Faculty Bios

   Ray Buckley


Ray Buckley is the interim Director of the Center for First Nations Spirituality, and faculty member of The Academy of Spiritual Formation.  Buckley has served The United Methodist Church as a staff member of The United Methodist Publishing House, Director of the Native People Communication Office (UMCom) for nine years, and Director of Connectional Ministries and Native Discipleship for the Alaska Missionary Conference.

Mr. Buckley is the author/illustrator of five  story-books (Abingdon Press), one of which, The Give-Away, was featured on the CBS Christmas program, An American Christmas.  In addition, Ray is the author of two studies on Native peoples for children and youth, entitled, Creator Sang a Welcoming Song, and Walking in these White -Man Shoes.  His Lenten study for adults, Hard to Dance with the Devil on Your Back (Abingdon) examines suffering and forgiveness .books for children books.  Buckley is a contributing writer to Beloved Community, and A Guide to Daily Prayer. His stories, poetry, and art have appeared in numerous journals, periodicals, and books around the world. 

Ray Buckley is a teacher, lecturer,S and storyteller.  He has lived and taught in Nigeria and Ghana.  He has served as a guest lecturer on Native studies at several universities.  Mr. Buckley has three times appeared on the Canadian Broadcasting Systems Lenten Series, sponsored by the Council of Canadian Catholic Bishops.  His work brought him to the silver Jubilee of the Cardinal Maeda Institute, and twice to the Vatican.  Ray was selected preacher of the year at Phillip’s Theological Seminary, and delivered the MacDonald Lecture Series in New Mexico.  Along with Buffy St. Marie and Albert White Hat, Mr. Buckley was a featured presenter at the Threshold Arts Series in Iowa.  Mr. Buckley‘s sculptures and art are in the permanent collections of museums in several countries.

Ray makes his home in Palmer, Alaska, and is a traditional basket-maker and wood carver.  


  Rev. Kathryn Damiano


Kathryn Damiano is a Quaker and lifelong contemplative.  As a teacher of in-depth spiritual life studies and retreat leader, she sees her ministry as working for peace and justice through spiritual formation.  Kathryn has been a spiritual director for 35 years and has served in this capacity at Pendle Hill, a Quaker center for study and contemplation.  She co-founded The School of the Spirit, a two –year offering, similar to the Academy for Spiritual Formation in which she has taught for several years.  Her formal training consists of a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary (United Methodist), a Masters in counseling psychology, an internship in spiritual direction at the Jesuit Renewal Center, and a Ph.D. in spiritual theology.  Kathryn moved from Philadelphia to Wichita, Kansas, 17 years ago to join the Friends of Jesus Community.  Their ministry was living in a low-income area of the city to be a presence to promote interracial reconciliation.  Kathryn also seeks deeper solitude and prayer in her new off the grid tiny house, located on a wind and bison ranch.


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