About Chris

Chris has spent his life bearing witness to the possibility of hope in a world that has legitimate reasons to question God’s goodness. Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Chris studied at Asbury University in Kentucky before moving to India where he was mentored by Mother Teresa for three years. While living in India, he helped launch South Asia’s first pediatric AIDS care home–creating a safe haven for children impacted by the global pandemic. A forerunner in the New Friar movement, Chris and his wife Phileena served with the Word Made Flesh community for nearly 20 years, working for women and children victimized by human traffickers in the commercial sex industry. His vocation has taken him to over 70 countries working among the most vulnerable of the world’s poor. In 2012 Phileena and Chris launched Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism.

Named one of Outreach magazine’s “30 Emerging Influencers Reshaping Leadership,” Chris is a curator of unlikely friendships, an instigator for good, a champion of collaboration, and a witness to hope. Chris fights for a renewal of contemplative activism. Chris is a frequent contributor or frequently highlighted in such publications as  Christianity Today, Duke’s “Faith & Leadership,Q Ideas, Relevant Magazine, The Work of the People and the Washington Post’s “On Faith” section. He is known for his provocative storytelling, and has written 3 books and contributed chapters to several others. For over 20 years Chris has facilitated international solidarity pilgrimages in South/Southeast Asia, South America and though out Africa. As a discerning guide he thoughtfully curates small groups of conversation partners who press into the gift of pain and hope within contexts marked by deep poverty.

Chris and Phileena founded Gravity to support the development of spiritual consciousness by making contemplative practice accessible to individuals, communities and organizations who engage the challenging social justice perils of our time. Chris’ work with Gravity includes public speaking, teaching, writing on contemplative activism, facilitation of contemplative retreats, non-profit consultation, and Enneagram coaching.


In addition to working with individuals and communities with the Enneagram, Chris is also an ordained minister and frequently serves as the officiant and celebrant for baby blessings or dedications, baptisms, weddings and civil unions, and sage smudge ceremonies.