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Dean of Theology & Culture, Professor of Religious Studies

Brad Jersak, a prairie boy, migrated west to marry Eden (1986). Brad served as a pastor and church planter for twenty years, where he developed a heart for restorative justice for people with disabilities, addictions and economic disadvantages. In 2009, Brad began Ph.D. studies in political theology at Bangor University (Wales). After graduating, he was invited to teach at Westminster Theological Centre (UK), then at SSU and IRPJ, eventually becoming Dean of the Theology & Culture program.

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Education Grounded in Community Engagement

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Director of Community Engagement / International Studies
Hannah is a born-and-raised Maritimer and her academic work reflects her love of rural people and places. She researches, writes, and teaches on issues related to the rural sociology of...
Professor of Psychology

Walter has combined a long tenure of teaching and administration at SSU with a local counselling practice and involvement at St. Croix Church. Lately his main research interests are studying compassionate, contemplative healing and developing a new model of spiritual maturing. Among his favourite activities are gardening, reading and encouraging students to watch and discuss good films. He also loves to cook with, and eat with, his wife, Carol.

Dean of Students / Adjunct Faculty / Food Services Associate

Jess has been engaged in theological studies since she was old enough to recognize the questions it sparked within her. Eventually those questions led her to pursue an MA in Theology and Culture at SSU. She currently enjoys the work of supporting undergrad students as SSU’s Dean of Students, developing lectures for the Theology and Culture program, and cooking with and for the community that calls Park Hall home.

For any student life-related questions email: [email protected]

Professor of Religious Studies

Peter Fitch began teaching at SSU in 1979, three and a half years after the university opened its doors. From 1995 until 2019 he served as the Dean of Ministry Studies, SSU’s graduate program in Theology. His main academic focus has been the History of Christian Spirituality, though he has also taught courses in Philosophy, Biblical Studies, and Practical Theology.

Lecturer, Librarian, Student Accessibility

Katie works in SSU’s small but mighty library and teaches creative writing. She did her BA at SSU and her MFA at UBC. She runs a little print journal called The Filid Chapbook, which often gets to feature amazingly talented SSU alumni. Katie lives in St. Stephen with her son, and loves spending her life in a place where trees outnumber humans so dramatically.

Lecturer, Europe Program Leader

Rachael has been lecturing at SSU since she moved here from England with her family in 2008. She loves learning and teaching about language, culture, and religion, and offers courses related to these areas of interest at SSU – including French, TESL, the weekly School of Contemplation, and courses on the Europe travel study program, for which she is a program leader and logistics coordinator.

Adjunct Faculty

David graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB). He was appointed to a church in Santa Barbara. After 10 years with this church, David was invited by Foursquare to take the leadership of one of their churches. He continues to serve both churches. His Master’s degree is from St. Stephen’s University and his doctorate in theology from the University of South Africa (UNISA) David and Diane have been married for 42 years and have 5 adult children.

Assistant Professor of History

After studying history and philosophy in Utrecht (the Netherlands), and working with several peace organizations in Europe, the Middle East and on Turtle Island, Laurens moved to St. Stephen in 2019. Laurens loves to reflect on how the study of the past relates to the pursuit of justice in the present, and is particularly interested in the power of story, religion and commemorative practices within emancipatory social movements.

Professor of Religion and Peace Studies, Director of the Institute for Religion, Peace and Justice
Andrew is Director of the Institute of Religion Peace and Justice

Andrew Klager holds a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Glasgow (2011). He has spoken at many conferences and interfaith dialogues and is widely published in journals and books in research fields as diverse as peace and conflict studies, Anabaptist-Mennonite studies, interreligious peacebuilding especially in Egypt, peace theology, history of Christianity, early modern European history, the Church fathers (especially St. Gregory of Nyssa), and Eastern Orthodox theology. His main area of research is on the inner transformation of a peacemaker.

Adjunct Faculty
Naomi came to work at SSU after over 10 years in private practice as a Registered Psychotherapist and Registered Marriage and Family Therapist. She has a M.Div.Counselling, from Tyndale University, College...
Adjunct Faculty

No biography available.

Adjunct Faculty

Dr. Robert Larmer is Chair of the Philosophy Department of the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick, having been a member of the department since 1986. He has taught many different areas of philosophy, but his primary research interests are in philosophy of religion.

Adjunct Faculty

While Cara calls St. Stephen her hometown, she has explored opportunities of work and study throughout Canada from Vancouver to Montreal before finally finding her way back to New Brunswick. Following an ECE Certificate, Cara became a SSU alumnus (BA, 2011) before receiving her MA in Child Studies from Concordia University.

Adjunct Faculty
Nadya in the library

Dr. Nadya Pohran completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge, for which she conducted ethnographic research at a Christian ashram (spiritual retreat centre) in North India. Academically, she specialises in Hindu-Christian studies and the Anthropology of Christianity; outside of academia she has performed consultant work for a healthtech start-up.  When not occupied with her research projects, Nadya enjoys gardening, painting, and doing a variety of outdoor activities.

Adjunct Faculty

No biography available.

Adjunct Faculty

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Dave was one of the first six students at SSU. He has a B. Ed and M. Ed from the University of Saskatchewan, and has also studied at Simon Fraser University and Regent College on the UBC campus.

Adjunct Faculty

Rick is an adjunct faculty member who, when he is not teaching statistics, runs a St. Stephen based technology company called Jackets Creative Consulting Inc. In his spare time, Rick likes to make ambient/electronic music. You can check out his music on Soundcloud.

Adjunct Faculty

No biography available.

Adjunct Faculty

No biography available.


Associate Registrar

Once a former SSU graduate, Debbie MacDonald has imprinted herself in a variety of roles at St. Stephen’s University since 2004. Debbie now guides students as the Associate Registrar, finding avenues for students to explore on their academic path.

Finance Aid Officer

Kathy first started working for St. Sephen’s University in the finance department back in 2013. Most of the time you can find her in her office buried under a pile of sticky notes and mounds of student loan forms. But when the paperwork slows down and SSU needs some extra help with renovations; you can find her happily balancing on a ladder while mudding or painting with her headphones in.

Financial Officer

Lorna Jones is one of the few ‘native New Brunswickers’ among the SSU staff, having grown up in Woodstock, another lovely small town with a river flowing alongside! She has always lived in the Maritimes, other than her 4 undergrad years in New England, and settled in St. Stephen in the early 90’s.


Not too far from these words, you should find an image of Jonathan Coe, who, when not in the environs of SSU, can be found tending to vegetables, words, or trivia, as a sometime gardener, cryptic crossword setter, and quizzer. Originally from the UK, this same person is now exploring ways to spread the word about the wonders of St. Stephen’s University to a new generation of potential students.

Food Services Coordinator

Carol Thiessen has been cooking up homemade goodness in the kitchen at SSU for nearly twenty years. She deeply values the blending of healthy cooking, thrifty shopping and great taste and loves to pass on those values and skills to students. She is also easily talked into playing a game of euchre or Dutch blitz if she has a free moment. Originally from Winnipeg, Carol has raised her family here in St. Stephen.

Marketing & Production Manager

Jacob Rose identifies opportunities to share the story of Canada’s smallest university through media design and the curation of SSU’s online spaces. For all marketing inquires please contact [email protected]

Emeritus Faculty

Dr. Lois Mitchell

Professor Emerita of International Studies

Professor of English, St. Stephens University

Dr. Agnes Kramer-Hamstra

Professor Emerita of English Literature

Professor Emeritus of History, St. Stephens University

Dr. Gregg Finley

Professor Emeritus of History

Board of Governors

  • Carol Macdonald (Chair)
  • Alex Henderson
  • Sharon Mason
  • Wendy Gritter
  • Karen Petersen
  • Joy Benson Green
  • Catherine Renneberg
  • Judith Moses
  • Laurens van Esch