His Eminence, William Cardinal Keeler
Archbishop of Baltimore
His Eminence William Cardinal Keeler was elected to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II in 1994. He was appointed Archbishop of Baltimore by Pope John Paul II in 1989 and was formally installed as 14th Archbishop of the nation's oldest See in ceremonies at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.
His Eminence, Archbiship Khajag Barasamian
Armenian Apostolic Church in America
His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian was born in Arapkir, Turkey in 1951. At the age of 13, he began his religious studies at the Holy Cross Armenian Seminary in Istanbul. Encouraged by Archbishop Shnork Kaloustian (the late Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople), he went to Jerusalem to study at the Seminary of the St. James Armenian Patriarchate from 1967 to 1971. He was ordained a celibate priest in 1971 and achieved the ecclesiastical degree of vartabed two years later
His later educational pursuits have led him throughout the United States and Europe: to New York’s General Theological Seminary, St. John’s University in Minneapolis, the Gregorian University in Rome, and Oxford’s Oriental Institute. He has lectured in the U.S., Italy, England, Germany, Jerusalem and Armenia, and has conducúted research at the Manuscript Library of Yerevan, the Mekhitarist Institute of Venice and the Manuúscript Library at the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. His publications have appeared in various educational and scholarly journals. In October of 1991, General Theological Seminary awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree.
Concurrent with and subsequent to his education, he has taken on pastoral duties in Istanbul; in the Armenian communities in Jaffa, Haifa and Ramleh; and throughout the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America—in Worcester, Massachusetts; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota; and at the St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral in New York City, where he served as Vicar General and director of Ecumenical Relations.
His Eminence was elected as Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America in the spring of 1990, and was subsequently elevated to the rank of bishop by His Holiness Vasken I, the late Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, at the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin. In October 1992, he received the rank of archbishop. He is currently serving his third four-year term as chief bishop of the largest diocese of the Armenian diaspora.
As the president of the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR), he has led the effort to develop the free Republic of the Armenia, and bring humanitarian assistance to its citizens.
Archbishop Barsamian is a leader in a number of religious and ecumenical organizations, including the National Council of Churches, the World Council of Churches, the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, Religion In American Life, and the American Bible Society. He is a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and has received honorary doctorates from General Theological Seminary, Seton Hall University, and the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia
Bishop Mark S. Hanson
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Rev. Mark S. Hanson was elected President of the Lutheran World Federation in 2003. He began serving as bishop of the Saint Paul Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 1995, and had been reelected to a second term as synodical bishop prior to his election as presiding bishop of the ELCA in 2001. Bishop Hanson serves on the executive board of the National Council of Churches. He was president of the Minnesota Council of Churches from 1998-2000.
The Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold III
The Episcopal Church, USA
Rev. Frank Griswold was elected to a nine-year term as Presiding Bishop at the 1997 General Convention and invested in January 1998. He serves as Primate and chief pastor of the Episcopal Church, president of the House of Bishops, president and chief executive officer of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, and president or chair of numerous Episcopal Church boards and agencies. Before becoming Presiding Bishop, Bishop Griswold was Bishop of Chicago and Bishop Coadjutor. Bishop Griswold co-chairs the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission. He has served on diocesan, national and international committees for liturgy, worship and ecumenism. He was on the standing committee for the Lambeth Conference and the planning committee of the House of Bishops.
The Reverend John H. Thomas
General Minister & President
United Church of Christ
The Rev. John H. Thomas is General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ. Rev. Thomas became Assistant to the President for Ecumenical Concerns in 1992. He co-chaired the negotiations that led in 1998 to full communion between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and three Reformed churches, including the UCC. He represented the UCC in the World Council of Churches, World Alliance of Reformed Churches, National Council of Churches and other ecumenical bodies.
Bishop Thomas Hoyt Jr.
National Council of Churches
Thomas Hoyt, Jr., bishop of the fourth episcopal district (Mississippi and Louisiana) of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, a long-time member of the Institute's Board of Directors, and himself a 1984 participant in the Resident Scholars Program, exemplifies in his scholarly accomplishments and his commitment to the life of the church the sort of personal and professional values the Institute seeks to encourage.
Since receiving his Ph.D. in New Testament from Duke University in 1975, Bishop Hoyt has achieved high standing in the guild of biblical scholars. He has taught at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, at Howard University School of Religion in Washington, and at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut where he initiated the Black Ministries Certificate Program. Hoyt is author of three books, co-author of three others, and has published more than forty articles in professional journals.
Thomas Hoyt serves on the Faith and Order Commissions of the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches. He has served on the Theological Commission of the Consultation on Church Union (COCU) and on the National Council of Churches Lectionary Committee on Inclusive Language. In 1993, Hoyt was Lyman Beecher Lecturer at Yale Divinity School, one of the oldest and most prestigious lectureships in the academic community. On November 6, 2003, in a festival service in Jackson, Mississippi, Bishop Hoyt was installed as President of the National Council of Churches for 2004-05
Most Reverend Wilton Skylstad
Bishop of Spokane
Spokane, Washington, USA
Bishop Skylstad attended the Pontifical College Josephinum in Worthington, Ohio, arriving there as a high school student. After priestly formation, he was ordained to the priesthood May 21, 1960. After ordination he was assigned as a teacher at the diocese's high school seminary, Mater Cleri.
After his time as a seminary educator and administrator, he was named pastor of a growing parish north of the City of Spokane. After six years, he was called to pastor another parish for two years, and then was named chancellor of the Spokane Diocese.
On May 12, 1977, he was ordained a bishop for the Diocese of Yakima, located in Central Washington State, just west of the Spokane Diocese.
He was appointed Bishop of Spokane on March 31, 1990.
The Reverend Clifton Kirkpatrick
Presbyterian Church, USA
The Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick was elected as Stated Clerk at the 208th General Assembly in 1996. For the Presbyterian Church, he has served as Director to the Worldwide Ministries Division, Director to the Global Mission and Director to the Division of International Missions, General Assembly Mission Board. He is a member of the Executive and Central Committees for the World Council of Churches and a member of the General Assembly and Executive Committee at the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. Rev. Kirkpatrick is a member of the Board of Trustees at the National Interfaith Cable Coalition and part of the Council of Presidents at the United States Chapter of the World Conference on Religion and Peace.
The Reverend John Buchanan
The Reverend John M. Buchanan was named editor and publisher of The Christian Century in 1999. Since 1985, he has been pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, and in 1996, he was elected and served as moderator of the Presbyterian Church, the denomination's highest elected office. He has also served in many denominational and ecumenical organizations, including the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church and the National Council of Churches.
Editor and Vice President
Mr. David Neff is editor and vice president at Christianity Today and has been with the magazine for 18 years. He served as editor of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s magazine for college students and was a campus pastor and religion teacher at Walla Walla College. Mr. Neff served as president and board member of the Evangelical Press Association, and is a former president and chair of the board of Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding.
Bishop Sharon Zimmerman Rader,
Secretary, Council of Bishops
United Methodist Church
Sharon Zimmerman Radar is Secretary of the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church. Before that she served as the Grand Rapids District Superintendent for the West Michigan Conference. Bishop Rader has been the Secretary for the Council of Bishops since 1996 and is a member of the Board of Trustees at the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.
Dr. Leighton Ford
Leighton Ford Ministries
Dr. Leighton Ford is President of Leighton Ford Ministries in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was named ‘Clergyman of the Year’ in 1985 by Religious Heritage of America and ‘Presbyterian Preacher of the Year’ by the National Presbyterian Center. Dr. Ford was vice-president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, where he served for 31 years. He was also a regular alternate speaker with Billy Graham on the Hour of Decision. Dr. Ford serves as the Honorary Lifetime Chairman of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelism, having served from 1976 to 1992 as chairman. Dr. Ford also serves on the boards in Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and the Duke University Cancer Center.
His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios
Greek Orthodox Church in America
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios was elected Archbishop of America in 1999, by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, becoming the spiritual leader of some 1.5 million Greek Orthodox Christians in America. Prior to coming to the United States in 1965, Archbishop Demetrios spent time as a monastic. He was elected titular Bishop of Vresthena in 1967, as auxiliary bishop to the Archbishop of Athens. In 1972 Archbishop Demetrios earned a Ph.D from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in Christian Studies. From 1983 to 1993, he served as the Distinguished Professor of Biblical Studies and Christian Origins at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Mass. In 1995 Archbishop Demetrios joined Exarchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to America. Archbishop Demetrios also serves as chairman to the Holy Eparchial Synod of Bishops.
Richard J. Mouw
Fuller Theological Seminary
Richard J. Mouw is president and professor of Christian Philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary. Before joining the faculty at Fuller he taught at Calvin College for seventeen years. He has written several articles and books, including The God Who Commands: A Study in Divine Ethics and The Smell of Sawdust. He earned his L.L.D. from Northwestern College, his Litt.D. from Houghton College, his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, his M.A. from the University of Alberta, and his B.A. from Houghton College.
The Reverend Chris Hobgood
General Minister, President
Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ)
The Rev. Chris Hobgood is the General Minister and President of The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and was formerly their Regional Minister (Executive), State of Arkansas. Rev. Hobgood also served as the Vice President for the Interfaith Conference of Washington, DC. He was the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Division of Overseas Ministries for The Christian Church in the U.S. and Canada and was a pastor in Kentucky, Indiana, and Virginia. He is a consultant to churches in a variety of areas, and to clergy on developmental and family needs.
Richard E. Stearns
Richard E. Stearns became President of World Vision U.S. in June 1998. Stearns holds a bachelor's degree from Cornell University and a master's in business administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Stearns held senior positions with Parker Bros. Games and The Franklin Mint before joining Lenox in 1987. In 1995, Stearns was named president/chief executive officer of Lenox, Inc.
Rabbi Janet Marder
Central Conference of American Rabbis (Reform)
In 2003, after serving as Vice President, Rabbi Marder was elected the first woman president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Before that, Rabbi Janet Marder was the first ordained rabbi of Beth Chayim Chadashim, a Los Angeles synagogue with special outreach for lesbian and gay Jews. During her five years with that congregation she founded NECHAMA, a Federation-funded program of AIDS education for the Jewish community. From 1988 to 1999 Rabbi Marder served as Assistant Director and then Director for the Pacific Southwest Council of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. In 1999 she became Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, CA. She served as President of the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis, the first woman and the first non-congregational rabbi to be elected to that office.
Rabbi Paul Menitoff
Executive Vice President
Central Conference of American Rabbis (Reform)
Rabbi Paul Menitoff currently serves as the Executive Vice President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), the representative organization of North America’s approximately 1,800 Reform rabbis, the largest group of Jewish clergy. For fifteen years he served as Regional Director of the Northeast Council of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC). Rabbi Menitoff is the former Chairperson of the Boston Area Reform Rabbis. He served as director of the UAHC/CCAR National Commission on Rabbinic-Congregational Relations (NCRCR) and the UAHC’s Strategic Planning Task Force for Jewish Continuity and Growth. For many years, Rabbi Menitoff served as a Labor Arbitrator and Mediator under the auspices of the American Arbitration Association. He is a former Board member of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and is a founder of the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts. He is a member of the national boards of the National Interfaith Cable Coalition, the National Council of Synagogues, A Different Future (a coalition promoting conflict resolution between Israelis and Palestinians). Rabbi Menitoff is also the co-chair, along with a Christian and a Muslim co-chair, of the U.S. Committee for Peace in the Middle East. In addition, Rabbi Menitoff serves on many boards, committees and commissions of the Reform Movement.
Rabbi Jerome M. Epstein
Executive Vice President
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Rabbi Jerome M. Epstein, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, was ordained in 1970 by The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. For the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, he has served as Director of Regional Activities for the Delaware Valley Region, Eastern Pennsylvania Region and the New York Metropolitan Region. Rabbi Epstein was Editor of Hamdrich, the journal on Jewish education.
Rabbi Amy Small
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
Rabbi Amy Joy Small has been the rabbi of Reconstructionist Congregation Beth Hatikvah in Chatham, New Jersey since 1997. Rabbi Small worked as Dean of Academic Administration and Director of the Education Program at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. At the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, she served terms as secretary, as treasurer, as a board member-at-large, as first vice president, and is currently the President of the Association. She is a founding member and past chairperson of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation Education Commission. She is also a former member of the national board of CAJE (the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education). She serves as the Rabbinic Representative on the Executive Committee of the National United Jewish Communities Board of Trustees and is a representative of the Reconstructionist Movement on Committees of the Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA).
Rabbi Peter S. Knobel
Member of the Board of Trustees
Union of American Hebrew Congregations
Rabbi Knobel has served on the Board of many local and national institutions including ARZA, UAHC, AJC, JUF and the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions. He is the Past President of the Chicago Board of Rabbis and the Chicago Association of Reform Rabbis. He is the Chair of the CCAR Project, Lay Involvement in the Development of Liturgy. He is the Rabbi at Beth Emet The Free Synagogue in Evanston, Illinois where he has served since 1980, following 11 years at Temple Emanu-El in Groton, Connecticut. Rabbi Knobel is Chair of the Liturgy Committee for the Central Conference of American Rabbis.
Rabbi Harry K. Danziger
Central Conference of American Rabbis (Reform)
Rabbi Danziger is the Vice President and President-Elect of the Executive Committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. He serves on the boards of MIFA (Metropolitan Interfaith Association) and the Memphis Jewish Federation, and the National Conference of Christians and Jews. He is on the faculty of Rhodes College and is an Honorary Lifetime Advisor of the National Federation of Temple Youth, Southern Region. Rabbi Danziger has served as Rabbinic Adviser of the Southern Federation of Temple Youth, Jewish Chaplain for the University of Tennessee Medical Units. He has served as President to the Crosscut Club of Memphis, the Family Service of Memphis and the Southwest Association of Reform Rabbis. Rabbi Danziger has served on the board of the Churches and Social Services Fund, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, and the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He is a former Chairman of the National Commission on Rabbinic-Congregation Relations of Reform Judaism and the Rabbinic Advisory Council. In 1998 the National Conference for Community and Justice honored Rabbi Danziger with its Humanitarian Award.
Rabbi Merle S. Singer
Temple Beth El
Boca Raton, Florida
Rabbi Singer leads Temple Beth El in Boca Raton, Florida, the largest Jewish congregation south of Washington, D.C.. He is a member of both the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, where he has served on the Executive Board. He is also a member of the Association of Reform Zionists of America and was President of the Southeast Central Conference of American Rabbis. He is a member of the Israel Bonds National Rabbinic Cabinet and was on the National Board of Governors of the Synagogue Council of America. Rabbi Singer was the recipient of the Golden Shofar Award from Israel Bonds and in 1997 he was a delegate to the World Zionist Congress in Israel. Rabbi Singer has received the B'nai Avraham Award for community involvement and interfaith activities from the American Jewish Committee and he is a recipient of the Silver Medallion Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews, in recognition of his involvement and dedication to ecumenical causes.
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies (Conservative)
Rabbi Artson is a member of the faculty of the Wexner Heritage Foundation. He served on the Professional Advisory Committee of the Jewish National Fund Department of Education. Rabbi Artson was the Founding Chair of the Special Publications Committee of the Rabbinical Assembly. For many years he has served as a Scholar-In-Residence for several programs of Camp Ramah. He is a member of Advisory Board of the Conversion to Judaism Resource Center, is a member of the Rabbinic Cabinet of the UJC. In recognition of "Outstanding Contributions to Jewish Education," Rabbi Artson was the 1996 Honoree of the Orange County Bureau of Jewish Education. He is the author of Love Peace and Pursue Peace: A Jewish Response to War and Nuclear Annihilation.Rabbi Artson now writes "Today's Torah," a internet weekly newsletter and he also writes a widely-distributed column, "Dear Rabbi."
Rabbi David E. Stern
Rabbi Stern is former chairman of the Rabbinic Association of Greater Dallas. He is vice-president of Community Homes for Adults, Inc. and a board member of United Way and Dallas Jewish Coalition for the Homeless. Rabbi Stern is a participant in the Children's Medical Center/SMU Ethics Seminar and serves on the Advisory Boards of Trinity Ministry to the Poor. Before joining Temple Emanu-El in 1989, Rabbi Stern served at Central Synagogue in New York City.
Rabbi Elliot Dorff
University of Judaism (Conservative)
Elliot Dorff is Rector at the University of Judaism. He is a member of the Conservative Movement's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, and of the editorial committee of the new Torah commentary for the Conservative Movement. He has chaired the Academy of Jewish Philosophy and the Jewish Law Association. In 1993 Rabbi Dorff served on the Ethics Committee of Hillary Rodham Clinton's Health Care Task Force. In 1997 and again in 1999, he testified on behalf of the Jewish tradition on the subjects of human cloning and stem cell research before the President's National Bioethics Advisory Commission. In 1999 and 2000, he was part of the Surgeon General's commission to draft a Call to Action for Responsible Sexual Behavior. Rabbi Dorff now serves on a commission charged with reviewing and revising the federal guidelines for protecting human subjects in research projects. He is a Vice-President of Jewish Family Service and a member of the Ethics committees at the Jewish Homes for the Aging and the UCLA Medical Center. He serves as Co-Chair of the Priest-Rabbi Dialogue sponsored by the Los Angeles Archdiocese and the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, and he is a Vice-President of the Academy for Jewish, Christian and Muslim Studies.
Rabbi David N. Saperstein
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Rabbi David Saperstein is the Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. He co-chairs the Coalition to Preserve Religious Liberty, a coalition comprised of over 60 national religious denominations and educational organizations, and serves on the boards of numerous national organizations including the NAACP and People For the American Way. Rabbi Saperstein was elected as Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in 1999. Also an attorney, Rabbi Saperstein teaches seminars in both First Amendment Church-State Law and in Jewish Law at Georgetown University Law School.
Rabbi Alvin Sugarman
A Different Future
A native of Atlanta, Rabbi Sugarman received his BBA from Emory University and was ordained by Hebrew Union College. In 1974 he was named senior rabbi at The Temple. In December 1988 he received his Ph.D. in Theological Studies from Emory University.
Rabbi Sugarman has served as president of the Atlanta Rabbinical Association and the Southeast Association of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, as well as Treasurer of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.
Rabbi Sugarman has served on a wide range of boards in our Jewish and Atlanta community ranging from The Atlanta Jewish Federation to his current position on the Board of Trustees of Emory University.
Islamic Circle of North America
Imam Warith Deen Mohammed
Leader & International Spokesperson
American Society of Muslims
Imam Warith Deen Mohammed has received numerous awards and high honors including the Walter Reuther Humanitarian Award and The Four Freedoms Award. For more than two decades he has served as one of the most recognized and highly respected leaders of American Muslims. He has been appointed to the International World Supreme Council of Mosques.
Iftekhar A. Hai
Founding Director & Director, Interfaith Relations
United Muslims of America
Iftekhar A. Hai is one of the founding Directors of United Muslims of America and became its full time honorary Director of Interfaith Relations in 1990. In an effort to promote cooperation and understanding among world religions through interfaith understanding, he has lectured at the Archdiocese Leadership Schools in San Francisco., Peninsula Academy of Jewish Studies, and Temple Beth El in San Mateo and at Holy Names College in Oakland. He has represented Islam in Conflict Resolution Conferences and interfaith seminars in USA, Canada, UK, India, Pakistan, Africa, Afghanistan and Brazil.
Dawud A. Assad
Council of Mosques, USA
Seyedeh Nahid Angha
International Association of Sufism
Seyedeh Nahid Angha, Ph. D., is founder of the Sufi Women Organization, co-director of the International Association of Sufism and executive editor of the journal Sufism: An Inquiry. Dr. Angha was the first woman appointed to teach in Uwaiysi tradition. She is one of the contributors to the world of Sufi doctrine, and a writer and translator of Sufi literature. She has written numerous books on the subjects of Sufism, including Negah, Principles of Sufism, The Journey: Seyr va Soluk, The Nature of Miracles; and The Traveler, Salek. She has been invited to speak at schools and institutions around the world, including the United Nations and the Smithsonian Institute.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf
Leader & International Founder
American Sufi Muslim Association
Dr. Sayyid Muhammad Syeed
Islamic Society of North America
Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, Secretary General of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an organization which has more than 300 affiliates all over the U.S. and Canada. He was President of the Muslim Students Association of USA & Canada from 1980-1983. Dr. Syeed was Secretary General of the International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations and was Director of Academic Outreach at the International Institute of Islamic Thought. Dr. Syeed served as General Secretary of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists and is one of the founders of the quarterly American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences. Dr. Syeed is a member of the Board of Advisory Editors for the Middle East Affairs Journal and a member of the Board of Advisors for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Dr. Syeed is chairman of the Editorial Board of Islamic Horizons. In recognition of his contribution to inter-religious understanding and harmony, Dr. Syeed was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters by the Graduate Theological Foundation in 2001. Recently he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for furthering the Islamic tradition in North America and promoting inter-religious understanding from the Catholic Heritage Foundation.
Imam Yahya Hendi
Imam Yahya Hendi is the Muslim chaplain at both Georgetown University and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. He serves as a member and Spokesman of the Islamic Jurisprudence Council of North America and directs the PEACE (Public Education and Assistance Conference) office of the Muslim American Society. In the aftermath of the September 11 tragedy, Imam Yahya Hendi was one of the Muslim leaders who met with the president of the United States. The Hartford Seminary awarded Mr. Hendi with the "James Gettemy Significant Ministry Award" for his dedication to his ministry and his work to promote peace building between people of different religions around the world.