MEET OUR TEACHING FACULTY

Welcome to the OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation family, home to individuals passionately committed to our cause and vision. Each one, spread across the UK, puts their heart and soul into daily tasks with an unmatched dedication.

Let us introduce you to the OneSpirit Tutors— a devoted, accomplished, and diverse group of individuals. They continually strive towards creating a harmonious and supportive learning environment for one another, meticulously navigating both the internal and external aspects of our curriculum.

Their collective efforts are under the diligent and watchful eye of OneSpirit’s guidance, ensuring that the Faculty’s endeavours are enriched, accountable, and securely aligned with our vision. This is achieved through their conscientious adherence to our mission, both in their personal journeys and their professional interactions within related fields.

So, let’s journey into the heart of our mission and meet our exceptional Teaching Faculty!

Nicola Coombe

Advisory & Core Tutor

Nicola’s work is deeply influenced by her experience of being both South African and British, and these diverse cultural, political, spiritual, and natural landscapes. Her underlying impulse has always been to seek a connection with that which underpins Life and makes it Sacred.

She has degrees in Social Work; in Psychology and English; and an MBA, in which her thesis explored the inner process of change.

Nicola’s work has included key roles in Life Line in South Africa; directing a development programme for black and women executives at the University of Cape Town’s business school (AIM); strategy and leadership development within Gemini Consulting; and campaigning for the ordination of women in the Anglican Church in South Africa.

She worked in strategic development within the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland, where she is now a trustee.

Based in London and married with one son, Nicola was ordained in 2004. She has been a OneSpirit tutor since 2005, was for most of that time Seminary Leader up to 2015, and then served as Focaliser of OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation up to November 2017.

Annie Heppenstall

Core Tutor

Annie’s passion for experiential spirituality and for the profound heart of humanity has led her, over the last three decades, into diverse faith paths, spiritual traditions and cultural communities. Through study but also relationship with friends, neighbours and colleagues, Annie has been touched by the privilege and challenge of being welcomed into others’ worlds. Annie shares this ongoing and self-reflective enquiry into how to really listen deeply to and connect with another in the Ministry training programme.

Alongside her tutor role at OneSpirit, Annie is currently engaged in a ‘grassroots’ voluntary ministry in a local urban project, where she is the ‘garden chaplain’ of a therapeutic gardening project for vulnerable members of the local community. Annie is drawn to this ministry through her lifelong affinity with the natural world and finds meaning in empowering others to share in cherishing and regenerating green spaces, particularly in improving the quality of life for all in urban environments. Annie is an experienced spiritual accompanier /coach and qualified chaplain, with NHS training in mental health spiritual care in an interfaith context. She draws on a degree and MA from Cambridge University in Theology and Religious Studies and her professional formation as a teacher, undergirding her commitment to diversity and social justice issues of inner cities.

Annie joined OneSpirit as a tutor in 2016 and is ordained. She enjoys working with classes in day workshops, residential and online contexts and is interested in how we form deep, mutually enriching connections through these different approaches. With a side-line in mural painting and a prolific writer, Annie has published numerous books and articles offering reflections and ceremony resources, particularly about key interests in the Feminine Divine, deep ecology and the mystical heart of sacred texts.

Dawn Russell

Core Tutor

Dawn’s greatest passion is to be part of the human experience that unfolds when we come together in a heart space to achieve something for the greater good of all.

She started her working life in therapeutic communities and worked with many aspects of psychotherapeutic practices such as art therapy, psychodrama and group dynamics.

After many years of exploring earth-based spirituality and healing practices (often under the umbrella name of shamanism) she became co-director of Eagle’s Wing College of Contemporary Shamanism, and co-founder of both Celebrating Woman, and Medicine Woman, Medicine Ways.

Over the last 20 years, Dawn has been offering one-year courses and short courses in healing, earth connection and practitioner training.

She has also developed a one-to-one practice offering many lenses to help people know, love, heal and accept themselves, and in turn to know themselves as part of the Divine, Great Mystery of life. Dawn was ordained with OneSpirit in 2018.

Sarah MacDonald

Group Tutor

Sarah was fortunate to encounter T’ai Chi aged just 16 and she’s been practising ever since. T’ai Chi led to Qigong, a related Taoist practice which includes meditation, healing, creativity and spiritual development. She is now a respected teacher of the Hua Gong style. Wishing to find stronger means of embodying the benefits of her practise in the world, she joined OneSpirit and was ordained in 2014.

She served as a mentor for the class of 2017. The healing practise led her to explore health in all its forms and she holds an MA in Health Education. She has worked extensively in the voluntary sector, supporting people with addictions, mental health issues, homelessness and a history of offending before joining the Bristol Cancer Help Centre in 2003. She is now responsible for developing psycho-spiritual education programmes for people with cancer, and for training and accrediting facilitators to run them.

She has an abiding interest in holistic health and healing, a strong call to sacred activism and an abiding love of the wild. She lives in Bristol with her husband and 3 teenagers.

Una Devine

Group Tutor

Una has worked as an Occupational Therapist and mental health service manager for over 3 decades in Ireland and London. She is a qualified Gestalt psychotherapist who believes that allowing vulnerability in a safe situation will lead us towards experiencing sacred support. She has trained in Family Constellation work. She was ordained as a OneSpirit Interfaith minister in 2017.

Joining the OneSpirit Interfaith family has demonstrated her sacred support as a felt experience through the practice of spiritual counselling, ceremony and joint endeavour. Another beautiful lesson for Una on the Interfaith course was the use of creativity as an expression of our spirituality. Una has a fine art degree and has had her paintings in a number of exhibitions, she plays music and writes.

Una lives in Spain on an avocado farm. She uses her garden for conducting ceremonies and is learning to grow food and speak Spanish.

Monica Douglas

Group Tutor

Monica shares her time between Birmingham and Barbados. She shares her ministry online through The Wild Wisdom Sanctuary, Wild Wisdom Oracle Cards, Wild Wisdom Groove and Ritual and offline through retreats, ceremonies and workshops.

In her daily work, she is a love alchemist and certified relationship coach who helps courageous souls to heal their hearts and love again after break up, separation or divorce. She delivers this work through love and relationship coaching in groups and 1:1 as well as the Delightful Dating.app.

Her personal passions are barefoot walking, yoga, singing, dancing, goat whispering and eating raw chocolate.

Linda Dunbar

Group Tutor

Linda has spent many decades working in the religious and spiritual fields. It was a growing interest in spiritual curiosity and myths which saw her move away from organised religion and begin her training with OneSpirit, being ordained in 2020, Linda’s great passion is for adult education, especially around spirituality and well-being.

As well as being a group tutor in the faculty, Linda is also the national Spiritual Care Practice Educator for NHS Scotland, responsible for the training and education of Health and Social Care Chaplains. Linda is also a senior accredited supervisor with the Association of Pastoral Supervisors and Educators.

She lives in rural Midlothian where she relishes the outdoors and pursues her Animist spiritual pathway.

Christopher Marcus

Guest Tutor

Christopher’s ministry is built on the foundation of 34 years of being involved as a director and teacher in Spiritual Theatre, based on the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, working through the Mystery of the Spoken Word. This led him to the borders of what can be called entertainment, and to the core question of what it means to be one’s True Self.

Going through the portal of ordination as a OneSpirit interfaith minister in 2007 was the answer to his search for authenticity.

Since then he has used the discipline of Spiritual Counselling to help others come closer to their True Self. A OneSpirit tutor since 2009, Christopher sees the training process as offering a container for deepening one’s relation to The Divine through ritual and ceremony as well as nurturing the wonder of human interaction in the intense group work offered by the curriculum.

Christopher is married with three children and lives in East Sussex.

VISITING SPEAKERS

In addition to our core faculty, we benefit from the knowledge of distinguished visiting speakers. These experts deepen our understanding by sharing insights into various faith paths, enriching our educational experience. Their contributions foster a greater appreciation for the world’s diverse beliefs and practices, thereby enhancing the learning environment for all.