About the Institute
Scott Alexander is Associate Professor of Islam at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and Chair of the Department of Intercultural Studies and Ministry and director of the school’s Catholic-Muslim Studies Program, where he is working to expand outreach to similar programs in Nigeria, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. He is a regular consultant on Catholic-Muslim relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and for Centro Internazionale di Studi e Ricerche Oasis at the Marcianum in Venice, Italy, and he sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Islamic Law and Culture. Scott holds a Ph.D. in the history of religions, with a concentration in Islamic studies, from Columbia University and has taught there as well as at Indiana University, Fordham, and Princeton University. He is co-editor of A Dictionary of Christian—Muslim Relations (Cambridge University Press, anticipated 2011), and in March of 2007, Scott was one of five U.S. scholars to be awarded an Association of Theological Schools Lilly Faculty Fellowship in support of his research and writing.
David D. Daniels III is Henry Winters Luce Professor of World Christianity and Professor of
Church History at McCormick Theological Seminary. He received his Ph.D. in Church History from Union Theological Seminary in 1992
and a Masters in Divinity from Yale University in 1979. David is an ordained minister in the Church of God and member of the Society
for Pentecostal Studies, the Society for the Study of Black Religion, and the American Academy of Religion. Currently, he is serving
on the editorial committee of a new history of World Christianity funded by Orbis Press, and his past publications have appeared in
Christian Century, Encyclopedia of African American Religions and A Sourcebook for the Community of Religions. He
is also a member of such research projects as Religion in Urban American (directed by Dr. Lowell Livezey) and the Funding of Black
Churches project (directed by Dr. Thomas Hoyt), and he has lectured at colleges and seminars from the US and Canada to Senegal and
Shakeela Z. Hassan, after retiring from a career of medical leadership, practice, and teaching at the University of Chicago Hospitals, followed her commitment to improving relations between Muslims and Americans of other faiths into the world of interfaith educational films. For three years, she served as the National Fundraising Chairperson of Unity Productions Foundations, where she was responsible for securing principal production support for the documentary film, Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet. She is now founder and President of Harran Productions Foundation. Shakeela also serves the Islamic Foundation in Vila Park, Illinois; the visiting Committee of the Chicago Theological Seminary; the External Advisory Board of the International Human Rights Law Institute; the National Board of the Bernardin Center of the Catholic Theological Union; the Advisory Board of Hands of Peace; the Advisory Board of the Lutheran School of Theology; and the Advisory Board of the Indiana University’s Center for the Study of Global Change’s Voices and Visions program. Shakeela was recognized as a Purpose Prize Fellow, and was a featured presenter at the 2009 CUSP Conference.
Don Johnson (Chair) has served leading non-profit institutions in the United States in the fields of education, health care, religion, the arts, and social services for over 35 years as a development and philanthropic consultant. He began consulting under the auspices of Don Johnson Associates and later co-founded the national firm, Johnson, Grossnickle & Associates. Don’s clients have included the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary (a Harvard University teaching hospital); the University of Massachusetts, Boston; the University of Maine system; the Lilly Endowment; and Second Presbyterian Church (Indianapolis). He was appointed by the Governor of Maine to a panel on higher education financing. Don has also served as Director of Development for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Vice President of Development for the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and Campaign Director at Tufts University of Medicine. He continues to serve on teams advising non-profits and as a life and career coach to leaders in philanthropy.
Carol Johnston (Chair, Program Committee) is the Associate Professor of Theology and Culture and Director of Lifelong Theological Education at Christian Theological Seminary. She is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and received her Ph.D. degree from Claremont Graduate School; M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary; and A.B. from Kalamazoo College. She directs a project on faith and giving, funded by two grants from the Lilly Endowment. She is the author of the essay “Thinking Theologically About Wealth, Including Giving,” posted on the website resourcingchristianity.org, and is also author of The Wealth or Health of Nations: Transforming Capitalism From Within (Pilgrim, 1998) and And the Leaves of the Tree are For the Healing of the Nations: Biblical and Theological Foundations for Ecojustice (Presbyterian Church, USA, 1998). In 2004 she received the William E. Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award from Presbyterians for Restoring Creation.
Fred Kniss (Chair, Research Committee) is Provost at Eastern Mennonite University. Previously, he was Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at Loyola University Chicago, where he also founded and directed the McNamara Center for the Social Study of Religion. He maintains a research affiliation at Loyola. His research has examined new immigrant religion, religious change and conflict, faith-based international relief and development organizations, and the so-called “culture wars.” Fred earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and co-authored Sacred Assemblies and Civic Engagement: How Religion Matters for America’s Newest Immigrants (Rutgers University Press 2007). He has served on the boards of directors of the Association for the Sociology of Religion and the Religious Research Association, and has held editorial positions for the American Journal of Sociology, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and Sociology of Religion.
Elizabeth Lynn established the Project on Civic Reflection at Valparaiso University in 1998, with sup¬port from the Lilly Endowment. The Project’s mission is to help civic groups and organizations gain clarity, community and commitment through the practice of reading and discussion. Begun as a local experiment in Northwest Indiana, the Project has evolved under Lynn’s leadership into a distinctive presence on the American landscape, with a reputation for excellence and expertise in civic reading and conversa¬tion. Lynn holds a Ph.D. in Religion and Literature from the University of Chicago and is the editor, with Adam Davis, of The Civically Engaged Reader (Great Books Foundation, 2006). A skilled facilitator, she has conducted workshops, board discussions and plenary sessions for many regional and national organizations, including the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, Federation of State Humanities Councils, and Campus Compact.
J.B. Miller serves as a vice president at Mennonite Mutual Aid (MMA). While MMA is the stewardship agency of Mennonite Church (USA), the organization also provides a wide range of financial services, including insurance and investment products for the faith-based market. J.B. joined MMA in 1990 and spends the majority of his time working in product development and product management with a focus on savings and investment products. Prior to joining MMA, J.B. was a banker in Sarasota, FL. J.B. holds a BS from Eastern Mennonite University and an MBA from Wake Forest University, and he has authored numerous articles focusing on the intersection of faith and work.
Jerry Nunnally has more than thirty-five years of experience in institutional advancement and business, which includes campaign planning, designing fundraising strategies, organizing programs, and board development. He has worked for institutions of higher education such as Harvard, Caltech and Dartmouth College, where he currently acts as Senior Philanthropic Advisor. Jerry has served as a trustee of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) International and still serves as a trustee for the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont, and the Communications Institute in Thousand Oaks, California. He is also a director of Pathways to College of Englewood, New Jersey. Jerry holds a Masters in Education degree from Harvard University.
Dennis C. Sasso is Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth-El Zedeck, Indianapolis, IN. Dennis earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at Brandeis University. He holds an M.A. in Religion from Temple University, Philadelphia, and was ordained as Rabbi by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. Dennis obtained his Doctor of Ministry degree at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. He is the recipient of Doctor of Divinity degrees from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (Philadelphia, PA), the Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, NY) and from Christian Theological Seminary (Indianapolis, IN). He is a member of the Board of Directors of United Way of Central Indiana and serves, at the invitation of the Mayor, on the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee. Dennis also writes a monthly column in the Op-Ed page of The Indianapolis Star.
Sandy Eisenberg Sasso is Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth-El Zedeck, Indianapolis, IN. Sandy is active in the arts, civic and interfaith communities and has written and lectured on women and spirituality and the discovery of the religious imagination in children. She received her B.A. and M.A. from Temple University and was ordained from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, receiving her Doctor of Divinity after 25 years in the rabbinate. She is the recipient of a Doctorate of Ministry from Christian Theological Seminary, an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from DePauw University, an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Butler University, an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary and an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Franklin College. She writes a monthly column in The Indianapolis Star on religious and spirituality issues. Sandy is a Theological Advisor for the Center for Spiritual Development in Childhood and Adolescence and currently serves on the IUPUI Board of Advisors and the board of Faith and Vocations at Butler University.
Dan Schipp (Chair, External Affairs Committee) is a senior consultant with Johnson, Grossnickle and Associates, a philanthropic services firm based in Greenwood, IN. The firm serves not-for-profit organizations in the central United States. Prior to joining JGA in 2008, Dan worked in development for Saint Meinrad Archabbey and School of Theology for 25 years, the last 20 as the chief advancement officer. During his tenure at Saint Meinrad, Dan served several terms on the steering committee for the Development and Institutional Advancement Program of the Association of Theological Schools and the editorial board for Seminary Development News. In 1999, he was recognized as the Fundraising Executive of the Year by the Indiana Chapter of the National Society of Fundraising Executives. Before launching his career in fundraising, Dan worked in community planning and development in southwestern Indiana for 7 years. Dan currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Catholic Community Foundation of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
David H. Smith became Director of the Yale Interdisciplinary Bioethics Center on July 1, 2007, where he is directing projects related to PTSD, research ethics, and care for the dying. Before moving to Yale, David was a member of the faculty of the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University Bloomington from 1967 until his retirement in 2003, and directed the Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions from 1983 until 2003. Immediately after his retirement from Indiana University, David served as Visiting Professor of Bioethics at Yale for one year. From 2004 through 2006 he was Frederick Distinguished Visiting Professor of Ethics at DePauw University, where he helped start the Janet Prindle Institute of Ethics. He was lead editor of A Christian Response to the New Genetics and Good Intentions: Moral Obstacles and Opportunities, and his Partnership with the Dying, completed while at Yale in 2003–4, was published in 2005 by Rowman and Littlefield. His edited collection, Religious Giving: For Love of God, was funded by the Lake Institute and will be published by the Indiana University Press in 2010.