About Diana

Diana is a Japanese-American Presbyterian (PCUSA) minister with a heart for the nurture of clergy. She has been married to Jeff, a Presbyterian pastor, for over 35 years, and they have a daughter who is also a Presbyterian minister, and a son who is an artist.

Together with her pastor husband and on her own, Diana has served rural, urban, suburban, white and racial-ethnic churches. The total membership number has ranged from 60 people in a 3-point parish in Eastern Oregon, to 1250 in a church in San Francisco. She also has preached in the pulpits of various denominations, and has completed a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching.

Years ago, she went through a period of what she calls “existential crabbiness.” “Life was good, my family was thriving, and we were living in a beautiful area” she states, “but there was something going on inside that made me feel cranky and longing for more. That led me to a pastoral counselor who was also a very gifted spiritual director. At one point, during a session, she said, ‘I have been praying about the need for spiritual directors, and your name keeps coming to mind. Have you ever thought of doing this kind of work?’ My heart leapt and I thought, ‘I could do this, I would love to do this!’”

Diana has been doing spiritual direction with pastors, seminary students, and lay people since 1996. In addition to her private practice, she has been on the staff of the Lloyd Center (now called the Interfaith Counseling Center) at San Francisco Theological Seminary providing spiritual direction and supervision. And she has done individual and group spiritual direction with the Program in Christian Spirituality at San Francisco Theological Seminary for Companions on the Inner Way, the Youth Ministry Spirituality Project, and the Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction, as well as for various retreats and conferences.

As to her heart for pastors, Diana says, “The clergy world has been my world for a long time, in large part because I’ve been married to a faithful pastor. I have images of pastors sitting around our dining room table, and by the fireside, sharing the challenges, struggles, joys and concerns of ministry. Over the years, I found I was often a safe space for pastors, long before I went to seminary, and even before any spiritual direction training.

Even though I do not feel called to long-term parish ministry myself (all of my positions have been interim or part-time), I care deeply about the health of churches and especially their leaders. I understand the often tricky tension between following Jesus and serving congregations with their own long-standing ways of doing and being. I have a lot of respect and admiration for the sheer gutsiness and altruism that I’ve seen in pastors, the desire to do what is right and good, even when the going gets tough. It’s that embrace of one’s calling, and the willingness to keep going through the ups and downs of everyday ministry that moves me deeply. I want to help pastors serve in wise, grounded, and life-giving ways – and even more, to experience the abundant life we are promised in Jesus Christ. Because life is more than ministry, but ministry can be part of a rich life lived for God.”

Education

B.A. in Psychology, University of California, Berkeley
C.A.S.D. Certificate (now Diploma) in the Art of Spiritual Direction, San Francisco Theological Seminary
M.Div., San Francisco Theological Seminary
D.Min., McCormick Theological Seminary