About Me

Since 2017 I have been the Executive Director of the Samaritan Counseling, Guidance, Consulting in Sewickley, Pennsylvania (www.samaritancounseling.net), and Director of its Caring for Clergy and Congregations program. 

 

Prior to that I served as senior pastor of Calvin Presbyterian Church in Zelienople, Pennsylvania from 1996—2017. The church was grounded in a spiritual approach to ministry and mission. During that time it almost tripled in size and doubled in attendance, garnering prominent national and international attention in several studies, including Diana Butler-Bass’ Christianity for the Rest of Us, which researched churches across the country that grew numerically and missionally by emphasizing on spirituality and discernment. 

 

Prior to serving Calvin Church, I served as a therapist in a psychiatric hospital, in a pastoral counseling agency, as a drug and alcohol therapist, an internship as a hospital chaplain, and as an associate pastor at a growing church in Murrysville, Pennsylvania.

 

I am the author of ten books: Preaching to Those Walking Away (anticipated Spring 2022); ...And the Church Actually Changed (2020), Ministry Proverbs (2016); In God’s Presence (2010); Humble Leadership (2007); Becoming the Blessed Church (Revised 2016 & original 2005) ); Discovering the Narrow Path (2002); Paradoxes for Living (2001); and Forming Faith in a Hurricane (1998). I have contributed to five others: Spiritual Guidance across Religions (2014); Living Our Story: Narrative Leadership and Congregational Culture (2010), From Nomads to Pilgrims (2006), Let Us Pray: Reformed Prayers for Christian Worship (2003) and The Dictionary of Christian Spiritual Formation (2003).  I have also written numerous articles in spirituality, spiritual direction, and spirituality in congregations--you can find links to these on this site. 

 

I have been adjunct professor for both Pittsburgh Theological Seminary’s and Tyndale Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry programs, and Pittsburgh’s Certificate in Spiritual Formation Program, focusing in the areas of spirituality and congregational leadership. 

 

I have served on the boards of the Samaritan Counseling Center and editorial board of Presence, the journal of Spiritual Directors International.  I am a teacher, retreat leader, spiritual director, and have a background in individual, marital, and family therapy.  My Ph.D. and M.A. are in formative spirituality from Duquesne University.  My Master of Social Work is from the University of Pittsburgh, and my Master of Divinity is from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.   

 

Finally, and most important, I am husband of Diane, and the father of twin girls, Erin and Shea. 

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