This course is the third in a series of five that are part of our 2024 certificate program. A limited number of seats are available for individuals not participating in the program.


Introducing World Religions through a Process-Relational Lens

WHO: Leslie King and 6 guest speakers

WHAT: Six Online Sessions

WHEN:Tuesdays, 4:30 - 6:00 PM Pacific
April 9 - May 14, 2024

WHERE: Online via Zoom

Over the course of six sessions will be introduced to several world religions (or ways of thinking and living) through a lens of process-relational thought. Each week will be devoted to a different tradition with several visiting speakers bringing their own expertise to the discussion.

Attend the live class sessions
or work at your own pace.

Course Summary

We live in a world marked by great diversity, and if humans are to live peaceably together, we must seek to understand each other. In this course, participants will explore various world religions, as well as indigenous/traditional ways of thinking and living, through a lens of process and relational thought. Over the course of six sessions, we will discuss Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Indigenous/Traditional Ways.

As we approach each tradition, we will seek to encounter its commitments and matters of ultimate concern alongside its primary practices, exploring how it may be situated within process and relational metaphysics. Through this lens, we might ask how each tradition fosters zest and enjoyment, nourishes its adherents’ spiritual and ethical lives, and knits communities together, with an eye on each tradition’s view of the proper relationship between the transpersonal or sacred and humans, as well as between humans and the earth.


“Religion will not regain its old power until it can face change in the same spirit as does science. Its principles may be eternal, but the expression of those principles requires continual development.”
–A.N. Whitehead

Course Outline

  • Session 1: Indigenous Life Ways: with Chris Daniels, PhD
  • Session 2: Judaism: with Sandra Lubarsky, PhD
  • Session 3: Hinduism: with Jeffery Long, PhD
  • Session 4: Islam: with Farhan Shah, PhD
  • Session 5: Christianity: with Anna Case-Winters, PhD
  • Session 6: Buddhism: with Jay McDaniel, PhD

About the Instructors

Leslie King - small

Rev. Dr. Leslie King began her service to First Presbyterian Church of Waco in 2012. She received her BA from Kansas University (’91) and her Masters of Divinity from McCormick Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Chicago (‘94). In 2010 she completed her Doctor of Ministry at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City Missouri with an emphasis in Spirituality and Organizational Change.

Since September 2020, she has been a yoga instructor (RYT 200) with Spirit Bear Yoga and (RYT 500) with My Vinaysa Practice. She’s a member of  Yoga Alliance and has recently completed a Polyvagal Informed Certificate for Mind-Body Practitioners.  She enjoys leading yoga flows for her church and the studio, Duality Yoga. Her particular interest is in Yin and Restorative yoga as it relates to spiritual well-being.  Piano competency is slowly emerging and music is a source of a lot of joy.

She has been married to DJ King since November of 1996 and together they enjoy watching their three young adult children, Cody, Katie and Claire, make their way in the world. With a menagerie of stray animals, the Kings are glad to call Waco “home”.

Chris Daniels

Chris Daniels, Ph.D. has spent most of his life in the music business in Canada, but also managed to return to school and be awarded a Ph. D in Religious Studies from The University of Calgary. His focus is on Philosophy Religion/Diversity of Religions, and in particular the Philosophy/Theology of Alfred North Whitehead. His dissertation, All My Relations: A Process-Indigenous Study in Comparative Ontology, was a comparative analysis between how Indigenous scholars and Elders described their own worldviews and ways-of-knowing with the Process-Relational cosmology of Whitehead. He has taught Philosophy of Religion and Indigenous Worldviews/Spiritualities in Calgary universities and organized the Indigenous Wisdom track at the Seizing an Alternative conference in 2015. He also contributed a response to Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si' in For Our Common Home: Process-Relational Responses to Laudato Si',edited by John Cobb Jr. and Ignacio Castuera, based on Indigenous wisdom.

Sandra Lubarsky

Sandra Lubarsky, Ph.D., is President of Flagstaff College. She has spent most of her years as a university professor and administrator bringing sustainability into the curriculum and into campus activities. She founded one of the first graduate programs in sustainability, the M.A. in Sustainable Communities, at Northern Arizona University and chaired the Department of Sustainable Development at Appalachian State University. She has been an innovator in higher education, integrating theory with hands-on education, making the community the classroom, creating transdisciplinary courses, and introducing beauty as a subject of importance. She has written several books and dozens of essays on Judaism, inter-religious dialogue, higher education, sustainability, and aesthetics.

2022-05-03 - Jefferey Long

Jeffery D. Long, PH.D., Professor of Religion and Asian Studies for Elizabethtown College, specializes in the religions and philosophies of India. He is the author of several books and numerous articles, as well the editor of the series Explorations in Indic Traditions for Lexington Books. In 2018, he received the Hindu American Foundation’s Dharma Seva Award for his ongoing efforts to promote more accurate and culturally sensitive portrayals of Indic traditions in the American educational system and popular media. He has spoken in numerous venues, both national and international, including Princeton University, Yale University, the University of Chicago, and Jawaharlal Nehru University (in India), and has given three talks at the United Nations.

Farhan Shah

Farhan Shah, Ph.D., teaches in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oslo, Norway. He is a scholar of Islam, Muhammad Iqbal, and process philosophy. His work examines Iqbal`s reconstructed version of Islam, especially related to his concept of khalifa as God`s co-worker in the spatio-temporal order and takes an intra-Islamic and interreligious approach to what he calls organic humanism.

Jay McDaniel - 2023-05

Jay McDaniel is professor emeritus of Religious Studies at Hendrix College in Arkansas, and founder of the website Open Horizons, which focuses on exploring a process outlook on life and way of living in the world. Active in the development of process thought in China, he is a consultant to the Institute for Postmodern Development of China, and the Cobb Institute. His books include With Roots and Wings: Christianity in an Age of Ecology and Dialogue; Living from the Center: Spirituality in an Age of Consumerism; and Gandhi’s Hope: Learning from Other Religions as a Path to Peace.

Reirin Gumbel - crop

Reirin Alheidis Gumbel is the Resident Priest at the Milwaukee Zen Center. She comes from the Shunryu Suzuki lineage of Soto Zen and received shiho (Dharma transmission) from Furyu Nancy Schroeder in May of 2019 at Green Dragon Temple of San Francisco Zen Center. She was ordained as a Soto Zen Priest in 2007, and was head student there for the spring practice period in 2012. Before becoming a resident at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in 2003, she was lay-ordained in 1993 by Tenshin Reb Anderson and practiced as a lay student at the Santa Cruz Zen Center. Her positions at Green Gulch included guest manager(shika), head of the kitchen(tenzo), and head of the zendo(ino).

Prior to her monk training, Reirin owned a fiber arts business in Santa Cruz, where she taught countless children and adults to enjoy their creativity. During that time she raised two daughters. Born in Germany, Reirin studied music and English and became a high school teacher there. She also completed the Waldorf teacher training in England.

Anna Case-Winters

Rev. Dr. Anna Case-Winters is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and serves as Professor of Theology at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago where she has been on faculty since 1986. Case-Winters has research interests and publications in several areas:  dialogues in religion and science, open and relational theologies, theological contributions of Reformed tradition, and theologies attending to global economic, ecumenical, ecological issues. She is the author of four books: God’s Power: Traditional Understandings and Contemporary Challenges; Reconstructing a Christian Theology of Nature: Down to Earth; A Theological Commentary on Matthew; and God Will be All in All: Theology Through the Lens of Incarnation.

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Suggested Price

  • Lifetime access to session recordings
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  • Watch live or follow your own schedule
  • Interact with class members via discussion forums
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