About the Convening Organizations           

The Association for Global New Thought (AGNT)

Dr. Barbara E. Fields
Conference Co-director
Michael Bernard
Beckwith, D.D.
Agape International
Spiritual Center
Rev. Dr. Kathy Hearn
Centers for
Spiritual Living
Rev. Mary Omwake
Unity Church
of Lynwood
Dr. Roger Teel
MileHi Church


AGNT was co-founded in 1996 to represent the leading edge of the New Thought lineage. Its constituent member churches and centers among Unity, Religious Science, and nondenominational New Thought spiritual communities are committed to global healing through personal transformation, community-building, interfaith, intercultural, and interdisciplinary understanding, and compassionate activism.


AGNT is the official co-founder and convener of the Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence (SNV). Established in 1998 to commemorate the memorial anniversaries of these legendary peace-makers, SNV is active in 467 U.S. cities and 18 countries, and has expanded to include Seasons for: The Earth, Humane Service, and Interfaith Intercultural Celebration. Other AGNT initiatives include The Abraham Path “Omni-local” Initiatives conceived in partnership with Harvard University’s Project on Negotiation, and coordinating program offerings and participation by New Thought delegations in three recent Parliament of the World’s Religions: Capetown, South Africa, 1999; Barcelona, Spain, 2004; Melbourne, Australia, 2009.


The Synthesis Dialogues: With His Holiness, the Dalai Lama of Tibet acting as participant and mentor, AGNT has serve as conveners and organizers of The Synthesis Dialogues I, II, & III, an interdisciplinary symposium among a select group of globally respected religious and secular leaders representing new visions and models for social healing. They included recognized leaders from among each of the world’s religious traditions, and culturally diverse professionals with expertise on questions of governance, religious violence, environmental concerns, and sustainable human rights.


The Synthesis Dialogues were inaugurated in Dharamsala, India, in September 1999, at the Norbulingka Institute. Synthesis II was held in June, 2001, at the Mariopolis Retreat Center near Trent, in northeastern Italy. AGNT convened the third Synthesis Dialogues in 2004 at Castelgandolfo, in the Roman Hills, situated in the property which is the Summer Residence of the Pope. Each meeting included between 30-50 core participants, accompanied by an audience of guests at two of the three dialogues. Facilitation by the Association for Global New Thought aimed at nurturing a sense of spiritual ethics in responding to critical social issues, and at cultivating relationships that might prepare the ground for strategic collaborations in the future.

The International Interreligious Peace Council (IIPC)

The Peace Council is a diverse group of religious and spiritual individuals who are internationally known and respected and who have decided to come together, as the Dalai Lama wrote in a recent letter, "to understand one another and work together so that those of us who profess belief in our respective faiths can work for the common cause of humanity." He added, "I believe that such a joint effort can set the right example for the rest of the world."


Trustees of the Peace Council make up the International Committee for the Peace Council (ICPC). Jim Kenney — a founding trustee and former Global Director of the Parliament of the World’s Religions — serves as Project Coordinator for the ICPC.


The Peace Council began in 1995 with twelve members. It has grown since and may eventually include twenty to thirty members. A current list of Peace Councilors is available on the organization’s web site: http://www.peacecouncil.org. Membership is by invitation to persons who are:
• respected within their faith communities for how they live and what they do
• committed to working together in practical ways for peace, and to teaching by example.


The heart of the Peace Council's work is a commitment by the Peace Councilors to help one another in the practical peace-making that has made each Peace Councilor a leader in his or her community. There is no single formula for the programs. They vary depending on what is needed in each area.

The Peace Councilors try to show by example that diverse faiths can work together "for the common needs of the whole community of life." They offer help to local peace initiatives in regions of special need, at the invitation of a Peace Councilor who already is active in the area. Peace Council actions or programs respond to what trusted local peacemakers know will work best. In many cases the Council's first act in a place where people are suffering may be simply what Archbishop Romero called "accompaniment and presence:" planting seeds of hope and strength.

The Interreligious Engagement Project (IEP21)

IEP21 works to further the engagement of religious and spiritual communities around the world with each other, with secular agencies, and – most of all – with the critical issues facing the planetary community in the early 21st century. Jim Kenney is the founder and Executive Director of IEP21.


The Interreligious Engagement Project (IEP21) is informed and energized by the vision of a world at peace, dedicated to social and economic justice, and committed to ecological sustainability. We are grateful for the pioneering spirit of four great documents that emerged from the rich cross-cultural dialog of the latter half of the 20th century. These "cornerstone documents" speak profoundly to the world envisioned here. They are:


• The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations, 1948)
• Towards a Global Ethic: An Initial Declaration (Parliament of the World's Religions, 1993)
• A Call to Our Guiding Institutions (Parliament of the World's Religions, 1999)
• The Earth Charter (Earth Council et al., 2001)


Collectively these four documents offer ethical ideas from the wisdom of the world's religious, spiritual, and philosophical traditions, from contemporary science, international law, the seven UN World Conferences held during the 1990s, the global ethics movement, and over 200 NGO declarations issued over the past twenty-five years, as well as from widely recognized "best practices" for peaceful, just, and sustainable living -- ancient and contemporary. These "cornerstone" documents provide an essential foundation for the work of the IEP21.




Dr. Barbara E. Fields
Conference Co-director
Executive Director, The Association for Global New Thought; Co-founder and Project Director – The Gandhi King Seasons for Peace and Nonviolence 1998-present; Program Director – Parliament of the World's Religions 1993 centennial celebration in Chicago; Co-founder and Project Director of the Synthesis Dialogues with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama of Tibet, Dharamsala, India, 1999, Trent, Italy, 2001, and Castelgandolfo, 2004; Retreat organizer and liaison for the Dalai Lama and personal entourage 2009 UCSB, 2011 UCLA; Coordinator of U.S. based omni-local initiatives for Harvard-based Project on Negotiation’s Abraham Walk Initiative in the Middle East; Director of the Awakened World Conference series since 1999, including the upcoming AW2012: “Engaged Spirituality for the 21st Century,” with world leaders in Rome and Florence, 2012; Director of the Gandhi King Peace Train and Living Legends of Nonviolence Conference celebrating a decade of spiritually-motivated activism in 2007; Conference and Program Director for the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies in Chicago, IL and Tacoma, WA; Program Director - International Buddhist-Christian Theological Encounter, Purdue University and the Lilly Foundation (2000-2005); Participant - UNESCO Seminar on Religion and Peace, Granada, Spain. Awards include: The Dr. Barbara Fields Peace Award of which she was the first recipient in 2012, Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Holmes Institute, 2005, Religious Science International’s first Peace Award in 2003, the Gandhi-King-Ikeda Award from Martin Luther King Jr. Chapel at Morehouse College 2002, The Peace Museum's Community Peacemaker Award in the area of Diplomacy; Serves on the. Co-founder of The Earth Network, a non-profit alternative television organization dedicated to the environment, social action, and the human spirit for which she received the Visionary Award from the Center For New Television; Contributing author, The Community of Religions (Continuum Press, 1996), Two Hundred Visionaries (Conari Press, 2010), Women, Spirituality and Transformative Leadership: Where Grace Meets Power (SkyLight Paths Publishing, 2011), and numerous articles and publications: Kosmos, Interreligious Insight, Unity Contact, Science of Mind.

Michael Bernard Beckwith, D.D.
Agape International Spiritual Center
Founder and Spiritual Director of the Agape International Spiritual Center, an 8000 member transdenominational spiritual community. A Co-founder and President of Association for Global New Thought, Dr. Beckwith is the originator of the Life Visioning Process, an author and composer. He shares with Dr. Arun Gandhi and Mary Manin Morrissey the national Co-directorship of A Season for Nonviolence, and is an assembly member of the Parliament of the World’s Religions. Dr. Beckwith is a keynote speaker throughout the nation. His commitment to world peace has drawn public recognition including awards such as The Gandhi-King-Ikeda Award from Morehouse College, the Humanitarian Award of the National Council for Community and Justice, The Howard Thurman Stained Glass Window Award and many others.


Rev. Dr. Kathy Hearn
Centers for Spiritual Living
For the least ten years, community spiritual director of an international organization with 200 communities and ministries and publisher of Science of Mind magazine; actively engaged in spiritual organization development to expand spiritual living through personal and global transformation ; monthly contributor to Science of Mind magazine; Chair of Organizational Renewal Project and member of New Organization Design Team; Vice Chair International Board of Trustees; Chair and Vice Chair of United Clergy of Religious Science; instructor for Holmes Institute School of Consciousness Studies. Member of the Leadership Council for the Association for Global New Thought; traveled to the Middle East as AGNT’s representative and sole female religious leader for Harvard’s Abraham Path Initiative, November 2006; Abraham Path Initiative Tourism Conference, Sanliurfa, Turkey, November 2007; presented at the 2004 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Barcelona, Spain; attended Synthesis Dialogues with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1999. Founded Pacific Church of Religious Science in San Diego, Senior Minister for 15 years.


Rev. Mary Omwake
Unity Church of Lynwood
A Spiritual teacher, writer, radio host and retreat leader. Ordained a Unity minister in 1989, she has served ministries in Overland Park, Kansas, where she developed the Love in Action sacred service program and the Unity Basics One curriculum and Maui, Hawaii. A founding member of the Association for Global New Thought, Mary has spoken United Nations for the Season for Peace and Nonviolence, worked on the Synthesis Dialogues with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and worked within her community on numerous peace projects. She was inducted into the Martin Luther King Board of Preachers in 1998. She has served on numerous boards and committees, including The International Association of Unity Churches and chaired the church growth and development teams for both the AUC and INTA. Mary lives on Maui and leads retreats for churches and sacred tours to Assisi, Dharamsala, Africa and Maui.


Dr. Roger Teel
MileHi Church
A leading speaker and spiritual teacher, he has served New Thought and the Religious Science ministry for over 32 years. He holds a degree in psychology and religion and the degree of Religious Science Fellow. He was awarded a Doctor of Divinity in 1988 and the Doctor of Religious Science Degree in 1999. Dr. Roger has served pulpits in Oregon, California and, in 1993 returned to his home church, Mile Hi Church in Denver, as Senior Minister and Spiritual Leader. He oversees all aspects of this thriving ministry of over 10,000 members and friends. Under Dr. Roger’s leadership, two additional facilities have been built on the church’s sixteen acre campus: a $2.5 million multi-purpose center and a $15 million new sanctuary which was opened in April, 2008. He has been very active in United Church of Religious Science leadership, serving on numerous committees. In 1980, he was elected to the International Board of Trustees and in 1983 was elected Chairman, a position he filled for two years. As his career has expanded, his influence has extended internationally; he lectures and conducts workshops for churches, service organizations, schools, and businesses. Dr. Teel assisted in facilitating the Synthesis Dialogues with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1999, 2001 and 2004. He is co-founder of the Association for Global New Thought, and serves on the boards of the Foundation for Affordable Housing and the Community First Foundation.