Faculty Members, Advisers, & Administrators
Rev. Andre Van Zijl
Zimbabwean born Andre van Zijl is an award-winning artist with work in over 30 museums worldwide. His paintings and drawings are represented in multiple private and public collections internationally. He has exhibited extensively with over 35 one-person art shows. Andre is a spiritually inspired award winning poet, published author and non-dual philosophy teacher. His considerable teaching experience includes providing undergraduate, graduate and extra-mural programs for the University of Cape Town. In the USA he has taught for Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, Platt College, Academy of Art & Couture, New West Charter Middle School, Leadership Academy High School, LAUSD, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles Folk Art Museum, Palos Verdes Art Center, Brentwood Art Center.
In addition to being a board member of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Ethics, Andre serves on other non-profit boards including the Southern CA Committee for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, Westside Interfaith Committee for PWR, International Museum of Religion and Monks Without Borders. He is currently a member of Los Angeles Sheriff Baca’s Executive Clergy Council and an elder of “The Mankind Project”.
Andre is a co-founder of Awareness Now Projects, producing, promoting and nurturing Sacred Community through the arts. He is also founder and director of Van Zijl Art and Design Studios, and a co-founder of ALL PATHS Divinity School.
Areas of expertise include: Sacred Arts, Mysticism, Vedanta, Eastern Philosophy, Social Activism, Nonprofit Management
Dr. Nakasone is a core Doctoral faculty Member at Graduate Theological Union, Professor of Buddhist Art and Culture, and the author of several publications including “spirituality of Asian and Oceanic Peoples”, “Buddhism for the 21st Century”, “The Transforming Spiritual Landscape” and “The Ethics of Enlightenment”. His research interests also include aging and culturally/spiritually diverse healthcare. Nakasone earned his Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies and Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Areas of expertise include: Philosophy, Buddhism, Ethics, Art
Shareda Hosein holds a Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy and MA in Islamic Studies, Christian-Muslim Relations from Hartford Seminary. She is a founding member and treasurer of the Association of Muslim Chaplains (2012-present). From 2006-2008 Shareda co-hosted a weekly radio program on WRKO in Boston, “Talking Religion.” She served as chaplain at Tufts University (2006-08). She has written a chapter in the book, “Spirituality, Women, Transformative Leadership: Where Grace Meets Power” (2011) and an article titled “Muslim Women in the Military” in Brille’s Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures: Family, Law and politics, Military: Women’s participation in the United States (2003). Additionally, she possesses an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and is a real estate salesperson in Massachusetts.
Shareda serves in the Boston area as a community chaplain, and is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves where she has served for the past 33 years (both on active duty and in the Reserves). She is a personnel and logistics officer by training and is presently assigned to US Special Operations Command in Tampa, FL, as a Cultural Engagement Officer.
Rev. Leland Stewart
Leland Stewart, B.S.E., B.T., earned his graduate Theology degree from Harvard Divinity School and earned bachelor of science degrees in both mathematics and engineering, from the Univ of Michigan. He and his late wife Elizabeth founded the Unity-and-Diversity World Council (UDC) in Los Angeles in l965, the International Cooperation Year of the United Nations. Leland is considered to be one of the pioneers of interfaith in Los Angeles. Under Leland’s leadership, UDC’s outreach has since expanded to include the annual Peace Sunday and hosts monthly Interfaith Celebrations, the Culture of Peace series.
Well established in teaching world religions and ministry skills, Rev. Stewart has received many awards from interfaith, intercultural, and human rights organizations including: South Coast Interfaith Council, United Religious Initiative, Southern Poverty Law Center, World Interfaith Harmony Film Festival and from the United Nations Association Pacific LA Chapter.
He is the author/compiler of World Scriptures and World Scriptures, Vol. 2. In addition, he co-published Science and Spirituality, a book of short readings from the world’s religions and many other sources, containing a civilization timeline and numerous documents such as the Global Ethic from the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions.
Areas of expertise include : World Religions, Human Values, Ministry Skills, Interfaith Sermons, the Interfaith Movement, Peace Studies, Science and Religion
Rev. Stephanie Clarke
New Thought Minister, Rev. Stephanie Clarke was born and raised in London, England, and graduated from Bradford University with a degree in German and Russian in 1981. On the search for Self, she has been a restless and relentless spiritual journey woman immersing herself in many wisdom paths.
While visiting South Africa in 1985, she discovered the Johannesburg United Church of Religious Science and the Science of Mind teaching and decided to emigrate. There she had a vision of starting a multi-racial spiritual community as a forerunner to the healing of Apartheid. This vision led her to the USA in 1989 where she completed her New Thought Ministerial Training under the auspices of Dr. Rev. Michael Beckwith (of “The Secret” fame) at the Agape International Center of Truth in Los Angeles. Here she co-found and co-led the Agape “Freedom Path” ministry dedicated to healing any form of addiction using affirmative prayer alongside the 12 steps. Returning to Johannesburg in January 2000, she successfully founded a vibrant, multi-racial, metaphysical community (aka Church) known as Soul Home and led it until 2005.
Stephanie has explored all types of divination, esoteric, metaphysical and psycho-spiritual paths. She is the author of the upcoming book “Priestess of the Amber Road” (working title, 2015) which chronicles her modern day spiritual experiences and miracles along the ancient amber trade route through Central Europe.
Rev. Doris Davis
Rev. Doris Davis is an Interfaith minister and sacred activist who, in the spirit of Peace Pilgrim, completed a 6 1/2 month mother-daughter cross country walkabout in 2011. Doris and her actor/filmmaker daughter Viveka, made their way across America from Oceanside, California to Washington D.C. They were disseminating a peace pledge developed by the Culver City Interfaith Alliance as they focused the attention of people they met and walked with along the way: “imagining a world where women are equally valued decision-makers in partnership with men worldwide.”
A magna cum laude graduate of UC Berkeley in Dramatic Literature with a Masterʼs Degree in Dance from UCLA, she is the mother of four and grandmother of two. She is co-chair of the Culver City Area Interfaith Alliance, and chaplain emeritus of the Southern California Committee for A Parliament of the Worldʼs Religions, also having attended Parliaments in Barcelona, Melbourne and Salt Lake City, where she identified herself with the movement to protect the rights of indigenous peoples. (“Am I Not ‘Indigenous’?” and Is White Not a ‘Color’?” She is a long- time student of A Course In Miracles and the teachings of the Ascended Masters. She calls herself a “freelance mystic” with Christian roots.
Before becoming involved with Interfaith Ministry her lifetime passion has always been dramatic literature and her mission has been “to deliver plays and screenplays that glorify God and transform lives (including her own) through the healing power of drama.”
Rev. Shayna Lester
Interfaith Minister Reverend Shayna Lester received her ordination from The New Seminary of World Religions, New York, in 2007. In 2010 Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi bestowed upon her the ordination of ‘Reverend Gabbai’ in recognition of her many years of service to the community, and, in particular, her work with incarcerated women. Since 2006 Rev Shayna has been the lead volunteer Chaplain with the Jewish Community at the California Institution for Women, a state prison. Her prison duties include teaching weekly classes, to an Interfaith audience, in Jewish Ethics and Restorative Justice, as well as providing counseling services.
Rev Shayna has certifications as a Spiritual Director, and, as a Mussar Facilitator(Jewish Ethics). In 2003, she co-foundered a Jewish/Muslim Women’s dialogue group, as well as, The Women of Faith Circle, both of which still exist today. She serves on the Board of the Southern California Committee for the Parliament of World Religions. Shealso serves on the Advisory Board of Am Or Olam a 501c3 that supports prison projects.
Rev Shayna has also been in private practice as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for over 35 years.
Areas of expertise include: Spiritual Direction and Counseling, Jail Ministry, Judaism, NonViolent Communication, Interfaith Leadership,and Mussar (Ethics) facilitation as well as Relational Counseling.
Ruth Broyde Sharone
Honored internationally for her interfaith activism, Ruth Broyde Sharone is a documentary filmmaker, journalist, and inspirational public speaker. She travels frequently to college campuses to present interfaith programs and screen her award-winning film “God and Allah Need to Talk.”
Invited twice to address UN roundtables in Geneva, Switzerland, Ruth has organized interfaith trips to Egypt, Israel and Turkey. In 1993 she co-founded Festival of Freedom, a world movement to create bridges for friendship and peace during which participants of diverse religious, racial and ethnic backgrounds shared their faith stories as they retraced the steps of the Exodus, from Egypt to the Sinai to Jerusalem.
Ruth is now serving as Co-Chair of the Southern California Committee for a Parliament of the World’s Religions (SCCPWR) and has worked as a Partner Cities Associate for the global Parliament in the US, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East.
Areas of expertise include: Interfaith Leadership, Community Building, Film Making, Judaism, Interfaith Ministry, and Nonprofit Management.
Rev. Jeffrey Utter
Dr. Utter received a Master of Divinity degree cum laude from Harvard Divinity School, and the Doctorate of Religion from Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary in New York. Dr. Utter has taught world religions at City College of New York, California State University Northridge, and Prescott College in Arizona. He has also been an instructor in church governance and ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York and Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, served as chaplain to homeless veterans for the Los Angeles Veterans Administration, and as Protestant chaplain at the Federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles. He also chairs the joint Committee on Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ in Southern California.
Rev. Dr. Jeffrey H. Utter has spent thirty years in pastoral ministry, in congregations in the greater Los Angeles area, New Jersey, and New York. Proficient in German and Spanish, Dr. Utter has also done missionary assignments in Berlin, Germany; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
Philip Goldberg is a spiritual counselor, public speaker, and author or coauthor of numerous books. His latest publication is American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation, How Indian Spirituality Changed the West.
Goldberg is a knowledgeable and sympathetic chronicler of the past 150 years or so of Indian spiritual ideas’ influence on American spirituality. Correctly starting with Emerson and American transcendentalism, Goldberg follows a trail that gets broader, more diverse, and more powerful until yoga is as American as Starbucks, and “spiritual but not religious” becomes a cultural catchphrase describing millions whose notions of the transcendent are more shaped by India’s Sanatana Dharma (Eternal Religion) than by Yankee divines and Southern Baptists. Goldberg sorts gurus and systems of yoga, correctly understanding the spiritual aspects of what many Americans think of as a physical fitness discipline. He’s on point in tracing the influence of the spiritual philosophy of Vedanta on a legion of influential artists and writers beyond the titular ones–think John Coltrane and the late J.D. Salinger. This book fills a void; scholars have mined the subject of Indian spiritual philosophy, but mostly for the academy, despite the broad impact of Vedanta on popular culture.
Yoland Trevino, M.S., was born in Guatemala and is proud to be a member of the Mayan community. Ms. Trevino, is a visionary educator and trainer who focuses on issues related to personal and organizational change. She is the former executive director of the Vaughn Family Center in Pacoima, California, which has been recognized nationally and internationally for its innovative programs. Ms. Trevino has trained diverse groups in the United States and abroad, including corporations, academia and community-based organizations including many educational committees such as the Domestic Policy Council for the Clinton administration and the Latino Caucus for Family Support America.
After 25 years working in the fields of education, health, psychology, family support and community development, Ms. Trevino founded Transformative Collaborations International. She has served two consecutive terms as the Chair for the Global Council for United Religions Initiative, is a member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (represented indigenous Mayan Elders), and is the founder and coordinator of the Global Indigenous Initiative, which seeks to recover indigenous values and ancestral knowledge and to share that wisdom with the world.
Areas of expertise include: Heart-Centered Leadership, Appreciative Inquiry, Indigenous Wisdom, Psychology, Education
Jonathan received his M.A.at the ecumenical and interfaith graduate university, Claremont School of Theology. He previously worked as the Communication Coordinator for United Religions Initiative, a global grassroots interfaith network that cultivates peace and justice. He also served as the Communications Intern for the North American Interfaith Network (NAIN), a non-profit association of Interfaith organizations and agencies in Canada, Mexico & the U.S. Since 2008, he has been a Board Member of the Academy of Judaic, Islamic and Christian Studies, along with fellow Board members, including Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Dr. George Grose, Dr. Reinhard Krauss, and Dr. S. Scott Bartchy.
He received his BA in Study of Religion from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), completing his Senior Thesis/Honors Research for Departmental Honors supervised by the then Director of the Center for the Study of Religion, Dr. S. Scott Bartchy. He was an editor of Epoché, the UCLA Undergraduate Journal for the Study of Religion in 2010, and President of the “Bolle Study of Religion Student Organization at UCLA” his senior year. He was also the recipient of a City of Los Angeles Certificate of Appreciation for participation in and planning of Big Sunday: Mayor’s Citywide Day of Service. He attended the Los Angeles Pre-World Parliament of the World’s Religions Event in Santa Monica, California in 2009, and was the student representative for Los Angeles Valley College to the Valley Interfaith Council event to celebrate and honor those who promote “Harmony in Diversity” in 2006.
Jonathan’s expertise related to All Paths curriculum is diverse including World Religions, Interreligious Dialogue and Leadership, Compassion-Based Methods of Social Healing and Reconciliation, The Qur’an and its Interpreter, Spirituality for Compassionate Social Engagement, History of World Christianity, Jesus the Teacher, Managing and Developing the Interreligious Non Profit, Introduction to Public Policy.
Joseph Prabhu is Professor of Philosophy and Religion at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) and occasional Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago. He is active as both a scholar and a peace activist. He has edited , The Intercultural Challenge of Raimon Panikkar (Orbis Books, 1996 ) and co-edited the two-volume Indian Ethics: Classical Traditions and Contemporary Challenges (Ashgate Publishing Co, 2007 and 2011 Oxford University Press, India). He has three books in process, “Liberating Gandhi: Community, Empire and a Culture of Peace,” due out in 2013, and “Hegel, India and the Dark Face of Modernity.,” and “Human Rights in Cross-Cultural Perspective,” due out in 2014. He has been a Senior Fellow of the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University and of the Martin Marty Center at the University of Chicago. He has also been co-editor of Re-Vision from 1995-2003 and a contributing editor of Zygon. He is the past President of the international Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy, 2008-2010, and the Program Chair for the Melbourne Parliament of the World’s Religions, 2009. Among his many awards are the Outstanding Professor Award of CSULA for 2004-2005 and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Soka Gakkai, USA and a Commendation from the Southern California Committee of the Parliament of the World’s Religions.
He serves on the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee of the Council of a Parliament of the World’s Religions. He was the Program Chair for the 2009 Melbourne Parliament. He serves as well on the Advisory Board of the Toda Institute for Peace Research associated with Soka Gakkai International. He is also the Co- Chair of the Southern California Committee of a Parliament of the World’s Religions, and on the Special Advisory Committee of the American Academy of Religions. In addition, he serves on a panel of experts advising the UN High Commission for Human Rights and the International Security Forum based in Geneva.
He has lectured and taught at more than fifty universities either as visiting professor or as guest lecturer in Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and the United States.