Announcing CBHD's New Communities of Influence

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Upon strategic evaluation of CBHD’s varied engagement in the many interdisciplinary spheres of bioethics, the Center has undertaken a reorganization to interact more effectively with each group and collaborate on resources that align more closely with their interests. As a result, the Center is pleased to announce that several communities of influence have emerged at various stages of development. While a given community may emphasize a discrete area of engagement, individuals who participate within a given community may find that their interests actually draw them simultaneously to several communities.

At the Center’s annual conference this past July, our new Academy of Fellows was finalized and our first group of inductees was announced. The Academy of Fellows is an interdisciplinary community of scholars in bioethics who engage in thoughtful discussion, charitable engagement, and mutual support. As an expression of the Center’s commitment to ensure that a distinctly Christian conception of bioethics is attended to by the academic community, the Academy of Fellows was formed to:

i) Advance scholarship in bioethics across the disciplines of law, medicine, nursing, public policy, philosophy, and theology with particular attention to Judeo-Christian Hippocratism.

ii) Produce publications that will positively influence public discussion of bioethics and remain faithful to Christian principles and values.

iii) Promote and protect the dignity of all human beings at all life stages, from conception to death.

iv) Educate and mentor the next generation of Christian bioethicists.

The Academy is led by an executive committee that consists of Dónal O’Mathúna, Paige C. Cunningham, and Michael Sleasman. Fellows are appointed to three-year renewable terms. CBHD is a Christian bioethics research center of Trinity International University committed to the academic freedom of our Fellows as an indispensible aspect of excellence in Christian scholarship. All of those affiliated with the Academy hold in common a commitment to CBHD’s core values and principles. Because bioethics is an ongoing conversation, a range of interpretations is likely to exist within the Academy.

Senior Fellows

C. Christopher Hook, MD William Hurlbut, MD Henk Jochemsen, PhD John F. Kilner, PhD C. Ben Mitchell, PhD Robert D. Orr, MD Daniel Sulmasy, MD, PhD

Distinguished Fellows

Eugene F. Diamond, MD Arthur J. Dyck, PhD Dennis P. Hollinger, PhD Gilbert Meilaender, PhD Edmund Pellegrino, MD

Senior Research Fellow

William P. Cheshire, Jr., MD

Associate Fellows

Mary B. Adam, MD, MA Matthew Eppinette, MBA, MA Sharon A. Falkenheimber, MD, MPH Susan Haack, MD, MA


Farr Curlin, MD Bart Cusveller, PhD Claretta Y. Dupree, PhD David B. Fletcher, PhD Calum MacKellar, PhD Scott B. Rae, PhD Gregory W. Rutecki, MD Agneta M. Sutton, PhD Brent Waters, DPhil

The Center expresses our profound gratitude to all who have served as fellows of CBHD over the years. We are grateful for their friendship, support, and most importantly their active participation in the thought work and activities of the Center that allowed our combined efforts to thrive. Several of our former fellows are serving in the new Academy, while others are contributing their professional interests and passions to one or more of the other communities of influence.

Healthcare Ethics Council (HEC)

Through the leadership of Co-Chairs, Bob Orr and Nick Yates (formerly holding the titles of Consultant on Clinical Ethics and Consultant on Pediatric Ethics for CBHD respectively), the Healthcare Ethics Council held several preliminary planning meetings, including a formal steering committee meeting during the proceedings of CBHD’s summer conference. The nomenclature of the “Healthcare Ethics Council” was agreed upon to express the invitation for all healthcare professionals to participate in this community of influence, extending from the broad clinical/ medical community on to the chaplaincy and hospital administrators. The steering committee decided that the Clinical Ethics Working group would be folded into the new HEC, though the emphasis upon creating case studies for peer-reviewed publication will continue.

Participants in the initial steering committee meeting included the co-chairs and CBHD staff Paige C. Cunningham and Michael Sleasman, as well as the following individuals: Robert Cranston, John Dunlop, Joseph Gibes, Joe Kelley, Janet Liljestrand, and Christine Toevs.

During these meetings the steering committee developed a draft mission statement: A community of healthcare professionals in affiliation with The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity that recognizes and engages in dignified medical healthcare and professional education in the JudeoChristian tradition. A key aspect of this community’s work will be to assist CBHD in its commitment to “scholarship with a purpose” through the dissemination of pertinent clinical, medical, and ethical information.

If you are interested in being involved in the HEC, please contact us at and we will forward your information on to the HEC Co-Chairs.

Church Bioethics Network (CBN)

During the CBHD conference, another initial planning meeting was held regarding the developing Church Bioethics Network. Led through the efforts and passion of the Co-Chairs, this community is still in the early phases of formation. A core aspect of this community’s purpose is to foster CBHD’s vision that a distinctly Christian conception of bioethics be lived out by the church. Through conversations at the initial planning meeting it was discerned that additional work is necessary to identify key issues in developing an effective engagement of bioethics within the local church. As a result there will be several focus groups involving pastors and clergy to gain a better awareness of their understanding of bioethics in the everyday life of the church. Emphasis will be given to exploring constructive ways to help those in the pew to make wise choices regarding these pressing issues. This community is open to all individuals interested in engaging bioethics through their denomination, local church, or individual ministry. If you would like to get involved, please contact us at and we will forward your information on to the CBN Co-Chairs.

Other Communities...

Law, Science Policy, and Emerging Issues in Research Ethics. CBHD leadership has consulted with several individuals and has begun initial steps in planning a community of influence that emphasizes the engagement of science policy and research ethics as well as the assessment of public policy on traditional bioethical issues. Stay tuned for more information as this community begins to take greater shape.