Meet our Advisory Partners
Amy Pierson is the founder of Burning Heart Workshops (a soul care ministry combining classic spiritual formation, neurotheology, and creative soul care), and former executive director of the Spiritual Formation Alliance. Amy is a graduate of the Renovaré Insitute for Christian Spiritual Formation/Santa Barbara Cohort, and an active leader at Denver’s Downing House. She received her Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Colorado, Boulder. A writer, speaker, artist and empty-nester mom, Amy lives in the Denver area with her hilarious husband, Bill, and their ridiculous golden retriever.
Robert S. Howey is the founder of the Spiritual Formation Alliance. An entrepreneur his entire career, Bob initiated several new ventures in the insurance and financial fields. He is the founder of the Spiritual Formation Alliance. Now retired, Bob assists Christian ministries with strategic planning—especially as it pertains to the Church and current culture. Bob lives in Centennial, Colorado.
Jim Smith is the founder and Executive Director of the Apprentice Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation at Friends University, where he is also the first person to hold the Dallas Willard Chair in Christian Spiritual Formation. Jim was a founding member of Richard J. Foster’s spiritual renewal ministry, Renovaré, and is an ordained United Methodist Church minister. He served as a teaching assistant for Dallas over the course of seven years and spent much time learning from him inside and outside the classroom. He developed the Apprentice series of books as a way of communicating Willard’s teaching in a more accessible format. Jim serves as a teaching pastor at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Wichita, KS, where he makes his home with his family and their very energetic dog, Winston.
For over 25 years Jane, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), worked with adults who had experienced childhood trauma, utilizing what she termed imagery prayer. She has presented several papers on the topic at conferences for Christian therapists. Currently Jane is a certified spiritual director. She has led groups through the 30-week Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and, with joy and gratitude, meets with directees via Skype and in her home in Southern California where she and Dallas lived for most of their 57 years of marriage. Jane, her daughter Becky Heatley, and the family work with publishers and organizations to continue Dallas’s message of “living in the Kingdom now.”
Keith Matthews has extensive ministry experience, from church plants to the megachurch, from coast to coast. He is an ordained pastor, church consultant, retreat speaker, teaching fellow for the Apprentice Institute at Friend’s University and Adjunct Professor at Fuller Seminary where he worked with Dallas in teaching the Spirituality and Ministry course. Keith also served on Dallas’s Supervisory Council (2001-2013). He and his wife Christa have three children, Cori, Kyle, and Kate, and reside in Southern California.
Larissa Heatley is Dallas Willard’s granddaughter and has a passion to further Christ’s kingdom through continuing her grandfather’s work. She began her education at Moorpark Community College, took a gap-semester to attend a highly intensive discipleship program called Patmos, and is currently studying at the University of Arizona. It was during Patmos that she felt called to be more involved in her grandfather’s ministry and change her career path to publishing. She has been called tiny but mighty for as long as she can remember, and loves helping out with anything behind the scenes. Her favorite quote from her grandfather is “Give ‘em heaven,” and she hopes to live that out daily.
Todd Hunter is the founding bishop of The Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others and founder and leader of The Telos Collective. He is past President of Alpha USA, former National Director for the Association of Vineyard Churches, and retired founding pastor of Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Costa Mesa, CA. Todd serves as an adjunct professor of evangelism, leadership in contemporary culture and spiritual formation at George Fox University, Fuller Seminary, Western Seminary, Vanguard University, Azusa Pacific University and Wheaton College. He and his wife, Debbie, have two adult children and live in Franklin, Tennessee.