Nancy S. Wiens, M.Div., Ph. D.

Emergence Director and Co-founder

Nancy WiensNancy is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and has an interdisciplinary  Ph.D. in Christian spirituality, ritual studies, and the dialogue between theology and science.  She practices Spiritual Direction with people who long to deepen their relationship with God and respond to God’s calling more fully in their lives.  Nancy also guides wilderness rites of passage, helping people mark transitions in their lives by discerning God’s calling through nature.

She co-founded Emergence because she loves to support young adults as they develop their spiritual lives and adult leadership skills and as they discover how to create meaningful lives that care for the earth and other people.

Sam Yates

Emergence Social Enterprise Entrepreneur

Sam participated as an apprentice in the first year of the program, 2010-11.  Then in 2011, the program created a new position, Edge-ucator, in which Sam worked at the creative edge of  community formation and permaculture projects in nature.  Now, drawing on these experiences, his work in spiritual direction, and his passion for food justice, Sam is creating a Social Enterprise Food Truck to feed locally grown, healthy food to those in need.  Working with the apprentices to develop adult leadership skills as well as with other volunteers, he offers a contemplative approach to eco-justice with food.

Sheila Denton

Emergence Co-founder

Sheila DentonSheila has worked in leadership positions in the camping ministry for nearly 30 years, shaping and embodying a focus on relational ministry.  Sheila’s work with college-aged Summer Staff explores faith, leadership skills, and what bearing witness to God’s grace can look like with young campers.  Her passion for dancing with God inspires her ongoing ministry. Her training and certification as a spiritual director informs her contemplative leadership style.

She co-founded the program because she believes that expressly supporting young adults’ spiritual development is a vital mission to help our world in this tumultuous time.

Christopher Peck

Holistic Financial Planning

Christopher PeckChristopher Peck is a sustainability entrepreneur, holistic financial planner, and socially responsible investment advisor who’s been working since 1991 to build a more sustainable, prosperous, and humorous world.  Christopher is a managing partner of Natural Investments LLC where he helps clients invest, build wealth, and develop enterprises in a way that reflects their environmental and social values.  In his previous career, Christopher served on the board of Permaculture Drylands Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico for 7 years, teaching classes and workshops, doing permaculture design work, and developing a permaculture curriculum consistent with the principles of permaculture itself.  He and his wife, Genevieve, are currently developing a .85 acre permaculture-designed  homestead in suburban Windsor, CA, and raising their young son, Toren.

He teaches Holistic Financial Planning and is the co-author of The Resilient Investor:  A Plan for Your Life, Not Just Your Money.