Adjunct/Affiliate Faculty

Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Spirituality

John Philip Newell John Philip Newell

John Philip Newell, a Church of Scotland minister whose Ph.D. is from the University of Edinburgh, is internationally acclaimed for his work in the field of Celtic spirituality and his commitment to interfaith relationship and peacemaking. In his contributions at Iliff and in his inaugural lecture, he will draw from the Celtic understanding of Earth’s sacredness that is reflected in many other great religious traditions, and he will explore the implication of this for the work of spiritual and theological transformation in our lives and our world. While at Iliff, Newell will lead one course each spring for students and the community.

The author of more than 15 books, including The Rebirthing of God, Christianity’s Struggle for New Beginnings, Listening for the Heartbeat of God, Praying with the Earth, and A New Harmony: the Spirit, the Earth, & the Human Soul, he is also the recipient of the 2011 Contemplative Voices Award from the Shalem Institute, Washington, D.C. In addition, he is the co-founder of Heartbeat: A Journey Towards Earth’s Wellbeing.

Newell will be teaching and lecturing in his role as Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Spirituality during the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 academic years. View the video of John Philip Newell’s inaugural lecture at Iliff, May 12, 2015.

John Wesley Iliff Senior Adjunct Faculty

John Wesley Iliff Senior Adjunct Faculty are experts in their respective fields who provide another layer of rich diversity of experience and thought in the classroom. These seasoned professionals bring significant gifts to complement our full-time faculty.

Loring Abeyta

John Wesley Iliff Senior Adjunct Lecturer in Religion and Society Loring Abeyta

BA, University of Denver
MA, St Thomas Theological Seminary
PhD, University of Denver

Loring Abeyta is Program Manager and Lecturer for the McBride Honors Program in Public Affairs for Engineers at the Colorado School of Mines. She received her doctorate in 2005 from the University of Denver Josef Korbel School of International Studies. Her dissertation examined labor relations and cultural conflict between indigenous mine workers and mining companies. She teaches courses in the areas of American foreign policy and national security, indigenous studies, and race, gender, and class.

Kelly Arora

John Wesley Iliff Senior Adjunct Lecturer in Spiritual Care Kelly Arora

BS, Kansas State University
MA, Memphis Theological Seminary
PhD, University of Denver/Iliff School of Theology Joint PhD Program

Kelly Arora is Iliff’s Director of Spiritually Integrated Continuing Education (SPICE). In this role she develops and provides continuing education programs for spiritual caregivers and health care professionals. She has taught a variety of courses in pastoral and spiritual care at Iliff, religious studies courses at Regis University, and a course on spirituality in health care at the Regis University School of Pharmacy. She is developing spiritual care courses for the nation’s first master’s degree in interdisciplinary palliative care at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Her passion for spirituality in health care extends to serving on the boards of the Colorado Health Care Ethics Forum (CHEF) and Centus Counseling, Consulting and Education. In addition to publishing and speaking on spiritual care, Arora maintains a private practice in spiritual direction.

Timothy Bryan

John Wesley Iliff Senior Adjunct Lecturer in Church History Timothy Bryan

BS, Geneva College
MS, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
MS, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
ThD, The Iliff School of Theology

Tim Bryan teaches humanities, religious studies, philosophy, history, and academic writing at the University of Phoenix (Colorado Campus). He has often been a Visiting Professor at the Russia Theological Seminary and was a member of the Orthodox/Wesleyan Consultation on Spirituality. He is also a frequent contributor to adult curriculum teaching and study materials (Cokesbury) and a Consulting Reader for the Common English Bible.

Philip Campbell

John Wesley Iliff Senior Adjunct Lecturer in Ministry & Social Justice Phil Campbell

BA, Phillips University
MDiv Iliff School of Theology
DMin Pacific School of Religion

Phil Campbell is pastor of Northern Light United Church in Juneau, Alaska, a multicultural union congregation affiliated with the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA). Prior to assuming the Northern Light position in 2010, Campbell spent five years as a visiting member of the Iliff faculty, where he taught courses in leadership and administration, the practice of ministry ,UCC history and polity, race and privilege, and a variety of other social justice issues. He is the author of “Individualism, Iliff Faculty 124, Iliff Faculty 125 Social Analysis and Ministry Formation,” in Jenkins and Rogers, Equipping the Saints: Best Practices in Contextual Theological Education, and a contributor to the Feasting on the Word Lectionary Commentary Series. Campbell is a clergyperson in the United Church of Christ.

Jane E. Vennard

John Wesley Iliff Warren Senior Adjunct Lecturer in Spirituality Jane Vennard

BA, Wellesley College
MA, Stanford University
MDiv, San Francisco Theological Seminary
Training for Professionals, Psychosynthesis Institute
Spiritual Director in Private Practice, Denver

Rev. Jane E. Vennard is a semi-retired spiritual director and retreat leader. Ordained to a special ministry of teaching and spiritual direction in the United Church of Christ, she is a nationally respected figure and the author of numerous articles and five books, including the most recent, A Praying Congregation: The Art of Teaching Spiritual Practice

Jason Whitehead

John Wesley Iliff Senior Adjunct Lecturer in Pastoral Care Jason Whitehead

BA, The Citadel
MDiv, Union Presbyterian Seminary
MSW, Virginia Commonwealth University
PhD, Iliff School of Theology and University of Denver

Jason Whitehead is the director of Consultation and Formation at Iliff School of Theology. He has served in pastoral roles for congregations in South Carolina, Virginia, and Colorado. Whitehead is a licensed clinical social worker and a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). He is the author of Redeeming fear: A constructive theology for living into hope, as well as articles on neuropsychology and theology for Sacred Spaces: The Online Journal for the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. His research interests include pastoral theology and care as it relates to memory, emotions, imagination, belonging and the intersection of science and theology.

Affiliate Faculty

Affiliate Faculty are selected for their intellectual, pedagogical, and professional gifts. They offer a number of courses each year in their area of academic specialization. They are also available for mentoring, offering independent studies, advising master’s theses, and other instructional functions appropriate to their background and expertise, as their time allows.

Julie Todd

Affiliate Faculty for Justice and Peace Studies

B.A. Boston University
MDiv. Boston University School of Theology
Ph.D. University of Denver/Iliff School of Theology

Julie Todd is a scholar-activist living in Lawrence, Massachusetts. She received her Ph.D. in 2012 from University of Denver-Iliff School of Theology Joint Program in Religious and Theological Studies. The title of her dissertation was “Evaluating Violence and (Non)violence: A Critical, Practical Theology of Social Change.” As affiliate faculty for Justice and Peace Studies, she teaches all of her courses online. Her scholarship focuses on social change theory and praxis, violence and (non)violence, and matters of privilege, oppression and solidarity across axes of difference. She is a published essayist and poet on matters of justice-seeking and the spiritual life. As an activist, she works in her community to create transformative, grassroots spaces for social justice education and practice. As an ordained elder in the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church, she works locally and nationally to end the anti-LGBTQ policies and practices of her denomination through the group Love Prevails.


Iliff draws on the expertise of numerous other adjuncts each quarter to ensure a wide diversity of course offerings. See our academic course schedules for more details. For a description of specific classes, visit: