Godly Play Foundation Staff

 Dr. Heather Ingersoll
Executive Director

Heather joined the Foundation staff as its Executive Director in the fall of 2020. Heather earned a PhD in Education from Seattle Pacific University in 2017. Her dissertation focused on religiosity in upper elementary aged children. In 2010 she earned an MA in Human Service, Family Life Education from Concordia University in St. Paul. Her undergraduate degree, from Trinity Lutheran College was in Christian Education with a focus on early childhood education. She jumps at any opportunity to dive into the research. Her current research interests include religiosity in children, happiness, spiritual well-being, early childhood, child development, parenting, and Christian education. Before coming to The Foundation, she worked for several Christian churches supporting children’s ministry programs, she served as a professor and chair of early childhood education and taught courses in child development, positive psychology and spirituality in the schools, philosophy of early childhood education and children’s ministry. Heather also supervised an early childhood program for a public school district. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and 2 young sons. 

Teresa Phares, MA
 Director of US Training and Membership
US College of Training

Teresa has been working for the Foundation since 2016.Teresa received her B.S. in Mathematics Education from Western Michigan University, an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction. Teresa also attended the School of Theology at the University of the South and received her M.A. in Theology.

In addition to her roles on staff with the Foundation, Teresa also serves as a Godly Play Missioner in the midwest and has been instrumental in starting and supporting several Godly Play programs in the Central Gulf Coast. For Teresa, being a Godly Play practitioner and storyteller is a spiritual practice that enriches her own faith story in countless ways. Her favorite part of sharing stories in a circle of children is witnessing how they develop the Christian language and internalize the stories in deep ways. Teresa lives in Oklahoma with her husband and 3 children. 

Anna Thomas 

Anna lives in Boca Raton, FL, is the mother to 5 beautifully wild children, and is married to Ben who serves as Assistant Rector at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church where they regularly build circles together with children of all ages, including monthly family services and new comer’s classes. She loves novels, children’s books, her greyhounds, traveling, and good thunderstorms. Anna is also a Godly Play Foundation Missioner.

Godly Play Resources

568Michael McCown
General Manager

Mike became involved with Godly Play in 1990 while developing products for Jerome Berryman’s first Godly Play catalog. In the years to follow other products were developed and produced as well – the Mystery of Easter pieces, Liturgical Furniture, The Upper Room and Temple, Noah’s Ark, the box for The Greatest Parable… and the list continues to grow. In 2008, shortly after the Godly Play Foundation was formed, Mike became the general manager of Godly Play Resources. The loves of his life are his wife of over thirty years, Valerie, his two children Katherine and Andrew, and of course, woodworking. Andrew, after completing college in 2009, returned to Ashland, KS to help with the woodworking business.

Teresa Arnold



Connie Herl


Teika Arnold



Center for the Theology of Childhood

The Rev. Cheryl V. Minor, Ph.D.The Rev. Cheryl V. Minor, PhD

Cheryl is the Director of the Center for the Theology of Childhood, the academic/publishing arm of the Godly Play Foundation. For the past eighteen years she has served a parish in the Diocese of Massachusetts, The Parish of All Saints’ Church in Belmont. Dr. Minor is also a Godly Play Trainer and has been deeply involved in designing the Godly Play Foundation’s training models.

Dr. Minor was the Consulting Editor for Volume 6, 7, and 8 of The Complete Guide to Godly Play, the newly revised edition of Teaching Godly Play, and is currently working with Dr. Jerome Berryman on the revised edition of The Complete Guide to Godly Play, Volumes 2, 3, and 4, which will be available in 2017. Her most recent academic articles were published in the International Journal of Children’s Spirituality.

Dr. Minor is an Episcopal Priest in the Diocese of Massachusetts. She and her husband Paul have been Co-Rectors of All Saints’ Church in Belmont for 18 years. Before serving in Belmont, they served churches in Manhattan and Philadelphia. They have two grown children – Rachel-Anne, a choral conductor, and John Thomas, a classical percussionist.

Godly Play Global

The Rev. Cannon Dr. Andrew Sheldon
Global Consultant

Andrew describes his introduction to Godly Play in this way: “It was love at first sight!”  Andrew immediately recognized the value of this innovative program and became an early advocate of the programme promoting it in his roles as both priest and professor in the Diocese of Toronto. Andrew was trained as a storyteller in 2006 and became an accredited trainer in 2009. In late 2015 he assumed the role of Godly Play Advocate for International Development. In this role Andrew provides support to both the global community as a whole, as well as its constituent parts made up of regional and national associations. He is privileged to travel the world to provide training to storytellers and trainers, speak at Godly Play conferences or gatherings, or to engage in the ‘business’ of Godly Play. But perhaps his greatest delight is the weekly opportunity to get on the floor with children for stories and wondering.