Steering Committee

Steering Committee

Hiawatha C. Demby, Jr., Ph.D.
, is a member of the United Church of Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill (UCCH); and applications analyst for the university Information Technology Services at University of North Carolina (UNC) where he develops and maintains servers and software for managing IP based services for the campus network. He is active in technology related clubs and initiatives on campus including 'games for learning' and the 'TriZPUG' Python programming users group. His technical accomplishments include 2 US patents from work in graduate school and previous employment. He served as a member of the economic justice committee that drafted his local church Economic Justice Covenant. With momentum from that effort he initiated a sustainable living program to involve families in developing sustainable practices known as the "Sustainable Household Challenge" which is commencing its second year of operation. Dr. Demby also serves as the leader of his local church sound and technology committee and has helped to bring pod-casting to the UCCH online presence!

Rev. Deirdre King Hainsworth, Ph.D., joined the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary faculty in 2005 serving as assistant professor of Christian ethics.  Hainsworth previously served as an ethics instructor and administrator on the faculty of Friends University in Wichita, Kan. She is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, with experience as a church educator and pastor in Philadelphia as well as in urban ministry and civil rights advocacy for persons with disabilities. She received her bachelor's from Harvard and her M.Div. and doctorate in social ethics from Princeton Theological Seminary.  Hainsworth's research focuses on issues of vocation and professional ethics, religion and human rights, and the ethical implications of information technologies. She is currently working on a book entitled Digital Personas, Human Lives: Christian Ethics and the Uses of New Technologies. Hainsworth is married to John, a computer scientist, and they live in Pittsburgh, PA with their two sons. 

Christie Holland, Ph.D., is the former Director, Center for Virology, Immunology and Infectious Disease Research, Children's Research Institute; retired professor, Department of Pediatrics, and Associate Professor, Departments of Microbiology and Immunology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Faculty at the George Washington Institute of Biomedical Sciences, George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC. Internationally published, investigator for numerous studies, Holland's research areas include HIV pathogenesis.  Holland teaches and lectures widely on the science of stem cell research in United Church of Christ local church and conference settings, and on ecumenical forums.

Rev. Deborah Streeter is Chair of the United Church of Christ Science and Technology Network.  She is a Lecturer in Environmental Studies at Santa Clara University and Adjunct Faculty at Pacific School of Religion, where she teaches UCC history and polity.  She has a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.A. in Ethics (specializing in medical ethics) and an M.Div. from Pacific School of Religion.  She has served as a parish minister, campus and hospital chaplain, member of hospital ethics committees and Human Subjects Committees, and she currently is an Associate Conference Minister in the UCC.  She also is Director of Upwellings: A Ministry of Environmental Stewardship, which works with people from faith communities, environmental activist groups and science/education organizations on the Central California Coast on education, action and worship around ocean and coastal issues.  She is a Member at Large and Chair of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council, a Docent at Point Lobos State Reserve and a Guide at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.   She edited Dancing on the Brink of the World: Selected Poems of Point Lobos (2003).

Mr. Frank Villa is Vice Chair of the United Church of Christ Science and Technology Network, and Administrator of the Certificate program in Science and Religion at the Boston Theological Institute. He edits The Shoreline, the BTI newsletter in Science and Religion, and develops colloquia to foster the science/religion dialogue for the nine member schools and the community at large. Mr. Villa holds a Masters degree from Andover Newton Theological School with a concentration in science and religion. A former teacher of high school earth science and physics and commercial pilot and flight instructor, he has spent the past twenty-five years in business management in the science industry, specializing in the design and construction of laboratory facilities. He has developed curricula and taught courses to lay members of many congregations to bring the dialogue between science and religion to people of faith. Frank has concurrent duties as Director of InterFASE, The International Faith and Science Exchange, and uses that forum to broaden the scope of science/religion ministries in local churches.

Kimberly Whitney, Ph.D., supports the United Church of Christ Science and Technology Network, on which she serves as denominational staff liaison for science and faith initiatives. Dr. Whitney graduated from the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in 2002 with a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary approaches to social and environmental ethics.  Her research and writing explores senses of place in literature, theology, cultural studies – as a resource for moral reflection.  Her work in environmental ethics and feminist studies engages women in science.

Alumni – Emeritus
Our Honored Wisdom Circle

Ronald Cole-Turner, M.Div., Ph.D., holds the H. Parker Sharp Chair of Theology and Ethics at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. His research focuses on genetics and biotechnology as they affect the meaning and future of human life. He is active in various science and religion organizations and played a central role in the International Society for Science and Religion (an honorary society of about 120 scholars that was chartered in 2002). He serves on the academic board of the Metanexus Institute and on the advisory board of the John Templeton Foundation. Dr. Cole-Turner earned his M.Div.and Ph.D. at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is author, co-author, or editor of more than six books, including The New Genesis (1993), Pastoral Genetics (1996), Human Cloning: Religious Responses (1997), Beyond Cloning (2001), God and the Embryo (2003), and the forthcoming Design and Destiny: Jewish and Christian Perspectives on Human Germline Modification (2007).

Bruce Epperly, Ph.D., is Director of Continuing Education and Professor of Practical Theology at Lancaster Theological Seminary.  Dr. Epperly served as Director of the Protestant Ministry and Adjunct Professor in Theology, Spirituality, and Medicine at Georgetown University and Medical School (1982-1999), and Acting Associate Dean, Assistant to the President for On-line Programs, and Adjunct Professor in Theology, Spirituality, and Pastoral Care at Wesley Theological Seminary (2000-2003).   Dr. Epperly has authored twelve books, including  God's Touch: Faith, Wholeness and the Healing Miracles of Jesus; Mending the World: Spiritual Hope for Ourselves and Our Planet  and Walking in the Light: A Jewish-Christian Vision of Healing and Wholeness  (co-written with Rabbi Lewis Solomon); and The Power of Affirmative Faith: A Spirituality of Personal Transformation, which received Spirituality and Health magazine's award as being "one of the best books in spirituality in 2001." His areas of interest and expertise in science and technology include: bioethics, especially end of life issues; professional ethics and well-being; accessibility and disability issues.

Rev. Catriona Grant, Ph.D., is an ordained pastor in the United Church of Christ currently serving the Congregational Church of Amherst, New Hampshire. Prior to ministry her vocation was in basic immunological research. Her studies focused on antigen presentation to the immune system and self tolerance. The research for her Ph.D. was done at the Institute for Immunology, Basel, Switzerland and the National Institute for Medical Research in London. Following this she came to the US to do a Howard Hughes postdoctoral fellowship at the Section of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine. Exploring other avenues, she was awarded a Masters of Divinity with Honors from Andover Newton Theological School where she earned the Koinonia Award for Excellence in Preaching in her graduating class and was inducted into the Jonathan Edwards Honor Society. She appreciates the opportunity to integrate issues of science and faith in her ministry within her congregation and beyond.

Rev. Karen Lebacqz, Ph.D., is the Robert Gordon Sproul Professor of Theological Ethics, Emerita, at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California.  Known internationally for her work in bioethics, theories of justice, and professional ethics. Lebacqz is a United Church of Christ (UCC) minister and consultant on numerous corporate and community ethics committees. Her life-long commitment to issues of social justice takes shape through her writing and teaching in the areas of bioethics and ethical theory. Lebacqz has written and edited numerous books, including Six Theories of Justice and The Human Embryonic Stem Cell Debate.  Lebacqz received her doctorate from Harvard University and has served on the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research. She also has served as a consultant to the Director of Health for the state of California, as a member of the Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues-based (ELSI) Genome Project at the Graduate Theological Union’s Center for Theology and Natural Sciences, and she has been the chair of the Ethics Advisory Board of Geron Corporation. She is a former president of the Society of Christian Ethics.  In addition to her books, Lebacqz has written dozens of essays on bioethics, feminist ethics and sexual ethics for scientific journals, church magazines and international publications. She has been the recipient of several awards and grants including the Lilly Endowment for work in professional ethics, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

Rev. John A. Mills, Emeritus Steering Committee Member, is an ordained pastor in United Church of Christ. Rev. Mills is currently chaplain for Homeside Hospice in New Jersey and past pastor of First Congregational Church (UCC) in Closter, NJ and past interim minister of the Federated Church of Livingston, NJ. An OSS/BSS solutions architect, he designed and implemented various systems supporting the emergence of the Internet and telecommunications. Rev. Mills graduated from Drew University Theological School with a Masters of Divinity degree, Summa Cum Laude, and from Rutgers University with a Masters of Science degree. He has three decades experience in the telecommunications industry, publishing various technical articles in the field of software engineering, and developing various operations architectures for telecommunications networks. Rev. Mills established Wisdom's Light, a program bringing the dialogue between science and religion to the public. As such he has taught a variety of classes to the general public on topics that include the creationism and evolution conflict, the impact of quantum physics and cosmology on faith, the stem cell research controversy, and the promise of the Internet.

Dr. Olivia Masih White holds a Ph.D. in genetics and is Professor Emerita of Genetics and Biology at the University on North Texas. She is the past President of the Texas Genetics Society. She recently taught part-time at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. She holds a Masters of Religious Education from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. During those years she was very involved with the Human Genome Project and ELSI. Her interest in the moral and ethical implications of Genetic Technologies had led her into conducting workshops and seminars for lay, clergy and other groups. She chairs the Human Biotechnologies Policy Development Committee of the National Council of Churches that recently produced a new Policy Statement. She also co-chaired the World Council of Churches planning committee for the Global Consultation on Genetics and New Biotechnologies that was held in South Africa in 2007.

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