Meet our Advisory Partners

Amy Pierson

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.

Bill Dwyer

Bill Dwyer has been the senior pastor at Dallas and Jane Willard’s home church, the Valley Vineyard, for forty years. Bill has a passion for Jesus’ kingdom. For the first twenty years of ministry, Bill was an activist. Jesus birthed a passion in him for missions, evangelism, spiritual warfare, leading a church community, faithfulness to the Word, the ministry of healing, and the renewing work of the Spirit. Twenty years ago, Jesus used Dallas and Jane to draw Bill into spiritual formation, contemplative practices, and spiritual direction. His desire is to see every believer bring the active and contemplative life in the kingdom together. Bill is married to Anamarie Dwyer, a theater professor at CSUN. They have seven beloved and cherished grandchildren.

Bob Howey

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.

James Bryan Smith

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.

Jane Willard

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.”

John Carroll

Dallas Willard Ministries is excited to welcome John Carroll as the newest member of our team. John directs the School of Kingdom Living, DWM’s 18-month certificate program in Christian formation. With a Bachelor's degree from the University of Central Florida and a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary, John brings a unique blend of experience (11 years in business, 9 years in the local church) to Dallas Willard Ministries. Prior to joining DWM, John served for six years with James Bryan Smith at the Apprentice Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation, where he directed the finances and operations, including the Apprentice Experience.

Keith Matthews

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

Larissa Heatley is Dallas Willard’s granddaughter and has a passion to further Christ’s kingdom through continuing her grandfather’s work. Larissa studied English and Public Relations at the University of Arizona, graduating in 2021, and now works as a marketing specialist for BJ's Restaurants. 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.

Sam Newby

Sam Newby is originally from Kansas City where he was an associate pastor for several years before planting a church in the arts & music district of Kansas City. For eight years he shepherded the congregation as it took shape and in 2016 he transitioned out of that role to move to Pasadena and do a PhD in Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. Due to the deep influence of Dallas Willard's writing, Sam is focusing on Spiritual Theology and Human Development in a Theological perspective. This fits with his favorite DW quote: "What God gets out of our life is the person we become." He also works full time as the Manager of Operations for Stars, a faith based non-profit that focuses on youth development. He has been married to Anna for 14 years and has a 10 year old son and 4 year old daughter. His greatest passions are his family, the church and writing. He also enjoys classic literature, birding and Marvel comics.

Todd Hunter

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. is co-sponsored by the family of Dallas Willard, Dallas Willard Ministries, and FiveStone.