Director, President / Executive Director
L. Michael Spath is the Founder and Executive Director of Indiana Center for Middle East Peace and Kairos Communities Coordinator for Kairos USA. He holds a Ph.D. in Historical Theology (Saint Louis University; Islam & Muslim-Christian Relations), and a Doctor of Ministry (Eden Theological Seminary; New Testament). He has taught Religious Studies (Eastern Religions; Western Religions; Hinduism; Buddhism; Christianity; Islam; Religion & Culture; Global Christianity) and Peace and Conflict Studies (Religion & Violence). He is a member Plymouth Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Fort Wayne, IN, as well as the UCC Palestine-Israel Network, and until 2014, served as Theologian-in-Residence at First Presbyterian Church, Fort Wayne, IN.
Dr. Spath was a Fulbright Graduate Scholar and National Security Education Program Graduate Fellow (1998-99) at the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies (under the patronage of HRH Prince El Hasan bin Talal, King Hussein’s brother), Amman, Jordan. He has made five research trips to Turkey studying Sufi ritual, art, literature, and spirituality, and also participated in the Bethsaida Excavations Project archaeological dig on the Sea of Galilee (2000). Dr. Spath has also traveled throughout the Middle East, with over 25 research and work trips to Palestine and Israel, where he also leads “solidarity tours” in which participants meet with Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious, political and NGO leaders committed to conflict resolution, non-violent resistance and social transformation.
A popular preacher, lecturer, interfaith leader, and community activist, Dr. Spath has been a leader of the Mayor’s Commission on Inter-Faith Understanding, Fort Wayne, IN and the St. Louis World Religions Dialogue (1979-95). He served as host for Inter-Faith Service of Prayer for Peace, featuring H. H., the Dalai Lama (1993), and a member of the Yom Ha’Shoah Holocaust Remembrance Planning Committee, Fort Wayne (2001-2007), the Planning Committee of the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center (1992-95), and Master of Ceremonies and Keynote Speaker at An Inter-Faith Prayer for Human Rights (2008), commemorating the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he is also past Board Chair of the Fort Wayne Urban League.
Dr. Spath has received a number of awards for his community service, including: Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne College of Arts and Sciences Community Engagement Award (2013) and Chancellor’s Award for Civic Engagement (2011), the Punjabi Cultural Society Partnership Award (2012) and the Associated Churches of Fort Wayne & Allen County Ecumenical Service Award (2010). He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit National Honor Society, as well as the following professional organizations: Middle East Studies Association; American Academy of Religion; and Peace & Justice Studies Association.