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 we can discern and do the will of God.

Each person who serves in a staff role 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 we can discern and do the will of God. Our leadership together is shaped by a covenant 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.


Dr. Ruth Haley Barton

Founding President/CEO

Ruth has been a student, practitioner, and thought leader in the area of Christian spirituality and formation for over 20 years. When she founded the Transforming Center with a few like-minded souls in December of 2002 it was based purely on a shared desire to experience deeper levels of transformation in Christ’s presence so they could discern and do the will of God. What has happened since then surprises her every day! 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.
For more information or to inquire about Ruth speaking at your event, visit Ruth's website.

Cole Griffin (TC2)

Executive Director

Cole Griffin has served over 27 years in full-time ministry and 25 years on staff at Grace Church in Racine, Wisconsin where he most recently served as Executive Pastor.  He holds a Masters degree in Counseling/Psychology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.  Cole worked as a professional mental health provider for several years as part of his Master’s level training. He is also a trained and certified Christian Conciliator™ through the Institute for Christian Conciliation. He has worked with CrossRoads Resolution Group, a Christian-based firm that helps churches and organizations throughout the United States resolve conflict.  He is married and has a daughter and a son at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  With certifications in Christian conciliation and spiritual direction, he has a passion to see reconciliation and heart transformation within the church, especially among church leaders.

Tina L. Harris (TC15)

Cultivator of Community and Connection

Tina is ordained in the United Methodist Church and holds a Master of Divinity from St. Paul School of Theology. She has served the church in a variety of roles, including Lead Pastor of Grand Avenue Temple UMC and Director of Mission, Service and Justice Ministries in the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church. Tina is passionate about community engagement and has served and/or actively supported several civic organizations and ministries. As an attorney and diversity leader, a common thread in her work is to gather individuals into communities, challenge comfort zones and invite those whom society has overlooked to take their place at the table.

Charity Barton McClure (TC12)

Director of Strategy and Communications

Charity has served in a variety of roles in the TC over the years, including brand manager and creative director.  During this season of transition, Charity is providing leadership to our Transforming Communities and other programs and events, with particular focus on recent challenges of executing virtual and hybrid retreats with excellence and continuing to cultivate a younger and more diverse audience.

Haley Page (TC8)

Transforming Community Assimilator and Registrar

Haley serves as assimilator and registrar for our Transforming Communities, which means her focus is on shepherding leaders into their Transforming Community experience, getting them registered, setting up payment schedules and assisting with any difficulties along the way. Her B.A. in Business Management and Ministry from Hope College (Holland, MI) has helped her cultivate a business mind within her heart for ministry.

Adrienne Stricker (TC20)

Ministry and Office Administrator

Adrienne has served in ministries in Christian Education and administration in the Chicagoland area in The Presbyterian Church (USA), The United Methodist Church, and The United Church of Christ. As an ordained Deacon in the Northern Illinois Conference of The United Methodist Church, her call is to ministries of word, service, compassion, and justice. Adrienne graduated from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 2009 and most recently served at First Congregational Church of La Grange. Adrienne is an enrolled member of the Port Gamble S’Klallam tribe of Kingston, Washington, and has been an advocate and leader in Native American ministries for over ten years. She lives in Addison with her husband and son.

Dalene Strieff (TC2)

Executive Associate

Dalene serves as executive associate to CEO Ruth Haley Barton and also brings managerial leadership to our Transforming Communities and to the Transforming Church Initiative. With more than 25 years of corporate experience, she has served in a variety of staff roles in the Transforming Center since joining over fifteen years ago.

Andrea Sung (TC15)

Director of Operations

Andrea has a background in church and nonprofit finance, and she brings 13 years of accounting, finance, and HR experience to the Transforming Center. In her role, Andrea oversees Accounting, financial reporting, Human Resources, IT, legal affairs and facilities. In her previous church, she led multiple areas of ministry for 15 years, including spiritual formation/direction groups, and now serves as an elder in her new church near the TC office. Andrea and her husband, Michael, are from the east coast and are enjoying their new life in the Chicagoland area.

Ministry Partners

Jeffery James (TC6)

Marketing and Communications

Jeff is a marketing and communications partner for Transforming Center. He is the principle of Spire2 Communications and has 30 years of experience in branding and marketing for local, regional, and global accounts. Jeff graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design from Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida and also studied at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.

Rev. Dr. David Hughes (TC3)

Ambassador and Resident Theologian

David has served in many roles in the Transforming Center, including board member and executive director. Although he has officially retired, David continues to represent the Transforming Center as an ambassador and as our resident theologian. With a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Philosophy from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, David continues to oversee our academic partnerships, field difficult questions and connect with our key partners. Previously, he spent 36 years in ordained pastoral ministry—22 of which were spent at First Baptist Church of Winston-Salem, NC.

Marla Hartman (TC9)

Spiritual Direction Ministries

Marla has discovered that when you follow God’s invitations in your life, things change—sometimes a lot. From 16 years as a small business owner, to a returning college student, to nonprofit board leadership, to years as Director of ministries in a local church, to life as a Spiritual Director and soul in God‘s presence. And now she is delighted to be in the coordinator roll with the Transforming Center’s spiritual direction ministry. When she’s not working she loves spending time in the Sierra Nevadas hiking and camping with her husband and two dogs or hanging out with one — or all— of her six grandchildren. She strongly believes that when we’re attentive to God’s Spirit we begin to notice we are surrounded by invitations large and small to a life of abundance.

Colleen Powell (TC14)

Podcast Producer

Colleen has worked in almost all aspects of podcasting, both in front of and behind the microphone, from content creation to editing to production and everything in between. A TC14 alum, she is thrilled to help the Transforming Center use the podcast medium to serve and support a wider audience of leaders in their own growth and transformation.