Hi there! I'm Callid Keefe-Perry.
(that rhymes with "salad leaf berry")

I'm a husband, father, and a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). I worship at Fresh Pond Monthly Meeting of New England Yearly Meeting and I travel in the Ministry within and beyond the Friends’ denomination. Currently I am working toward my PhD in Theological Studies at Boston University's School of Theology, where I focus on Practical Theology and Religious Education. Broadly my work is at the intersection of imaginative and creative practices and their connection to pedagogy and spiritual formation.

My current research relates to the development of a public theology of public education and the ways our public schools spiritually affect youth through the suppression of their imaginative capacities and inclinations. I am the author of Way to Water: A Theopoetics Primer and currently serve as the Executive Chair of the Association for Theopoetics Research and Exploration

Below you'll be able to find out a bunch about me, but perhaps most importantly, know that I'm easy to get in touch with if you're interested. See those litle circles in the bottom right-hand corner? Click any of those to get in touch. If you'd prefer to contact me via email, that's an option here too.



Current as of 7-21-2016

Research and Teaching Interests

Practices of Discernment
(Especially Communal)
Practical Theology Religious Education
Especially with Adults) 
Trauma Theory 
and Moral Injury
Philosophy of Education Theologies and Philosophies 
of the Imagination
Quaker Studies  Liberation Theologies Theopoetics
  Public Schooling
and Spirituality


Doctor of Philosophy: Theological Studies – Boston University School of Theology, Boston, MA (estimated 2018)
Concentration in Practical Theology with focus on Religious Education

Master of Divinity – Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Rochester, NY (2013)
Concentration in Theology. Thesis: “Bridge to Water: A Theopoetics Primer” 

Master of Arts: Teaching – Earlham College Graduate Programs in Education, Richmond, IN (2007)
Certification in Social Studies 6 – 12, with full licensure in all six concentrations. Thesis: “Toward a Narrative Pedagogy: Using Story in an Economics Classroom”

Business Certificates – William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration, Rochester, NY (2005)
Dual Certification in Personnel Management and Marketing

Bachelor of Arts: Interdisciplinary – University of Rochester, Rochester, NY (2004)
Interdepartmental Major: Communication Studies and Commercial Culture 
Minors: Italian and Chemistry

Teaching Experience

Teaching Fellow for "Constructive Theology I"
    Boston University School of Theology, Spring 2016.

Teaching Fellow for "Psychodynamic Perspectives on the Family"
     Boston University School of Theology, Fall 2015.

Teaching Assistant for “Ministries of Religious Education and Spiritual Formation.”
    Boston University School of Theology, Spring 2015.

Teaching Assistant for “Ministry in the 21st Century Context: Challenges and Possibilities.”
    Boston University School of Theology, Fall 2014.

Co-Instructor for “Practicing Faith: Embodying the Kingdom of God.”
    Boston University School of Theology, Fall 2014.

Teaching Assistant for “Christian Theology I: Typologies and Themes.”
    Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Fall 2011 & Fall 2012.

Intensive Instructor for “Emerging Church.” 
    Gene Bennett School for Christian Leadership at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Spring 2011.

Intensive Instructor for “Technology and the Church: A Practicum for Church Leaders.” 
    Gene Bennett School for Christian Leadership at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Spring 2011.



"Humility: Empirical Psychological Research in Dialogue with Practical Theology – Part I"
     International Journal of Practical Theology 20.1 (June 2016). Co-authored with Claire E. Wolfteich, Steven Sandage, and David R. Paine.

“Clearness Committees Revisited: Gathering Young Adults for Contemplative Discernment.”
     In The Prophetic Voice and Making Peace. (Armistead & Charlton Eds.), 2016. Co-authored with Dori G. Baker.

“Book Review – Theology and the Arts: Engaging Faith”
    Practical Matters, Issue 9, 2015. 

“Flesh to Mind: Whetstone to Thought” 
    CrossCurrents, Vol. 64 No. 4. (December 2014): 489–495.

“Theopoetics as a Spiritual Form of Transformative Language Arts” 
     In Transformative Language Arts in Action, edited by Ruth Farmer and Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Education Division, 2014: 125 – 138.

Way to Water: A Theopoetics Primer 
     Cascade Books, 2014.

“This Is Where Power Lies” 
     Creative Transformation. Vol. 19. No. 1. (Winter-Spring 2010): 18 – 20.

“Towards the Heraldic: A Theopoetic Response to Monorthodoxy” 
     In Theopoetic Folds: Philosophizing Multifariousness, edited by Roland Faber, and Jeremy Fackenthal. Fordham UP, 2013: 142-58.

"Divine Exploration and Invitation" 
     CrossCurrents,  Vol. 60, No 1. (March, 2010): 89 – 104.

"Towards Damascus: A Sermon of Acknowledgement" 
     In Spirit Rising., edited by Angelina Conti, et al. Quakers Uniting in Publications (QUIP), 2010.

“Theopoetics: Process and Perspectives" 
    Christianity and Literature, Vol. 58, No. 4 (Summer 2009)


Selected Papers and Speaking Engagements

"Teaching with Broken Hope: Moral Injury and Public Schooling in the United States"
     Paper at "Public Theology – Religion – Education." | 12th International Nuremberg Forum, October 2016.

"Stuck on Pause: Public Schools & the Decline of Creativity"
     Keynote at "The Power of Words" | Transformative Language Arts Network Conference, August 2016.

“Imagining in Fractures: Adult Christian Education with Trauma in View”
     Conference Paper – Annual Meeting | Religious Education Association, Nov. 2015. Co-authored with Zachary Moon

“Imagine God Emerging Here: Clearness Committees, Young Adults, and Hope”
     Conference Paper – Annual Meeting | Religious Education Association, Nov. 2015. Co-authored with Dori Baker.

"Vision for a Transformed Church”
     Talk at “Transformational Leadership and The Prophetic Witness” | Earlham School of Religion Leadership Conference, August 2015.

"On Sacred Struggles in Covenant Community"
     Plenary Panelist at New England Yearly Meeting Sessions, August 2015.

"Discernment 101: Searching for Vocation in Community"
     Talk and Workshop at Emory's Youth Theological Institute, July 2015.

“Learning in the Rhythms of Life: US Public Education and Grace Jantzen's Natal Epistemology"
     Talk at “Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization” | 9th International Forum on Ecological Civilization Conference,  June 2015

"What's the Point of (Adult) Religious Education Anyway?"
     Talk at "Emerging Practices in Quaker Outreach" | New England Yearly Meeting Consultation, April 2015.

“Bibliographies and Bodies in the Theological Search for Social Justice”
     Talk as Friend-in-Residence | Earlham School of Religion & Bethany Theological Seminary, March 2015

“Discerning in Community: Challenges and Joys”
     Talk as Theologian-in-Residence – Youth Discernment Retreats | Forum for Theological Exploration, March & April 2015

“Transforming Power: A History of Quaker Advocacy”
     Talk – Spring Lobbyist Training Weekend | Friends National Committee on Legislation, March 2014

“Improvising Life: Theatre and Truth in Comedy”
     Talk and Workshop – Power of Words Conference | Transformative Lanugage Arts Network, September 2014
“Made as Makers and the Role of Imagination in Theology”
     Film and Talk – Challenges of the 21st Century | Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School April, 2013

“Theological Epistemology in The Emergent Church: A Form of Paul Ricoeur's Relational Attestation”
     Conference Paper – Open and Relational Theologies Group | American Academy of Religion, Nov. 2013

“The Soul in Silent Worship: Perspectives from Early Friends and Current Practice”
     Talk and Workshop –  Soul Festival | Manhasset Friends Meeting, May 2012

“An Exploration of Creation” 
     Week-long Bible Study – Denominational Gathering | New York Yearly Meeting, July 2011

“Theopoetic Explorations and Fusings: Hyper-reality, Horizons, and the Reading of Scripture”
     Conference Paper – Phenomenology and Scripture Group | American Academy of Religion, Nov. 2010

“Lewis Carroll, Orthodox/Quaker Thought, The Audubon Society, and the Willingness to Squint”
     Talk – Theology after Google Conference | Claremont School of Theology, March 2010

“Writing for the Spoken Word”
     ‚ÄčTalk – Quakers Uniting in Publications' Writers Conference | March 2010


Honors and Awards

The Louisville Institute Doctoral Fellowship – The Louisville Institute (2015 – 2017)
To further the work of those “who consider theological education as their vocation.”

Winthrop Hudson Scholar Award – Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (2013)
Which “Recognizes a student's achieving a level of academia qualifying one for doctoral study and a teaching ministry.”

Ministry Fellowship – Forum for Theological Exploration (formerly Fund for Theological Education) (2010)
Fellow: Recipient of grant funding and ministerial support for production of a film documenting the intersection of Creativity and Faith. See http://MadeAsMakers.org for more information.

Take-Five Scholars Research Fellowship – University of Rochester, Rochester, NY (2005)
Post-Baccalaureate Research:  “Buddhism’s Path to Japan.” A Study of the adaptations that Buddhism made as it traveled from its origins towards the east.

Rochester Urban Fellows Program – Area Community Foundation, Rochester, NY (2002)
Fellowship at St. Joseph’s Community Center:  Initiative partner, forging new connections with local community-based agencies and non-profits on a rental assistance grant for transitioning working poor.

Endorsement and Training

Endorsed for Traveling Ministry – New York Yearly Meeting. Religious Society of Friends (2009- 2014) New England Yearly Meeting (2015 – Present)
Minister:  Carry an Endorsed Minute for Travel in the Ministry at Monthly, Quarterly, and Yearly Meeting Level. 

Peacemaker Training Institute – The Fellowship of Reconciliation.  Nyack, NY (2005)
Trainee:  Participated in an intensive residential training program in nonviolence, justice issues, anti-oppression work, and planning for nonviolent organizing. Issues addressed included personal/political activism and advocacy; GLBTQ rights, and minority ally training.

Rochester Civic Engagement Program – Leadership Rochester, Inc.  Rochester, NY(2003-4)
Participant:  Attended a year-long series of charrettes in the city intended to develop a stronger sense of urban community through service learning and an academic approach to common civic issues. 

Professional Experience

THEOPOETICS Journal  – http://theopoeticsjournal.org (2014 – Present)
Developer and Co-Founding Editor: Convened original editorial board for THEOPOETICS: A Journal of Theological Imagination, Literature, Embodiment, and Aesthetics.  

Improvised Theatre and Spirituality (2013 – Present)
Workshop Leader: Congregational and organizational programs for using improvised theater to explore spirituality, inter-personal dynamics, and scriptural interpretation.

New York Yearly Meeting – Denomination Association of 90+ Congregations in NY, NJ, and CT (Spring 2013)
Interim General Secretary for Meeting Visitation:  Served on behalf of Yearly Meeting during the General Secretary's Sabbatical.  Pastoral visitation and retreat-leading to congregations across the Yearly Meeting.  

Search Engine Improv – Theatre Troupe and Theatre Education (2010 – 2013)
Co-Founder and Performer: Regular shows and improvised theater teaching, including corporate workshops and trainings.

Transformative Language Arts Network – National Professional Organization (2009 – 2013)
Director: The Network is a non-profit organization formed to support those who work with the transforming power of the written, spoken, and sung word.

Jewels of Quakerism Project – Pendle Hill Retreat Center, Wallingford, PA (2009)
Co-Teacher and Pastoral Care Giver:  Worked as the 2009 Young Adult Leadership Development staff for Quaker education, teaching as well as serving as spiritual nurturer for retreatants.
Developer and Editor: Co-developed interactive media for course with materials made publicly available to congregations for use in adult religious education: http://jewelsofquakerism.org

McAuliffe Regional Charter School – Framingham, MA (2007 – 2009)
Teacher:  8th grade Humanities teacher with focus on non-fiction writing skills and Global Medieval Cultures.  Also a member of the school’s Leadership Team, and a designer of the block schedule model and thematic interdisciplinary curriculum in the Expeditionary Learning model of Outward Bound.

Quaker Speaking Engagements (2007 – Present)
Keynote speaker and retreat leader on topics related to Quakerism and Faith.  Most frequently on spiritual practices or the practical implications of theology. Have served as speaker in both lecturer and preacher capacities, for numerous organizations and events from local congregations to national gatherings. 


Co-Founder Executive Chair – The Association for THeopoetics Research and Exploration. (2014 – Present)
Member of Steering Committee: Oversee mission and growth for sole organization specifically focused on theopoetics.

Executive Board Member – The Society for Religion, Arts, and Contemporary Culture (2011 – Present)
Member of Board of Directors:  Appointment to Board of Directors serving at large.

Co-Founder and Managing Director – The Space: Venue for the Performing Arts – Rochester, NY (2011 – 2013)
Managing Member: Oversaw design, construction, and management of Rochester's most affordable community theater venue for rent to performing artists.

Executive Board Member – League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling, Boston, MA (2009-2011)
Member of Board of Directors:  Treasurer appointment to Board of Directors for the premiere North East regional storytelling organization, with particular focus towards advancement and outreach. 

Sunday School Teacher – Rochester Monthly Meeting (Quakers),  Rochester, NY (2005-2007)
Served as a committee member working towards the development of curriculum, and as a teacher at the First Day School for youth and adult religious education.

Organizational Membership

  • The Religious Education Association
  • The Association for Theopoetics Research and Exploration
  • The American Academy of Religion
  • National Association of Poetry Therapy
  • The International Society for Religion, Literature, and Culture
  • The Religion and Education Collaborative of The Religious Freedom Center

Religion and Spirituality

I am committed to the belief that a just world is possible, and that religion’s role is to help usher in that world, abandoning exclusionary theology, oppressive regimes, and violence done in God’s name.  For me, spirituality is not about magical thinking or the supernatural; I feel very strongly that religion is to be about listening to God's call to move into strong, healthy, and inclusive communities in the here-and-now. 

The Arts play a large role in my sense of all things, perhaps especially those things which are spiritual-centered. Throughout my work run themes addressing practices of creativity, embodiment, and (re)imagining the Divine, all of which are addressedin my work with theopoetics. I am the founder of The Association for Theopoetics Research and Exploration as well as the managing editor of THEOPOETICS, an online journal and the largest online hub for information related to the topic.  The Image of Fish is a more general blogging site at which I post a variety of things, almost all related to my studies, reflection, and practice of religion. In addition to these online sources, I periodically publish in academic journals, denominational resources, and speak at various venues either as preacher or lecturer.

My wife and I serve in the ministry within the Religious Society of Friends: I carry a concern for the power of language to guide our lives and dreams and travel under the oversight of a support committee of Fresh Pond Monthly Meeting of New England Yearly Meeting. With my wife Kristina, I have taught Quaker Faith and Practice at Pendle Hill, and have created a series of adult religious education videos for use in Quaker Meetings. During 2017 we are both working on a project called, On Carrying a Concern, a podcast of interviews with Friends that have followed leadings into service. In the ministry I travel widely and have co-lead retreats in Michigan, Ottawa, Vermont, and various venues in New York state.  I was a plenary speaker for the National conference on Quaker Leadings and Discernment, and have been the invited leader of Bible Study for both Farmington-Scipio Regional Meeting, and New York Yearly Meeting's Annual Sessions.  I am interested in the practices of Early Friends and issues of discipline and transformation within Monthly Meetings. 

Academically, I am a theologian and my work focuses primarily on the development of a public theology of public education, though I do juggle a number of side projects relating to creative and liberation approaches to Adult Religious Education. I work in the disciplines of Practical Theology and Religious Education, and am a huge adovacte for making theology accessible to folks. Technical academic langauge certainly does have its place, but I think that as a scholar I should make sure that at least periodically I check in to make sure my work still matters to folks who are not in the academy. Because of this committment I also periodically do interviews for the progressive Christian podcast, Homebrewed Christianity, which is all about making theology accessible. 

Teaching and Consulting

LecturingI am a teacher by training and inclination. I have worked as a teacher in English Language Arts, Social Studies, Theatre, Dance, and Music. I've worked in public schools at the middle and high school level, taught Italian in a full language immersion program, lead church retreats, and presented workshops and lectures all over the US. I work with adults and children of all ages and believe that all people are innately curious beings.

My research for my Masters in Teaching investigated the role of narrative in the classroom, and as a result, story plays a significant part of my stance as a teacher. I am particularly interested in the use of narrative to assist students in developing mastery and increased means to comprehend abstract ideas. As a Humanities teacher at McAuliffe Regional Charter School, I was the co-designer of an integrated thematic curriculum that combined English Language Arts standards with those from World History.  The resulting course addressed topics in literature and social studies in a cyclical, constructivist way, returning to cultures and concepts repeatedly so as continue to build on background knowledge and assist in making connections. Curriculum-wise I am interested in the use of theatre, poetry, and storytelling in cross-curricular development of lessons.

Academicall, I am interested in research pertaining to non-confessional spirituality in schools. How can people find ways to show up as their full selves at schools without inappropriately bringing relgion into the classroom? Relatedly, I am on the Steering Committee of The Religion and Education Collaborative, and interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners.

Post Its

As a consultant I work with organizations looking to address issues of board development, and with churches and para-church groups interested in growing skills of discernment and vocation care. I work frequently with youth-focused non-profits helping to develop programs in leadership and vocational discernment.

These days I am available for programs in the following:

  • Integration of the arts into classroom settings
  • Improvisational theater and workshops on improv and spirituality
  • The importance of creativity and imagination in education and spiritual formation
  • Developing practices of deep listening, communal discernment, and vocation care
  • Quaker faith and practice, especially of the sort grounded in a Christian tradition
  • Adult Religious Education curricullum review and development

If you are interested in having me come to speak, teach, or facilitate a workshop with your organization, please get in touch.


The Arts

Comedy ClubI have been a creator my entire life. There are dozens of photographs of me making and crafting as a child: creating games to play with my brother and sister, reveling in paste and paper, and imagining worlds that I could explore on my own, dazing off into the middle distance as I envisioned far-away lands. That child is still very much a part of me, and given the pressure of society to Consume instead of Create, I am very glad that he has survived. These days my primary interests tend toward theater and spoken word.

In Rochester, NY I was a founding member of the improvisational theater group Search Engine Improv, with whom I performed regularly, taught improv, and organized the annual Fall Back Comedy Festival. I coached the improv teams "The Awesome Train" and "Valorous Bufanda." Relatedly, I was the co-founder and co-manager of The Space: an Venue for the Performing Arts, a publicly accessible theater made by artists for artists and their audiences.Interviewing

Beyond theatre, I periodically invest substantial periods of time into the writing of poetry, which is somewhat of a disciplined practice for me: I can tend to get caught up in big, abstract ideas, and poetics requires that you stay focused and present on the world around you, something I often need to work on. Poems of mine can be found in the anthology Spirit Rising as well as in my book Way to Water.  

Organizationally, I have served on the executive board of directors for the League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling and The Transformative Language Arts Network. I currently serve as a director on the board of the Society for Art, Religion, and Contemporary Culture.