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Our mission is to strengthen the souls of pastors, spiritual leaders and the congregations and organizations they serve. 

The Transforming Center is communities of men and women who gather around the presence of Christ for the purpose of spiritual transformation so that we can discern and do the will of God. 

Each person who serves in leadership with the Transforming Center has completed one or more of the two-year Transforming Community® experiences. We are committed to carrying out our mission through a process of ongoing transformation so that we can discern and do the will of God.  Our leadership together is shaped by a commitment to the Transforming Center Guiding Values and Principles.

The leadership of the Transforming Center is made up of the Community for Leadership Discernment (Board of Directors) and other ministry leaders.

Community for Leadership Discernment

Dr. Ruth Haley Barton (Doctor of Divinity, Northern Seminary) is founder and CEO (Chief Essence Officer) of the Transforming Center.  Trained at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation and the Loyola University Chicago Institute for Pastoral Studies, she is a seasoned spiritual director, teacher and retreat leader.  She has served on the pastoral staff of several churches, is Professor of Spiritual Transformation at Northern Seminary, and the author of spiritual formation books and resources, including Pursuing God's Will Together: A Discernment Practice for Leadership Groups (June, 2012), Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership, Sacred Rhythms and Invitation to Solitude and Silence.

Vicki Degner is a Spiritual Director, certified and trained through Christos Center for Spiritual Formation. Vicki’s first Transforming Community was TC6. She has since continued to serve TC as one of the spiritual directors for the ongoing retreats and communities and is Coordinator of Spiritual Direction Ministries for the Transforming Center.

Jim Duncan serves as board treasurer and is past president of Navtrak, Inc., a Maryland-based technology company. Jim and his wife, Jeanie, along with three other couples, founded Grace Fellowship Church (Timonium, MD) almost thirty years ago.  Jim has a JD from the University of Maryland School of Law and has also been involved in Christian Microfinance in the developing world with Opportunity International.

Jonathan Taylor HaleyRev. Dr. J. Taylor Haley is senior pastor/head of staff at First Presbyterian Church, LaCrosse, Wisconsin.  Jonathan holds a Master of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from McCormick Seminary. He serves on the board of the Transforming Center and has completed numerous Ironman competitions.  Jonathan has been with the Transforming Center since its very first retreat.

David HughesRev. Dr. David Hughes is the director of advancement of the Transforming Center. David holds an MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary, a PhD from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and comes to us after thirty-six years of ordained pastoral ministry–twenty-two of which were spent at First Baptist Church of Winston-Salem.

Rev. Prince Raney Rivers is the senior pastor of United Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church in Winston Salem, North Carolina. He serves as 4th vice-president of the General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and is a member of the board of the Baptist House at Duke Divinity School. Prince is a graduate of Morehouse College and Duke University Divinity School.

Staff and Ministry Team

Jackie BentsonJackie Bentson serves as the Transforming Center’s Development Manager, where she regularly engages with donors, develops plans for fundraising, maintains record-keeping systems and executes fundraising events. She comes to the Transforming Center with an extensive background in the non-profit ministry world, having worked 10 years in event planning and communications for The Salvation Army. Jackie        
                               resides in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, with her husband and son.

Dina Coffey is the Transforming Community Manager and registrar, making sure each Transforming Community runs smoothly.  Previously she was Transforming Center office manager and online bookstore manager. She and her husband, Dan, have been members and served at Christ Church of Oakbrook for many years.

Tom DeweyTom Dewey serves as Transforming Center Administrator, which includes property and office management along with developing operating systems among other things. A quintissential “jack of all trades,” he has had several different careers, including serving as executive pastor at Park Street Church in Boston.


Jeffery James leads the marketing and communication efforts of the Transforming Center. He has over 20 years experience creating brand communications for a wide variety of clients. He serves as an elder in his church.



Jerry Lee serves the Transforming Communities as a faithful intercessor while graciously providing hospitality. A graduate of Columbia College, she completed a Masters in Spiritual Formation with Spring Arbor University and spiritual direction training at CenterQuest.


Rory Noland is director of Heart of the Artist Ministries and serves as worship leader for the Transforming Center.  Rory served for twenty years as music director at Willow Creek and is a composer, song writer, speaker, and author of several books on worship and the arts, including The Worshiping Artist, Thriving as an Artist in the Church, The Heart of the Artist and Worship on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Haley PageHaley Page is an event planner for the Transforming Center. She handles all planning and registrations for the annual Alumni Retreat, all Pursuring God's Will Together Summits and the yearly Advent and Good Friday Services. Haley graduated from Hope College in Holland, Michigan with a Major in Business Management and a minor in Ministry. Haley and her husband, Troy, are members at Glen Ellyn Presbyterian Church.


Dalene StrieffDalene Strieff serves as executive assistant to Ruth Haley Barton and Transforming Church Administrator for the Transforming Center.  She comes with more than twenty five years of corporate administrative experience. 

David Strieff serves as liturgist and "bookman" for Transforming Center retreats and events. A voracious reader, David's ministry with books and resources includes assisting retreatants with information and guidance regarding assigned and recommended readings. Following his career in marketing communications, David has worked in retail book sales and urban ministry.