Godly Play Foundation Board of Directors

Ms. Mary Hunter Maxwell, MA
President, Board of Directors
Godly Play Missioner

Mary Hunter Maxwell is the Director of the Preschool at Second-Ponce in Atlanta, GA, a Positive Discipline certified parent educator, and mother to a Montessori child. While on the staff at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip from 2006-2016, she established and managed a Godly Play program with 7 classrooms serving children aged 3 through 5th grade and was a member of the Cathedral Preschool’s board of directors. She then spent a year teaching religion to children in 1st-8th grades in an Episcopal school— often telling more than 20 Godly Play stories a week in her elementary school classes!  Mary Hunter holds a an MA in Theology from Virginia Theological Seminary and was the adjunct instructor for Christian Formation in The School of Theology at Sewanee during her time as Canon for Education at the Cathedral. She is currently pursuing Associate Level certification from the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators and collaborating with Atlanta area educators to incorporate practices inspired by the schools of Reggio-Emilia into The Preschool at Second-Ponce. Mary Hunter’s husband, George, is the Vicar of the Cathedral of St. Philip and she occasionally writes about faith, Godly Play, early childhood education, and food at www.thevicarswifeatl.com

Cynthia Hill, Ph.D.
Vice President, Board of Directors
Godly Play Trainer

 Ms. L. Zoe Cole, J.D., Ph.D.
Secretary, Board of Directors

The Reverend David A. Madison, D.Min
Treasurer, Board of Directors

Noël J. Schmidt

Noel Schmidt was elected to the Board of Directors in 2016 and has served on its Executive Committee since 2019. Ms Schmidt previously served on the Board of First Montessori School of Atlanta, attended by both of her children for more than a decade. She has helped guide Godly Play programming and the Advanced Godly Play classroom of 4th and 5th graders at the Episcopal Cathedral of St Philip since 2012.  In her current role as Strategic Director, Executive Engagement at the American Cancer Society, Ms Schmidt leads the CEOs Against Cancer Global Council and National Chapters. Prior to joining the not-for-profit world, Ms Schmidt was a management consultant working with consumer manufacturing, retail and technology sectors in the areas of strategic planning, marketing and product development, and operations.

Ted Pix

Fredrick Gerbracht Jr., Ph.D.

Ted Gerbracht was elected to the Godly Play Foundation Board in early 2011.  He first became involved in the work of the Foundation while serving as Chief Academic Officer at the General Theological Seminary in New York.  While at General, Ted led the effort to develop and implement a graduate certificate program in the spiritual guidance of children based on Jerome’s work.

In addition to almost forty years as a manager and executive in the private sector, Ted has been active in a variety of financial, stewardship and educational ministries at the parish, diocesan and national level in the Episcopal Church.  He has served as Treasurer of the Diocese of Long Island (1991-2000) and currently serves as a Trustee of the Estate of the Diocese.  From 2000-2009, he served as Treasurer and a Trustee of the General Theological Seminary.  He teaches the History of Christianity at the Diocese of Long Island’s George Mercer School of Theology in Garden City, Long Island.  Ted also serves on the Episcopal Church’s General Board of Examining Chaplains.

He has masters’ degrees from Butler and St. John’s Universities, an MBA from Adelphi University, and a Ph.D. in history from New York University.  He is married, with four grown children and seven grandchildren.

Rev. Emily Griffin
Godly Play Trainer

The Rev. Emily Griffin is an Associate Rector at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Washington, DC. She has also served parishes in McLean, VA and Pennington, NJ.  It was in New Jersey among parishioners of all ages that she found and fell in love with Godly Play, and in 2007 became a trainer.  She has helped to plan regional and national trainer gatherings, served on the 2019 North American Godly Play Conference Planning Team, and is currently on the Education Committee of the Godly Play Foundation as well. During the summer, she is Co-Director of the Kids Tent at the Wild Goose Festival in Hot Springs, NC – where Godly Play stories are shared “big” and outside.  She received her M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, her MSW from Rutgers University, and her STM in Anglican Studies from the General Theological Seminary.  Emily and her husband Mike live in DC.

James Sweeney

Ms. Laura L. Willis

Ms. Judy Johnson

JeromeThe Rev. Dr. Jerome W. Berryman
Godly Play Founder
Senior Fellow, Center for the Theology of Childhood
Ex Officio Board Member


Ms. Alyda Macaluso
Emeritus Board Member

DOUG WATTS PhotoThe Rev. Doug Watts
Emeritus Board Member

Doug Watts is the Director of Pastoral Care and Clinical Pastoral Education at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, TX.  Doug is ordained in the United Church of Christ and has been a pediatric Chaplain for over 20 years. He led Children’s Medical Center in the establishment of The Center for The Spirituality of Children in 2011 and the construction of a Godly Play room, which is adjacent to the chapel on the Dallas campus, and a Godly Play Chapel on the Legacy campus of Children’s Medical Center. The pastoral care department at Children’s also provides Chaplain services for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas.  Doug also led the establishment of two Godly Play programs in two churches, the St. Charles Ave. Baptist Church in New Orleans, LA and Royal Lane Baptist Church in Dallas, TX.  Doug completed the Certificate in Spiritual Guidance of Children offered at The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in 2012.

The Very Rev. Rebecca McClain

The Very Rev. Rebecca L. McClain
Emeritus Board Member

The Very Rev. Rebecca L. McClain is a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church and was ordained in 1985. Rebecca has served as priest at the congregational, diocesan and national levels and recently retired after completing her responsibilities as Interim Dean of Saint Paul’s Cathedral in San Diego, California. In every role and position, her life and work has been shaped by the conviction that all creation is holy and every human being is beloved of God. Through the lens of Jesus, she strives to see as God sees and seeks to serve as an agent of God’s love.

Rebecca spent sixteen years in Arizona and in that time served as Dean of Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix. Concurrently, she served as Canon to the Ordinary to the Right Reverend Robert R. Shahan, Bishop of the Diocese of Arizona. In 2007 she assisted the Godly Play Foundation in a reorganization project after which Rebecca was called to her position at Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle. After a short six month retirement, she was called to serve as Interim Dean at Saint Paul’s. She reentered retirement in March of 2014 and returned to Phoenix, Arizona. Her vocational life is marked with a capacity to manage communities in transition and a profound sense that we are all called to flourish as children of the Holy One.

Rebecca has three grown children and four grandchildren. They are the joy of her life.


The Rev. Karin I. Liebster
Emeritus Board Member

Karin Liebster serves as Pastor for Faith Formation at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Houston, TX providing educational programs and opportunities toward the formation of the Christian faith in all stages of life. She first was accredited as Godly Play teacher in 2003, and trained as trainer in 2012. Karin is a leader with the Godly Play Network Houston Gulf Coast. She joined the Godly Play Foundation Board in September 2011.

Karin came to the United States in 1993 from Germany where she received her Master of Divinity and was ordained in the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland. She served Montvale Congregational Church in Woburn, MA (United Church of Christ) before moving to Houston in 1997. Her theological formation took place in the climate of second-generation postwar Germany, a time characterized by the desire to build global ecumenical understanding and relationships, the reformulating of Christian theology in light of two world wars, and the effort of the church to repent and renew relations with the Jewish people.  She and her husband Matthias Henze have three teenage children. She enjoys traveling, walks in nature, swimming, cooking, a good book, the newspaper in hard copy, and museum visits.

Ms. Jenny Sjögreen
Godly Play International Council (GPIC) Chair
Emeritus Board Member

The Rev. A. Thomas Blackmon
Emeritus Board Member

June 2018 Board Meeting, West Cornwall CT{“type”:”block”,”srcIndex”:4,”srcClientId”:”63896af4-14b3-4a16-9c22-bb5c45beb764″,”srcRootClientId”:””}