reading: The Reformed Tradition and Reader-Oriented Criticism." He was study assistant to the Reverend John Stott, (1980-81). Dr. Labberton has taught classes for NCB on "The Living Word and the Written Word: Interpreting Jesus Today," "Listening for God when Making Decisions," and "Applying Scripture in Everyday Life." His articles include "Glorious Foolishness: Who Dares Speak for God?" in Leadership Journal and "The Life-Changing Cross" in Radix magazine.

Marilyn McEntyre, Ph.D.,  has taught courses in literature and faith; contemplative reading; autobiography; literature and medicine; literature and earthkeeping; portraiture, character, and personhood; poetry and prayer; and literature and the American conscience, among more standard courses for undergraduate, graduate, and professional classes over the past 30 years.  She recently left Westmont College to return to the Bay Area.  She leads retreats for churches, professional groups, and writers. She has written for Weavings, The Christian Century, Christianity Today, and Prism, as well as a variety of academic journals.  Her books include Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies; Christ, My Companion:  Meditations on the Prayer of St. Patrick (Baker, 2008); three books of poems reflecting on Dutch paintings (In Quiet Light on Vermeer, Drawn to the Light on Rembrandt, and The Color of Light on Van Gogh); The Light at the Edge; and a co-edited volume of essays, Teaching Literature and Medicine. 

Earl Palmer, D.D., (M. Div.) heads Earl Palmer Ministries. He is the author of many books, including Love Has Its Reasons, The Book That James Wrote, The Enormous Exception: Commentary on the Sermon on the Mount, A Faith That Works, and the 24 Hour Christian. Rev. Palmer is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and has a B.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. He also has an Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree awarded by Whitworth College. Earl serves on the boards of Princeton Theological Seminary, New College Berkeley, and Regent College, (Vancouver, B.C.). Earl was one of the co-founders of New College Berkeley and regularly teaches on topics such as "The Meaning of Friendship: St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians" and "C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien: Friends, Writers, and Mentors."

Robin C. Wainwright, M.Div., is Chairman of the Board of the Academy for Global Christianity, Washington, D.C., and Vice-Chairman of the Board of the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies in Oxford, England. He has spent more than 20 years developing and implementing programs for a variety of humanitarian organizations involved in outreach work in the US, overseas and particularly in the Middle East. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California, and a Master of Divinity/Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Robin is NCB Professor of Applied Theology and was formerly Professor of Discipleship and Evangelism at Bethel Theological Seminary, Saint Paul, Minnesota, providing pastors and other ministry leaders with Biblical and practical resources for Church-based ministry strategies. He has taught classes on "Making Others Family: The Practice of Kingdom Evangelism" and "Into All the World: The History and Future of Christian Mission."

Nancy S. Wiens (spiritual director, NCB), is Emergence Director and Co-Founder of Emergence: A Center for Initiating Contemplatives in Action. She received her M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union in Christian spirituality, ritual studies, and the dialogue between theology and science. Dr. Wiens is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and practices spiritual direction with people who long to deepen their relationship with God and respond to God’s calling more fully in their lives. She has been a director in NCB’s Group Spiritual Direction ministry since its inception and also guides wilderness rites of passage, helping people mark transitions in their lives by discerning God’s calling through nature.

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