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A Child's Way | Plenary Sessions

We look forward to learning alongside the following speakers at our May gathering. Read below to learn more about the breadth of experience, research, and creativity in discovering "A Child's Way". 


A Child's Way of Playing with God

 The Rev. Cheryl V. Minor, Ph.D.

 The Rev. Cheryl V. Minor, Ph.D., is the Director of the Center for the Theology of Childhood. Dr. Minor has a degree in Music Education from Boston University, an MDiv. from Virginia Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Northcentral University in Scottsdale, Arizona. Her dissertation examined Godly Play's impact on children's spiritual well-being. 

Dr. Minor was the Consulting Editor for Volumes 6, 7, and 8 of The Complete Guide to Godly Play, the newly revised edition of Teaching Godly Play. She was also the consulting editor on the revisions of The Complete Guide to Godly Play, Volumes 2, 3, 4, 6, and now 8. Dr. Minor published Godly Play in Late and Middle Childhood in 2022. Her most recent academic articles were published in Religious Education and  International Journal of Children’s Spirituality  

Dr. Minor is an Episcopal Priest in the Diocese of Massachusetts. She and her husband, Paul Minor, have been Co-Rectors of All Saints’ Church in Belmont for over twenty years. Before serving in Belmont, they served churches in Manhattan and Philadelphia. They have two grown children and two grandchildren.

In Philadelphia, Dr. Minor discovered Godly Play and, she says, “found her life’s work!” She became a Godly Play Trainer in July, 2000. One of the perks of being a Co-Rector is that at least twice a month (and often more) she gets to be on the floor telling Godly Play stories to the children at All Saints’ while her husband takes care of the adults. All Saints also hosts a Montessori School, which means children surround Cheryl on a daily basis. This time with the children inspires her and centers them in all that she does.

Art Experience | A Child's Way of Worshiping God 

Joel Schoon-Tanis

For over 30 years Joel Schoon-Tanis has been a working artist in Holland, Michigan. He has written and illustrated a handful of books (recently “40: the Biblical story”, “At Psalm’s School” and “Lulu and the Long Walk”), painted murals around the world (including Kenya, Zambia, Germany, Palestine and exotic northern Wisconsin), and painted nearly a gazillion paintings in his career. 


Joel's work is found in churches, children’s hospitals, schools, restaurants, businesses and many private collections. In 2016 one of his images was presented to the Pope.  


In 2017 Joel joined international artists in Leipzig, Germany to create art around themes of social justice in conjunction with a gathering for the 500thanniversary of the Reformation. This summer, he moved his art studio to the Third Reformed Church of Holland, MI, where he is the artist in residence.

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A Child's Way in a Diverse World

Henry Zonio, Ph.D.

Henry Zonio, Ph.D., serves as Director of the Center for Academic Excellence at Asbury University in Wilmore, KY. He earned his MA in Sociology at San Jose State University and Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Kentucky. Henry has taught at Asbury University, the University of Kentucky, Transylvania University, and Eastern Kentucky University.


His research focuses on children, families, social inequalities, and religion. Specifically, Henry researches how children and adolescents learn about race and gender in the context of religious education programs at the

churches they attend. He is currently conducting a 2-year survey project investigating youth attitudes on race and religion funded by a Louisville Institute Project Grant for Researchers.


Henry brings 25+ years of practical children’s ministry to his research. He also has written for Children’s Ministry Magazine and has contributed book chapters to edited volumes on child research methodology and children’s spirituality.

A Child's Way in the Family 

Tanya Marie Eustace Campen, Ph.D.

Tanya Marie Eustace Campen, Ph.D., currently serves as the Director of Intergenerational Discipleship for the Rio Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church.


Tanya holds a PhD in Christian education and congregational studies from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. Her research focus is children’s spirituality.


Dr. Campen writes regularly on topics concerning children, families, and intergenerational ministry. She recently published Holy Work with Children: Making Meaning Together (Pickwick, 2023)


Tanya lives in San Antonio, TX with her husband Ryan, their son and daughter (who they lovingly call “Thumper” and “Flicker”), and their Portuguese Water Dog, Bela Esperança.

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