Sheri D. Kling, Ph.D.
Executive Director of the Beecken Center and Associate Dean of the School of Theology
B.A. Purdue University, M.A.T.S. Lutheran School of Theology, Ph.D., M.A.R. Claremont School of Theology
Sheri D. Kling studied theology with an emphasis in religion and science at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) and then followed her passion for connecting theology and spirituality with psychology to the Claremont School of Theology (CST) in Claremont, California. Seeing deep resonances between the process thought of Alfred North Whitehead and the analytical psychology of Carl Gustav Jung, especially in terms of creativity and transformative spirituality, she integrated the work of these two thinkers in her doctoral program.
As a public scholar-theologian, Kling works in the interdisciplinary space where worldviews, beliefs, and practices can create either dis-ease and suffering or psycho-spiritual wholeness and common flourishing. Drawing from process philosophy/theology, Jungian psychology, and mystical spirituality, Sheri focuses on communicating theological ideas and practices that positively impact humans’ relationships with God, self, and world, especially the use of dream work as a spiritual practice for divine encounter, personal integration, and widening our relationship to creation.
In the fall of 2017, Kling traveled to Prague to speak at the International Transpersonal Conference and on the way there, delivered three lectures at Palacky University in Olomouc, Czech Republic where she had been invited to be a collaborating lecturer for their program in social and spiritual determinants of health. Also that year, she participated in a webinar on Real Spirituality for the Church organized by Process and Faith, a part of the Center for Process Studies that brings resources on process theology to congregations.
Prior to entering graduate theological studies at LSTC, Kling had a successful career in marketing and communication in the enterprise software industry in the Atlanta area followed by a deeply creative period in the arts as a performing singer, songwriter, and recording artist. While enrolled in doctoral studies at CST, she served as project manager for strategic planning at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California. It was this extensive background that led her to Sewanee and her first position as associate registrar for curriculum, publications, and communication. She considers her current position in the School of Theology to be the culmination of her work experience, theological education, and passion for spiritual transformation.
- “Avoiding a Fatal Error: Extending Whitehead’s Symbolism beyond Language,” in Rethinking Whitehead's Symbolism: Thought, Language, and Culture, Edinburgh University Press, September 2017
- “An Aesthetic Revolution of Love,” in For Our Common Home: Process-Relational Responses to Laudato Si', Process Century Press, August 25, 2015
- “Bifurcation: Divorce or Divergence?” Response to Jeffery D. Long (“Non-Duality, the Bifurcation of Nature, and the Question of Maya: the Integration of Jain, Vedantic, and Process Approaches to Deep Ecology”) and Donald A. Crosby (“In Imago Naturae: the Ultimacy of Nature as a Closing of the Gaps”), in Beyond the Bifurcation of Nature, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, November 2014
- Finding Home: Rural Reflections on the Journey to Wholeness
Other Publications and Papers
- “The God of their Dreams: A Qualitative Inquiry into the Lived Experience of Christian Dream Workers and the Mystical Nature of their Experience” Presented in the Mysticism Group for the American Academy of Religion/Society for Biblical Literature conference in November of 2014.
- “Wisdom Became Flesh: An Analysis of the Prologue to the Gospel of John” Currents in Theology and Mission, Vol. 40, No. 3, June 2013
- Review of “The Holy Spirit, Chi, and the Other: A Model of Global and Intercultural Pneumatology, by Grace Ji-Sun Kim” Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue, Issue 10, September 2012
- “Darwin, Hubble, and God: Theologies of ‘The Fall’ in Light of Modern Science” Claremont Journal of Religion, Issue 2, July 2012
“’The Terrible Need for Metaphysics’: Answering Hillman’s Challenge through Whitehead,” International Transpersonal Conference, Czech Republic, September 2017
Let It Unfold, 2002
Passions & Prodigals, 2005