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About Us


President, CEO and Member of the Board of Trustees

Who We Are

CSE’s founding president is Dr. Lisa Miller, Professor of Psychology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Miller is a foremost scientist on spirituality across the human lifespan with her work published in leading research journals. She created the Spirituality Mind Body Institute, the first Ivy League graduate program in spirituality and psychology.  She is the author of The Spiritual Child; The New Science of Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving, which sets forth the insights and broad vision that guide CSE.

Dr. Miller launched this educational change project in collaboration with a team of leading academics, master practitioners, and activists. CSE is housed at Teachers College and was founded in partnership with the Fetzer Institute and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.


Frank Peabody – Co-Chair

Steven Rockefeller –Co-Chair

Tal Ben-Shahar

Bob Boisture

Lisa Miller


Lisa Miller–President

Karen Barth–Executive Director


Lisa Miller – Chair

Julian Bull

Sam Crowell

Linda Lantieri

Xiaoan Li

Brooke D. Lavelle

Christopher Tate

Jen Halliday

CSE’s Ground-Breaking Initiative

We are partnering with pre-k-12 schools to give them a Spiritually Supportive Pedagogy that will give schools the guidelines, tools, and training they need to nurture the spirituality of their students. CSE works with all kinds of schools. Some have a religious mission; most do not.

The Collaborative aims to build on and work with related, innovative educational movements such as Social and Emotional Learning, Character Education, and training in mindfulness. At the same time, CSE looks to address a broader range of spiritual aspects of the development of children and adolescents that are not yet fully or directly addressed by these initiatives. We believe that by explicitly discussing and focusing on the spiritual aspects of development, all other types of learning can be enhanced.

Our Work Involves a 3-Step Process

1. Harvesting Practices | We are harvesting practices from 22 public and private schools selected because of their exceptional work weaving student’s spiritual and moral development through their school culture, classroom approaches, and daily activities. Our research team is conducting site visits and exploring the approach of each school through observation and in-depth conversations with school leaders and master educators.

2. Developing a Pedagogy and Implementation Process | We are synthesizing and adapting these practices as the basis for a set of pedagogical guidelines focusing on:

  • School culture
  • Leadership
  • Curriculum
  • Teacher training


    We are also developing a school-wide implementation methodology that will include a school assessment tool and a curated school-wide engagement process that schools can use as a jumping off point for implementation. This work is being done in partnership with schools and educators.

    3. Testing and Refinement | We will test the pedagogy in 30 public and private schools with rigorous research protocols and metrics. This testing will form the basis for refinements and further development of the pedagogy, school-wide implementation methodology, and scaling up approach