The Leader’s Way Podcast
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Brandon Nappi, DMin, is the Executive Director of Leadership Programs at Berkeley Divinity School. With twenty years of retreat ministry, Brandon founded Copper Beech Institute, a worldwide contemplative community of 50,000 people from over 50 countries dedicated to sharing contemplative practice to heal our aching world. Brandon’s life has been deeply nourished by Christian mysticism, mindfulness, interreligious dialogue, and Zen practice. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Yale Divinity School, he holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in Homiletics from Aquinas Institute of Theology. Brandon walks alongside seekers, divinity students, and healers as a spiritual director and mentor.
Hannah Black, PhD, grew up in Southern California and had a first career as a dancer at Disneyland. She went on to earn an MPhil and a PhD in theology at the University of Cambridge. Now, she is the Assistant Director of Leadership and Communications at Berkeley. She is also a Research Fellow at Yale Divinity School’s Jonathan Edwards Center, where she is collaborating on a book project. Hannah is writing a translation for St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press’s Popular Patristics Series of seven short works by Gregory of Nyssa on the life of virtue. She is also working on a book project based on her doctoral work on Gregory of Nyssa’s use of imagery for salvation as a resource for feminist soteriology.
The podcast art features a shell, a symbol of pilgrimage. This imagery is known to many from the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage which culminates at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The lines on the scallop shell are said to symbolize different routes pilgrims take to arrive at the destination. Host Hannah Black writes, “We hope that, like a pilgrimage, this podcast brings our listeners on a journey. On this journey, we contemplate life’s most important questions together.”
We collaborated with digital musician and composer Calvin Linderman on original music for the podcast. Host Brandon Nappi says, “We were seeking a soundscape that would feel fresh, upbeat, and sacred without sounding saccharine and trite. What Calvin Linderman created for us was an elegant melodic signature that is distinctive, hopeful, and toe-tapping. The church bell which tolls along to the beat reminds us of the public nature of our work—to support leaders who seek to bring compassion, innovation, and generous service to our aching world.”
The show convenes conversation at the intersection of leadership and spirituality. Dean Andrew McGowan shares Berkeley’s vision for the podcast: “The Leader’s Way podcast is one of the core elements of Berkeley’s strategy to support practitioners in ministry. By offering this important content, we believe that we will meet the needs and challenges facing the leaders of churches and communities and to offer hope and inspiration.”
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