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November 10, 2018 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Being Well: Connecting Church, Faith and Health

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North Park’s Third Biennial Faith and Health Symposium

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Being Well: Connecting Church, Faith and Health
The church has an important role in helping people be well, in addition to caring for the sick. Understanding health as shalom recognizes the integration of body, mind and spirit in human wholeness both for individuals and for communities. Now more than ever, the church needs to claim its role in health promotion rooted in scripture and tradition, and our communities need to create opportunities for wellness for all. Working together congregations and healthcare professionals can collaborate in responding faithfully to the challenge of health promotion, considering what can be done together that neither can do alone. This third biennial faith and health symposium is provided by North Park Theological Seminary and North Park University School of Nursing and Health Sciences as continuing education for healthcare and ministry professionals in service to the church.


Time: Saturday, November 10, 2018,  8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Anderson Chapel, North Park University, 3225 W. Foster Ave., Chicago, IL 60625
Campus Map: Anderson chapel, #19 on the campus map. Parking in the lot on Kimball Avenue just south of Foster Avenue.

For more information, contact:
Email:  faithandhealthsymposium@northpark.edu
Phone: 773-244-5240

Sponsors include Covenant Ministries of Benevolence, the Good Shepherd Initiative, Kappa Nu chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, and Covenant Retirement Communities.


  • Discuss the church’s unique contributions in promoting health
  • Describe a faithful understanding of the dimensions of health
  • Discuss the church’s role in fostering resilience in individuals, families and communities
  • Engage in interdisciplinary dialogue identifying possibilities and partners for promoting health in our churches and communities

Target Audience:

  • Clergy
  • Clinicians (nurses, faith community nurses, physicians, counselors, social workers, wellness coaches, other health professionals)
  • Church & Community Leaders
8:00–8:30 am  Registration
8:30–8:50 Greetings and Devotions reflecting on John 5:6—Do you want to be well?
8:50–10:20 Honoring the Body as a Spiritual Practice – Ruth Haley Barton DDiv
10:40 –11:55 Workshop Session I
Faith and FitnessTierney Frost, MACF, CWC, CPT
Spirituality, Mental Health and the Church –  Daisy Santiago-Altiery, LCSW, MATS
Integration of the Heart and Mind? Biblical Root-Concepts – Jim Bruckner, PhD
Promoting Health in Under-Resourced Communities – Jasmine Zapata, MD
12:00–12:45 pm Networking Lunch
1:00–2:00 Living Compass Model for Wellness Ministries – Scott Stoner, DMin, LMFT
2:05–3:05 Works Without Faith is Dead: Restoring Purpose to Health Ministry – Kara Davis, MD
3:20–4:35 Workshop Session II
Faith Communities Promote Health to Prevent Premature Deaths –Francine White, MDiv
Family Resilience and Wellness – Scott Stoner, DMin, LMFT
Wellness After Adversity and the Role of the Church – Stan Sonu, MD
Healthy and Not: Being Both at Once – Michael Washington, MDiv, MA
4:45–5:00 Reflections on a Faithful Response for the Christian Community

Honoring the Body as a Spiritual Practice

Ruth Haley Barton, DDiv

The spiritual discipline of honoring the body helps us find our way between the excesses of a culture that glorifies and objectifies the body and the excesses of Christian tradition that have often denigrated and ignored the body. As we become more intentional about finding this middle way, we will be surprised by the spontaneous combustion that comes when aspects of ourselves that were always meant to exist as an integrated whole finally come together in a way that produces great joy and vitality. Knowing that God has chosen to make our bodies God’s dwelling place opens the door to remarkable opportunities for heightening our awareness of God’s presence in our bodies. And isn’t heightened awareness of God’s presence, and our capacity to remain in vital connection with that Presence, what the spiritual journey is all about?

Living Compass Model for Wellness Ministries
Scott Stoner, DMin, LMFT

Living Compass is a church-based faith and wellness program designed for individuals and small groups that has been used in churches and a variety of non-profit and faith-based organizations around the country.  Organized around a holistic understanding of health, Living Compass helps people live well with all their heart, soul, strength, and mind helping individuals and congregations come to see and experience a deeper connection between Christian spirituality and wellness. Churches were the original centers of wellness in their communities; Living Compass equips churches to build on and expand that tradition.

Works Without Faith is Dead: Restoring Purpose to Health Ministry
Kara Davis, M.D.

The local church is positioned to positively impact community wellness. Because of its influence, the church can reach underserved populations, sometimes more effectively than traditional healthcare systems. As such, it has the potential to help reduce the incidence of chronic disease, promote wellness, and close the gap on health disparities. Realizing this potential, however, depends on maintaining the focus and honoring the priority of the church. Frustration is certain when the “work” of the health ministry takes precedence over the church’s “faith” inspired mission of discipleship and evangelism. As a pastor’s wife, practicing physician and licensed minister, Dr. Kara Davis will share both the triumphs and pitfalls of health ministry with the goal of helping participants achieve success.

Morning Workshops

Faith and Fitness
Tierney Frost, MACF, CWC, CPT

The question of how the Body of Christ engages and promotes the experience of fitness is one of rare inquiry throughout the history of the church. This question can guide us into a broadening awareness of what it is to be well.  An engaging discussion will be held regarding the relationship between our active faith and our intentional fitness. Mind and body exercises will be offered as tools for take-away. Dialogue regarding the church’s role and the fitness field’s role in promoting this relationship will offer greater insight into this concept of faith and fitness.

Spirituality, Mental Health and the Church
Daisy Santiago-Altiery, LCSW, MATS

This workshop will teach participants how to incorporate the message of mental well-being into ministry without ignoring the reality of mental illness.   Preaching more than biblical heroics will enlighten our own understanding of how all people have the potential of making positive contributions to the work of the Church.  How can lament be a form of worship?  How will we glorify God amid emotional pain?  How can the church promote mental wellness in the body of Christ in a way that communicates inclusion for everyone?   It’s time to create opportunities for healthy engagement in our not-so-perfect communities and turn crisis into a chance for transformation.  It begins with how mental health is promoted.

Integration of the Heart and Mind? Biblical Root-Concepts
Jim Bruckner, PhD

Faith and health are deeply inter-related in biblical narratives. As many recent studies have shown, the coherence of a faith community significantly contributes to the restoration of individual health. Healing communities can be strengthened and even coalesced through close readings of coherent biblical narratives of healing. Second Kings 5 as a Case Study: A close reading of this narrative of the restoration of health may provide an avenue of hope as well as a paradigm for attending to our own stories and journeys toward healing.

Promoting Health in Under-Resourced Communities
Jasmine Zapata, MD

Only about 20% of health outcomes are based on what happens in hospitals and clinics. The other 80% is based on health behaviors, social factors, and one’s environment.  This means that the majority of what promotes health happens outside the walls of the healthcare system.  The church has a critical role to play in addressing these upstream factors and improving community wellbeing.  In this dynamic and engaging workshop, participants will learn about the social determinants of health and how they impact wellbeing in under resourced communities; the socioecological model of health and how it informs health promotion and advocacy and the importance of preventing adverse childhood experiences whose impact can remain throughout life.


Afternoon Workshops

Faith Communities Promoting Health to Prevent Premature Deaths – Francine White, MDiv

It has been well documented that many of the premature deaths in the United States are caused by poor diet and lack of exercise impacting several potentially debilitating chronic illnesses. In the Fall of 2012 a team from the Department of Preventive Medicine at Rush Medical Center began an initiative called ALIVE, an acronym for “Abundant Living in Vibrant Energy.” In this workshop we will explore this initiative developed in cooperation with five churches in the Metropolitan Chicago area. We will: 1) discuss why we chose faith communities as partners for this initiative, 2) discuss the importance of a Community-Based Participatory component of the initiative, 3) look at the components of the intervention used for the churches and individual participants and 4) give an overview of the outcomes for the participants 

Family Resilience and Wellness
Scott Stoner, DMin, LMFT

Resilience is popular topic in the field of positive psychology, and much has written about what factors enhance a person’s capacity for resilience. Most literature focuses on resilience in individuals, but new research is helping us learn what helps families to be resilient. It not only “takes a village to raise a child;” it also takes a village to support a family and to help families be resilient in the face of tough times. This workshop will outline the key factors in family resilience and show how faith communities are ideally positioned to provide those factors for families.

Wellness After Adversity and the Role of the Church
Stan Sonu, MD, MPH

In recent decades, an overwhelming body of scientific research has found that adverse childhood experiences and other types of psychosocial stress can have profound and lasting detrimental effects on our physical, mental, and social well-being. But is this the end of the story? How can we heal and flourish after trauma in the context of the Church? This workshop seeks to educate, equip, and empower participants towards integrating trauma-informed practices into their congregations. Participants will learn about adverse childhood experiences through a health equity lens, principles of resilience and how it mitigates the effects of trauma, and how Christianity speaks directly to these issues. Find out why the Church has a critical role to play in the work of healing from trauma.

Healthy and Not: Being Both at Once
Michael Washington, MDiv, MA

Persons can be healthy and unhealthy at the same time. Moreover, the presence of a disease does not prevent the presence of an active response within the body for the body’s maintenance. Describing health, then is nuanced at least, and complicated at best. When persons contend with health challenges, how does spirituality help them stay healthy in one area if challenged in another? Does spirituality help us define health more broadly in hospital or congregational contexts? This workshop will illuminate dynamics around being healthy and having illnesses or issues or challenges which could prevent a person from being understood as a well patient and provide implications for those who serve in hospital and congregational settings.

Ruth Haley Barton, DDiv is founding president/CEO of the Transforming Center, a ministry dedicated to strengthening the souls of pastors and Christian leaders, and the congregations and organizations they serve. For over twenty years, she has ministered to the soul care needs of pastors and leaders based upon her conviction that the best thing we bring to leadership is our own transforming selves.

She holds a Doctor of Divinity from Northern Theological Seminary and received training in spiritual direction at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation and the Institute for Pastoral Studies Loyola University Chicago, Ruth is a seasoned retreat leader and spiritual director. A sought-after speaker and preacher, she has served on the pastoral staff of several churches and teaches frequently at seminaries and graduate schools.

Ruth is the author of numerous books and resources on the spiritual life, including Invitation to Solitude and Silence, Sacred Rhythms, Longing for More, Pursuing God’s Will Together, and Life Together in Christ. She continues to share her thoughts and perspectives on soulful leadership through an online resource called eReflections as well as a podcast entitled Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership.

Jim Bruckner, PhD is the Brandel Professor of Biblical Interpretation at North Park Theological Seminary. He has four earned degrees: B.A. in history; MATS in Christian Spirituality; MDiv; and PhD in Scripture. Bruckner served as pastor of Covenant churches in Minnesota and Washington from 1989-1993 and was ordained by the Evangelical Covenant Church in 1992. Jim joined the seminary faculty in 1995.

Dr. Bruckner has written several books including Healthy Human Life: A Biblical Witness  (Wipf & Stock, 2012). His biblical commentary on Exodus was published in 2008 by Baker Press. His commentary on Jonah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah was published in the NIV Application Commentary Series by Zondervan in 2004. Bruckner teaches Biblical Hebrew and interpretation of the Old Testament, as well as elective courses on Isaiah, the Ten Commandments, Wilderness and Faith, and Biblical Perspectives on Health and Healing.

Kara Davis, M.D. is a board-certified physician of Internal Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Medicine, and practices at the MetroSouth Medical Center in South Holland. Dr. Davis focuses on total wellness and disease prevention. She emphasizes the connection between physical health and mental, spiritual and emotional wellbeing. Dr. Davis is the author of Spiritual Secrets to Weight Loss, Spiritual Secrets to a Healthy Heart, and Timeless: Your Body, Mind and Spirit Guide to Aging Gracefully. She enjoys reading, travelling, gardening and loves to cook. Dr. Davis is married to Bishop Lance Davis, the senior pastor of New Zion Covenant Church in Dolton, IL.

Tierney Frost, MACF, CWC, CPT is the National Director of LifeConnect with Covenant Retirement Communities with a focus in whole-person wellness. Tierney’s work with LifeConnect is to partner with staff and residents in life-affirming living through eight dimensions of wellness. Tierney believes in living toward wholeness by practicing, and coaching others to navigate, a lifestyle that lends to health and healing. She has served with a variety of communities including Galter LifeCenter, LifeStart Fitness Centers, WellCoaches Inc., North Park University and Theological Seminary, the Evangelical Covenant Church, and now Covenant Retirement Communities. Tierney is a Certified Wellness Coach, a Certified Personal Trainer, a Certified Biomechanist, a Certified Nonprofit Professional.  She also has earned a Certificate in Spiritual Direction and a Certificate in Faith & Health from North Park Theological Seminary.   Tierney is also a facilitator for Mending the Soul, and is trained in Advocacy for Victims of Abuse.  She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise Science from North Park University and a Masters in Christian Formation from North Park Theological Seminary.

Daisy Santiago-Altiery, LCSW, MATS  Daisy Santiago-Altiery is Director of Counseling Support Services at North Park University.  Through her office, she and her team provide mental health services to undergraduate and graduate students.  She supervises graduate interns in preparation for their professional work in the field of counseling.  In addition, as one of the pastors at New Life Covenant Church (AG), Daisy provides counsel to women and couples providing direction to mental health resources. She also provides training to ministers and lay leaders on identifying and supporting members with mental health concerns.  Daisy has a graduate degree in Social Work and holds a clinical license through the State of Illinois.  She has also earned a graduate degree in Theological Studies from NPTS.

Scott Stoner, DMin, LMFT is the founder of the Living Compass faith and wellness ministry, https://www.livingcompass.org/ serves as the founding director of the Nicholas Center of the Diocese of Chicago and the executive director of the Samaritan Wellness Foundation in Glendale, Wisconsin. As an Episcopal priest, pastoral counselor, licensed marriage and family therapist, spiritual director, and retreat leader for over thirty years, he has facilitated more than 45,000 hours of individual and family wellness conversations, plus led hundreds of retreats. He earned his DMin in pastoral counseling from Chicago Theological School and an MDiv from Seabury Western.  Dr. Stoner is the author of Your Living Compass: Living Well in Thought, Word and Deed and an adjunct professor of practical theology at Bexley Seabury Seminary

Stan Sonu, MD, MPH is a physician double-boarded in both internal medicine and pediatrics. Following his residency training at Rush University Medical Center, he completed a fellowship in preventive medicine and public health, during which he obtained a Masters in Public Health at Northwestern. He also completed a 1-year fellowship in the LUCENT program at the University of Chicago, an urban primary care leadership program. Stan is passionate about health equity, teaching and researching the science of childhood adversity and its long-term effects on health, and advocating for systemic empathy as a guiding principle for how all human service organizations can engage in trauma-informed care.

Michael Washington, MDiv, MA. Having served in two churches for 16 years, Michael Washington is ordained to word and sacrament and in good standing with the Evangelical Covenant Church. He is certified through the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education and has served as adjunct faculty for Garrett-Evangelical and North Park Theological Seminaries. Michael serves as a chaplain and clinical pastoral educator at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. With formal education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (BS, Psychology), Wheaton College (MA, Theology), and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (MDiv), Michael is currently pursuing a PhD in Pastoral Theology, Personality and Culture.

Francine White. MDiv is an ordained American Baptist Churches, U.S.A. clergywoman and has the endorsement of the ABC, USA Committee on Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors. Along with her Master of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary, she has a background in nursing, mental health, alcohol and chemical dependency treatment counseling, four units of Clinical Pastoral Education and chaplaincy, and two years of pastoral counseling for women who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse.  For four years, Rev. White worked as a clergy consultant with Rush University Medical Center (RUMC), Department of Preventive Medicine for their ALIVE! Community-Based Participatory Initiative for Congregational Health and wrote the 12-session Bible Study for ALIVE.

Jasmine Zapata, MD, MPH is a dynamic author, physician, health educator,  speaker, youth empowerment specialist, and community leader known both locally and internationally. She is a board certified pediatrician as well as a preventive medicine/public health doctor. Her focus is on ways to get outside the clinic walls to impact health outcomes for children and families on a community based level. Her research and community work focuses on racial disparities in infant mortality, upstream determinants of health, youth resilience, public health approaches to violence prevention, and innovative methods of community engagement and health promotion. She is the founder of the Beyond Beautiful International Youth Empowerment Movement, Founder/CEO of Motivational M.D. Enterprises, LLC as well as co founder of the Madison Inspirational Youth Choir among other roles. She is a 4 time author and her advocacy and community work has been featured on live national TV outlets, such as the Today Show. Her ultimate mission is to use her infectious energy, gifts, passions to “heal, uplift and inspire”.

This program qualifies for 6.5 continuing education clock hours as required by many national, state and local licensing board and professional organizations.  Save your course outline and certificate of attendance and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements.   Licensed professionals should contact their individual jurisdiction to review the current CE requirements for license renewal.

To receive continuing education participants must arrive prior to beginning of program, sign attendance record, attend the full day and submit completed evaluation form after the program to receive their certificate.  Certificates will not be mailed.

  • Nursing: North Park University is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Illinois Nurse Practice Act Rules, Section 1300.130 Continuing Education, c) 1) N) or O)
  • Social Workers, Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists and Nursing Home Administrators Oakton Community College/ALL/CEHP is an approved sponsor of continuing education for this program by the State of Illinois, Department of Financial and Professional Regulation for the following professions:  Social Workers, Professional Counselors, Psychologists, Nursing Home Administrators and Marriage and Family Therapists.
  • Certificates of Attendance through North Park University can be provided for other professions.


Early Bird by September 30
General: $85; Group Discount: $70 per person for 3 or more people from one organization; North Park students, faculty, and staff: $40

Regular, October 1 – November 2
General: $115; Group Discount: $90 per person for 3 or more people from one organization; North Park students, faculty, and Staff: $50

On Site, November 10
General: $135; North Park University and Seminary students, faculty, and Staff: $60

Additional Fees:

Continuing Education Fee:  $15 for Registered Nurses, Social Workers, Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Psychologists, Nursing Home Administrators and other professions needing a certificate of attendance.

Optional Box Lunch for Networking Discussions :  $17


Limited Registration Scholarships are available. Requests should be made in writing to Luke Palmerlee, lrpalmerlee@northpark.edu. Priority is given to requests received by September 25, 2018.

Limited Travel Scholarships are available for members of a Covenant Church traveling more than 200 miles. Requests for a travel scholarship should be submitted to Luke Palmerlee, lrpalmerlee@northpark.edu until September 15, 2018.

Refunds: Refunds are possible through October 31.  No refunds will be given after November 1.

Mary Chase-Ziolek, PhD, RN, Professor of Health Ministries and Nursing, chair
Kara Davis, MD, physician, MetroSouth Medical Center, South Holland, IL
Linda Duncan, DNP, RN, CCRN, Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences and Gretchen Carlson Professor
Pam Franklin, BS, RN, Parish Nurse, First Covenant Church, Duluth, MN
David Kersten, DMin, MDiv, Dean of North Park Theological Seminary
Dwight Perry, PhD, Dean Seminary Faculty and Professor of Homiletics & Leadership
Elizabeth Pierre, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling
Daisy Santiago-Altiery, LCSW, MATS, Director of Counseling Support Services

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