Professional Speakers Bureau

The Professional Speakers Bureau of Hartford Seminary features doctoral graduates and students who have special expertise in a variety of subjects. Each speaker lists the topics they would be available to speak on, and their direct contact information is provided.

If you see a speaker you would like to engage, please contact the speaker directly. All details of the speaking engagement are the responsibility of the host and the speaker.

If you wish to ask that a member of the Hartford Seminary faculty speak at your program, contact Susan Schoenberger, director of communications, at or 860-509-9519. Faculty profiles are available at this link.


Vanessa J. Avery, Ph.D. (Theology, University of Exeter), Director of the Interreligious Communities Program at Sacred Space International,  and Lecturer in Interfaith Engagement at Yale Divinity School.
Areas of expertise: interreligious engagement, interfaith dialogue, community-building, facilitation, world religions, sacred space and architecture, religious and international diversity.
Contact information:, 203-500-0166

Sami Aziz, Chaplain & Director of Spiritual Life at DePauw University, and Founder of Common Ground Institute
Areas of expertise: Islam, Islamophobia, Christian-Muslim relations, Islam in the United States, Interreligious dialogue
Contact Information:, 484-995-9676

Omer Bajwa, Director of Muslim Life, Yale University Chaplain’s Office, New Haven, CT
Areas of expertise: Islamic studies, Christian/Muslim relations, Islam in the United States, Islam & the global media, and contemporary relations between the West & the Muslim world
Contact Information:, 203-432-8753

The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel, Senior Minister, First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn, UCC, Glen Ellyn, IL
Areas of expertise: preaching, congregations
Contact information:, 630-469-3096

Mark L. Heilshorn, Ph.D., author, speaker, Litchfield, CT
Areas of experitise: men’s spirituality, men’s spirituality across the Abrahamic spectrum,  inter-religious dialogue especially in the local church
Contact Information:, 203-598-9705

The Rev. Molly James, Ph.D. (Theology, University of Exeter / Hartford Seminary), Adjunct Professor of Theology and Ethics, Hartford Seminary, and Deputy Executive Director of the General Convension of the Episcopal Church
Areas of expertise: Suffering and grief, end of life issues, pastoral care, Christian ethics, Anglican history and theology
Contact information:, 860-578-4665

The Reverend Dr. Douglas L. Maven, Senior Pastor, First African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Paterson, NJ
Areas of expertise: General: Christianity. Specific topics: organizational development & management, leadership training, social service program planning and development, non-profit community development, conflict management and resolution
Contact information:, 973-345-2439

Imam Dr. Salahuddin M. Muhammad, retired Chaplain, Fishkill Correctional Facility, Beacon, NY; retired Senior Imam of Masjid Al Ikhlas, Newburgh, NY; and retired contract chaplain at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; President of the Association of Muslim Chaplains, Associate Imam of As Salaam Islamic Center in Raleigh, NC. Adjunct Professor at Wake Tech Community College, in Raleigh, NC.
Areas of expertise: Islam, general Islamic studies, Islamic theology, Motivational Speaker, Christian/Muslim relations, criminal justice issues, and inmate advocacy
Contact information: 914-475-2605,

The Rev. Nicolas Mumejian, Managing Editor of The Muslim World journal; minister ordained within the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and in affiliation with the Alliance of Baptists.
Areas of expertise: Christian-Muslim relations, Shi’ism and Christianity, and Comparative Christology.
Contact information:, 860-509-9503

The Rev. Aaron R. Payson, Pastor, Unitarian Universalist Church of Worcester, MA
Areas of expertise: emergency preparedness for faith-based communities, life-cycle of a disaster for faith-based communities, lay pastoral care team development & crisis intervention, reproductive justice and religion, introduction to neuro-theology, preaching without notes
Contact information:, 508-963-5959

Amy Leigh Poppinga, Ph.D. candidate, University of Exeter / Hartford Seminary, and Instructor, History Department, Bethel University, St. Paul, MN
Areas of expertise: General: Islamic Studies and Middle Eastern History; Specialties: Islam 101, Why Christians and Muslims Need Each Other, How Teachers Can Teach (Not Preach) Religion Effectively in the Classroom, Building Bridges: Cultural and Religious Competency in the Workplace.
Contact info:, 612-605-1281

The Rev. Dr. David Ray, turnaround pastor and author, previously an adjunct at seminaries including Hartford Seminary, Andover Newton and Pacific School of Religion.
Areas of Expertise: Smaller churches: theory, theology, problem solving, capitalizing on opportunities
Contact info:, 207-563-1032

The Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper, senior minister, Judson Memorial Church, New York, NY
Areas of expertise: Congregational growth, generationally, spiritually, financially and numerically
Contact information:, 212-477-0351, ext. 22

The Rev. Dr. Eric B. Smith, Founding Pastor, The Adoni Spiritual Formation Center, New Haven, CT
Area of Expertise: Spirituality and how it’s reflected practically in everyday life.
Contact Information:, Home: 203-865-6873, Cell: 203-804-2866

Dr. Ben F. Wade, Vice President and Dean of the College, Emeritus, Florida Southern College, Lakeland, FL
Area of expertise: Introduction to Old and New Testament interpretation
Contact information: 863-815-0815

The Rev. Dr. Charles F. Williams, Director of Religious Services for the CT Department of Correction and, Pastor, Memorial Baptist Church, Hartford, CT
Areas of expertise: spirituality (incorporating the teachings of my Christian faith, along with Islam, Native American spirituality and Buddhist mindfulness), Christian/Muslim Relations, recovery/addiction, criminal justice, mass incarceration, mental health
Availability: Evenings, Saturdays, some Sundays
Contact information:, 860-786-2652

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