Susan Kirsch grew up in a religious family with four siblings on a farm in Minnesota. They lived on a gravel road two and a half miles from town.
At an early age, she learned the protocol of Sunday worship, Sunday school, and daily prayers before meals and at bedtime. At the same time, she experienced a deep agrarian trust in God that extended beyond the Lord’s Prayer, and a transcendental faith that came from living close to nature.
A simple look up at the magnificent Midwest sky, whether under the sweltering summer sun or a brilliant starlit snowy winter night, instilled an awe of God and the Divine that words in the Bible never fully capture.
Education & Professional Background
Susan earned a Ph.D. in organizational development with a focus on trust, working under the direction of organizational guru Jack Gibb and human potential pioneer George B. Leonard.
She holds a Masters in Speech Communication from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and a Bachelor of Science in English and Speech Education from Mankato State University in Mankato, Minnesota. She taught in the Management Department at Golden Gate University, conducted educational research and training at the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, and taught high school English and speech in rural, urban, and suburban schools.
Currently, Susan consults with nonprofit organizations to improve fundraising, strategic planning and leadership development. She has raised millions of dollars for education, mental health, affordable housing, restorative justice, and the arts.
Prior to establishing her independent consulting practice, she served as Executive Director of the American Sports Institute, dedicated to improving education through the study and practice of sports.
At a young age, Susan learned how to ride a bicycle at high speed without using her hands. She's been engaged in physical endeavors ever since, including mastering the clarinet and canoeing in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota.
She has hiked and camped across the United States, earned a scuba diving certificate, practiced the martial art of aikido, been inspired by a Vision Quest, endured a 5-day silent, fasting retreat in Guatemala, and survived breast cancer. Currently she enjoys yoga and walking.
Susan's spiritual practice is rooted in Christianity and has expanded to incorporate core elements of other spiritual traditions. She served on the Boards of the Marin Interfaith Council and Unity in Marin, and has participated in year-long programs of study with Angeles Arrien (The Four-Fold Way) and with Jean Houston (Spiritual Living in Tumultuous Times).
Susan has been further inspired by travel to Malawi, Africa; Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Europe, Palau, Saipan, Chicago, New York, and New Orleans.
She enjoys time with her two adult children, A.J. and Emily. As in childhood, Susan finds comfort, inspiration, and joy among family and friends and in nature.