Earlham School of Religion Board of Advisors


Carol Alpern

Carol Alpern holds a BA in Art History and an MA in 19th-Century British Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, and has completed all but her dissertation toward a PhD from the State University of New York at Buffalo, having finished research for a variorum edition of Norman Mailer’s The Deer Park—but never writing up what she found. Life in New York City became more interesting than scholarship.

Part of that life was rejoining the Quakerism she’d been raised in outside Philadelphia, becoming active in New York Yearly Meeting and serving as clerk of Ministry & Counsel in 1989 and 1990. During that time she attended two consultations at Quaker Hill sponsored by ESR. She followed M&C service with a year in the School of the Spirit and returned to an old passion, studying acting at HB Studios.

In 1995 she earned Screen Actors Guild and Actors Equity memberships with a small part in a movie titled Milk & Money. On stage, she played a series of large roles in tiny venues in the off-off-off Broadway scene—Raneveskaya in The Cherry Orchard, Mrs. Alving in Ghosts, Mrs. Solness in The Master Builder, and Mrs. Sorby in The Wild Duck. Wallace Shawn gave Holmes permission to do his monologue The Fever as vocal ministry, rising out of the silence, in Quaker venues.

On September 11, 2001, she was six miles from Ground Zero. That day made theater work irrelevant. She enrolled as an ESR Access student and also began nine years on the FUM General Board, the last three as recording clerk.

She is currently on the board of the Norman Mailer Society, is an editorial adviser to The Mailer Review, and contributed to the authorized biography, Norman Mailer: A Double Life.

She is a member of Scarsdale Meeting and, in 2017, was married under its care to Bowen Alpern, a computer scientist, retired from his research career, and now serving as an adjunct at Lehman College/CUNY. Carol has been a freelance editor and proofreader since the 1970s. She is currently the copy editor for the Pendle Hill pamphlets.


Lavona Bane

  • Graduated from Olney Boarding School, Barnesville, Ohio

  • Attended Earlham College, 1948-49

  • Raised her 5 children, 1950-1968

In 1968, Landrum Bolling hired Lavona as Earlham College's Registrar. She served in this role until retirement in 1995. Five of these years she served as Associate Dean of Students. She also served on the Advisory Committee, Curriculum Committee, was Head of Big May Day and Commencement Committees. Lavona is a life-long Quaker, member of First Friends Meeting in Richmond, Indiana. She has served as Clerk of Stewardship and Finance; Ministry and Counsel, Presiding Clerk of the Meeting and Hospitality Committee.

Lavona's "ministry" for over 30 years, has been as a hospice volunteer caring for over 60 clients (and their families) who are terminally ill.

When her parents, Glenn and Velma Reece, died, she and her siblings wanted something that would honor their memory. They established two scholarships at ESR which are awarded every year, enabling current students to complete their dreams of their own ministry.


Ellie Bewley

EC ’69 attended the University of Southern California and received an MA in Physical Education. She taught high school physical education and U.S. government for 5 years, and then was employed by Rio Hondo Community College in Whittier, Ca. for 35 years. She taught physical education courses in health and fitness and coached the women’s tennis team. For the last twenty years at Rio Hondo, she served as the Dean of Physical Education and Health Science, and was the Athletic Director for men’s and women’s programs.

Ellie served on the California State Athletic Governing Board, The Commission on Athletics, for 20 years, and served as chair for three years and chaired the Gender Equity Committee, the Constitution Committee, and represented the sports of women’s basketball and volleyball. She also served on the executive committee of the State Athletic Director’s Association, and served as President of that organization. In addition, she served twice as President of the Foothill Athletic Conference, on the Whittier YMCA Board of Directors, the Rio Hondo College Foundation Board, and as President of Delta Sigma chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma.

Ellie has been a member of First Friends, Whittier for 60 years, currently serves as Clerk, clerked the Personnel and Nominating committees, and served on the Finance and Trustees committees. While serving on the Earlham Board previously, she chaired the Education and Nominating committees. Ellie has given 24 years of service to the Earlham Board of Trustees.


Dale Dorrell

Much of my childhood was spent in Kenya where my parents served with the Friends Mission at Kaimosi. I did my undergraduate work at William Penn University and graduated from ESR in 1977 with an M.Min. I have served in various ministries for over 50 years, much of that time in at least part time pastoral ministry. We served with Friends in Uganda in the mid ’80s and for the last quarter-century I have worked as a hospital chaplain in Des Moines, IA. My wife and I have been married for over 45 years and we have three children and 6 grandchildren.


Jessica Easter

Education: B.S. in Media and Cinema Studies, 2011 M.Div Earlham School of Religion, 2014

Jessica was born on the island of Guam to two members of the U.S. Navy. While she originally intended to become a broadcast journalist or media critic, she fell in love with chaplaincy during her studies at Earlham School of Religion. She currently works as a staff chaplain for the Intermediate Care Unit and the pulmonary/cystic fibrosis floor at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in downtown Chicago. Jessica enjoys working out, listening to music, exploring cities, and eating Ethiopian food. She is the older sister of Danielle who is a senior airman in the U.S. Air Force.


Travis Etling

Hello! I am Travis. I am a 2017 graduate of ESR and live in Durango Colorado with my partner, ESR grad Tracy Davis. I am currently working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as a case manager. In my free time, I am quite involved with my monthly meeting (Durango Friends Meeting). I am currently clerk of the meeting and enjoy a ministry of spiritual nurture alongside my Friends in Durango. Currently that ministry includes a weekly Bible study. I am also becoming more involved in the yearly meeting (Intermountain Yearly Meeting). I will be working on the Program Working Group for IMYM for the next three years. In addition to Quaker stuff, I enjoy spending time in creation: biking, hiking, kayaking and cross country skiing here in beautiful Southwestern Colorado. Tracy says it is a “heavenly realm.”



Adria Gulizia

Adria is a lawyer, mediator, teacher, mother and Young Adult Friend. For the last few years, she has carried a concern for how Friends’ traditional faith and practice translate into an increasingly unstable, atomized and uncertain world. In her ministry activities and in her daily life, Adria is passionate about inviting all into deeper relationship with the Spirit of Christ, which spoke so strongly to early Friends and continues to speak today. She is a member of Chatham-Summit Monthly Meeting (New York Yearly Meeting) and the Friends of Jesus Fellowship. Adria's blog, In the Shadow of Babylon, can be found at shadowofbabylon.com.


Doug Gwyn

I grew up in the First Friends Meeting, Indianapolis.  I thought I was going to be a scientist, but a distinct calling to ministry (much to my surprise) in 1968 let me know otherwise.  My first thought for theological education was ESR, but I ended up going to Union Seminary in New York.  I got to know unprogrammed Friends better in those years and have moved among pastoral and unprogrammed Friends ever since.  Meeting Lewis Benson in 1976 contributed to my study of George Fox and early Friends.  Quaker research and writing led me to several stints of living and working at Pendle Hill near Philadelphia, sometimes teaching there.  Along the way, I have also been a state park naturalist, a staff writer for the American Friends Service Committee in New York, a teacher at the Woodbrooke Quaker study center in England, and a Friends pastor in Noblesville, Indiana, Berkeley, California (twice), Richmond, Indiana, and Durham Maine.  I retired at the end of 2017 and returned to Richmond to help support my mother in her last months of life.  My wife, Caroline Jones, is a dharma teacher at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. 


Susan Kaul

I was born in Jeffersonville (Indiana), literally on the banks of the Ohio. My mother was killed in an automobile accident when I was nearly eleven, and I went to live with my father in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where he worked for what became USAID. From Haiti we moved to Managua, Nicaragua and then to the suburbs of Lima, Peru. I returned to Washington DC to begin college at George Washington University, but wasn’t ready, and didn’t last long. I went to work at what was the National Academy of Sciences, and then married Pradeep (in Srinagar, Kashmir) in 1971.


I was very involved in our son’s Quaker elementary school, establishing the Parents’ Organization and then serving on the school’s Board of Trustees. In all, I served on three different Quaker school boards, and eventually began attending Bethesda Friends Meeting. I guess ESR’s Board of Advisors makes it four. To this day, I remain hooked on business meetings!

Along the way I went back to school part-time, earning my BA. With no intention of coming “back home again” to Indiana, I came to ESR to take a class in Multi-cultural Pastoral Care taught by Bill Ratliff in 2001 and soon found myself as a pioneer Access student.

Even before graduating in 2007, I began providing pastoral care to the independent residents at Friends House Retirement Community in Sandy Spring, Maryland. It took me a while to hear what God was calling me to do, but I finally did.


Jim Lawrence

Dean of the Swedenborgian House of Studies at Pacific School of Religion, Assistant Professor of Spirituality and Historical Studies

BA, University of Texas, 1978; Diploma (MDiv equiv.), Swedenborg School of Religion, 1984; DMin, Graduate Theological Foundation, 1991; PhD, Graduate Theological Union, 2011

During 17 years in parish ministry in rural, suburban and urban settings, Dr. Jim Lawrence helped three congregations re-energize, and he continues to have a special interest in the renewal of traditional ministries. In addition to Swedenborgian Studies, he teaches in the field of spirituality and has special interest in the varieties of Protestant religious experience, the radical margins of Protestant history, the dialogue between science and religion, and biblical spirituality. He has contributed as publisher, editor and author to more than 30 works.


Frank Massey

Frank C. Massey serves as pastoral minister of Jamestown Friends Meeting.  He is presently serving as clerk of the North Carolina Fellowship of Friends.  Frank serves as Gifts Discernment Coordinator and Campus Ministry Coordinator at Guilford College for twelve years.  Before that he serves Baltimore Yearly Meeting as General Secretary for seventeen years.  Frank earned a Master’s of Divinity from Earlham School of Religion in 1984 and a Master’s of Science in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1980.  He is married to Elizabeth Phillips Massey.  They have two children and three grandsons.


Alicia McBride

Alicia McBride spent more than a decade leading the communications team at the Friends Committee on National Legislation before taking on her current role as the Director for Integrated Strategy and Impact. In that capacity, she works across the organization to improve cross-team strategy and FCNL’s facility in assessing and communicating about its effectiveness. She is a member of Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting, where she has served on committees related to family engagement and religious education, most recently as clerk of the Marriage and Family Relations Committee. She lives in Takoma Park, MD with her husband, Sam Garman, and children Miranda and Howard Garman. In addition to the ESR board of advisors, she serves on the board of Friends Community School in College Park, MD. She enjoys reading, cooking, doing crossword puzzles, and making systems of all kind work better.


Julie-Ann Silberman-Bunn

Julie-Ann is a 1991 graduate of ESR. A Unitarian Universalist she has served as a parish minister in 4 states, both as a solo pastor and as a member of multi-clergy teams. In 2015 Julie-Ann changed the focus of her ministry to chaplaincy; first as a hospice chaplain in Pa, and following a recent move she is working as a hospital chaplain at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Massachusetts a part of the Trinity Health of New England system. Julie-Ann and her husband Ken moved in September of 2019 to a small cabin in the woods of Western Massachusetts to what they lovingly refer to as their forever home. They have two adult sons. 


Marty Smith

Because of her experience as a counselor in a Quaker Camp in Indiana, Marty became a Quaker as a teenager. After marriage and completing college, the Smith’s joined the Peace Corps in Kenya, EA. Back home in Ohio, she finished her MS at Ohio State and then moved with her family to New Jersey to teach Middle School math and science at Moorestown Friends School. In 1985 the Smith’s joined Moorestown Meeting, where Marty twice clerked the Meeting, taught FDS, led high school youth, facilitated Quaker Parenting classes, and clerked Religious Education and Pastoral Care Committees. In her professional life, Marty was a classroom teacher, teacher educator, and religious educator. Following retirement in 2012, the Smith’s became sojourning members of Honolulu Friends where they were Resident Friends. There Marty was clerk of the RE Committee, taught Quaker Parenting, and helped create a Child Abuse Prevention policy. Recently Marty was a Traveling Minister for FWCC in Arizona Half YM and Wilmington YM.


Patricia Thomas

Patricia Thomas grew up in the Religious Society of Friends in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She was the first Junior Clerk for Green Pastures Quarterly meeting and remained active in LEYM until she and her husband, Kirby, moved to Colorado in l968.

Patricia and Kirby have two sons, Kevin and Aaron both of whom are married and have produced 7 grandsons. Kirby died of cancer in January 1995, while Patricia was working as Campus Minister at Wilmington College (WYM). In October 1998, she and Doug Woodmansee were married under the care of Campus Friends and Highland Friends Meetings. Doug is a professor of biology at Wilmington College. They live on his family farm, where he is the seventh generation on this land.

Patricia has served FWCC as representative and as Associate Secretary in London. She is currently presiding Clerk of her Yearly Meeting Ministry & Counsel, where she clerks the Task Force to update Faith & Practice, is Clerk of Campus Friends Meeting, and is presiding Clerk of the ESR Board of Advisors.

She has a B.A. from the University of Michigan ’64, and an M.Min. degree from ESR ’90.


Margaret Webb

Education: BA in Religion from Earlham College and M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary.

Margaret is the pastoral minister at New Garden Friends Meeting in Greensboro, NC. Pastoral care is at the heart of her ministry along with preaching the Truth of God’s universal love of all people. Margaret was raised in an unprogrammed Quaker Meeting in upstate NY but fell in love with semi-programmed worship while attending West Richmond Friends Meeting while an undergraduate student. Margaret and her husband Christopher met in Bundy Hall at Earlham College during Margaret’s freshman year (Christopher’s sophomore year). Christopher and Margaret have two beautiful children: Theodore (6) and Claire (4). When Margaret is not parenting or pastoring she enjoys spin class, novels, swimming, and thrift store shopping.


David Zier

David is originally from Maryland outside Washington D.C. He was raised with a Jewish mother and Lutheran father, but neither were particularly religious. David started attending a Southern Baptist church as a teenager, then at the age of 18, started attending Metropolitan Community Church (MCC). He met his life partner and husband, Jeff Miner, at church in Rockville, Maryland. They were married in 1990, then legally in 2013 in Maryland.

David and Jeff moved to Indianapolis in 1997, as Jeff (then a Lawyer) was called to Pastor Jesus MCC, now LifeJourney Church. David was a Medical Engineer at FDA then for Quintiles Transnational (Senior Technical Advisor and Principal Consultant), and for Eli Lilly, for a period of 25 years. In the latter years, David finally responded to his call after many years of ignoring it, and attended seminary at ESR in 2007, graduating in 2010, while working at Quintiles Transnational.

David completed an internship at West Richmond Friends in 2010 and was ordained in MCC in 2011. David also completed a Spiritual Direction Internship at a Monastery in Beech Grove, Indiana. David was a full time pastor at LifeJourney Church from 2011 until 2015, but still serves as a part time pastor there. David also serves as an MCC Network Leader for the Central US Eastern Churches, and Network Facilitator (Leading other Network Leaders) for the Canada, Northeast, North Central and Eastern Networks within MCC. In order to maintain health care costs for him and his spouse, David returned to engineering work as an Environmental Engineer with the State of Indiana in 2015.


Della Stanley-Green

Della Stanley-Green (ESR, M.MIn. '90) is the part-time Project Director for Western Yearly Meeting of Friends Pastoral Ministry Excellence, which is a project initiated by Lilly Endowment to assist Indiana congregations in addressing the economic challenges facing pastors.  She works full-time as the Executive Assistant to the Vice-President of Academic Affairs/Dean of the Faculty at Christian Theological Seminary.  She is a Recorded Minister in the Religious Society of Friends in Western Yearly Meeting.  Della has extensive experience with the breadth and depth of Friends including being a member of six different Friends Meeting associated with six different yearly meetings. She, her husband and two cats recently moved from their small vernacular Victorian cottage home in Plainfield, Indiana, to a mid-century modern townhome on the northwest part of Indianapolis. As a Western Yearly Meeting representative, Della joined the Board in 2011.


Steve Mills

Steve Mills ’67 is a graduate of Earlham College and Indiana University.  He is married to Lynn (ESR 1979 and a librarian) and is the father of two grown children, Jeremy and Melissa.  In partnership with his son and daughter-in-law, Cindy, Mills Family Farms LLC grows corn, soybeans, hay and beef cattle.  Steve is involved in church, civic, community, and local educational activities.  He is currently a past board member and Chairman of a community bank. Steve and Lynn enjoy traveling and spending time with their grandchildren, Morgan, Dale, and Mason. Steve joined the Board of Trustees in 2011.


Anne Houtman

Anne M. Houtman, a distinguished educator, scientist, author, and higher education leader, became the 20th president of Earlham College and the Earlham School of Religion on July 1, 2019.

Houtman came to Earlham from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, where she served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. She holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford in Zoology and a master’s degree in Anthropology from UCLA. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Pomona College. Houtman is a Quaker and is the first woman to serve as President of Earlham.

Previously, Houtman served as dean of the School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering at California State University Bakersfield, and as Head and Professor at the Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology. Earlier in her career, she held faculty positions at California State University Fullerton, Soka University of America and Knox College. She has authored numerous textbooks and articles on scientific and pedagogical topics. Houtman is currently a trustee of the College Board.