Michael Trice, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue
Dr. Michael Reid Trice is the Assistant Dean for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue at the Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry. From 2004 to 2011, Michael formerly served as Associate Executive Officer for the office of Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Michael earned a M.T.S. magna cum laude from Duke Divinity School and a Th.M. summa cum laude from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. In 2006, Michael completed his dissertation with High Honors at Loyola University in Chicago, in an ecumenical studies program with the Evangelische Fakultät at Ludwig-Maximillian-University in Munich, Germany. Michael has also studied at the Institute for Theology and Peace in Hamburg, Germany. His dissertation, titled Encountering Cruelty: A Fracture of the Human Heart, won the 2007 distinguished best original dissertation award for Loyola Jesuit University, and was published in April, 2011.
Michael served for two years as ELCA staff for the White House Task Force on Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation, is a leader on the Interfaith Commission of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, and stands on the executive board for Church World Service. He has likewise facilitated and taught courses of study in Geneva, Switzerland on global trends in Christian and Interreligious relations. Michael’s areas of academic interest include multireligious relations and trends, and the intersections in applied theology to conflict transformation, through and after the trespasses of human violence and cruelty.
Assistant to the Assistant Dean of Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue
Catherine Smith has been at the School of Theology and Ministry for 7 years, working with the Assistant Dean, Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue for approximately 4 years. An editor in her previous life, Catherine has her Master’s in English Literature. As her schedule allows, she assists students with dissertations and faculty who are readying books for publication.
Interreligious Initiative Program Manager
Rabbi Anson Laytner is program manager of the Interreligious Initiative at Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry. As a volunteer, he is past president of the Sino-Judaic Institute and edits its journal, Points East. He also serves on the advisory boards of Compassion and Choices, the UW Jewish Studies Program, and Personal Safety Nets.
Previously he worked as grants and contracts coordinator for the Jewish Family Service of Seattle, a bereavement chaplain with Kline Galland Hospice, interim rabbi at Congregation Kol HaNeshamah in West Seattle, and as executive director of the Seattle Chapter of the American Jewish Committee and of Multifaith Works, a Seattle non-profit agency serving people with AIDS. He also directed the Jewish Federation’s Community Relations Council.
Laytner is the author of the cult classic “Arguing with God” (Jason Aronson, 1998) and, with Dan Bridge, of “The Animals’ Lawsuit Against Humanity” (Fons Vitae, 2005). He has authored over sixty articles on subjects ranging from Jewish theology to the Arab-Israel conflict to the Chinese Jews. His work-in-progress is a study of god-concepts and the meaning of suffering entitled “I Know There Is A God; I Just Don’t Know What S/He Does”.
Laytner has a BA, summa cum laude, from York University in Toronto, a Masters of Hebrew Letters (MHL) and rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College, a Masters in Not-for-Profit Leadership (MNPL) from Seattle University, and an honorary Doctorate in Divinity from Hebrew Union College.
Graduate Assistant for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue
Hannah Hochkeppel is a 2nd year student here at the School of Theology and Ministry. She is hoping to graduate with her Masters and then continue on to get her Doctorate in Educational Leadership, with a focus on special education, curriculum, and program development. Hannah currently works as the director of elementary faith formation at her church and hopes to continue working in religious education after finishing school. She hopes to extend her work in inclusive religious education beyond her own church and to the broader ecumenical and interreligious community, to help all children and their families to find a loving and accepting faith community.