I am the Executive Director of the Samaritan Counseling•Guidance•Consulting in Sewickley, Pennsylvania (www.samaritancounseling.net). I am also the director of its Caring for Clergy and Congregations program, which offers clergy spiritual direction/coaching, clergy leadership groups, classes and training in pastoral leadership, and church consultations.
I came to Samaritan after serving as senior pastor of Calvin Presbyterian Church in Zelienople, Pennsylvania (www.calvinchurchzelie.org) from 1996—2017. I had a vision to create a church rooted in prayer and a passionate desire to seek and do God's will in everything. Since 1996, Calvin Church almost tripled in size, and garnered national attention in several studies, including one by Diana Butler-Bass, who prominently included Calvin Church in her groundbreaking book, Christianity for the Rest of Us, which researched churches across the country that are leading Christians to renewal through an emphasis on spirituality and spiritual practices (www.dianabutlerbass.com).
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 eight books: ...And the Church Actually Changed (due in spring, 2020), Ministry Proverbs: Lessons Learned for Leading Congregations (2016), In God’s Presence: Encountering, Experiencing, and Embracing the Holy in Worship (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 also write the "Hopeful Church" blog for Presbyterians Today.
I have been adjunct professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Doctor of Ministry program, and its Certificate in Spiritual Formation Program, as well as at Tyndale Theological Seminary in Toronto, Ontario, 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.