Laura serves as Director of the Leading Wholeheartedly Retreats, setting the vision and tone for each event and helping ensure a seamless, enriching experience for guests.
Laura holds a Master’s in nonprofit administration from University of San Francisco and a Bachelor’s from University of California at Berkeley in religious studies. Her career has spanned organizational and individual consulting, coaching and leadership, all focused on building strategies to do good well. After consulting for over 20 years, Laura now serves as Executive Director of the Jesus Center, a social service nonprofit serving the poor in Chico, California.
Parallel to building her career, Laura has honed her gifts in the churches where she and her husband have served. While in New York City, Laura developed a course in Christian Spiritual Disciplines, a course on Henri Nouwen’s Return of the Prodigal, a course on marriage, and studies for moms trying to develop a spiritual life. Laura has taught these courses, and many others, for more than two decades.
Laura enjoys biking, reading, swimming, photography, hanging out with friends, traveling, and spending time with her husband of 30-plus years, Greg—a religious studies lecturer at California State University Chico—and with their two daughters.
Cissy serves as Spiritual Director for the Leading Wholeheartedly retreats, helping participants recognize how the Holy Spirit is working in their lives and deepening their relationship with God.
Cissy earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in religious studies and theology as well as a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is a clinical member of the California Association of Marital & Family Therapists and the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals. Cissy is also a spiritual director, Duke Integrative Medicine certified health coach, and a yoga teacher.
On a personal level, Cissy has mined the treasures of the dark places in her story and gleaned much wisdom. Food- and body-related challenges, an overweight childhood and adolescence, a date rape in her young adult years, and a cancer-induced mastectomy at age 30 have been among her greatest teachers on her journey to loving her body, and helping other women love theirs.
In 2015 she launched Alive and Well Women, a nonprofit dedicated to revolutionizing the way women relate to themselves and each other about health, beauty and sexuality. Through a variety of programs Alive and Well empowers women with principles and life skills to love and enjoy living in their bodies, make life-giving choices and inspire future generations with authentic self-love from an early age.
JJ Hansen leads corporate worship during Leading Wholeheartedly gatherings, working closely with the other retreat leaders to prepare a space where all can glorify God through hearing the Word, and responding in prayer and song.
JJ is a singer, pianist and music educator who has collaborated with other worship leaders—across the U.S. and around the world—to lead groups, large and small, in worship. Having worked as a church worship/arts director and also in campus ministry for many years, she continues to mentor recent college graduates in the pastoral ministry of worship leading.
JJ’s passion is to lead followers of Jesus from different backgrounds in experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirit working in and through the gathered congregation. Toward this end, she finds great joy in the mission of Leading Wholeheartedly.
Born in Louisiana and raised in North Carolina, JJ and her husband, Bruce, a minister, and their two daughters live in Northern California.