Spirituality Resources

Seminary offers multiple settings to explore spirituality and practices that nurture the life of the spirit. Union’s Office of Student Affairs takes the lead in organizing programs that are relevant and transformational. Students, staff and faculty listen to the spirit and work together to provide diverse and inclusive spiritual resources.


Reverend Bertram Johnson, MDIV, MSW

For over two decades, Rev. Johnson has served churches, non-profits, and faith-based organizations dedicated to social justice, spiritual care, and public health. As a faith leader, he seeks to help bridge the divide between faith in God to healing wounded spirits and communities through love and justice. He has years of experience directing programs for people living with HIV, mental health concerns and addiction and as a chaplain for cancer patients. He has also worked nationally in HIV/AIDS research education, promoting awareness and access among communities most disproportionately impacted by the virus. Reverend Johnson is the first openly gay African American to be ordained as a pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA). A native Floridian, he holds a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and A Master of Social Work from Rutgers University. Reverend Johnson can be reached at: bjohnson@utsnyc.edu

Linda S. Golding lgolding@utsnyc.edu

pauli reese preese@utsnyc.edu

Fran Thiessen fthiessen@utsnyc.edu


Current Union students serve as Peer Chaplains and are available for individual and group sessions.

Brad Eubanks be2317@utsnyc.edu

Brad Eubanks (they/them) is in their second year at Union and is in the
process of becoming a priest within the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona.
Before coming to New York, Brad served as the Episcopal and Lutheran
Chaplain for Northern Arizona University for nine years. They have a
bachelor’s in youth ministry and a master’s in student affairs (counseling
and guidance). Their spiritual gifts include listening, advocating for
change, and playing Kirby games. They live in the Bronx with their
spouse Rachel and two high-maintenance, overly dramatic cats, and they
can’t wait to begin working as a peer chaplain.

Kathy Lin kl3456@utsnyc.edu

Kathy Lin (she/her) is a second-year M.Div student in Psychology and Religion,
researching theologies of sex/(a)sexuality, agnosticism, aesthetics/visual
culture, and queerness. Her spiritual care is informed by radical openness,
non-judgmental generosity, and overfull love, as well as her personal
experiences of therapy, depression, and anxiety. She interned as a chaplain at
New York Presbyterian Queens in Flushing, where she cultivated culturally
informed and intergenerational practices of spiritual care and worked on
expanding possibilities of how spirituality can look. In her free time, Kathy loves
drawing/painting, horror movies, and daydreaming about her future cat.

Em Peake ep3038@utsnyc.edu

Em Peake (they/them) is a 3rd year MDiv student studying Buddhism
and Interreligious Engagement. In their role as a chaplain, they are
guided by Buddhist wisdom, queer community care traditions,
disability justice, plant kinship, and the protective and demanding
spirits of their grandmothers. They are passionate about failure,
in-betweenness, and meeting people in their big questions to ponder

Eleanor Scott es3976@utsnyc.edu

Eleanore Scott is a 3rd year MDiv, concentrating in Psychology
and Religion. She has completed one unit of CPE at Maine
Medical Center in Portland, Maine. Originally from Colorado, she
feels most at home in wild spaces and draws spiritual wisdom
from many sources: Unitarian Universalism, Zen Buddhism,
Quakerism, Eco-feminism and Earth-based spiritualities,
Judaism and Christianity. Prior to graduate school, she worked
as a bookseller, au pair, sole proprietor of a farm-to-table market
and a program coordinator at a think tank in Aspen, Colorado.
She enjoys singing arias, cooking, and growing plants. She lives
on campus with her partner, Connor and her wise and gentle dog, Dante.

Nathaniel Sheppard ns3555@utsnyc.edu

Nathan Sheppard is a third year MDiv student in the Buddhism and
Interreligious Engagement program. A classically trained professional
musician, he has been playing the trumpet for over twenty years and
had a career as a musician in the US Army before coming to Union.
Nathan is planning to pursue military chaplaincy after graduation and is
also interested in college chaplaincy. He is currently training for
ordination in the Hollow Bones lineage of Rinzai Zen. He enjoys
reading, listening to all kinds of music, and practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Nathan lives in Washington Heights with his wife Rebecca, her service
dog Mozzie, and their cat Ralph.


Union’s curriculum informs and guides students on a challenging path of spiritual formation. Supplemental co-curricular courses for one credit are offered for your enrichment, especially in the areas of spiritual formation and the practice of ministry. Consider one of the SU 125 Introduction to Spiritual Formation courses or one of the SU 190 Topics in Ministry courses to relate leadership skills to your spiritual practices. See the course catalog for full details.