Keith has worked to support the spiritual needs of older people throughout MHA (Methodist Homes, Methodist Homes Housing Association and MHA Auchlochan) since 2001. He co-edited God, Me and Being Very Old: Stories and Spirituality in Later Life (SCM 2013). He has developed a particular interest in end of life issues, and delivers training to support staff in becoming active accompanists to older people on their final lap of life, and is a Trustee of the National Council for Palliative Care.
A graduate of Valparaiso University and University of Missouri - Kansas City, Dr. Rich Bimler has served the Church in various positions throughout his 53 year ministry career and is the Ambassador of Health, Hope, and Aging! (AH-HA!) for Lutheran Life Communities. His latest publications are Joyfully Aging! (Concordia, 2012) and “Grandparents Pray, Play, and Proclaim"(Creative Communications, St. Louis). Dr. Bimler served in St. Louis with the LCMS Youth Ministry staff as Executive Director and as Assistant to the President of the LCMS.
Dr. Rebecca A. Giselbrecht, BS, MAGL, M.Div, Ph.D, is Director of the Center for the Academic Study of Christian Spirituality and Mandated Teaching Staff at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, and Affiliate Assistant Professor of History and Spirituality at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena. Her recent publications include Sacrality and Materiality: Locating Intersections (V&R Publishing).
Jim Ellor joined Baylor University in 2004, and has worked as a medical social worker and gerontologist for over 40 years. He has been an ordained a Teaching Elder since 1983 in the Presbyterian Church, USA. Dr. Ellor was one of the founding Directors of the Center for Aging Religion and Spirituality housed at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is the Senior Editor of the Journal of Religion, Spirituality and Aging and author or editor of 10 books as well as numerous articles and book chapters.
7th International Conference Planning Committee
Dr. Eboni I. Green is a registered nurse and family caregiver. She holds a Ph.D in human services, with a specialization in health care administration. She currently serves as faculty for the College of Health Sciences at Walden University, where she teaches graduate courses in the health care administration program. She is the author of three books focusing on family caregiving: At the Heart of the Matter, Caregiving in the New Millennium, and Reflections from the Soul.
Nancy Gordon has served as the director of the CLH Center for Spirituality and Aging since 2008. Ordained in the Evangelical Covenant Church, she was associate pastor of Winnetka Covenant Church in Wilmette, IL and director of Growth Opportunities at Friendship Village of Schaumburg, IL. Rev. Gordon has a MSLS degree from the University of Tennessee (1973) and an M.Div from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL (1992). She developed the award-winning small-group worship program “Sensing the Sacred: A Small Group Worship for Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease.”
Michele Hendrix has worked for over 25 years t0 advocate, educate, involve, and motivate people in the process of aging and self-care. Her work is focused on inter-generational and interfaith programs for adults, evidence-based health promotion, ministry programming and development, respite, and fall-prevention programs. She works to recognize the connections among church, health care, non-profit, community, state, federal, and local agencies while encouraging adults of all ages in managing their self-care, chronic conditions, respite, and caregiving roles.
John K. Holton, Ph.D, is Director for the Center on Gerontology at Concordia University Chicago. Previously, he was Director of the Illinois Department on Aging. Dr. Holton was the founding Site Director of the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods and provided testimony in Congressional hearings on its findings. Dr. Holton holds a Master of Urban Education from the University of Hartford, and Bachelor in Political Science from Howard University. He has been a speaker at professional conferences on different stages of human development over the life course, and has taught at the University of Chicago, Illinois School of Professional Psychology, and DePaul University.
Susan H. McFadden, Ph.D, is Professor Emerita of Psychology at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Besides volunteering with the Fox Valley Memory Project, which aims to create a dementia-friendly community in northeast Wisconsin, she directs research on various issues related to living with dementia. Her scholarship has focused on aging, spirituality, and religion and she has published many papers on various aspects of this topic. She served on the organizing committee for the 6th International Conference on Ageing and Spirituality in Los Angeles.
Marty Richards, MSW, is a social worker in Port Townsend, Washington, where she currently works with communities of faith on older adult ministry and spirituality and dementia. She recently retired as affiliate assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Social Work.
Stephen Sapp has taught at the University of Miami since 1980. He is the author of Full of Years: Aging and the Elderly in the Bible and Today (1987), and Light on a Gray Area: American Public Policy on Aging (1992), and a widely distributed booklet, When Alzheimer's Disease Strikes. He is past chair of the Governing Council of the Forum on Religion, Spirituality, and Aging (FoRSA) of the American Society on Aging (ASA), and edited FoRSA's newsletter, Aging & Spirituality, from 1993 to 1999. His research interests include ethical issues in Alzheimer's disease, the role of religion and spirituality in aging, the impact of aging on American society, end-of-life, and issues in pediatric and geriatric populations.
Professor Bruce A. Stevens earned his Ph.D at Boston University in 1987. He holds the Wicking Chair of Ageing and Practical Theology at Charles Sturt University, Canberra Australia. He was ordained in the Anglican Church and has worked as a clinical psychologist for nearly thirty years. He is an endorsed clinical and forensic psychologist who has specialized in helping couples for over twenty years, and has written seven books for leading publishers such as Random House, Harper Collins, PsychOz Publications, Australian Academic Press and Wiley-Blackwell.
John Swinton is Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care in the School of Divinity, Religious Studies and Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen. He is the author of a number of monographs including Dementia: Living in the memories of God, Raging with Compassion: Theological responses to the Problem of Evil, and Spirituality in Mental Health Care: Rediscovering a Forgotten Dimension. He is the Director of Aberdeen University’s Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability.
Lydia K. Manning is Associate Professor of Gerontology at Concordia University Chicago. She completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Duke University's Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development in 2013, and received her Ph.D in social gerontology from the Department of Sociology and Gerontology at Miami University in 2011. She is the Conference Director for the 7th International Conference for Ageing and Spirituality.