Educational director Christine Schenk, CSJ, is the founding director of an international church reform organization, FutureChurch which she led from 1990-2013. Her groundbreaking book Crispina and Her Sisters: Women and Authority in Early Christianity (Fortress Press) details original research into iconic motifs of female authority found in early Christian art and archaeology. The book was awarded a first place in history from the Catholic Press Association in 2018. Schenk is one of three nuns featured in the award-winning documentary Radical Grace. She has offered countless presentations on women in early Christianity and has led multiple pilgrimages to Christian sites in Rome and Greece honoring influential women in the early church. Schenk also writes an award-winning column “Simply Spirit” for the National Catholic Reporter. Her forthcoming book, To Speak the Truth in Love: A Biography of Sr. Theresa Kane RSM will be published by Orbis Books in November 2019.
Spiritual director Russ Petrus, M.Div. serves as Co-Director for FutureChurch. He holds an M.Div from Weston Jesuit School of Theology and the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College. Jesuit-educated and formed since high school, Russ is well-versed in Ignatian Spirituality but has also been heavily influenced by the many Franciscan priests, brothers, and sisters with whom he studied. Prior to joining FutureChurch, Russ engaged in parish and college ministry for over ten years in the areas of life-long faith formation, liturgy coordination, RCIA direction, and music ministry. Russ has developed and facilitated numerous programs and retreats on topics ranging from contemplative prayer to social justice for a variety of audiences. At FutureChurch Russ has created and led dozens of profoundly engaging prayer services and reflections. Along with his many talents, Russ is trained as a classical musician.