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 journeying together in the presence of Christ for the purpose of spiritual transformation so we can discern and do the will of God.  The board of directors for the Transforming Center is a prayerfully chosen community for discernment—meeting regularly to listen to God as they provide directional leadership for the vision and mission of the Transforming Center.

Every board member has completed one or more of the two-year Transforming Community® experiences and is committed to an ongoing process transformation that is shaped by a covenant commitment to the Transforming Center Guiding Values and Principles.

Board of Directors/Community for Leadership Discernment


Dr. Ruth Haley Barton

Transforming Center Founding President/CEO

A seasoned spiritual director, teacher and retreat leader, Ruth was trained at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation and the Loyola University Chicago Institute for Pastoral Studies. She has served on the pastoral staff of several churches and holds a Doctor of Divinity from Northern Seminary. She is 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. For more information or to book Ruth to speak at your event, visit Ruth's website.


Rev. Dr. Phaedra D. Blocker (TC8)

Director of Programs, New Baptist Covenant

An Affiliate Professor in Leadership & Formation at Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University, Phaedra holds a Master of Divinity from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Transformation from Northern Seminary in partnership with the Transforming Center.


Vicki Degner (TC6)

Coordinator, Spiritual Direction Ministries

Vicky is Spiritual Director trained through Christos Center for Spiritual Formation. Vicki’s first Transforming Community was TC6. She served as Pastor of Formational Life at Church of the Open Door (Minneapolis, MN) and now serves as coordinator of Spiritual Direction Ministries for the Transforming Center.


Rev. Dr. Jonathan Taylor Haley (TC1)

Senior Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, LaCrosse, Wisconsin

Jonathan holds a Master of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from McCormick Seminary. Through the ministry of the Transforming Center he became aware of his deep desire to experience his body as God's gift to him - which he now does when swimming, biking or running. He is a 17 time IronMan. Jonathan has been with the Transforming Center since its very first retreat.

Jimmy Lee pic

Jimmy Lee (TC11)

Executive Director, Restore NYC

Jimmy has served as Executive Director of Restore NYC since 2012 after having served as founding chair of the board from 2008-2011. Prior to that Jimmy Lee was Vice President of Strategy and Regional Affairs for GBCHealth where he led strategy development and managed offices in Johannesburg, Beijing, Nairobi, Kiev, Paris, and Moscow. Jimmy has a B.A. from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. He has been married to his wife Christine since 2002, lives in Harlem, loves to run long distances, and is a member of All Angels’ Church (Episcopal).


Rev. B.J. Woodworth (TC5)

Lead Pastor, The Open Door - a PCUSA Missional Church Community

B.J. is the Lead Pastor of the Open Door, a PCUSA missional church community in Pittsburgh. He serves the church by providing missional leadership in worship, vision casting, strategy, organization, and teaching. He is a graduate of Westminster College and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. BJ is married to Katrina and has four children.