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 of transformation that is shaped by a covenant commitment to the Transforming Center Guiding Values and Principles.
Board of Directors/Community for Leadership Discernment
Jimmy Lee (TC11)- Board Chair
Senior Vice President for Mission Sustainability, Guideposts
Jimmy has been the Senior Vice President for Mission Sustainability for Guideposts since February 2020. Prior to that he served as Executive Director of Restore NYC for eight years after having served as founding chair of the board. Jimmy also has experience as the Vice President of Strategy and Regional Affairs for GBCHealth, as a Director of Strategy for Worldvision, and as an investment banker at J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs. Jimmy has a B.A. from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. He is married to Christine, who is an Episcopal priest helping to lead a renewal movement in the New York Diocese.
Dr. Ruth Haley Barton
Transforming Center Founder and President/CEO
Ruth has been a student, practitioner, and thought leader in the area of Christian spirituality and formation for over 20 years. 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 and holds a doctor of divinity from Northern Seminary. She has served on the pastoral staff of several churches and is the author of numerous books and resources on the spiritual life.
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
Vicki is a Spiritual Director trained through Christos Center for Spiritual Formation. Vicki’s first Transforming Community® was TC6. For many years she served as Pastor of Formational Life at Church of the Open Door (Minneapolis, MN) and now coordinates Spiritual Direction Ministries for the Transforming Center in addition to her board service.
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.
Dr. John Knox (TC6)
Preaching Minister, Chaplain, and Adjunct Instructor
John lives in Texas where he serves both the church and the law enforcement community. He has been a police and fire chaplain for 31 years. John additionally serves as an adjunct instructor of psychology for Dallas Christian College. He holds a BA degree in Speech Communications and master’s degrees in Biblical Studies and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. He received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Abilene Christian University.
Billie Peterson (TC14)
Spirtual Director, Retired CPA
Billie is a CPA in tax accounting and has recently joined the Transforming Center board as our treasurer. A devoted mother and grandmother, it was her desire to become a healthier version of herself that lead her to join a Transforming Community (TC14) when a particularly difficult season provided the needed impetus for growth. In addition to her finance and accounting expertise, she brings her training in spiritual direction along with her desire to listen deeply and be present with the true Director to her participation on the board of the Transforming Center.
Rev. B.J. Woodworth (TC5)
Spiritual Director, Coach and Retreat Leader
B.J. is a spiritual director, coach and retreat leader. For 17 years he was founding pastor of The Open Door, a missional community in Pittsburgh, PA, and now serves part time at East Liberty Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh as Director of Spiritual Life Ministries and Taize Minister. He is a graduate of Westminster College and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. B.J. is married to Katrina and has four children.