Our training is an experiential process, with people present in-person and in relationship with each other. While much of the work in between training weekends is self-directed, the value of the journey that is experienced within a living, diverse community during the training weekends – both its grit and its grace – is a powerful element in the transformation that this curriculum offers.
What’s true for students also applies for the faculty team. Our tutors are a dedicated, experienced and diverse group, working with the intention of being a peer learning community for each other, and continually paying attention to the inner as well as the outer work that the curriculum requires.
For the 2017-18 teaching year, the Year 1 class will have one Core Tutor and four Group Tutors, and the Year 2 class will have two Core Tutors. Other faculty members will join them for occasional teaching sessions, thus allowing each class to benefit from the skills and diversity of the full faculty team.
Jackie Amos Wilkinson Faculty Lead
Jackie’s interest in inclusive spirituality started as a child growing up in different countries — including Egypt, Aden and Singapore. She did degrees in Philosophy and Psychology, and a Masters in Business Administration, then worked mainly in the charity sector helping to develop organisations, training programmes and services to reach groups of people most at risk in society. Before training as a minister, she was National Director of Services for the Samaritans, and sat on various charity boards and Governmental steering committees. Jackie has been involved with OneSpirit ever since her ordination as a minister in 2004. She served at different times as mentor, trustee and interim manager, and oversaw the establishment of the Interfaith Ministers Association. She has been a Tutor on OneSpirit’s training programmes since 2009, and was appointed Faculty Lead in 2015. She lives in Surrey, has two grown-up children, and three grandchildren.
Nicola Coombe Core Tutor for Year 2 class
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 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, and for most of that time Seminary Leader, up to 2015 when she became Focaliser of OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation.
Christopher Marcus Core Tutor for Year 1 class
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.
Annie Heppenstall Core Tutor for Year 2 class
A prolific writer, Annie has published ten books, among which The Book of Uncommon Prayer (2015) captures the range of her inspirations most fully. Its subtitle reads: ‘Liturgies and Prayers exploring inclusive language and biblical imagery of the Feminine Divine and the natural world’. Her degree and MA from Cambridge University, in Theology and Religious Studies, focused on “the beautiful, mystical core” in the sacred texts of different faith cultures. Annie’s lifelong love of nature led her to train and be initiated as a druid with the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. She is an elected Area Minister of the Third Order of the Society of St Francis (a Christian contemplative order), and an interfaith chaplain in an NHS mental health team. She has a son, is married to a Church of England priest, and has lived for 30 years in the culturally diverse inner cities of the English Midlands. She joined the OneSpirit faculty in 2016.
Karen Dempsey Group Tutor
Karen is a Registered Nurse, a licensed psychotherapist, and was ordained as a OneSpirit interfaith minister in 2016. She has a vibrant ministry in Ireland, focused on weddings and funerals, and also works as a psychotherapist in her own private practice. Her path to date has led her through many roles closely linked to birth and/or death, and she is a passionate advocate for normalising conversations about birth and death — in whatever order they occur. Karen is also a passionate campaigner for all kinds of diversity and equality, and has a special interest in ‘sacred activism’, and the many forms that love in action can take. Along with her clinical nursing qualifications, she holds a degree in Irish, English, Psychology and Women’s Studies, and a Masters in Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy (Psychosynthesis). She is a passionate Irish speaker, an enthusiastic lover of life, and lives in Dublin with her partner and son.
Neil Deuchar Group Tutor
Of Scottish ancestry, Neil was born in South London, encountered a period of ill health and homelessness in his youth, and was influenced by his experiences to go into mental healthcare. He became a consultant psychiatrist, then senior lecturer at Birmingham University, and finally NHS medical director (mental health) for the West Midlands before retiring in 2013 to concentrate on his spiritual life. Ordained as a OneSpirit interfaith minister in 2016, he is currently exploring the ‘new monasticism’ and feels drawn to joining or starting an intentional community with whom he may continue his enquiry into interfaith expressions of monastic life. Neil has three grown-up children, and currently lives in a cottage in Stratford upon Avon, which sometimes doubles as an ashram for visitors. He finds vegan ayurvedic cooking therapeutic, plays music, reads and writes a lot and, when wishing to contemplate the nature, purpose and responsibilities of this life a little more deeply, typically heads for a forest.
Chloe Greenwood Group Tutor
Chloe graduated in Medicine at Aberdeen University in 1986, then worked for 28 years in General Practice, Psychiatry and Psychotherapy. She trained with the Institute of Group Analysis for three years, and studied Jungian Analysis for five years. She was ordained as a OneSpirit interfaith minister in 2013, and also served as a mentor. Chloe is engaged with world affairs, including environmental, justice and peace issues. She worked at the human rights charity Freedom from Torture, as head of doctors; also as a volunteer doctor in Sierra Leone and Nepal, and an honorary lecturer in Malawi. She is a talented musician leading sacred song and dance internationally, and brought the threshold choir movement to the UK. Chloe’s ministry includes ceremony, spiritual counselling, supervision, and leadership coaching. She is also passionate about using Spiral Dynamics to inform organisational development. Chloe loves contemplation, walking in nature, singing and reading the mystics. She lives in Findhorn, and has two adult sons.
Dawn Russell Group 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.
Natasha Hood Associate Tutor
Jane Patmore Associate Tutor
We also draw on a richly talented panel of visiting speakers, particularly in Year 1, to share their specialist expertise, for example about the different faith paths.
Buddhism — Venerable Amaranatho; Claire Genkai Breeze
Chinese Cosmology — Simon Carey-Morgan
Christianity — Rev Peter Owen Jones; Rev Ray Gaston, Interfaith Studies tutor for The Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham
Judaism — Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers, West London Synagogue; Charlie Buchanan
Hinduism — Jay Lakhani, Hindu Council of the UK
Islam — Halima Gosai Hussein, chair of the Inclusive Mosque initiative; Dilwar Hussain
Modern teachings — Tineke Bracknall; Adele Napier, Findhorn Foundation
Holding & support
Other members of our wider Foundation community – staff, supervisors, elders and trustees – occasionally visit the training weekends, and hold the whole process in their awareness.
Each class also organises into study groups of 5-10 students. For 2017-18, each Year 1 study group will be supported by one of the Group Tutors (listed above).
Each Year 2 study group will continue to be supported by one of our dedicated team of Mentors: Peter Fairbrother, Sarah Flynn, Rosalie Hill and Tim Ralphs.
The Faculty’s work is given further depth, accountability and safe-guarding through extensive supervision; our commitment to listening inwardly to OneSpirit’s direction; and through dialogue and inquiry with colleagues in related fields of work.