Dr. Joseph Benton Howell, Founder
The founder of the Institute of Conscious Being is Joseph Benton Howell Ph.D. A graduate of Samford University ( B.A.1971), Yale Divinity School ( MAR 1974), The University of Virginia (Ph.D.1978), and Fellow in Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School (1978-79), Dr. Howell has been practicing Clinical Psychology since 1980 in Anniston, Alabama. He began teaching topics in spiritual development in the late eighties and has traveled extensively presenting conferences and seminars in such disciplines as dream work, the Enneagram, levels of spiritual development, techniques in spiritual direction, and the theology of Henri Nouwen, Joe’s mentor at Yale Divinity School.
Aided by his wife, Lark Dill Howell who presents her own topics at conferences, Joe is in demand as a conference presenter all over the country. His book, Becoming Conscious:The Enneagram’s Forgotten Passageway is a ground-breaker in the area of consciousness achievement through the ancient Enneagram. Over a lifetime of treating patients and teaching spirituality, Joe has vast experience in psychology and spiritual growth and change. Through the years, he and Lark have undergone their own spiritual transformations that were brought about by the implementation of the spiritual consciousness of which they teach. Joe wants to share this accumulated knowledge and years of study across many disciplines.
He also brings to the Institute, other experienced teachers who are interested in teaching vital areas of spiritual consciousness and transformation. This way, even more people can be aware of this knowledge, more students can be trained as teachers to pass on this wisdom, consciousness can be raised, human suffering can be diminished and healing can occur in the individual as well as in the collective.
Lark Howell, Co-Founder / Retreat Coordinator
Lark Howell is a native of Anniston, Alabama where she attends Grace Episcopal Church. She has served on two vestries and is currently a member of the Altar Guild, the Preservation Committee, the Healing Ministry and is a Eucharistic Minister. Since 2007, Lark has served as Chairman of the annual Liturgical Arts Conference (FACE) at Kanuga Conferences. Her leisure time is filled with creative activities such as needlework, photography, flower arranging and traveling. Lark is married to Joe, her favorite husband for 39 years, and they live with their three pampered cocker spaniels. For many years she spent her time being mother to Ben and Lauren, volunteering for local organizations and managing Joe’s private practice office. Today, Lark finds meaning and purpose helping in the creation and administration of The Institute For Conscious Being. “This work and the study of the Enneagram has shown me a pathway to transformation and given me a chance for healing and wholeness.”
The Reverend John Adams
The Reverend John Adams was first introduced to the Enneagram in 2009. His goal is to live authentically regarding the benefit of the Enneagram for his own life/relationships and his personal growth points. He is also a strong advocate for the Enneagram’s potential for others, both personally and professionally. John served as Director of the Turner Ministry Resource Center, a division of the Pastoral Institute (Columbus, GA), working primarily with clergy and congregational care. During his tenure at the P.I. he also served as a professional counselor, family life educator, employee assistance professional, and trauma response coordinator. John is currently affiliated with the Samaritan Counseling Center of Greater Birmingham, Ala. as a consultant and professional coach. He leads workshops and retreats on the use of the Enneagram for staff development and team building, for clergy, lay leaders, and congregations. An ordained minister, John has served both urban and rural congregations, and wishes that he had had access to the Enneagram much earlier in his ministry and professional life.
Beverly Casey earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations from The University of Alabama and is completing a master’s in humanistic psychology from the University of West Georgia. Beverly and her husband, Patrick, are parents to two amazing kids and work together in the family business. Beverly has worked in the private sector in public relations and management consulting over the course of her career, as well as owning and operating a retail business. She is active in her community and church, and loves performing in local theater. She is a graduate of the ICB class of 2013. “Understanding my own fears and the true source of them has been a liberating experience,” she says. “The Enneagram has given me the tools that along with my spiritual life in Christ have made my existence meaningful and full of the joy that God intended for us all to harbor.” Beverly shares how she applies the wisdom of the Enneagram to family life in popular ICB workshops and lectures.
Margaret Fleming received her B.A. from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., and her J.D. from Cumberland School of Law of Samford University in Birmingham. Before law school, she was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Chad, Africa, where she taught English as a second language. She has been a civil litigator for over thirty years, specializing in the defense of constitutional claims. In 2003, Margaret served as a Supreme Court fellow with the National Association of Attorneys General in Washington, D.C. A life-long Episcopalian, she is a graduate of Sewanee’s Education for Ministry program and is certified as an EfM Mentor. She enjoys kayaking, music, photography, and creative writing.
Brigid Elsken Galloway
Brigid Elsken Galloway is a freelance writer who has reported for NPR’s All Things Considered and Marketplace. She was previously an editor for Time Inc. and advertising director at Turner Network Television. While attending the Kanuga conference in 2011, Dr. Howell’s lecture on the Soul Child resonated with her and she began to delve into ways to use this knowledge to inform her life as a writer and teacher. “As a reporter, I use my skills as an integrated, healthy Type Five observer,” she says. “When I write, I’m in my essence.” After years of being a seeker, Brigid finds harmony in her spiritual practice by combining Buddhist philosophy and 12-Step principles with her Catholic upbringing. As a member of ICB’s faculty, Brigid shares her writing techniques as a means for spiritual discernment. A native of the south, she lives in Birmingham, Ala. where she chronicles her insights about parenting, relationships and everyday experiences in her blog Adventures of a Southern-Buddhist Catholic. She is also the author of a collection of stories and writing meditations based on her spiritual journey.
Daniel L. Miller
Dan is a “recovering” Ego Type 7—thus his professional and spiritual journeys are multi-faceted. His roots are from his childhood in the protestant corn fields of Indiana. He has used his music training as an avocation in various religious settings directing worship, choirs and handbells as well as, organist for a variety of denominations. He has often served as Interpreter for the Deaf. Dan went on a Walk to Emmaus in the early ’80’s and thus began a focused journey of spiritual seeking that included completing and serving as a Team Member for The Upper Room Academy for Spiritual Formation and later certification in Spiritual Direction. Dan is currently the Prior of the Community of the Mantle, a dispersed monastic community. He is the former Director of the Pond House Retreat Center—a place of spiritual rest and healing near Talladega. Since completing the first advanced training class of the Enneagram, Dan joined the faculty and serves on the ICB executive committee.
Melanie Rodgers is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree. Throughout her career, she has blended together her love of teaching and performing, as well as providing music for therapeutic and praise/worship purposes. As a freelance orchestral musician, Melanie has performed in the viola sections of regional orchestras throughout the North and Southeastern states, including the Pittsburgh Ballet & Opera Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony, and Alabama Symphony. For six seasons, she served as principle violist of the Huntsville Symphony in Huntsville, Alabama. Currently, Melanie is on the faculty of Birmingham Southern College’s Conservatory of Fine and Performing Arts as a violin, fiddle, and viola instructor. She provided music at ICB’s Kanuga Conferences events since 2011. She is a graduate of the ICB class of 2015.
Barbara Sloan is the development director for Camp Winnataska, a place where she learned at an early age about the four dimensions of a human being: spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical. A graduate of the University of Montevallo with a double major in Art and English, she got her master’s degree in Literature with a thesis in medieval arts at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Barbara is a visual artist, playwright, and non-fiction writer whose book, Barefoot Among the Thorns tells the story of dance in Birmingham. For over two decades, she served as professor of theatre and staff costume designer at Samford University, and she has designed costumes and scenery for over 250 productions. From 2001-2007, she was the Creative Director of the American Village, and then the Executive Director of The Seasoned Performers, Alabama’s only senior adult acting company (2007-2013). Barbara is a graduate of Education for Ministry (EfM). Certified by The Institute for Conscious Being in the Spirituality of the Enneagram in 2013, she now serves on the faculty of ICB.