Staff Collective

Stephanie Anna Hixon Executive Director 202-488-5647 sahixon@justpeaceumc.org

Stephanie Anna Hixon

With the hope of providing services that support wholeness and wellbeing for individuals, communities, and institutional systems, Stephanie Hixon seeks to integrate best practices in alternative dispute resolution with principles of faith and spirituality, communication theory and creative organic group processes.

Earning degrees in Music Therapy and Music Education from Shenandoah College and Conservatory of Music (Shenandoah University), she later pursued theological coursework through the Washington, DC consortium of schools, earning a Master of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. Her professional certification in Alternative Dispute Resolution was granted by Hamline University School of Law. She is an ordained elder in the Susquehanna Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and served congregations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Stephanie also served as a member of the general secretariat for The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women in the United Methodist Church providing leadership as an advocate for a diverse constituency of women within the Church. During her tenure as general secretary she offered expertise and support for the Church’s response to sexual harassment, abuse and misconduct.

Stephanie is a trained consultant and facilitator in severely conflicted situations and has extensive experience with strategies and processes to assist institutions and communities to foster environments of mutual respect and regard for all persons. Serving as Executive Director for JustPeace Center for Mediation and Conflict Transformation in The United Methodist Church provides an opportunity for Stephanie to embrace her passion for justice, peacemaking and conflict transformation. In addition to training, teaching and consulting, she has facilitated mediations and circles of accountability and healing within the Church. Along with her colleagues, she believes that local churches can be centers of relational healing and peacebuilding for their members as well as the neighborhoods in which they reside.

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Adam Bray Resources & Administration 202-488-5621
Adam Bray Resources & Administration 202-488-5621

Adam B. Bray

Adam Bray comes to JustPeace with over ten years of experience working in various United Methodist agencies and ecumenical organizations.  He has a masters degree in Theological Studies from Wesley Theological Seminary where he studied Christian Ethics and a Bachelors Degree from the University of Mary Washington in Sociology.  Before joining the staff of JustPeace, he worked at the General Board of Church and Society, served as United Methodist US-2 at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA, worked in the Eco-Justice Program of the National Council of Churches, and organized religious leaders for Interfaith Worker Justice.


Kendra Dunbar JustPeace Staff Collective kdunbar@justpeaceumc.org

Kendra Dunbar

Kendra Dunbar has long had a commitment to justice, peacebuilding, and the transformation of communities through education and dialogue. She brings over 15 years of professional experience and has worked with United Methodist institutions such as Global Ministries and United Methodist Women.

Kendra has worked with United Methodist, ecumenical, and grassroots partners to develop informed and motivated church leaders and community advocates. She has designed and facilitated seminars, trainings, and young adult mission programs. Priority topics have included racial justice, gender equity, peace building, theology and praxis, human rights, mission, poverty, and intergenerational dialogue.

Kendra has extensive international work experience and has engaged, networked, and partnered with communities throughout Asia, Latin America, Africa, Europe, and North America. She received her BA from Williams College, an Mdiv from Union Theological Seminary, and is currently working toward a MS in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola, University of Maryland. Kendra looks forward to adding to her tool box by becoming a licensed Clinical Counselor.

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David Anderson Hooker JustPeace Staff Collective dahooker@justpeaceumc.org

David Anderson Hooker

For more than 30 years Hooker has been a mediator, facilitator, and community organizer. He has worked throughout the United States, focusing on issues of environmental justice, post riot racial reconciliation, community development, democratization, and multiparty conflict resolution.

Hooker has also worked in Bosnia/Croatia, Cuba, Myanmar, Nigeria, Somalia, Southern Sudan, and Zimbabwe. He holds a PhD in Social Construction from Tilburg University in Tilburg Netherlands, a law degree (JD) from Emory University’s School of Law, a Masters of Divinity (M.Div.) from the Candler School of Theology, Masters of Public Health (MPH) and public Administration (MPA) from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, a Masters of Minority Mental Health from Washington University in St. Louis, and a BS from Morehouse College.

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Dr. W. Craig Gilliam cgilliam@justpeaceumc.org JustPeace Staff Collective
Dr. W. Craig Gilliam cgilliam@justpeaceumc.org Coordinator of Congregational Services

Dr. W. Craig Gilliam

Dr. W. Craig Gilliam is the Coordinator of Congregational Services for JustPeace; the director of the Center for Pastoral Excellence for the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He is an adjunct instructor at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, and has a private practice consulting with churches and other organizations across the country.  For more than 25 years, Craig has worked with different kinds of organizations and specializes in consulting with clergy and congregations of various denominations and faith traditions.  His area of expertise are conflict transformation in congregations, leadership education, team building, and group process. Recently, he has authored a new book of poetry, Where Wild Things Grow.

Dr. Gilliam’s passions include family, exercise, poetry and martial arts. He is a 4th degree black belt in traditional Japanese Karate, has studied other martial arts and explores martial arts as a path to peace.

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Thomas Porter Staff Collective tporter@justpeaceumc.org
Thomas Porter Staff Collective tporter@justpeaceumc.org

Thomas Porter

Tom Porter is a United Methodist minister, teacher, mediator and trial lawyer. He was the founding Executive Director of JustPeace Center for Mediation and Conflict Transformation, The United Methodist Church and now is part of the JustPeace Staff Collective. He is also co-executive director of the Religion and Conflict Transformation Program at Boston University School of Theology. After graduating from Yale University, he received a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary and a Juris Doctor from Boston University Law School. He studied mediation at Harvard Law School and Eastern Mennonite University.

Tom is an ordained elder of the New England Conference of The United Methodist Church. For twenty-three years, Tom was the chancellor for this conference. He was a founding partner of the trial firm of Melick & Porter LLP in 1983 and has been a trial lawyer since 1974, representing religious institutions, universities, hospitals, professionals, nonprofit organizations and others. He is a member of the board of the Journal of Law and Religion and was chair of the board from 1989 through 2001. He was a founder and the president of the Council of Religion and Law, a society of law professors and theologians as well as lawyers and ministers, from 1978 to 1985.

From his experience as a trial lawyer, his work as a mediator and teacher and his experiences studying the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, he came to understand the centrality of our common calling to be ministers of reconciliation, the need to embody this in the way we deal with conflict, and the importance of this ministry to our vocation and spiritual formation and our life together in community. Besides teaching and training, he has facilitated mediations and circles of accountability and healing within the Church. He believes that local churches can be centers of relational healing and peacebuilding for their members as well as the neighborhoods in which they reside.

He served on the board of Union Theological Seminary, chairing its educational policy committee, from 1992 to 2001. He has taught at various schools, including Union Theological Seminary in New York, Claremont School of Theology, the Theological School of Drew University, Illif School of Theology and Pepperdine Law School. Currently, he is a Lecturer at Boston University School of Theology. He is the author of The Spirit and Art of Conflict Transformation: Creating a Culture of JustPeace and the editor of Conflict and Communion, Reconciliation and Restorative Justice at Christ’s Table. He is now writing a book on the theology and jurisprudence of restorative justice.

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Chaplain David E. Smith Staff Collective dsmith@justpeaceumc.org

Chaplain Dave Smith

David served as a senior leader in the United States Army Chaplaincy with over 30 years of multi-faceted experience in training, group facilitation, coaching, leadership development, program design and execution. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Divinity Degree from Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC, a Master of Science in Television Radio and Film from Syracuse University, and a Master of Science in Strategic Studies from the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He is an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church.

While an Army Chaplain, David served at all levels, from the tactical to strategic. He served in various settings both domestically and internationally. At the battalion level, he was recognized across the installation for fostering spiritual growth through creative and innovative programs preparing soldiers and their families for deployment and reintegration. As the Broadcast Center Chaplain, Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) he creatively designed and fostered a program schedule that “provided the most stimulating, diverse, and dynamic religious program schedule in the 50 years of AFRTS.” He did this while balancing the religious needs of a worldwide audience with program policy involving extremely sensitive church state issues. While serving as a Brigade Chaplain his spiritual fitness program was recognized as a model fro the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). His international responsibilities included Command Chaplain, US Army NATO, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Mons, Belgium; Command Chaplain, US Army Africa, Vicenza, Italy; and the Command Chaplain, US Forces-Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan. In each of these positions he developed engagements with partnering nations’ chaplaincies while remaining sensitive to various religious considerations. He also collaborated with academia experts to forge future partnerships in order to train religious support teams at the strategic level within several critical areas: Conflict Resolution and Trauma Ministry. As the Command Chaplain for both US Army Intelligence and Security Command, and the US Army Cyber Command, he designed exportable training packages for leaders, Soldiers, and Civilians on ethics, and a comprehensive resiliency building program facilitating the improvement of the overall health of the commands.

He has deployed in support of numerous contingency and combat operations. While serving in these commands, he quickly developed teams across the joint services as well as with the countries serving in the area of operations.

He has received numerous military awards for his service in both combat and at home, and civilian recognition, namely the Bishop Frederick Wertz Award for outstanding dedication and selfless service to others.

His military education includes the Chaplain’s Basic and Advanced Courses, Combined Arms Staff Service School, Command and General Staff College, Division Chaplain Course, Colonel Chaplain Course, and the Senior Service College.

David is married to the former Karen Huffer. They have two sons; Joshua and Joel.

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