2005 Distinguished Alumni/ae

Jon B. Eckels

Renowned poet, essayist, activist, and teacher Jon B. Eckels (MDiv 1966) has written 14 volumes of poetry. His most recent, Sing When the Spirit Says Sing: Selected & New Poems 1960–1990 (1999), won an American Book Award in 2000 from the Before Columbus Foundation, and his Home Is Where the Soul Is (1969), published by the influential Broadside Press, is considered one of the seminal works of the black poetry movement. After completing his MDiv at PSR, Eckels earned a master's degree in literature from Stanford University. He served as an instructor of English, American literature, poetry, and creative writing at Mills College and Merritt College in Oakland, CA. An ordained minister in the United Methodist Church (UMC), Eckels pastored UMC churches in California and New York. Eckels has been a human rights activist since the 1960s and has spoken and read around the nation and the world.

Cynthia Winton-Henry

Cynthia Winton-Henry (MDiv 1983) weaves together spiritual leadership, scholarship and intellectual practice, artistic expression, pastoral care and community development. Ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), she has chosen to make the wider community her church. Winton-Henry is co-director of Body Wisdom, Inc., a not-for-profit organization devoted to the integration of body, mind, heart, and spirit both inside and outside of faith communities. She is the co-founder of InterPlay, a philosophy and practice that encourages body-spirit integration, creating communities of understanding and peace in many different settings. She also co-directs the WING IT! Performance Ensemble, a multicultural group of more than 20 artists/spiritual caregivers. Winton-Henry is the author of several publications, CDs and videos, including the book, What the Body Wants (2004). She has been an adjunct faculty member in dance and theology at PSR for 20 years.

James Treat

James Treat (MA 1989) teaches interdisciplinary courses in native studies, religious studies, and creative expression at the Honors College at the University of Oklahoma. His research focuses on native religious diversity in the contemporary period, and especially on the relationship between tribal and Christian traditions in reservation and urban communities. He addresses the theoretical and practical questions raised by the intersections of religion, culture and politics in a diverse and conflicted world. Treat is the author of Around the Sacred Fire: Native Religious Activism in the Red Power Era (2003) and the editor of For This Land: Writings on Religion in America by Vine Deloria, Jr. (1999) and Native and Christian: Indigenous Voices on Religious Identity in the United States and Canada (1996). He completed his PhD in religious studies in 1993 at the Graduate Theological Union.