Spiritual & Mental Health

Student Chaplains

Chris Profile pic.jpg

Name: Chris Allaun (He, him, his)
Contact: [email protected]
Program, Concentration: MDiv
Religious Affiliation/Spiritual Orientation: Pagan, Indigenous, Earth-based, Inter-religious 

Approach to Spiritual Care: My approach to spiritual care is that I approach each person with an open heart and an open mind. We all come from different backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences and each of these things is sacred. I connect to each person through how they connect to the divine. This individual connection gives spiritual meaning to us and should be celebrated. 

More about Me: I am a second year MDiv student at CTS. I am an ordained minister with The Fellowship of the Phoenix, a Queer spiritual/pagan church in Chicago. I am also a massage therapist, Lakota pipe carrier, and energy healer. 


Mac Buff.jpeg

Name: Mac Buff (They, them, their)
Contact: [email protected]
Program, Concentration: MDiv
Religious Affiliation/Spiritual Orientation: UCC, with influences from paganism and Buddhism

Approach to Spiritual Care: I take a collaborative approach to spiritual care. We are journeying and seeking together. Much of my own spiritual journey has been focused on reconnecting mind, body, and spirit. I often turn to these practices when giving spiritual care to others as well.


Name: Kim M. Grice (she, her, hers)
Contact[email protected]
Program, Concentration: MDiv
Religious Affiliation/Spiritual Orientation: United Church of Christ

Approach to Spiritual Care: Caring for God’s people with a heart for service, compassion and comfort while engaging in conversation that is supporting, respectful, empathetic, mutual and authentic. If I had to define a strategy for self-care and wellness, I would say to be mindful of what you feel that you need. Make the time to embrace those needs and be attentive to and give life to experiencing and respecting those needs.

More about Me: I want you to know that for as much as we may engage, I will respect our relationships as a professional with accountability for our individual, sacred time together. It is important that you know that I respect you and the trust that you may have in me.


Picture_Rae Ingram.jpeg

Name: Rae Ingram (She/they)
Contact: [email protected]
Program, Concentration: MDiv
Religious Affiliation/Spiritual Orientation: Interfaith/Adjacent Christian

Approach to Spiritual Care: My approach to spiritual care is to serve others n a way that allows me to meet, hold, see, hear, and affirm the Sacred in each person-right where they are, how they are, and for who they are..deeply loved. It is important for me to listen to those I am serving and to take my lead form them. I also want to always make sure that I include the patients and ask how I can be of support to them. Lastly, it is important that honor and support individuals within their own faith tradition.

More about Me: I am a lover of God, life, people, and laughter. I strongly believe that there is healing in laughter. Some fun facts about me: I am obsessed with the Queen Beyonce, Golden Girls and my fur-babies. I look forward to serving you this year, in a way that is healthy, whole, and holy. 



Name: Zoya Mirza (She, her, hers)
Contact: [email protected]
Program, Concentration: MDiv. Chaplaincy (4th year student)
Religious Affiliation/Spiritual Orientation: Muslim 

Approach to Spiritual Care: I am a Chaplain by heart. Having worked in Trauma 1 and 2 hospitals as a Chaplain my approach is to be a facilitator and a cultural broker for those seeking spiritual care without being affiliated to any religion. I am an agent of hope and a shepherd for those who just want to be connected to their spirit. As a student, a Chaplain, IT lecturer, and a mother I have some experience in dealing and managing day to day workload. 

More about Me: I am also a student of Clinical Psychology. My goal is to one day provide a true holistic care to people who are disconnected from their spirit and help them achieve their true purpose in this life peacefully.  


Liz Pence.jpg

Name: Liz Pence (they/she)
Contact: [email protected]
Program, Concentration: MDiv, Concentration in Chaplaincy and LGBTQIA+ Studies
Religious Affiliation/Spiritual Orientation: Christian Mystic

Approach to Spiritual Care: My approach is collaborative! I believe people have the tools they need to be strong and sustainable in their spiritual lives; it’s up to us to come together and work collectively on how to meet your needs. Also, really big into mystical practices (whatever that looks like in your tradition) and spiritually therapeutic practices for healing and growth, which is informed by my study into religious and complex trauma.

More about Me: I’m local to Hyde Park, so feel free to hit me up if you’re in the area! I live in a little Episcopal chapel, so come get some tea and your cards read. 


Staff Support

Name: Rev. Amy Aschliman (she, her, hers)
Contact: [email protected]
Program, Concentration: MA ‘10 Education, MDiv ‘14 Theological Studies
Religious Affiliation/Spiritual Orientation: Ordained Mennonite Pastor, informed by diverse traditions

Approach to Spiritual Care: Each person has story that is sacred and an experience that is real. I try to honor everyone’s perspective of their lived experience on their own journey. Developing self-understanding through the narrative of our lives is holy work as we seek meaning and belonging. The role of the spiritual care provider is to make space for someone’s story to breathe and for them to gain agency over their narrative so that they might move forward into greater wellness and wholeness.

I like to partner with people in thinking strategically about their wellness. This means developing personalized self-care strategies which aren’t only about relaxing (though that’s important!), but also implementing healthy routines and boundaries to increase functioning and ease in life. I encourage us all to dwell more and more in the pondering and practice of what self-love and love of neighbor mean through our different ages and stages.

More about Me: I am the Assistant Director of Student Formation & Community Engagement at CTS. I have also served as church pastor and as a hospital chaplain around Chicagoland.

Name: Minister Deneen Y Collins (she/her/hers)
Program, Concentration: MDiv ‘16
Religious Affiliation/Spiritual Orientation: UCC
Contact: [email protected]

Approach to Spiritual Care: My approach to spiritual care is to listen intently with a compassionate heart, connect them with the divine and serve without expecting anything in return. Additionally, I believe one of the best strategies for spiritual care is the ministry of presences. The power of presence can be a source of strength and comfort to a person who is hurting.

More about Me: I am the Assistant Director of Recruitment and Pastoral Counselor at CTS.


Spiritual Care & Mental Health Resources Handbook

Below you will find the CTS Spiritual Care & Mental Health Resources handbook. Theological education demands a great deal of its students – mentally and spiritually as well as intellectually. This community strives to provide the care and support that each of us needs as we confront matters of faith, theology, ethics, ministry, scholarship and vocation. However, CTS’ ability to attend to the needs of each individual is far outpaced by our wide-ranging diversity.

Recognizing that we cannot meet every need that emerges, we have gathered together a list of community resources to compliment and expand upon the support systems in place at the seminary.

Looking for a local church community? Check out the “Congregations and Clergy” section. Believe you would benefit from pastoral counseling? There is a list of organizations and individuals to get you started. Need a mental/physical/spiritual break? Consider taking a weekend to visit one of the locations listed in the Retreat section.

We hope you will let us know what resources prove most helpful, and what others we have left out. We will continue to refine and update the handbook in an effort to reflect the interests and feedback of the community.

Here are the list of sections to help you get started:

Area Congregations & Clergy • Spiritual Direction & Pastoral Counseling Resources • Other Low-Cost Counseling Centers • Individual Pastoral Counselors Serving CTS Students • Spiritual Directors • Retreat Centers • Psychologists/Psychotherapists • Domestic & Sexual Violence Resources • Addiction Support Services

No documents currently available.