Faculty

Our faculty is the most experienced educational staff in Interfaith/Interspiritual Education

The faculty of the One Spirit Interfaith Seminary includes the most experienced, respected, and celebrated teachers in Interfaith/Interspiritual Ministry Education. One Spirit's Founder and Spiritual Director of One Spirit, Rev. Diane Berke, is widely recognized and honored as one of the early pioneers of Interfaith/Interspiritual Education. Our continually evolving, cutting edge Seminary training builds on a foundational curriculum developed from her more than 30 years of experience in training Interfaith/Interspiritual ministers and leaders, a curriculum that has served as a model for training at a numerous Interfaith/Interspiritual Seminaries nationally and internationally. One Spirit Interfaith Seminary's Co-Directors, Rev. DeShannon Bowens and Rev. Eileen Fisher, and a strong, diverse, experienced staff of Deans skillfully and lovingly shepherd students into ministry and spiritual service in the world.

In addition to One Spirit’s core teaching staff we have an acclaimed group guest teachers such as Rabbi David Ingber, Miranda Macpherson, Mirabai Starr, Kurt Johnson, Marta Moreno-Vega, John Pavlovitz, and others.


Iyanifa Rev. DeShannon Barnes-Bowens

Iyanifa Rev. DeShannon Barnes-Bowens

Seminary Co-Director

Iyanifa Rev. DeShannon Barnes-Bowens enjoys journeying with others to help them discover their personal path to freedom. In 2010, she was ordained as an Interfaith-Interspiritual minister through One Spirit and served as a first year dean for three years. DeShannon is an initiated priestess in the Yoruba spiritual tradition of Ifa which has been her spiritual path since 2001. She has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, Master’s degree in counseling and is an Emeritus Scholar for the Inter-religious on-line publication, “State of Formation.” DeShannon is also the author of Hush Hush: An African American Family Breaks their Silence on Sexuality & Sexual Abuse (2007, 2015) and A Road Less Travelled, published in the Journal of Inter-religious Studies in 2018. She is a trained sexual trauma therapist and currently serves as a professional development trainer through her consulting organization ILERA. Since its inception in 2004, ILERA has offered: transformative programs on vicarious trauma and wellness, forums to discuss the intersection of sexuality and spirituality, educational programs on sexual abuse prevention and self-development workshops grounded in indigenous spiritual wisdom.


Rev. Eileen Fisher

Rev. Eileen Fisher

Seminary Co-Director

Rev. Eileen Fisher is the Co-Director of One Spirit Interfaith Seminary and a NJ public school teacher. She holds a Master’s degree in education and has experience developing educational programs while working with young children, families and adult learners. As a Middle School teacher, she recently developed and implemented a school wide Mindfulness program for students. When she can, Eileen volunteers both locally and abroad. An initiated Sufi dervish in the Nur Ashki Jerrahi Order, Eileen strives to walk the path of surrender and remembrance of Allah, the path of Love. She cares deeply for the planet and is committed to protecting and caring for the Earth and all of Her creation. Eileen believes we each carry a unique Wisdom that connects us and calls us to express ourselves through the transformative power of Love in ways that will bless and heal the world. She is the proud mama of three daughters, and one mischievous rescue dog.


Rev. Karim Beldjilali

Rev. Karim Beldjilali

Seminary Dean

Rev. Karim Beldjilali is a musician, engineer, and minister, graduating from One Spirit Learning Alliance’s seminary in 2014. Having previously served as One Spirit Board President, he offers his work and ministerial experience of organizational leadership and development, focusing on communication, technology, managing change, and mindful planning. He has worked in the non-profit sector for over 12 years, consulting with over 50 non-profits throughout the New York City area regarding strategic planning and project oversight. Karim speaks at spiritual centers, performs wedding ceremonies, and facilitates workshops on compassionate communications in the New York tri-state area. Born into a multicultural family in Algeria, then moving to US, Karim has had a life experience that continually reaffirms one truth that One Spirit Learning Alliance embodies: the great diversity of the world enriches every moment. He is blessed to have a wonderfully supportive husband and family, and he is honored and humbled to serve an organization he loves so dearly.


Rev. Sarah Bowen

Rev. Sarah Bowen

Seminary Dean

Rev. Sarah Bowen is an animal chaplain and grateful recovering 12-step champion ordained by One Spirit in 2017. A fierce advocate for all creatures, she teaches interspecies mindfulness practices, works with humans around grief/loss of companion animals, loves up animals in shelters, and provides wildlife struck by cars a “sacred sendoff.” Sarah writes regularly on animal/human relationships for Spirituality & Health magazine, co-hosts the Big Universe podcast on Unity Online Radio, and authored two award-winning books on modern spirituality. Spiritual Rebel: A Positively Addictive Guide to Finding Deeper Perspective and Higher Purpose combines her passion areas―recovery, animals, and spiritual practice―with her favorite sacred myths, including Star Wars and C.S. Lewis’s Narnia. Void if Detached: Seeking Modern Spirituality through My Father’s Old Sermons is an innovative look at Hebrew and Christian scriptures. As a member of Spiritual Directors International, the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement, as well as several recovery and faith communities, she guides others in connecting with the higher power of their own understanding to reduce suffering. Identifying as a deeply spiritual and religious “free agent,” when Sarah grows up, she wants to be a Jedi.


Rev. Martha Dewing

Rev. Martha Dewing

Chaplain

Rev. Martha Dewing was ordained by One Spirit in 2006. She has served as a member of the admissions team, coordinator of the mentoring program, and as a second year deans’ assistant before becoming a first year dean. She began her career as an elementary school teacher in New York and abroad and subsequently published and edited Children’s Video Report, a newsletter about children and media. Martha worked for several years with the Caring Circle, a family bereavement program in Westchester County. She served on the board at Miriam’s Well, a teaching facility in upstate New York whose mission is to offer transformational experiences that initiate and sustain conscious spiritual evolution toward peaceful coexistence. Her undergraduate degree is from New York University and she holds a master’s degree from Harvard University. Of the many spiritual practices that she engages throughout the day, the two primary ones are mantra meditation twice a day, every day, without fail, and a heartfelt practice of gratitude from morning to night.


Rev. David Didio

Rev. David Didio

Seminary Dean

Rev. David Didio has called One Spirit his spiritual home since 2009 when he enrolled in the seminary program. He was ordained an Interfaith/Interspiritual minister in 2011. He has been a student of A Course in Miracles for over thirty years, and practices various meditation techniques as well as mind/body therapies. He has had an extensive career in the design industries, holding executive positions with major international brands, as well as the not-for-profit organization DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation for AIDS) where he was influential in expanding the organizations outreach through over seventeen chapters across the country. After commencement, he offered his pro-bono services to One Spirit as a member of the core team of alumnae, deans and staff that led the process of developing the Mission, Vision and Values statements. David creates bespoke ceremonies, offers spiritual mentoring to individuals and couples, and provides consultant services to those seeking a mindful approach to conscious branding. He volunteers at Gods Love, We Deliver, and continues to further his spiritual education through One Spirit’s various workshops and electives. He has completed his Shamanic Reiki training at the master level, and has published his first book, God Is…an exploration of the Divine through the art of children. David is deeply committed to healing the illusion of separation through the practice of forgiveness, and feels very blessed to be part of the diverse One Spirit community.


Rev. Elizabeth Friend-Ennis

Rev. Elizabeth Friend-Ennis

Seminary Dean

Rev. Elizabeth Friend-Ennis was born to a devoutly Catholic family in the Midwest, and she felt a call to sacred service and exploring her spirituality from an early age. She had a career for many years in non-profit development, supporting environmental, educational, and health service agencies, at the same time that she and her husband became foster parents to several special-needs children. In 2009 she left the workforce to be lead parent for their three children, adopted through the Foster Care System. Her experiences in this arena have immersed her in the work of healing from trauma, abuse, and addiction. After ordination from One Spirit in 2016, she pursued clinical pastoral education (CPE), and worked for nearly three years as a Chaplain at Lutheran Care Center in Poughkeepsie, NY. Her spiritual path has been a circuitous journey including ten years spent in the Unification Church and subsequent interest in recovery from spiritual abuse. Her current practice is heavily influenced by Buddhism and Science of Mind. Much of her experience of the Divine is through nature and the outdoors. She is currently studying for a Master of Divinity degree, with an emphasis on Religion and Psychology, at Union Theological Seminary. She lives in southern Westchester with her husband, youngest daughter, two cats and her dog.


Rev. Abigail Jefferson

Rev. Abigail Jefferson

Seminary Dean

Arts educator, storyteller, and yoga practitioner Iyanifa, Reverend Abigail “Ifatola” Jefferson, M.Ed., conducts programs globally. Through a unique blend of story, dance, and yoga, she keeps alive stories from the African Diaspora. Audiences of all ages have described her programs as spirit-filled, inspiring, and energizing! In June 2017, Abigail was ordained as an inter-spiritual and interfaith minister by One Spirit Learning Alliance in New York City. Abigail is certified in Kripalu Yoga, Karma Kids Yoga, and she has traveled to Egypt with Master Teacher Yirser Ra Hotep to certify in Kemetic Yoga. Abigail has also traveled to Cuba, Nigeria, Ghana, Niger, and India to collect stories and to study. Most recently, she returned from South East Asia (Vietnam, Bali, and Thailand), where she taught English and shared Yoga Dance.

Abigail has served as the Manager for the Schomburg Center’s Teen Curators, an adjunct professor for Lesley University’s Creative Arts in Learning Program, and a teaching artist for Brown University’s Arts Literacy Program.

A resident of Harlem and a founding member of the Rhode Island Black Storytellers, Abigail has released a beautifully illustrated children’s book titled Imani’s Heart: The Dancing Angel. In addition to serving as a first year dean for One Spirit Seminary, Abigail currently serves as a trainer for Lifetime Arts’ Creative Ageing Program.


Rev. Keisha Kogan

Rev. Keisha Kogan

Seminary Dean

Rev. Keisha Kogan is a graduate of the OSIS class of 2014. After graduation Rev. Keisha kept her connection to OSIS by working as a Dean’s Assistant for first year classes and for electives. Rev. Keisha has also taken a turn at the front desk! Rev. Keisha is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary in the city of New York, class of 2016. She has a Masters of Divinity in Religion and Psychology and Pastoral Care. For the last six years Rev. Kogan has worked with CONNECT Faith - an organization dedicated to educating faith communities about Domestic Violence. Her position included community organizing, creating and teaching curriculum to faith partners and holding Spiritual Care Circles for Survivors of abuse and trauma. Rev. Kogan recently founded her own company: Waters of Oshun which will offer individual counseling and free Care Circles once per season. Through her relationship with OSIS, Rev. Kogan discovered Romemu, a welcoming, experiential, irreverently pious, intergenerational Jewish community, and has been a member since 2013 recently converting to Judaism.

Rev.Kogan lives in NYC with her two sons and cannot wait for the return of her daughter, from overseas, in the near future.


Rev. Dr. Sushmita Mukherjee

Rev. Dr. Sushmita Mukherjee

Seminary Dean

Rev. Dr. Sushmita Mukherjee is an ordained interspiritual minister and spiritual counselor. Trained as a biophysicist and cell biologist in India and in the United States, she works as an Associate Professor of Research at Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City. Her scientific work focuses on high-resolution microscopy and image analysis, and their applications in cutting edge biomedical research. She is thus very finely attuned to the nuances of images, and the stories images can tell. Sushmita’s soul-work is that of psychospiritual alchemy, carried out within a Jungian/Archetypal vessel. This Work is deeply influenced by the teachings of Carl Jung, James Hillman and Joseph Campbell. Sushmita sees images that arise from the depths of our souls (in the form of dreams, fantasies, impulses and ideas), as carriers of potent symbols that can transcend apparent dualities. Images, for her, are living psychic entities which have the power to reweave the torn fabric of our souls, thus bringing about a profound wholeness. Sushmita loves to write, to visualize, to teach and to create art that lives at the interface of Science and Soul.


Rev. Dr. Diane Rooney

Rev. Dr. Diane Rooney

Seminary Dean

Rev. Dr. Diane Rooney, is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine (DOM), reiki master, licensed massage therapist, board certified herbologist, certified aromatherapist, nationally certified reflexologist, ordained as an interspiritual minister in 2014 by One Spirit and a first year dean at One Spirit’s Interfaith Seminary.
Diane has a background in working in Pediatric Oncology/Hematology providing integrative healthcare to patients and their families as well as staff at both St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in New Jersey and New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.
Diane has been a senior faculty member at Tri-State college of Acupuncture as well as an independent teacher of the Eastern healing techniques and Taoism for over 20 years and has her own private practice in New York City as well as Santa Fe, NM.
She holds the 2014 award for Worldwide Leader in Health Care, Top Integrative Acupuncturist. She is co-author to many books and research articles on the effectiveness of Chinese Medicine.
Diane’s passion is to travel and teach self-healing techniques, through a Taoist lens, to those who might not otherwise have the opportunity both nationally and internationally.


Rev. Larry “Jett” Wilson

Rev. Larry "Jett" Wilson

Seminary Dean

Rev. Larry “Jett” Wilson is a One Spirit graduate ordained in 2013. He studies and practices the teachings of A Course in Miracles and is initiated as Elegun in the Yoruba spiritual tradition of Ifa. Rev. Jett is an INEDLA-certified End-of-Life Doula. He believes that education and learning are among society’s best and most powerful keys for self-actualization and for social change. He has devoted his professional career to helping all students acquire that key, inclusive of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and economic status. His odyssey as an educator which began with studies at Swarthmore College and Columbia University has evolved to include positions such as: the director of an out-of-doors science learning annex, a NYC Schools staff developer for science and mathematics, teaching adjunct at the City College of New York, Broadcast Teaching Associate at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, a New York City high school principal and as an Assistant Superintendent of Supervision and Administration with the New York City Department of Education's Division of School Support and Instruction. Rev Jett joins the staff of One Spirit Learning Alliance, seeking to bring his experiences and training in leadership development and support into service as a Dean of 1st Year Students.

Iyanifa Rev. DeShannon Barnes-Bowens

Iyanifa Rev. DeShannon Barnes-Bowens

Seminary Co-Director

Iyanifa Rev. DeShannon Barnes-Bowens enjoys journeying with others to help them discover their personal path to freedom. In 2010, she was ordained as an Interfaith-Interspiritual minister through One Spirit and served as a first year dean for three years. DeShannon is an initiated priestess in the Yoruba spiritual tradition of Ifa which has been her spiritual path since 2001. She has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, Master’s degree in counseling and is an Emeritus Scholar for the Inter-religious on-line publication, “State of Formation.” DeShannon is also the author of Hush Hush: An African American Family Breaks their Silence on Sexuality & Sexual Abuse (2007, 2015) and A Road Less Travelled, published in the Journal of Inter-religious Studies in 2018. She is a trained sexual trauma therapist and currently serves as a professional development trainer through her consulting organization ILERA. Since its inception in 2004, ILERA has offered: transformative programs on vicarious trauma and wellness, forums to discuss the intersection of sexuality and spirituality, educational programs on sexual abuse prevention and self-development workshops grounded in indigenous spiritual wisdom.


Rev. Eileen Fisher

Rev. Eileen Fisher

Seminary Co-Director

Rev. Eileen Fisher is the Co-Director of One Spirit Interfaith Seminary and a NJ public school teacher. She holds a Master’s degree in education and has experience developing educational programs while working with young children, families and adult learners. As a Middle School teacher, she recently developed and implemented a school wide Mindfulness program for students. When she can, Eileen volunteers both locally and abroad. An initiated Sufi dervish in the Nur Ashki Jerrahi Order, Eileen strives to walk the path of surrender and remembrance of Allah, the path of Love. She cares deeply for the planet and is committed to protecting and caring for the Earth and all of Her creation. Eileen believes we each carry a unique Wisdom that connects us and calls us to express ourselves through the transformative power of Love in ways that will bless and heal the world. She is the proud mama of three daughters, and one mischievous rescue dog.


Rev. Mark Fowler

Rev. Mark Fowler

Seminary Dean

Rev. Mark Fowler is an ordained interfaith/interspiritual minister. He completed the seminary program at the One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in New York in 2012. He is appreciative of the privilege of seeking the Divine in all its manifestations on the planet. Rev. Fowler was honored to be the commencement speaker at his seminary graduation and has given the morning message regularly at the New Thought Spiritual Center of Eastern Long Island in Southampton, New York, at the Community Protestant Church in the Bronx, at Unity of New York in Manhattan, and at Sacred Fellowship Ministries in Brooklyn. Rev. Fowler continues to work on a series of sermons entitled “The Myth of….” He is on the faculty of the One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, teaching First Year students in Diversity and Bias and its relationship to ministry today. He is also a Second Year Dean of Students, supporting students in their journey toward ordination, and an instructor on ministering to diverse communities, and on conflict resolution skills for ministry.Rev. Fowler provides professional development training for clergy, lay clergy, and spiritual coaching for religious and secular leaders. Topics covered include the roots of spiritual service, foundations of prayer, addressing prayer needs and prayer preparation, conflict resolution, self-care for spiritual providers, and building healthy spiritual communities. Rev. Fowler is also the Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, a secular, non-sectarian not for profit. He is responsible for overseeing the design and implementation of Tanenbaum’s programmatic trainings, as well as its operations, communications and fund development. Rev. Fowler has presented at conferences globally. He is a sought-after keynote speaker and facilitator on issues of equity in race, gender, sexual orientation and religion. Rev. Fowler earned a B.A. in English and Education at Duke University and was trained as a Mediation and Conflict Resolution Specialist with the NYC Department of Education.


Rev. Martha Dewing

Rev. Martha Dewing

Chaplain

Rev. Martha Dewing was ordained by One Spirit in 2006. She has served as a member of the admissions team, coordinator of the mentoring program, and as a second year deans’ assistant before becoming a first year dean. She began her career as an elementary school teacher in New York and abroad and subsequently published and edited Children’s Video Report, a newsletter about children and media. Martha worked for several years with the Caring Circle, a family bereavement program in Westchester County. She served on the board at Miriam’s Well, a teaching facility in upstate New York whose mission is to offer transformational experiences that initiate and sustain conscious spiritual evolution toward peaceful coexistence. Her undergraduate degree is from New York University and she holds a master’s degree from Harvard University. Of the many spiritual practices that she engages throughout the day, the two primary ones are mantra meditation twice a day, every day, without fail, and a heartfelt practice of gratitude from morning to night.


Rev. Dr. Nura Hirmina

Rev. Dr. Nura Hirmina

Seminary Dean, CiC Supervisor

Rev. Dr. Nura Hirmina is an ordained Interfaith/Interspiritual Minister, Interspiritual Counselor and birth doula. She currently serves as a dean with One Spirit’s Interfaith Seminary program. Nura holds a BS in Business Administration, an MBA in Global Management and a Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree. Nura is a life-long student of the world’s faith and mystery traditions and embraces secular spirituality as her path. With over two decades of corporate experience, Nura strives to blend the secular and the spiritual in her daily life. She approaches every interaction as an opportunity to engage in kindness as a spiritual practice.


Rev. Ava Schlesinger

Rev. Ava Schlesinger

Seminary Dean

Rev. Ava Schlesinger is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in NY and NJ and an adjunct professor at NYU’s Silver School of Social Work. She received her BFA from Parsons School of Design and both her MSW and MPA from New York University. Avas was ordained as in interfaith/interspiritual minister by One Spirit in 2012. Ava’s expertise over the last 20 years has been focused on holistically addressing the short- and long-term symptomatology and human and community cost associated with different aspects of interpersonal, gender-based violence and trauma. This work has informed her depth of commitment to social movement and change. She has had the privilege to work locally and nationally in the arenas of gun violence, human trafficking, domestic violence, sex assault/abuse, food and income insecurity and has traveled to Thailand, Cambodia, Liberia and India in her pursuit of discovering how to best be of service to those most marginalized and compromised. Through her travels, Ava recognized that she need not look further than her own backyard to work toward change, which is where her energies are currently focused. Through her seminary education and subsequent years of spiritual practice, Ava has come to deeply resonate with the understanding that our human family is borne out of holy oneness. She is fully guided by the precious, radical, abundant love of Spirit, and is certain the shadows of hate, fear and violence hiding in the recesses of our humanity will ultimately be illuminated by this infinite love. Ava has been married for over 30 years and is both a mom to two beautiful adult children and a new “La La” to her one-year-old grandbaby Sawyer Moon.


Rev. Melissa Stewart, LCSW-R

Rev. Melissa Stewart, LCSW-R

Seminary Dean

Rev. Melissa Stewart attended the One Spirit Interfaith Seminary and was ordained in 2010. She has served as a dean since 2016. Melissa is committed to responding soul-fully to the conditions of the moment, in service of the larger goal of establishing a world built upon kindness, justice, peace and equality. She is an interspiritual mystic, heart-centered activist and educator, in awe of the Ultimate Mystery. She believes in loving-kindness as a guiding principle and finds that poetry and music provide a doorway to the sacred.

Melissa holds a Master of Science in Social Work degree and has specialized in Oncology Social Work since 1992. She is a senior clinical social worker in a comprehensive cancer center in New York City. She recognizes that the encounters with patients and their loved ones, especially during health crises, are sacred opportunities. Melissa believes in whole person care and has been an advocate and educator about the importance of attending to the spiritual needs of patients in the health care system for over a decade.

Melissa is grateful for the mind and heart-expanding learning, spiritual grounding, and evolving social consciousness and commitment to justice that the One Spirit community provides and nurtures in its students, alumni and faculty. In addition to One Spirit, Melissa finds spiritual sustenance from the Romemu (Jewish Renewal) and Nur Ashki Jerrahi (Sufi) communities, based in New York City.


Rev. Leslie Reambeault

Rev. Leslie Reambeault

Seminary Dean

Rev. Leslie Reambeault is an ordained Interfaith/Interspiritual Minister of the One Spirit Class of 2012. Her cornerstone tradition is Roman Catholicism; throughout her life she has taken training and practiced in many others, especially the indigenous, earth based paths, the Reclaiming tradition of Wicca, and eco-spirituality. Since ordination, Leslie has facilitated rituals and ceremonies. She is honored to have taught both core courses in Seminary and an elective at One Spirit. She was a Dean in the First Year of Seminary for 4 years and is now in her second time through as a Second Year Dean. Leslie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice for 20 years, using an integrated approach of the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual parts of clients who are adversely impacted by trauma (personal, interpersonal, ancestral, cultural). Since moving to New Mexico in May 2016, after many decades in Chicago, she has become certified in working with first responders (police, sheriff, firefighters, EMTs and flight medics) and their families, and is a member of the Red Cross Disaster Mental Health team. Leslie worked at AT&T for 30 years in an array of management assignments from recruitment to operations, engineering, finance, sales, marketing, and process improvement. She is indebted to the many teachers there who supported her development and encouraged her as she worked with a small group to secure the rights of LGBTQ and two-spirited employees in gaining health care and retirement rights for their same sex domestic partners, long before legal marriage was even a faint gleam in the eye. Leslie lives with her wife, the Rev. Carol Nolden, and their miniature poodle, Lahli, in Santa Fe.