Classes & Presentations

Version 2

Chris Highland

“I know your courses are as important to those you take them, as they were for me. And they are even more important because no one else is teaching them.”

~Jim, published author and former student

“I appreciate your offering serious courses that compel our members to see the world in new ways.”

~OLLI Director

Classes, book readings, lectures, discussion circles, “secular sermons.” My life’s work has been about engaging major ideas and questions that stir deeper thinking and cooperative action.      

In my classes on freethinkers we “catch the fire” of radical minds past and present. We explore and discover women and men who challenge orthodoxy across the boundaries of religion, gender, ethnicity and much more.  In talks and discussion groups I draw upon deep experience in chaplaincy and non-profit work, as well as my love for the natural world.

As a freethinker myself, I am grounded in a humanistic, naturalistic philosophy. Though secular and non-supernatural in worldview, I am not anti-religious (my wife is a minister and so are close friends). I enjoy addressing these ideas and issues in respectful discussion with people of faith and no faith.

As I often say, I’m more interested in building bridges than defending walls.

Feel free to contact me to teach or speak in your location.   

Comments from former students:

“Your expansive and inclusive approach has been wonderful for me.”

“Thank you for all your classes and thought-provoking discussions.”

“Your wonderful freethinking class has opened new doors and enriched and deepened my own inner forest.”

“Your classes are so rich for thinking and pondering.”

“Class meetings have been part intellectual challenge, part community and part meditation.”


August, 2023: “Broken Bridges: Building Community in a World Divided by Beliefs.” Houston Oasis. (Zoom presentation)

Fall, 2023: The Christian Nation Myth: A Present Danger to Secular Democracy.  McCall at Givens, Black Mountain (six-week course)

Fall, 2023:  Seneca’s Sensible Secular Stoicism.  Reuter Center, UNCA (six-week course)


May, 2023:  Christian Nationalism in America.  Blue Ridge Community College (three-week course)

“Well presented, documented and interesting.”

“Very clear. Very patient. Simple explanations. Excellent handouts.”

“Chris is very knowledgable and offers his subject with humility yet confidence. Exceptional.”

May, 2023: Cracks in the Wall: Christian Nationalism vs. a Secular Democracy.  Givens Estates, Asheville

 “Thank you for such a wonderful, timely message that more people need to hear and get their minds around.”

“Enjoyed your talk immensely, as serious and sad as the subject is.”

Spring, 2023:  Sagan’s Secular Scientific Spirit.  Reuter Center, UNCA (six-week course)

“Thanks again for great teaching and again an awareness of the tremendous time involved both in preparing material and huge tasks associated with power points.”

“Many thanks for a wonderfully thought-provoking and interesting class. Great job!”

March, 2023: “A Conversation on Christian Nationalism: A Present Threat to Religious Freedom.”  Congregation Beth Israel, Asheville

February, 2023: Discussion with “Monday Morning Philosophy” group, Asheville

March, 2023: Interview on “Opening Up Chaplaincy” (podcast from England)

Fall, 2022: Christian Nationalism in America.  Reuter Center, UNCA (eight-week course)

“What a great class! Such relevant and important ideas. Thank you for naming this and creating such a thought provoking session.”

 “I wish I could gather the masses for this class.”

“Great class with lots of valid information.”

“Thank you for presenting such a well prepared and enlightening course. You really did your research!!! Excellent, albeit TERRIFYING, class!”

“Chris is very good at explaining the concepts in this class and gave plenty of time for participants to express their opinions of the subject at hand.”

“Chris did an AMAZING job with this difficult topic! Seems everyone participated and enjoyed each class as he gave us a LOT to think about , and a lot of ways to deal with this threat!  He did above and beyond in preparing for this class. Asheville is SO blessed he moved here!”

“The instructor solicited input from the students but did not try to lead the discussion toward his ideology.”

“Outstanding class, outstanding instructor. Clearly knew a lot about this subject, put a lot of work into the course and I learned so much!”

October, 2022: Presentation on the book Friendly Freethinker to First Baptist Church of Asheville book group

August, 2022: Interview with Brett Wilson on the Mountain Zen Den podcast

“Wow, you did such an amazing job sharing your heart and breaking down the barriers that folks might have struggled with in the past when it comes to feeling safe enough to look someone in the eyes and LISTEN to their perspectives and to the beautiful, wonder-filled messages found in Nature! I so enjoyed our conversation and the fact that we could dig deep into a subject that is near and dear to my heart.” 

Summer, 2022: Contemporary Freethinkers.  Reuter Center, UNCA (six-week in-person course)

“The best course I have ever taken.”

“This has been a great class. Thanks for all the insights and for making me think deeply.”

“Your class has been thought-provoking, refreshing, and a real relief to me … thanks to you, I will have many sources/readings to keep me company for the coming months.”

“I’ve gotta tell you: I wish I had known about Freethinkers maybe 40 years ago…  I am grateful for your appearance, late as it has been, in my life.”

“Many friends are interested in freethinker ideas so I am having some engaging conversations as a result of the class. Good stuff!” 


“Getting a greatly different perspective on religion and on freethinkers – so important these days! Everything he said rang true.”

“The course was wonderful, the instructor was
wonderful! Knowledgeable, flexible, good sense of humor. I would take another class from him.”

Spring, 2022: The Teacher & The Preacher: Secular Readings of Ecclesiastes & the Sermon on the Mount. Reuter Center, UNCA (six-week in-person course)

“Amazing seminar, so educational and fascinating. You are so knowledgeable and a great speaker.”

“As a non-Christian, it helped me appreciate and understand Jesus.”

“This was really my first study of any biblical text and it has had a profound impact on how I view the teachings and how I can relate with others of different upbringings and faiths. Thanks for this class, a tremendous class that brought so many good questions. Many thanks Chris for your insights.”

“So much insight and thought provoking discussion. I very much enjoyed thinking outside the box with this engaging topic.”

Fall, 2021:  The Happy Heresy of Humanism.  Reuter Center, UNCA (six-week in-person course)

 “I’m really enjoying this course, and all the thought-provoking questions it raises.”

“I learned a great deal and came away with practical suggestions to use and apply.  This class was well worth the time I spent with it.”

“Chris was very respectful of the students varying responses to the material presented [and gave] students time to explore and clarify ideas he presented.”

“… This course made me really examine my own stance … really made me think …”

“I appreciated Chris’ thoughtfulness about the topics we discussed as well as the balanced presentation and discussion of issues that could be divisive.  The emphasis on collaboration and inclusiveness was inspiring.”

“This course will change my life!  I so appreciate all the insight and knowledge this class provided for me and all my personal relationships.  Many many thanks that you taught this class.” 

August, 2021:  Interview with Glass City Humanists (Ohio)

Interview with PhD candidate on clergy leaving faith

Interview on The Graceful Atheist podcast

May 16, 2021 @ 10:30am:  “Why I Write Secular Columns for a Religion Page.” Rationalists of East Tennessee

Spring, 2021:  Emerson and the Fires of Freethought. Reuter Center, UNCA (six-week online course)

“Sorry to see it end, it’s been great!”

“I am astoundingly humbled at your knowledge and extensive reading of Emerson. The amount of time and concentration required to read and reread in order to plow through and make sense of his dense writing is impressive and, yes, humbling.”

“Always enjoy your informative and inspiring classes.”

 “It strikes me that you strike a fine balance and that you guide and also allow new ideas and observations to percolate.”

“Chris is an excellent teacher who presented Emerson’s complex prose in simple English. He encouraged all attendees to express their views and listened patiently. I enjoyed this course
very much.”

“Fascinating subject expertly presented.”

“Chris presents historical ideas that are pertinent to our lives today.”

“Re-reading Emerson with Chris helped me let the great man light a fire in me again.”

September/October 2020:  Frances Wright:  Freethought Voice of Reason and Reform.  Reuter Center, UNCA (six-week online course)

“I found your class to be a wonderful experience. I always read your articles in the newspaper and you came across just as I had pictured you. Keep up the good work!”

“First class with Chris Highland. Delighted with him and the subject matter. Will look for other classes being taught by him.”

“I thought you did a good job in introducing us to the life and thought of Frances Wright, a little known historical figure (I certainly had never heard of her).”

October 2020:  Lecture on Nature and Religion.  Science and Religion class.  University of North Carolina, Asheville

September 2020:  Lecture:  Geography of the Wild  (talk begins at 45:40 mark). Jubilee Community, Asheville

“Absolutely awesome talk at Jubilee this morning.  Totally resonated in mind, body and spirit.  Blessings and thank you!” 

September 2020:  John Muir:  Naturalist and Freethinker.  Blue Ridge Center for Lifelong Learning.  Flat Rock (three-week online course)

August 2020:  Lecture:  Broken Bridges.  Ethical Humanist Society of Asheville

Summer 2020: Ripples from Henry’s Pond:  Thoreau’s Freethought Voice.  Reuter Center, UNCA (six-week online course) 

“Thanks again for another fascinating and stimulating class!” 

“THANK YOU for a great experience!”

“I think this is as good as Zoom can be!”

“Thank you so much for a very interesting and enlightening class. I confess that I signed up for the class primarily to ‘meet’ you, as I am a fan through your articles in the ACT. It has taken me years to realize that I identify as a ‘free-thinker’.” 

“Wonderful, thought-provoking class!”

“[The class] exceeded my expectations – and Chris had
something to do with that. I enjoyed each and every class.”

“Thank you for all of the time and preparation spent to create a warm, inviting, and exciting class.”

“Fabulous instructor. Having taught American Literature for 20+ years, I thought I was well-versed in the subject. To my delight, Chris presented new ways of looking at the material that had never occurred to me!. The class was delightful!”

June 2020:  Lecture:  “Wisdom Beyond Words.”  Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Swannanoa Valley.   Black Mountain, NC (online)

“Your presentation was so well done and gave us much to ponder.”

March 2020:  Lecture:  “Nature and American Religion.”  Religious Studies course.  UNCA


Fall 2019:  Founding Freethinker:  Thomas Paine in Our Age of Un-Reason. Reuter Center, UNCA

“Great questions, comments – and civil discourse when in disagreement. Who knew it could happen in this day and age, right? Seriously though – bravo and kudos to you for amazingly effective class management and discourse.”

“Great content. Great instructor.”

Fall 2019:  Frederick Douglass:  Free Human Being and Freethinker.  Blue Ridge Center for Lifelong Learning.  Flat Rock

“Excellent presentation.”  “Love the teaching style.”  “Learned so much.”  “You always make me think and reflect.”

June-October:  Wedding Officiant for Private Weddings

May 14, 2019 (2pm):  Lecture: “Can Freethought Save the World?” Givens Estates.  Asheville

April 13, 2019 (2:30-3:30):  Asheville Bookfest.  Asheville Outlets

Spring 2019 (3/29-5/10).  Lucretia Mott’s Freethinking Gospel.  Reuter Center, UNCA

“Remarkable lady brought to life by a very experienced and thoughtful teacher.”

“This was the most interesting class I have taken at OLLI.  I would highly recommend it and any other class from this instructor.”

“Chris really knows about and enjoys the people he has covered in his classes–and shares his enthusiasm well.  He is a great addition to our community of instructors.”

March 3, 2019 (10am). A Freethinker’s Gospel: Bridges across Barriers.  Piedmont Humanists.  Greenville, SC

“A thousand thanks again for sharing your particular journey and insights with us!  I think this was a great session and a true learning experience for all of us.”

 “I really appreciate your message of building bridges and education, education, education.”

January 20, 2019 (9:15am):  Guest presenter in Adult Ed. Class on “Religious Wounds and Healing.”  Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church. Asheville

“I look forward to more opportunities for these dialogues. Thank you for bringing your experience and story to share.” -Facilitator

January 20, 2019 (2pm).  Presentation on A Freethinker’s Gospel. Ethical Humanist Society of Asheville

“Thank you for an excellent presentation/ discussion … you challenged and broadened views and understanding on Freethinking.”

January 13, 2019 (5pm).  Discussion of A Freethinker’s Gospel.  Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church.  Asheville

“Thank you for your leadership and teaching last Sunday evening. I really enjoyed the conversation and heard a lot of good feedback from the participants.” -Pastor

December 20, 2018.  “Secular Solstice.”  Private event.  Arden

October 25, 2018 (5:30pm).  Interfaith Conversation.  Grateful Steps. Leicester

“I thoroughly enjoyed last night’s program at Grateful Steps. Chris Highland seems like a very approachable person spiritually, no matter where one is coming from theologically.”

“The dialogue met the ideal of what our particular Interfaith program was designed to provide.”

October 23, 2018 (6pm).  Author Reading of new book:  A Freethinker’s Gospel.  Malaprop’s Bookstore.  Asheville

October 14, 2018 (4pm).  Book Release Event.  A Freethinker’s Gospel.  Reuter Center, UNCA

October, 2018.  Most Dangerous Women: Wright, Fuller, Mott, Stanton, Truth.  Blue Ridge Center for Life-long Learning.  Flat Rock, NC

“Provocative and engaging.”

“It was very interesting.  I will watch for future classes from Chris.  It was very relevant and thought-provoking.”

“Chris is a very articulate, thoughtful, amusing, intelligent, excellent teacher … good visuals … quality classes … brings the subject to life.”

“Thank you so much for your wonderful course on Dangerous Women …  Everyone in attendance loved it. Your evaluation was excellent.”

September-October, 2018.  Walt Whitman:  Civil War Chaplain and Freethinker.  Reuter Center, UNCA

“Excellent course.  Instructor engaged with learners and brought material to life.”

“Stimulates lively discussions and comments.  His courses get you to think.”

“This was a wonderful and fascinating exploration of the life and poetry of Walt Whitman.  The instructor was very knowledgeable and well prepared to lead this exploration.  Class discussions were interesting and enjoyable.  For me, this was a profound experience.”

“I would have preferred more lecture” … “I would have liked more discussion.”

“I didn’t want the class to end!”

August 5, 2018 (10am).  “What are we missing?”  Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville

August 5, 2018 (4pm).  Co-facilitating Secular Sanctuary.  The Block off Biltmore, Asheville

“I never knew what to call myself.  Now I know that I’ve been a freethinker for all these years.”

 July 1, 2018.  Co-facilitating Secular Sanctuary.  The Block off Biltmore,  Asheville

June 3, 2018.  Co-facilitating Secular Sanctuary.  The Block off Biltmore,  Asheville 

March-May, 2018.  John Muir as Secular Saint.  Reuter Center, UNCA

“This was the best class I’ve had yet. Very thought provoking, fantastic discussions. Loved the concept and the material. Will take anything Chris offers. Really engaging instructor and wonderful material. Just the kind of pathway I want to follow.”

“Chris’ knowledge of the topic is excellent.  But most especially his way of teaching and interacting with the class fosters discussion.”

​”​As a Sierra Club member I knew John Muir was founding father for the club but had no further knowledge of him until this excellent course by Chris Highland whose column in [the Citizen-Times] I have been enjoying even before I took this course …  Enjoyed each session tremendously.”​

“It’s clear that Chris is a devotee of Muir’s and I applaud his enthusiasm but I felt like I was getting preached to.”

“Chris did a fine job of encouraging people to come out of their comfort zones, while he still respected their perspectives.”

“[The class] made me think and improved my appreciation of my part in nature.  John Muir came alive and his messages made clearer.”

“Thank you for being our ‘guide’ who sauntered us to the woods to discover our own spiritual beauty.”

April, 2018. John Burroughs and his Gospel of Nature.  Givens Estates. Asheville.

“As anticipated, your presentation was very interesting, informative and very well received.  The residents shared a lot of wonderful comments … and we look forward to your returning.”

February, 2018.  Freethought in America:  The Nature of Ideas.  Blue Ridge Center for Life Long Learning.  Flat Rock, NC 

“Interesting and challenging presentation.”

“Instructor was very wise and had just the right approach to the subject. He brought things out in me that have been bouncing around in my head for 50+ years!”

“Good balance between informational material and openness to discussion; very professional.”

“This needs to be a 6 month course!”

From the Coordinator:

“Thank you so much for your wonderful presentation. . .  It was very thought-provoking and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. . .  We look forward to more!”

January 15, 2018.  John Muir: Natural Freethinker, Secular Saint.  Givens Estates.  Asheville, NC

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

September-November, 2017.  John Burroughs: Freethinking Naturalist.  Reuter Center, UNCA

“I learned a lot about a man I had barely known about before.  It was enriching.”

“[I appreciated the] classroom discussion [handled] in a non-judgemental and cordial manner.”

“Your delivery of content, warm and personal manner and sense of humor have made this class one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had at OLLI.”

“Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge of and “insightful connection” to John Burroughs with me…and others.  I really enjoyed the readings and classroom interaction.  So glad that I now know this Man of the Earth.  I am sure I will think of him often when I am absorbed in the gifts Nature keeps on giving.”

“Keep teaching these classes. OLLI folks are hungry for the gospel [of Nature] you teach!”

“Chris is a clear, enthusiastic and excellent presenter of brand new concepts.”

“For the first time in my life, I met and got to know an author who was presented as one of the leading freethinking naturalists of his generation.”

October 9, 2017.  John Burroughs and His Gospel of Nature.  “Best of OLLI” Lecture Series, Deerfield, NC

“Thank you for your talk on John Burroughs today at Deerfield in our “Best of OLLI” series.  It was most evident your audience, quite large actually, appreciated your talk.  You brought a unique aspect to our lecture series and your effort is appreciated.”

September 25, 2017.  John Muir Day Presentation.  Grandfather Mountain, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

“I couldn’t hold in, and began to jump about and sing and glory in it all. . .  There you stand in the face of all Heaven come down to earth.”

-John Muir, on Grandfather Mountain (1898)

August 26, 2017 (1pm).  Book Reading and signing.  Highland Books.  Brevard, NC

July 30, 2017.  Stories from the Wild Edges.  UU Congregation, Black Mountain, NC

March-May, 2017.  Natural Freethought:  Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Robert Ingersoll.   Reuter Center, UNCA

“Outstanding course!”

“Chris is terrific!  I hope to study with him again.”

“One of the better courses I have attended at OLLI.”

“Your course and classroom discussions. . .have been true inspirations to broaden my studies on the history of human thought — particularly in the realms of reason and spirituality.”

“This class is so good!  I wish you were teaching every semester.”

“I really enjoyed and benefited from your class, and meeting Stanton and Ingersoll. I will be, I hope, a little more receptive of the ideas of others in the future!”

“I think you are doing a great job.  It’s always difficult to manage discussions–and even more difficult with controversy.  I really appreciate your approach and the way you lead us through this.”

“I thought Chris was an excellent instructor.  I particularly enjoyed the class discussion and I was a little sad that the course was over.”

April 16, 2017.  John Muir’s Natural Religion Beyond Belief.  Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Swannanoa Valley


“Everyone I talked with had a non-bewildering response [I spoke of the value of bewilderment].  They thought you were great!  We hope to have you again.  The invitation to return is not the case with some speakers.”

April 9, 2017.  Bible Belt. . .Secular Shoes.  Piedmont Humanists (Greenville, SC)

“It was a delight, and we’d love to do it again. You have an interesting background, and our group really enjoyed hearing you share your insights and the discussion that followed.”

March 26, 2017. Thoreau’s Light in the Woods.  Neighborhood Assoc. Presentation, Asheville

“Attendees left differently than when they came. There was a beautiful hush, a quiet community of gatherers. Your presentation, your commitment, your love, your insight and your images went deeply. They sure did for me!”

March 19, 2017.  One Nature Indivisible:  A Natural Ethic of Wild Humanism.  Ethical Humanist Society of Asheville

“Many thanks, Chris. I thoroughly enjoyed your program.”

“Thank you!  Enjoyed it very much!”

September-November, 2016.  Freethinkers in Early America.  University of North Carolina, Asheville (College for Seniors, OLLI)

“Your class is just terrific…one of the best I’ve ever had!”

“It made me want to learn even more.  I am hoping for another class.”

“[You] introduced me to authors I had never read or even heard of.”

“Just wanted to let you know I really enjoyed yesterday’s class – all have been good – but Muir and the wide-ranging discussion was particularly stimulating!. . . Your own love for his works was very apparent.”

“One of the best instructors I’ve had at OLLI.”

“Free discussion without fear of being ostracized.”

“[An instructor] with excellent qualifications [and] engaging style. . .  A terrific add to the OLLI instructors ranks!!”

April 17, 2016.  “John Muir’s Wild Secular Sanctuary”  Sunday Assembly (Berkeley, CA).

“Great to have you with us.  Thank you for your presentation!”

January-May, 2016.  “Nature as Secular Sanctuary:  Freethinkers from Paine to Burroughs.”  College of Marin Community Education


“Thank you for another wonderful term of inspiring and thought-provoking exploration of the great minds. I look forward to more!”

November 8, 2015.  “Where is Home?”  Unitarian Universalist Congregation.  San Rafael.

September-October/October-December, 2015.  “The Wilderness Within:  John Burroughs and Walt Whitman.”  College of Marin Community Education


“Thanks for another wonderful class. You’ve given me a deeper appreciation for Whitman, and really looking forward to continuing the discussion on freethinking.”

“I watched your vimeo video “Nature Is Better” and really love everything you have presented, including the beautiful photographs.  I also read comments from readers of your books, and realize how world-renowned you are, and how many people are applauding your work and touched by it.

We are lucky here in Marin to have you lead us in your teachings.”

May 30, 2015.  “Nature is (Super) Enough.”  San Francisco Atheists.  (Videotaped for The Clergy Project)

March 26-April 30, 2015.  “A Wild Spirituality of Nature:  On the Trail of John Muir and John Burroughs.”  College of Marin Community Education

“How great to hear that our fantastic classes resume this Fall!  Your classes are just wonderful and I wish not to miss!”

March 1, 2015.  “Meditations with Nature.”  Service at The Redwoods community, Mill Valley

January 29-March 12, 2015. “A Wild Spirituality of Nature: On the Trail of John Muir and John Burroughs.” College of Marin Community Education


This Winter Quarter session highlighted significant women who impacted, influenced and inspired these naturalists.

“A sensitve and talented teacher, much appreciated, much admired, especially for his ability to communicate with us rather than lecture to us.”

“A truly redeeming part of my life!”

“I came in hoping to be inspired.  I have been!”

“I come to class each week wondering, ‘Why would someone want to be anywhere else?!”

September-December, 2014. “A Wild Spirituality of Nature: On the Trail of John Muir and John Burroughs.” College of Marin Community Education

“I am enjoying the class tremendously and am regretting it ending. . .WOW. You have covered so much and now there are all these glaciers of possibilities to explore for me, on my own and maybe later in class again. Thank you for being so broad in your scope; open-minded and inclusive. I think of this as a philosophy course above all. So refreshing for me.  Thanks so much.”

“My sincere thanks for this awakening experience.”

“Thanks to you, reading Muir I have found a kindred and spokesman for much that I have said or thought about the wilderness.”

August 3, 2014.  “Nature and Wonder:  Secular Spirituality.”  First United Lutheran, San Francisco

“What a wonderful time we had last Sunday.  I think my congregation might be budding free thinkers.”

March-May, 2014. “A Wild Spirituality of Nature: On the Trail of John Muir and John Burroughs.”  College of Marin Community Education


“I am thoroughly enjoying being on the trail with JM & JB (& CH!). . . . My artist eye has widened and I frequently stop to soak it in and contemplate. I love our wildlife sighting discussions, and found I am just that much more aware of the life around me. The solace I have always found in nature is deepening.  The readings I have done are a great exploration, though I admit I want to do more. I have really enjoyed the selections you have read in class, and the reading we do together. It is nice to delve into a paragraph of your choosing as a group, and the enthusiasic way you read your selections draws me in.”

March 16, 2014.  “Secular Chaplains:  John Burroughs.”  Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Marin.

“Wish we had had more time before the service to talk.  So many people told me after the service how much they had enjoyed your talk.  Looking forward to next time.” (congregational leader)

January-March, 2014. “A Wild Spirituality of Nature: On the Trail of John Muir and John Burroughs.”  College of Marin Community Education

“I’m really enjoying myself–haven’t been in class for a long time but yours has made it very worthwhile, so “Thank You!”  I think you’re handling the material very well given the fact the subject matter and “the cast” (Muir, Burroughs, Emerson, and the gang) could take this in multiple directions at once which, obviously, can be challenging in a 7 week course.  But you’re doing a great job keeping the class focused but also flexible enough to touch on various areas of interest (and questions) that come up in class.You have a very inviting, welcoming teaching style and each week the class seems to warm up and want to engage in more conversation which is good.”

“I loved being in your class and learning new ways to reflect on Muir’s life and writings, as well as opening some new doors to people I’d never read before. Thank you for the time you put into your class to make it meaningful for us.”

August-November, 2013.“Rivers of Wisdom:  A Short Course on World Religions.”  The Tamalpais, Marin County, CA

“We really want to continue this course!  When are you coming back?” 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

April 21, 2013.  “A Celebration of Nature”.  The Redwoods, Mill Valley, CA

“This was so inspiring!  Made my day.  The best “church” I’ve been to lately!” 

April 22, 2013.  “Contemplating Our Natural Home, Classroom and Sanctuary.” Marin Interfaith Council Contemplative Series.  Church of Christ Scientist, Mill Valley, CA

February, 2013.  “Meditations with John Muir.”  The Redwoods, Mill Valley, CA

February 28, 2013.  Wallbuilders or Bridgebuilders:  Spiritual and Secular Side by Side in Service.”  UC Davis.  Invited by the Agnostic and Atheist Students Association.

“Thank you for doing this.  We were surprised to see Evangelicals here and there was good discussion.”

April 19, 2012 at 2:30pm.  “By the Hand of Nature:  John Muir as Natural (Secular) Saint.”  Earth Week.  Cabrillo College, Aptos, CA. Sponsored by the Secular Students Association and the Sustainability Council.

Fall 2012.  “Cooperative Housing for Seniors.”  Part of a forum for housing advocates.  Health and Wellness Center, San Rafael.

November 9, 2010.  “Jesus and John Muir: A Wilderness Novel.”  Lecture on the book.  Part of the Cultural Expressions Program at Dominican University of California, San Rafael.  Noon, Creekside Room.

February 27, 2010, “Compassion on the Edges.”  Workshop (with Chaplain Paul Gaffney), United Methodist Annual Conference, Temple United Methodist, SF, CA

December 10, 2009. “Work with Marginalized Persons.” Chaplaincy Institute, Berkeley, CA

Chaplain Chris2

Wearing the Chaplain Hat

November 29, 2009 @ 11am:  “The Nature of Shelter.” Unitarian-Universalist Congregation, San Rafael, CA

July 26, 2009 @ 9:30am:  Sermon on “Re-defining the Sacred.” Christ Presbyterian Church, Terra Linda, CA

April 26, 2009 @ 9:30am:  Sermon on “God is Green.” Christ Presbyterian Church, Terra Linda, CA

Faculty Supervisor for a Master of Divinity student’s Junior Project in an Oregon Women’s Prison

Cherry Hill Seminary

Fall 2012-Winter 2013

“Survey of Chaplaincy”

Cherry Hill Seminary (online course)

Fall 2011

“Thanks so much for opening my eyes to the world of chaplaincy. I think I may have found just where the Gods wanted me to be.”

~Pagan Chaplain

“John Muir and Walt Whitman: Poetry and Politics of Nature”

 Cherry Hill Seminary (online course)

Fall 2010

“Interfaith Ministry with Homeless Persons” (Masters Workshop)

Chaplaincy Institute, Berkeley

December 9, 2010

“Walt Whitman and the Genius of Common People”

Dominican University of California, San Rafael

Summer 2009

“The Wild Gospel of Nature”

Dominican University of California, San Rafael

Summer 2008

Presentation in LeConte Chapel, Yosemite

Presentation in LeConte Chapel, Yosemite

Medford-Barnes and Noble 2005 001 Medford 004

Barnes and Noble, Medford, OR (2005)

1990-2000.  Parish Associate Teaching/Worship Leading.  St. Luke Presbyterian Church, San Rafael, CA.

Adult Education classes on World Religions, Scriptures of the World, Mystics, Buddhism and Christianity, etc.

Chris as St. Luke PA

Parish Associate

1994.  World Wisdom Traditions.  Adult Education.  Novato Presbyterian Church.

Chaplaincy Teaching/Presentations

1995-2005.  Facilitation of Discussions/Leading Services/Counseling in the Unhoused Community 

Chaplain Chris

Street Chaplain

1985-1995.  Facilitation of Services/Pastoral Counseling in seven different units of the Marin County Jail

Chris as Jail Chaplain2

Jail Chaplain

1982-1988.  Community Living Skills instructor.  Cedars School.  San Anselmo, CA

Private school teacher-chaplain


1982.  World Religions.  Adult Education Class.  Davis Community Church

1978.  Introduction to World Religions.  Edmonds Presbyterian Church, Edmonds, WA. (First Class I taught)

1978.  Introduction to Philosophy.  Seattle Pacific University.  Professor’s Assistant 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: