From The Director 


Holli Emore, Executive Director
Last week it gave me great pleasure to contact four individuals and three prison chaplains to notify them of the awards decisions of the scholarship committee.

Some were current students and some are new to CHS.  The new folks will be taking all of the Rhizomes community leadership courses this year.  One of the prisons had recently lost their entire Pagan library during a state-to-state move to a new facility.  The Pagan Life Academy lessons will give them a new start on building resources for incarcerated Pagans. 

31 of you generously gave a total of $4,870 - many of those were in addition to other gifts you made in 2013, to the general fund or to the endowment challenge last summer.  Your generosity has now been paid forward to students from around the country, and to help CHS end the year on a fiscally healthy note.

Never doubt that your gift, no matter how small or large, matters.  In fact, if you are new to the practice of philanthropy, you will soon find that giving to a worthy cause changes you in ways you may not expect.

May your new year be full of welcome changes.



Important Dates
For Students
Jan 21 Drop/Add deadline
Feb 10 Insights Spring 1 classes end
Feb 11 Insights Spring 2 classes begin
Mar 10 Insights Spring 2 classes end
Mar 11 Insights Spring 3 classes begin
Apr 7 Insights Spring 3 classes end
Apr 28 Spring semester ends
May 13 Summer semester begins 
July 10 - 13 Summer Intensive
For Faculty
Feb 25 Insights Spring 1 grades due
Mar 25 Insights Spring 2 grades due
Apr 22 Insights Spring 3 grades due
May 9 Fall course proposals due to department chair 
Publication Spotlight
In his new book, Pagan Britain, CHS Board of Advisors Member Ronald Hutton "reveals the long development, rapid suppression, and enduring cultural significance of paganism, from the Paleolithic Era to the coming of Christianity. He draws on an array of recently discovered evidence and shows how new findings have radically transformed understandings of belief and ritual in Britain before the arrival of organized religion."  Read more and purchase a copy in the Cherry Hill Seminary Bookstore.
Lynne Hume's new book, The Religious Life of Dress, includes discussion of modern Pagan practices.  "Taking a 'senses' approach, Hume's engaging account takes into consideration the look, smell, feel, touch and sound of religious apparel, the 'smells and bells' of dress and its accoutrements, as well as the emotions evoked by donning religious garb."  To read more and purchase a copy, visit Bloomsbury Publishing.

Support CHS

Help Cherry Hill Seminary promote the development of professionally trained Pagan clergy.  Your donation will help to support current and future Pagan scholars as they pursue studies in ministry.

You can also help us by spreading the word about Cherry Hill Seminary.  Visit our website to find ideas for sharing information about CHS with your friends and colleagues.
Soma, Psyche & Spirit - New Certificate 

We are not just our bodies or our minds. We are a wonderful blend of body and mind, inspired by Spirit. The alternative practitioner believes that all illness has, at its source, a perceived disconnection from Spirit. The task of a good healer is to help clients recognize their connection with Source and reintegrate these seemingly separate parts of themselves.

Valentine McKay-Riddell Soma, Psyche & Spirit is the brainchild of Valentine McKay-Riddell, Chair of Pagan Community Education at CHS. "Alternative healers have always known that our connection with Spirit is
the source of mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.  Most illness results when we start to believe that connection is broken.  A true healer helps us recognize that we are never separate from Source.  The Soma, Psyche & Spirit certificate offers a broad range of courses based upon this ancient yet timely paradigm."

While Soma, Psyche & Spirit offers courses specifically designed for Pagans, the skills learned will be helpful to a far broader range of health practitioners as well. A total 24 unit hours
, The Soma, Psyche & Spirit Certificate focuses on training alternative health practitioners to work holistically with clients. Look in the catalog (page 15) for more detail. 



Faculty Spotlight:  Judy Harrow
Cherry Hill Seminary congratulates Judy Harrow on over thirteen years of service to the CHS community!


Judy is the founder of Inwood Study Group, which became Proteus Coven in 1980.  She has held multiple offices with Covenant of the Goddess, and she was the first COG member to be legally registered as clergy in New York State in 1985.  She has published multiple works on Pagan topics, including the books Wicca Covens and Spiritual Mentoring.  Judy is currently the Chair Emerita of CHS's Pastoral Counseling and Chaplaincy Department.


Judy first joined the CHS community at the invitation of Kirk White and Cat Chapin-Bishop in 2000 as an instructor in what would soon become the Pagan Pastoral Counseling Department (now Pastoral Counseling & Chaplaincy).  Over the years, Judy feels most proud of the ongoing development of that department, which she chaired after the service of Cat Chapin-Bishop.  She remembers that "Our original intent for the whole thing was something that we were calling the 'barefoot physician' model.  It involves not trying to churn out professional counselors, but providing working clergy with the basic skills that all clergy need." 


Though their initial intent wasn't focused on "credentialing or licensure," an incident occurred in the early years of the department that highlighted the need for professional clergy.  A priestess was ill and in the hospital, and the hospital complied with her request to have her own spiritual leader visit her.  "But then it occurred to the priestess concerned that there will be others, other Pagan folk possibly in that same hospital who would like the spiritual guidance of their clergy, of someone who understands their path, and might not know . . . anybody by name to ask for them.  So the priestess contacted the Pastoral Care Department of the hospital and offered her services pro bono and they refused her, because she did not have a credential.  And in fact she had a master's in something called Spiritual Psychology from one of the new age institutions in California, but that wasn't good enough; it had to be a licensed counselor or ordained clergy or someone of that sort or they wouldn't even consider accepting voluntary services." 


This incident made CHS leadership realize that many Pagans who are seeking pastoral care are "those away from home, whether they're in the hospital, whether they're away at college, whether they're in the military, you know, all those kind of situations that take people away from their home communities,
. . . and in order to serve those people, we had to have the kinds of credentials that secular institutions would recognize, and that we had to go for accreditation, and that was when Cherry Hill Seminary started [to orient] our goals to become more compliant with secular standards."


Though Judy has not taught at CHS in some time, she still sits in on department meetings, and she "love[s] hearing how things are going" under the guidance of David Oringderff, whom she first hired as an instructor in 2003. Looking toward CHS's future, Judy is most anticipating CHS's accreditation.  She shares that she "was absolutely and totally thrilled when Wendy [Griffin] became Academic Dean, because she has a long experience with secular academia and is a good person to guide Cherry Hill Seminary toward full accreditation."


The Cherry Hill Seminary family offers Judy Harrow our congratulations and gratitude for her years of guidance and support!


Insights Courses in February and March

- Spring 2, Feb 11-Mar 10
Sacred Choices - Spring 2, Feb 11-Mar 10

Click the course link for more info and to register now.

CHS Faculty in the News

Anne Hill was recently interviewed by RevKess and KaliSara in the first 2014 episode of the Pagan Musings Podcast Channel.  She discussed her new Rhizomes class, Real World Pagan Ethics, which began this week.

Holli Emore's latest post in Wild Garden: Pagans in the Growing Interfaith Landscape, "Interfaith in Prison," examines interfaith practices in prison settings.
Jenny Blain was recently interviewed by Jason Pitzl-Waters on the Wild Hunt.  She discussed the sacred lands, her role at CHS, and her current class, Heathenry: Altered States and Non-Human People.