The Center for Spirituality & Practice seeks a committed spiritual practitioner and high-capacity nonprofit leader to be its first Executive Director, to collaborate with Mary Ann and Frederic Brussat to advance their legacy and develop the organization into its next phase. This position is based in Claremont, CA. A position profile follows. Download a pdf of the profile here:
About The Center for Spirituality & Practice
The Center for Spirituality & Practice (CS&P) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing resources for those seeking wisdom and spiritual practices for their daily lives. Its multifaith and interspiritual website is the world’s premier gathering of English-language spiritual resources, constituting a vast curated library of book and film reviews, spiritual teacher profiles, topics, searchable databases of practices and quotes, and blogs. Its School of Spiritual Life offers live and on-demand e-courses and retreats, and related Practice Circles provide community experiences.
Launched in 2006, the website consolidates nearly 50 years of the wisdom-keeping work of the Center's co-directors Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat. The site's name reflects a basic understanding: spirituality and practice are the two places where all the world's religions and spiritual paths come together. While respecting the differences among traditions, CS&P celebrates what the traditions share in common.
The Center for Spirituality & Practice has a positive and spiritually progressive perspective. It features only quality, useful personal and cultural resources that are expressive of the quest for meaning and purpose, wholeness and healing, commitment and community, inner work and activism in the world. It is evident that all selections have been made with great care, reflecting CS&P's intention to provide a growing mosaic of useful resources for the spiritually hungry.
Underpinning these vetted, sourced, and curated resources is the “spiritual alphabet," 37 practices that are markers of the spiritual life in the world's religious traditions and spiritual paths. It provides a framework for understanding “spiritual literacy,” first introduced with the Brussats’ book Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life. Through their own pioneering work in everyday spirituality, the Brussats have discovered that the spiritual alphabet is a bridge between religions and between religious people and spiritual independents (the "nones"). It also can be a bridge between spirituality and contemporary culture, as well as across political and cultural divides.
The Center for Spirituality & Practice is located in Claremont, CA. In addition to staff offices, it houses a 16,000 volume library of books on spirituality and the world's religions, plus video and audio collections. Visit SpiritualityandPractice.com to learn more about CS&P's values, vision, and mission. For more details about CS&P’s history, read about Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat.
The Center for Spirituality & Practice seeks a committed spiritual practitioner and high-capacity nonprofit leader to be its first Executive Director, to collaborate with Mary Ann and Frederic Brussat to advance their legacy and develop the organization into its next phase. The new Executive Director will be responsible for all business aspects of the organization, while Mary Ann transitions into a Program Director role and Frederic maintains his focus on wisdom-keeping and content contributions.
As a respected name in the spiritual enrichment landscape, The Center for Spirituality & Practice is well-positioned for its next steps. Its deep well of practical wisdom is continually refreshed by a highly engaged cadre of teachers and practitioners, and long-standing relationships with film companies and book publishers. The work of the Executive Director will be to formalize certain aspects of the organization in order to position it for greater reach and sustainability.
The ethos and content of Spirituality & Practice are a perfect fit for the “marketplace” of spiritual interest and practice in today's world. The essence of CS&P is to meet people “where they’re at” with spiritual practice offerings that match personal or societal needs.
Nearly endless yet largely untapped are the opportunities to provide this work to new audiences of the “religiously unaffiliated” through new platforms. Partnerships can be nurtured to offer continuing education and personal development for professionals such as chaplains, health care workers, social workers, and community activists while maintaining the integrity of CS&P's content and the underpinning framework of spiritual literacy.
The Executive Director will collaborate closely with Mary Ann, Frederic, and staff to strategically analyze and explore opportunities to create offerings that are accessible, relatable, and valuable to a multi-generational audience. Meanwhile, the Executive Director will seek ways to creatively promote the website, the School of Spiritual Life, and other new and existing offerings.
Rooted in a deep understanding of the value of what CS&P has to offer, the Executive Director will create and execute a plan for revenue generation – contributed donations and grants as well as earned revenue. While the organization is on stable ground with a current budget of $620,000, pursuit of financial sustainability and growth are balanced with the priority of making high-quality content accessible to spiritual practitioners at all socio-economic levels.
An Executive Director with a track record of fundraising will find fertile ground to plan and grow a fundraising program, as the organization currently raises approximately 55% of its budget from donations and grants. Major donor and planned giving programs may be grown out of the Center’s “Practicing Partners” program of recurring donors and alumni of the School of Spiritual Life. Similarly, a starting point for increasing grant funding will be CS&P’s strong but perhaps under-cultivated relationships within the small community of spirituality funders.
Earned revenue streams may come from offering CS&P’s content to new audiences via new platforms. The existing catalog of online courses, which currently earns approximately 45% of the organization’s revenue, is ripe for repurposing and reformatting. The Brussats' books and the Spiritual Literacy film series are foundational resources for certificates and training programs for spiritual leaders. The Executive Director, operating out of a sense of abundance and opportunity, will cultivate relationships and pursue opportunities that are both high-value and mission-aligned.
Board & Team
Growing the Center to its next phase of development will mean widening its currently small circle of committed staff and advisors. As CS&P expands its reach and offerings, the Executive Director will be adept at identifying the talent needed to support the organization’s activities. This growth is expected to be a deliberate evolution, not a rapid scale-up.
The Executive Director will have the opportunity to formalize CS&P’s governance, identify a board structure aligned with the organization’s needs, and recruit board members to provide strategic leadership and fundraising support.
Meanwhile, as the Executive Director grows revenue and expands CS&P’s position with new audiences, this individual will skillfully build up a team that currently comprises 4 full-time staff, a web team, 4 reviewers and bloggers, and 15-20 e-course teachers (per year). The new leader will manage a diverse full-time and part-time staff to meet programmatic and organizational needs, which may include additional reviewers and content writers, a marketing and development team, and community engagement staff.
This position is based in Claremont, California. A small, leafy city at the base of the foothills in eastern Los Angeles County, Claremont is best known as the home to the seven Claremont Colleges. As such, its informal nickname is "The City of Trees and Ph.Ds." The community vibe is intellectual, progressive, and highly engaged. Claremont features an astonishing array of options for arts and culture, dining, and other recreational activities. A broad range of outdoor activities are within an easy drive, including skiing in winter. Downtown Los Angeles is accessible via freeway as well as Metrolink, as Claremont’s historic train depot serves as its commuter rail station.
The Ideal Candidate
The first Executive Director of The Center for Spirituality & Practice comes to the role with a deep sense of calling to connect CS&P’s unique offerings to a society hungry for them. Specifically, the Executive Director will have an appreciation for the gift of spiritual literacy and the spiritual alphabet, and a desire to introduce it to new audiences.
The ideal candidate is both spiritually-oriented and business-minded, bringing cross-disciplinary and multi-sector experience. An innovative thinker with broad interests and cultural competencies, the right individual is energized by the possibility of CS&P’s prodigious amount of content (58,000 web pages and counting!) and the depth and reach of its relationships with respected spiritual teachers, with film companies and book publishers, and with organizations and schools across the interspiritual/multifaith movement.
While the candidate may come from any faith tradition or spiritual path, a successful candidate will have a mindset that is ecumenical and interspiritual, generously disposed to recognize wisdom wherever it emerges. Most important is alignment with CS&P’s emphasis on everyday spiritual practice. An innate orientation toward positivity and hope would be a strong fit with CS&P’s culture.
Recognizing the dynamics of a founder transition, the ideal candidate is emotionally intelligent and inclusive, skilled at moving an organization forward using a developmental approach that invites a collaborative exploration of what is possible. An exceptional listener, the ideal candidate is facilitative, diplomatic, and adept at compassionately managing boundaries.
Experience leading and managing at an executive level is a must. The candidate must have financial acumen and the ability to build a team based on both current needs and near-term vision. The right candidate is creative about knowing what is possible with given resources and skilled at prioritization to motivate a team to achieve beyond expectations, all while creating the conditions to grow available resources.
As a primary spokesperson for the organization, the successful candidate is able to convey CS&P's offerings as well as its long-term and unique commitment to wisdom-keeping to major donors and funders as well as others in the marketplace.
The candidate must have a keen understanding of the use of technology platforms for disseminating and archiving content. Technical implementation experience is not required; however, highly valuable will be the ability to plan and supervise technology development based on authentic knowledge of the cutting edge of digital content delivery.
Understanding of nonprofit fundraising is critically important. Preferred are strong fundraising skills and the track record to match; of equal value is the ability to build and provide direction to a fundraising team. Experience generating revenue from content is a plus.
A strong work ethic and commitment to high standards, including strong writing skills, are a must.
To be considered, a candidate must have 15+ years overall work experience, with a preferred minimum of 10 years in nonprofit leadership roles, as well as supervisory, management, and budgetary experience.
The right candidate is committed to personal spiritual practice, and has exceptional emotional intelligence, verbal communication and listening skills, and a commitment to excellent writing and editing. A Bachelor’s degree in any field is expected; advanced academic pursuit in a relevant field is preferred.
As multi-disciplinary experience is valued, the candidate will have work experience that incorporates three or more of the following: fundraising, business development, technology, marketing, content monetization, library management, nonprofit management, religious leadership, spiritual practice.
The Center for Spirituality & Practice has engaged Jenn Raley Miller ( www.jennraleymiller.com ) to lead the Executive Director search. If you are interested in the position, please send a resume, along with a cover letter explaining your alignment with the desired profile described above, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jenn welcomes all inquiries and suggestions for potential candidates. Please don’t hesitate to contact her at email@example.com.