Dr. Rebecca S. Letterman

Associate Professor of Spiritual Formation


M.Div., Northeastern Seminary
Advanced Certification, Formative Spirituality, Epiphany Academy of Formative Spirituality
Ph.D., Linguistics, Cornell University
M.A., Linguistics, Syracuse University
B.A., English, Roberts Wesleyan College


Dr. Rebecca S. Letterman grew up as the daughter of a Pentecostal minister and was herself ordained in that tradition in 2005 at Covenant Church of Pittsburgh, where she was serving as a staff member. There, she was tasked with strategizing how to bring traditional Christian liturgy to an urban, predominantly African-American congregation. While in Pittsburgh, Dr. Letterman began her formal Christian spiritual formation studies with Dr. Adrian van Kaam, founder of the field of Formative Spirituality, and his colleague Dr. Susan Muto. (It was during that study that her research interest in the early church mothers and fathers began.) After completing an Advanced Certification Program in Formative Spirituality, Dr. Letterman served at the academy as an adjunct teacher in the program. Her husband’s work situation brought her family to Rochester in 2006, and thus began her relationship with Northeastern Seminary, where she currently teaches Formative Spirituality courses and a course in early church history, theology and practice. She is a founding member and volunteer clergy person at Community of the Savior, a Free Methodist congregation, where she regularly preaches, celebrates Eucharist, plans and leads liturgies, cantors, serves in healing prayer ministry, and serves on the Spiritual Formation and Discipleship Committee. Dr. Letterman’s ministry vocation focuses on bridging formative faith traditions – whether across time or across cultures – in order to foster respect for diversity, while at the same time nurturing unity among Judeo-Christian faith communities that are seeking to live in vital relationship with God, one another, and the wider world.           

Speaking Topics

  • Retreat Facilitation
  • Learning and Practicing Healthy Sabbath Rhythms
  • Spiritual Self-Care for Christian Leaders
  • Spiritual Formation Workshops and Seminars
  • Role of the Body in Christian Spirituality
  • Spirituality of the Family
  • Spirituality and Technology
  • Vitality in Communal and Personal Prayer
  • Learning from Classic Christian Writings
  • Women in Genesis: Poetry of Deep Listening

Selected Publications/Presentations

  • “Exploring Together the Fullness of Biblical Rest,” (presentation, Bethany Presbyterian Church, Rochester, NY, October 10, 2015).
  • “Alive in Your Talk with Christ,” (presentation, Roberts Wesleyan College Chapel, Rochester, NY, September 14, 2015).
  • “Exploring Prayer Together,” (prayer workshop, Browncroft Community Church, Rochester, NY, April 18, 2015).
  • “Growing Deeper in Our Spiritual Journey: Exploring Spiritual Practices,” (retreat series, Pearce Memorial Church, Rochester, NY, April 2015).
  • “…Thy Kingdom Come,” (presentation, Roberts Wesleyan College Chapel, Rochester, NY, March 2015).
  • “Women in Genesis: God Knows Our Stories,” (presentation, Bethany Presbyterian Church Women’s Group, Rochester, NY, February 2015).
  • “Discerning the Presence of God in Everyday Life,” (retreat, Bethany Presbyterian Church, Greece Canal Park, Rochester, NY, October 18, 2014).
  • “Compassion Fatigue,” (presentation, Genesee Valley Oncology Nursing Association Training Day, October 3, 2014).
  • “Deepening Our Walk with God,” (presentation, Pearce Memorial Church, Rochester, NY, 2014).