Student Testimonials

Meet just some of the students who will be in the first cohort for this program. Can you see yourself joining them for the Emergence Leadership Academy this summer?

Please join us for an info session to meet the program director, Rev. Dr. Ryan Polly, and learn more about the program. You can register here.

Rev. Melissa Stewart

As a clinical social worker and an interfaith/interspiritual minister, I am passionate about grounding myself in the things that inspire and sustain me through hard times, that shore up my resilience and commitment to not only surviving but to thriving in a complicated world. I believe that participating in the Emergence Leadership Academy will help me clarify my goals as both a health care social worker and One Spirit Dean and as a heart-centered activist and educator. I believe that the program will allow me to better access my gifts and possess the courage to recognize and overcome any obstacles to expressing myself most powerfully in service of Love and Justice.


Rev. Brad Learmonth

I have had a career as a leader in developing programs in the non-profit performing arts field for over 30 years. I am a graduate of both the Seminary and the Interspiritual Counseling Program at One Spirit and I now serve as the president of the board. I am excited to participate in the Emergence Leadership Academy to affirm my existing leadership skills and to grow into fuller potential. I am thrilled to be in a learning community of like-minded individuals trying to affect significant change in the world.


Rev. Michael Davis

In 2017 I vowed to be an expression of PEACE in this world. In fulfilling this vow, I am the Worship Coordinator, Minister of Music, and part time speaker at Unity of Indianapolis.  I am also using my powers of good as a Standardized Patient Trainer and work directly with medical students to help prepare them in becoming amazing doctors.  I am thrilled to be a part of the 1st Emergence Leadership Academy. I am ready to stretch way beyond the boundaries I have placed on myself and “Be the Change”. This is the next step for me in my path to Practice, Engage, Accept, Create, and Evolve.


Rev. AnnE O’Neil

Despite having held numerous leadership roles in my life, I am very aware that I have rarely - if ever - truly owned my agency and authority. I suspect that lies both in my own insecurities and my lack of training around leadership skills. As I learned more about the Emergence Leadership Academy, I grew confident that this is the program that can address both sides of that equation for me - the “being” and the “doing” if you will. The timing is especially fortuitous as I am launching a new aspect of my work very near and dear to my heart - that of supporting people with addiction issues around the role grief has played in their use. I am grateful that ELA is available to guide me in this new endeavor.