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Janet Ruffing, a Sister of Mercy, appointed to YDS faculty

DuffyJanet K. Ruffing, a Sister of Mercy from California currently teaching at Fordham University, is the new professor of the practice of spirituality and ministerial leadership at Yale Divinity School, a position created to strengthen YDS offerings in ministerial studies.  She will formally begin a five-year term at YDS in January 2010.

Ruffing comes to YDS after 23 years at Fordham, where she has been professor of spirituality and spiritual direction since 1986. She has published widely in the areas of spiritual direction and supervision, mercy spirituality, female religious life and leadership, kataphatic mysticism, prayer, and other technical topics in spirituality. She has experience in the formation of spiritual directors, permanent deacons, and women religious.

Among her publications are five books: Uncovering Stories of Faith: Spiritual Direction and Narrative; Mysticism and Social Transformation (ed); Spiritual Direction: Beyond the Beginnings; Elisabeth Leseur: Selected Writings; and To Tell the Sacred Tale: Spiritual Direction and Narrative.

Ruffing has lectured or given workshops in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, the UK, Ireland, India, Thailand, and the Philippines.  She was recently elected vice president of the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality and was a founding member of Spiritual Directors International.   She was a board member of The Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality and has chaired the mysticism group in the American Academy of Religion.  Ruffing has also been an associate editor for The Way and a member of the Editorial Board for Presence.

Ruffing’s courses will be listed primarily in the “Area Four” section of the school curriculum, which encompasses ministerial studies.  As such, she will work closely with other members of the faculty with a focus in Area Four, including Kristen Leslie, Yolanda Smith, Thomas Troeger, Nora Tisdale, and Jan Holton.  The primary areas of Area Four engagement are counseling, preaching, and education.

Ruffing earned her B.A. at Russell College in Burlingame, CA; an M.A. from the University of San Francisco; an S.T.L. from the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley; and a Ph.D. in Christian spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley.