Spiritual Care and Learning Centre (SCLC) Leaders

All Spiritual Care and Learning Centre leaders share the values of human dignity, diversity and respect. If you’re in need of guidance, support or community related to spiritual care, the SCLC leaders are here to help!

Andy Crowell

Andy Crowell

Director, Spiritual Care and Learning Centre; Ecumenical Chaplain, McMaster University

Email: crowella@mcmaster.ca

Andy is the director of McMaster’s Spiritual Care and Learning Centre and ecumenical chaplain at the university. Having served as a spiritual care provider for faith-based communities and institutional settings for more than 30 years, his experience reveals how the commonality of our human spirit has many ways to address our diverse human conditions. Andy believes that when we address our diversity in this way, we’re not only a more compassionate society, but also a more just society.

Dr. Raj Balkaran

Dr. Raj Balkaran

Indian Spirituality Chaplain; Director, School of Indian Wisdom; Instructor, Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

Email: raj@rajbalkaran.com

Dr. Raj Balkaran is a scholar of ancient Indian Sanskrit stories. He is also a spiritual adept, having received multiple initiations and having been engaged in daily spiritual practice for over two decades. He is familiar with a vast array of spiritual practices. He runs a thriving spiritual counsel practice supporting folks of various stripes who resonate with Indian spirituality — be they Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Jewish, Christian or SBNR.

A seasoned storyteller and educator, Dr. Balkaran teaches at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. He is also the Founder of the School of Indian Wisdom where he delivers original online courses to apply Indian wisdom teachings to modern life. Beyond research, teaching, speaking and offering spiritual counsel, Dr. Balkaran hosts the New Books in Indian Religions podcast where he interviews top scholars on their cutting-edge research. Visit Dr. Balkaran’s website for more information.

Paula Baruch

Cantor Paula Baruch

Ordained Jewish Clergy, Spiritual Companion, Program Director, Temple Anshe Sholom

Email: pbaruch@anshesholom.ca

Cantor Paula Baruch serves Temple Anshe Sholom, Canada’s oldest Reform Jewish Synagogue, founded in 1850. A convert to Judaism at age 21, she is adept at educating in ways people of other faiths and spiritual paths can understand. She practices spiritual companionship and enjoys planning programs for her Hamilton community. As Cantor of the congregation, her focus is on the use of music to engage the spirit and connect souls. Cantor Paula Baruch also offers sessions in Spiritual Direction, Hebrew learning, Torah and Haftorah chanting skills. She has taught from Kindergarten to Adult Education, always with an emphasis on how music brings light to our souls. Cantor Baruch has a BA in Theatre and Economics, a B Ed in Drama and History, an MA in Adult Education and Ordination from the Hebrew Union College Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music in New York City. She is married to Rabbi Jordan Cohen and they share five amazing adult children, two of which attained degrees from McMaster University.

Jeff Druery

Jeff Druery

Coordinator, Spiritual Director, Open Circle

Email: jdruery@mcmaster.ca

Jeff Druery is a trained spiritual companion and leadership coach who accompanies students from all faiths and non-religious perspectives to discuss values, meaning, spirituality and how to find the place where one’s “deep gladness meets the worlds’ deep need.” In addition to offering individual spiritual companioning to students, Jeff facilitates mindfulness circles, extra-curricular courses, retreats and other activities for students through McMaster Open Circle. He coordinates Open Circles’ Community Volunteer Circles, a network of weekly volunteer groups where students serve and reflect together while making a positive difference in the community.

After studying mathematics and music, Jeff trained in spiritual direction through Ontario Jubilee Associates. In 2001, he co-founded Student Open Circles, the supporting charity for Open Circle. Jeff enjoys creative writing, making music and biking around Hamilton.

Marybeth Druery

Marybeth Leis Druery

Coordinator, Spiritual Director, Open Circle

Email: leismb@mcmaster.ca

Marybeth Leis Druery offers spiritual companioning for students from a diversity of backgrounds, focusing on meaning in your life and providing opportunities to reflect and try creative practices. Marybeth deepens her journey through practices from diverse spiritual traditions, art, dreamwork, the Enneagram, body awareness, movement and meditation. Marybeth loves accompanying students during this unique and important stage of life, and she knows first hand what it means to sift through the worldview she was raised with and begin the discovery of her authentic self.

She co-founded Student Open Circles in 2001 at McMaster University, where she facilitates weekly reflection, mindfulness and creativity circles, personal development courses, retreats and leadership development. Marybeth is a trained spiritual director through the Ontario Jubilee program, and holds an expressive arts practitioner draduate certificate through Haliburton School of Art and Design. She loves people, painting, reading  and Hamilton’s downtown and green spaces.

Judith Moses Dworkin

Judith Moses Dworkin

Vice President of Campus Life and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Hillel Ontario

Email: judith.dworkin@hillelontario.org

Judith Moses Dworkin is the Vice President of Campus Life and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Hillel Ontario, and formerly the Senior Director of McMaster Hillel since 2015. In 2021, she was named a Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence by Hillel International, the highest honour awarded to Hillel employees. Judith is a strong believer in pluralistic spaces and conversations where students can explore who they are and grapple with life’s big questions.

Judith is a graduate of Michigan State University’s College of Education in the Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education (HALE) program, and she holds an undergraduate degree in business administration from the Schulich School of Business at York University. Originally from Toronto, Judith has worked at Hillels in North Carolina and Michigan as well as Michigan Humanities, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, where she advanced public programming in non-profits across Michigan. Judith has more than 20 years professional experience in government, higher education and non-profit organizations.

Michael Fallon

Dr. Michael D. Fallon

Director and Chaplain, Christian Reformed Campus Ministry, McMaster University

Email: fallonm@mcmaster.ca

A lover of learning and McMaster University, Michael believes that all of life is sacred and that the truths that arise out of the university have their origins in spiritual principles from a Christian heritage.

In addition to loving the Creator and His son, Michael is passionate about the creator’s beautiful but broken creation. As a mountaineer, ORCA expedition leader and wilderness guide, Michael has a passion for the outdoors and enjoys introducing students to some of the beautiful places that he has discovered in his wanderings around Ontario. Michael is the director of All Things, the CRC Ministry at McMaster, and the mentor to Fully Alive, a McMaster men’s group. Michael has a PhD from the University of Guelph and an M.A., from the University of Toronto.

Hosam Helal

Imam Hosam Helal

Program Coordinator, Islamic Society of North America; Religious Affairs Director, Islamic Society of St. Catherines; Associate Chaplain, Brock University

Email: hosam@isnacanada.com

Imam Hosam Helal currently serves as the Imam and religious affairs director at Islamic Society of St. Catharines. He also serves as the associate chaplain at Brock University, an instructor at ISNA Canada and a director of Mishkah Social Services. He previously served as the Imam at the Muslim Association of Hamilton and Program Coordinator at ISNA Canada.

He has served as Imam, khateeb, teacher and instructor for the last 10 years at several universities throughout Canada and the United States. Imam Hosam Helal completed his education in health sciences, sociology, neuroscience, and near and Middle Eastern civilization at the University of Toronto and in Quran exegesis at Al-Azhar University.

He memorized the Quran at the age of eight and has since received several Ijazahs in its recitation styles. As the founder and instructor of Quran Journey, he travels across the world with the intentions of helping Muslims reconnect deeply with the Quran.

Bradley Marcus

Father Bradley Marcus

Roman Catholic Chaplain, McMaster University; Priest, Canadian Martyrs Church

Email: bmarkus@hamiltondiocese.com

Father Markus is the Roman Catholic Chaplain to McMaster University. He is present in the chaplaincy office, on campus, in the community and at a local Catholic Church, Canadian Martyrs, where he is Pastor. A large part of Father’s ministry involves providing sacramental opportunities for the university community, including daily and Sunday Mass/Confessions at the church.

Father is also available for spiritual direction, pastoral counselling and informal and formal discussions on any topic. When he’s not in a moment of ministry, you may find father on the sidewalk with his “Talk to a Catholic Priest” sign, in the church finding quiet moments of prayer, in his office responding to the never-ending emails (!) or perhaps even out for a walk with his dog in the neighborhood.  Perhaps the most powerful phrase from the Gospels for Father is Luke 22:32, Jesus’s encouragement to Peter, “Confirma fratres tuos”: Confirm or Strengthen your brothers and sisters’, in faith, in life and in our shared identity in God.

Andrew Nussey

Andrew Nussey

Psychotherapist & Clinical Supervisor; Bishop, Pro-Cathedral of St. Luke (Hamilton)

Email: andrew@realanglican.ca

Andrew Nussey is a Registered Psychotherapist, Certified Canadian Counsellor and Certified Canadian Counsellor-Supervisor with advanced education and training in spiritually integrated psychotherapy and a graduate degree in clinical psychology.

Andrew has many years of experience working clinically in post-secondary (university), community primary care, public school and private practice settings. He has experience treating a breadth of issues while working with diverse clinical presentations and populations, including Indigenous and other marginalized persons and those of diverse socioeconomic status. Andrew has worked with preteens, teens and adults of various ages and life-stages and, in addition to individual therapy, he has experience providing couples and family therapy. Andrew has taught the theory and practice of psychotherapy and counselling and he supervises the clinical work of other therapists.

In his various roles, Andrew routinely integrates religious perspectives and spiritual practices with psychological theory. A clinician in private practice, he is also a consecrated bishop currently serving as the Episcopal Vicar of the Pro-Cathedral of St. Luke, which meets near the university campus.

Paul O'Hagan

Paul O’Hagan

Roman Catholic Campus Coordinator, McMaster University

Email: pohagan@hamiltondiocese.com

Paul is the Catholic campus coordinator. He works closely with the McMaster Catholic Student Association (MACSA) and Catholic faculty and staff. He is committed to ecumenism, Christian unity and campus evangelization. Paul is interested in all things philosophy, theology, literature and wilderness canoeing. You can contact Paul at any time for support, guidance and Christian fellowship.

Chanoch Rosenfeld

Rabbi Chanoch Rosenfeld

Director, Pastor of Beit Menachem Jewish Student Centre, Hamilton

Email: arabbi@chabadhamilton.com

Rabbi Chanoch Rosenfeld is was born and raised in Montreal, Québec. Having completed his formative studies there, he went on to study in Israel and the United States, receiving his Rabbinical Ordination from the Rabbinical College of America in 2005. During his training, he led children’s Jewish educational programs in Montreal, spent a year as a teacher and mentor for underprivileged Jewish teenagers in Moscow and led Jewish holiday programming in Angola and Namibia as part of Roving Rabbis program by Chabad Lubavitch International. After teaching in a Jewish day school in Florida, he joined Chabad Lubavitch of Hamilton in 2007. For the past 14 years, he has run the Beit Menachem Jewish Student Centre together with his wife, Shaina, serving the religious and spiritual needs of the Jewish students at McMaster and in Hamilton.

Ben Shefter

Rabbi Ben Shefter

Senior Director and Senior Jewish Educator, McMaster Hillel

Email: rabbiben@hillelontario.org

Rabbi Ben Shefter is the Senior Jewish educator with McMaster Hillel. Ben was ordained at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, a modern orthodox rabbinical school in New York. He loves engaging in interfaith and interdenominational conversations and outdoor adventures, and engineering new opportunities. With experience as a former hospital chaplain, Ben is always available to discuss the good, the bad and the difficult moments of life.

Rory Tasker

Rory Tasker

Ordained Buddhist Monk, Religious Interpreter at Lama Yeshe Ling Centre

Email: taskerr@mcmaster.ca

Rory Tasker has been a Buddhist monk since 2004, and he’s lived in Buddhist communities in India, Thailand and Europe. Since completing the LRZTP translator training in 2010, he has served as a Tibetan-English religious interpreter for Geshe Sonam and other teachers from Sera Monastery at a variety of Buddhist centres in Europe, Asia and Canada. Currently, he translates Buddhist courses for Geshe Sonam at Lama Yeshe Ling Tibetan Buddhist Centre in Burlington, Ontario.

Rory was an M.A. student in McMaster University’s Department of Religious Studies from 2019 to 2021. Rory will continue with his PhD studies at the University of Toronto, OISE, where he plans to research the pedagogies employed by traditionally trained Tibetan teachers when presenting Buddhism to diverse communities in North America.