Josue Carballo-Huertas

Josue Carballo Huertas is a husband, a designer, and a cat dad. Originally from Costa Rica, he moved to the United States in 2015.

Micah Bournes

Micah Bournes is a poet and musician from Long Beach, California. He is most known for his dynamic performance of spoken word poetry. His work often includes vulnerable narratives related to culture, justice, and faith. He has released five studio albums, is the author of "Here Comes This Dreamer", and co-editor of "Fight Evil With Poetry: Anthology Volume One".

Mondo Scott

Mondo Scott is the Creative Director at Pax. His other creative side hustles include design, photography and mentoring urban youth in the digital arts at AMP Los Angeles, where he serves on the Board of Directors. He also serves on the Pastoral team at Ecclesia Hollywood in Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife Salena and daughter Selah.

Nat Maxey

Nat Maxey is a Honduran designer and author in West Georgia. With a degree in Computer Science, Nathalie worked in web and mobile technology for almost ten years. After having her two sweet and energetic kiddos, she made a pivot into the creative field showing that it's never too late to follow your dreams. Her passion for technology and sharing hope now fuel her to take creative design to a new level. From multi-dimensional photography, illustrations, animations, branding, and merchandise design, Nathalie has helped organizations like: International Peacemaking NGO Preemptive Love, Good Grit Magazine, Broken Crayons Women’s Brand, TRIBL Music, various ministries, and leaders across the country.

Salena Marie Scott

In the beginning of adulthood, Salena muzzled her artistry, worked in the stock market, married a pastor and had a daughter. She then crawled through severe illness for a decade. In her 11th hour, Jesus gave her a seed of hope. Since then, she has been on a journey of unmasking the poet that God made her to be and finding healing through sharing her story. In her spare time, Salena likes to write poetry published in her orange journal and play piano for her houseplants. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband Mondo, her daughter Selah, her enemy Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and her companion Holy Spirit. See more of Salena's work at

Tinasha LaRayé

Tinasha LaRayé is a poet, actress, and filmmaker, who uses her storytelling and teachings to equip this generation to walk out identity, healing, justice, and unity. She is a co-founder of MVMNT Collaborative and currently serves as a part of the launch team for Studio, a new church plant in Greenville, SC. Follow her at @iamtinashalaraye


Andrew Rillera

Dr. Andrew Rillera joined the movement in 1999 when he left the Jehovah’s Witnesses and accepted the triune God revealed in Jesus Christ. Andrew finds Pax by playing games with his family, reading, playing ice hockey and disc golf, and finding solitude. He has a bachelor's in biblical studies from Eternity Bible College, an MA in theology and ministry from Fuller Seminary, and a PhD in New Testament from Duke University. He is assistant professor of biblical studies and theology at The King's University in Edmonton, Alberta, in Canada. He co-wrote Fight: A Christian Case for Nonviolence with Preston Sprinkle (now retitled as Nonviolence: The Revolutionary Way of Jesus) and is currently writing a book titled Lamb of the Free: Recovering the Varied Sacrificial Understandings of Jesus’s Death. He and his wife, Karianne, and their two kids, Eden and Zion, live in Edmonton, Alberta.

Jaja Chen

Jaja Chen is a licensed clinical social worker and supervisor in private practice, specializing in trauma, racial trauma, EMDR therapy, perinatal mental health, and burnout. Jaja is also co-owner and chief of strategic initiatives & business partnerships of Cha Community (formerly Waco Cha) a boba tea company based in Waco, Texas, with a mission of bridging cultures and creating community. Jaja's joys in life include thrifting, traveling with her spouse, Devin, enjoying afternoon tea, practicing yoga and swimming, and playing with her English bulldog Momo.

Jermine Alberty

Rev. Jermine Alberty (MDiv) has served his community for nearly thirty years in nonprofits, faith communities, mental health, and city government. His roles include: community organizer working with different faith traditions; training director for a community mental health center; national trainer of Mental Health First Aid; and senior pastor of Bethel Baptist Church. He has worked in the mental health field for almost two decades as an educator, trainer, and consultant. Jermine currently serves as the executive director of Pathways to Promise, an interfaith cooperative, is a leader of The Companionship Movement, and owner and principal consultant of SALT Initiative LLC. Additionally, he is co-author of the book Bottled Up Inside: African American Teens & Depression.

Paul Lu

Dr. Paul Lu is a clinical assistant professor of management science at Chapman University, Argyros School of Business and Economics. Paul also serves as the FaithNet Coordinator for National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Orange County, California. Paul is a member of the National FaithNet Advisory Group and the NAMI California Board of Directors. He has a daughter with a few different mental health diagnoses; most recently, she was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Paul’s ministry and passion are to reach out to residents at mental health facilities who cannot travel to faith organizations to participate in worship and fellowship. Paul holds a doctorate of business administration degree, a master of aeronautical science degree, and a master of theology degree. He recently received a doctorate of ministry degree at Fuller Theological Seminary. His research is focused on faith and mental illness.

Richard Bowman

Richard Bowman is a board-certified Christian mental health coach and biblical counselor. He is a presidential member of the American Association of Christian Care. Rich is passionate about assisting those who have experienced significant mental health traumas.

Sandhya Oaks

Sandhya Oaks is a ministry leader, speaker, writer, and advocate. Born in India and adopted as a transracial adoptee in the Midwest, she has been serving in campus ministry for more than thirteen years. She is co-founder of The Adoption Triad, a social media group that provides community and resources to those connected to adoption and foster care. Because of her joy for storytelling and love for walking with people through the mountains and valleys of life, she holds a certificate in narrative-focused trauma care through the Allender Center based in Seattle and is a spiritual director. Sandhya lives in Colorado and spends her free time sipping coffee with friends, traveling, and exploring the mountains.

Sanghoon Yoo

Rev. Sanghoon Yoo is founder of The Faithful City, and has led ministries and social services at Arizona State University and in the Phoenix metropolitan area for over two decades. He holds master’s degrees in social work and theology. He also founded Arizona Trauma Informed Faith Community, which has grown exponentially in the last five years. He is certified in spiritual direction, ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) training, trauma-informed care, mindfulness leadership, social-emotional learning, historical trauma, and more. Sanghoon has served the Arizona ACEs Consortium as a board member, chair of the interfaith committee, and leads TOT (training of trainers) training. Currently he chairs the faith-based committee at the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice, advancing the movement with national leaders and colleagues.

Sheila Wise Rowe

Sheila Wise Rowe has a master's degree in counseling and is active in local and international healing and reconciliation ministry. She has over twenty-five years of experience as a Christian counselor, spiritual director, educator, writer, and speaker in the US, France, and South Africa. Sheila has written for The Boston Globe, The Art of Taleh, and READY Publication. She is author of the award-winning Healing Racial Trauma: The Road to Resilience, and her newest book, Young, Gifted, and Black: A Journey of Lament and Celebration, released in February 2022.


Bek Wright

Bek Wright is a biracial Filipina-white woman with a bachelors and masters in social work. She is a passionate social worker addressing issues of health and education equity in Des Moines, Iowa. When she is not cooking or “buying too many spices,” she can be found going on long walks and making travel itineraries for her next hiking trip.

Bianca Hughes

Bianca Kesha Hughes is setting boundaries and breaking barriers in all areas of her life. Known for authenticity and heart-work services, Bianca is the ultimate trailblazer in the mental health and wellness field as a therapist, coach, speaker, and podcast host, inspiring her audience to let go of the illusion of perfectionism. Bianca helps women overwhelmed with perfectionism connect to their inner selves through self-awareness and vulnerability to essentially embrace their imperfections and authentically be themselves.

Dorcas Cheng-Tozun

Dorcas Cheng-Tozun is the editorial director of PAX, an award-winning writer, and a communications consultant. She has served in the nonprofit and social enterprise sectors for more than fifteen years, including stints in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Kenya. Dorcas is the author of two books, Start Love Repeat: How to Stay in Love with Your Entrepreneur in a Crazy Start-up World and Let There d.light: How One Social Enterprise Brought Solar Products to 100 Million People. Her next book, Social Justice for the Sensitive Soul, will be released in 2023. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two hapa sons.

George Xiong

George Xiong is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Illinois. He has provided therapeutic services in a Christian private practice, and currently serves as the multicultural/BIPOC clinician at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. George received a dual MA in mental health counseling and theological studies from Trinity International University, and his BS in youth and family studies from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Prior to working in mental health, he served as a youth pastor for several years. George hopes to continue his work of destigmatizing the perceptions and experiences of mental health care through his practice, as well as speaking and teaching within the church and under-resourced and marginalized communities.

Jai Patel

Jai Patel is a second-generation Indian American who is passionate about helping others experience their newfound identity in Christ and unpacking the beauty and complexity of their cultural and ethnic heritage. Raised in a culturally Hindu household, he placed his faith in Jesus in 2014 and never looked back. He has served on staff with Cru, an international campus ministry, as well as a local church, equipping college students to thrive in their lives and usher in God’s kingdom to a lost and broken world. Jai is the content manager at PAX. He has a BA in business, communication and philosophy from the University of Texas, San Antonio, and is pursuing an MBA at LSU Shreveport. He lives in Houma, LA, with his wife, Priyanka, and their son.

Josue Carballo-Huertas

Josue Carballo Huertas is a husband, a designer, and a cat dad. Originally from Costa Rica, he moved to the United States in 2015.

Katie Nguyen

Katie Nguyen is a mixed Vietnamese-white Houston native, and leads a joint youth ministry between Hope Community Church and Church of the Cross, serving and loving 6th-12th graders on the historically underserved eastside of Austin. She is currently completing an MA in Christian leadership at Dallas Theological Seminary and earned her BA in English with teacher certification from Texas State University. Katie particularly enjoys studying, discipling, and teaching about the imago Dei, justice, biblical sexuality, and unity through diversity. You can typically find her consuming books like they’re chips, kayaking on the nearest body of water, or enjoying a good cup of coffee and conversation.

Osheta Moore

Osheta Moore, PAX’s spiritual director, is a Black, Southern, everyday peacemaker. She serves as community life pastor at Roots Covenant and adjunct teacher at Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. Osheta is the author of Shalom Sistas: Living Wholeheartedly in a Broken World, and Dear White Peacemakers: Dismantling Racism with Grit and Grace, on anti-racism peacemaking.

Sharon Wada

Sharon Wada is co-director of Sustainable Faith, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering a culture of healthy spirituality among leaders and their communities. She is actively involved in training spiritual directors, providing resources for new expressions of Christian community, and creating spaces for leaders to develop regular practices of well-being. Sharon has a masters degree in intercultural studies from Fuller Seminary. She has a particular concern for the complexities and needed contextualization inherent to the journey of leaders of color.

T.C. Moore

T.C. Moore became a Jesus-disciple at seventeen when God's love rescued him from a self-destructive, criminal lifestyle, and a home made unstable largely because of his mother's poorly managed mental illness. Since then, he has been serving in Jesus' countercultural movement. A graduate of Gordon Conwell Seminary with a master’s in urban ministry leadership, Moore has served the multiethnic Jesus movement across the country from New Orleans to Boston to Los Angeles to the Twin Cities. In addition to mentoring court-involved teens, he also pastors a local church, writes, and makes videos on his YouTube channel, "Theological Graffitti."


Over the centuries, the church has not had much to say about mental health. What has been said has been mostly pejorative, labeling mental health challenges as failures of character and faith. Most Christian communities today remain poorly equipped to respond to the increasingly urgent mental health needs in our communities. Oftentimes, those who struggle with depression, anxiety, PTSD, or other mental health disorders are told to simply pray more or read their Bible more. 

A close reading of Scripture, however, shows us that mental health challenges are everywhere in the Old and New Testaments. Even the most revered biblical figures exhibit signs of emotional distress and trauma--among them Elijah, David, Naomi, Job, Paul, and Jesus himself. Our mental health, in all its glory and messiness, is integral to our humanity, and should be an area of deep concern for the church.

The lack of a robust and compassionate theology about mental health impacts us all in some way. One out of five adults has a mental health disorder. Nearly one-third of Americans will have an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives, and about 15 percent will struggle with depression. Even if you do not experience mental health challenges, someone close to you will. Within communities of color, this lack of faith-based support can be an added burden to the cultural and societal barriers that prevent us from openly discussing our mental health or finding the professional care we need. 

Every individual’s journey of mental health is unique. We cannot speak to everyone’s experience here; nor do we want to provide medical or psychological advice. Our hope is to present a framework of faith and Christian community that wholly integrates mental health into our identity, discipleship, spiritual practices, service, and calling. We want to fully live out Jesus’ exhortation to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind (Luke 10:27).

The inner workings of the human mind, while astonishingly complex, are no longer the black box they once were. We understand now that mental health challenges are primarily genetic, biological, or trauma responses; we see that our minds require care and treatment, just as our bodies do; we know that those of us with mental health disorders are whole, beloved individuals with tremendous gifts in wisdom, empathy, and more. 

Jesus suffers alongside, embraces, and loves us no matter how strong or vulnerable our mental health is. Our call as his followers is to do the same for one another.

If you are in the US, and you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, we encourage you to make use of these excellent resources, which are available 24/7:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-8255 (online chat)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration1-800-662-4357 (treatment referral and information)
National Youth Crisis Hotline1-800-448-4663 (for interventions for sexual abuse, child abuse, depression, and suicidal thoughts)

In Pax,

Dorcas Cheng-Tozun

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