UWSI Staff 

Rev Deborah Frownfelter, MS - Executive Director, Education
Deborah Frownfelter has served as a licensed Unity teacher and was ordained as a Unity minister in 2006. She earned a M.S. in Counseling from Shippensburg University. She has served as Vice President of Education, Leadership and Ministry Development and Executive Director of Visionary Research, Development and Training for Unity Worldwide Ministries since 2006.

Teaching and education have been the core of Deborah’s professional identity over the last 40 plus years. She has designed innovative curriculum, taught, and mentored others in public schools, college, Unity Spiritual Education and Enrichment and Ministerial & Religious Studies programs, church adult and youth and family education programs, and business and professional settings. Throughout her career, she has engaged in educational research, particularly focused on innovative teaching methods including brain-friendly teaching. She was the Founder and President of Lifelong Learning, an educational consulting business dedicated to advancing teaching and learning strategies based on brain research for education, business and personal and spiritual development. She has shared this teaching methodology with Unity leaders.

Deborah has over 20 years’ experience in leadership and organizational development, most recently with the Center for Leadership Development at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and College of Medicine. She has been responsible in several organizations for system-wide programs and functions and has chaired many executive level project teams.

Deborah delights in nurturing the gifts of others and facilitating their growth, development and transformation.  

Rev Jim Gaither, MA, ThD - Director of Academic & Student Affairs
Jim Gaither was ordained a Unity Minister in 1979. He earned a M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Kansas, where he also did doctoral work. He earned a Doctorate in Theology from Holos University Graduate Seminary.

Jim served as Senior Minister in Unity churches for over 12 years, including 7 ½ years in New York City as Eric Butterworth’s successor. He taught at the seminary of the Unity School of Christianity for 20 years in the areas of metaphysics, history, world religions and ethics.

Jim resigned from the Unity ministry in New York in 2011 to move back to Lees Summit, MO so he and his wife Chris could be near their daughters and granddaughters. After returning to Lees Summit, Jim continued to teach Unity students as an adjunct instructor for the Unity Institute and as a popular guest speaker at Unity Churches and Conferences. He has also served as President of Holos University Graduate Seminary where he taught theology and ethics.  

For over 30 years, Jim has regularly contributed articles and columns to Unity Magazine.  He is the author of The Essential Charles Fillmore and The Hidden Realm of God: The Historical Jesus and His Healing Philosophy. In 2003 he received the “Charles Fillmore Award for Visionary Leadership” from the Association of Unity Churches (now Unity Worldwide Ministries).

Rev Pamela Parker, MS e-learning Instructional Designer (consultant)
Pami is an ordained Interfaith minister (2008 - The New Seminary, NY, NY). She has served in the Unity community for over 40 years. Pami has been an enthusiastic and creative learning & development professional for the past 20 years. Her talents and strengths include the design and delivery of organizational learning initiatives and integrated talent management solutions including coaching, mentoring, on-the-job experiences, and classroom and technology-enabled learning. 


Rev Diane Venzera, MEd e-learning Instructional Designer (consultant)

Diane is an ordained Unity Minister (2007), Licensed Unity Teacher and Certified Spiritual Educator. Diane has served the Unity Movement as an educator, trainer, consultant and curriculum developer for over 20 years. Her primary work includes mentoring instructors in online course development, accelerated learning and online course implementation. She is also responsible for working within the Blackboard Learning Platform in order to provide an interesting, engaging and interactive format for the online Ministerial and SEE courses.

Chris Gannan, MSEd - Registrar
Chris  supports UWSI students and instructors, both SEE & M&RS, during their time in the various education programs. She has a master’s degree in education and a long career in education, including teaching (face-to-face and online) and administration, as a high school principal. She recently served as the registrar at another online educational institution. Chris has been with Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute since 2016.


Lisa Schroeder - Executive Assistant Education 
Lisa supports Executive Director of Education, Deborah Frownfelter, Director of Academic & Student Affairs, Jim Gaither and the Education department. She has an AA in Business Administration and over 17 years of experience as an executive assistant and over 12 years in the education field. Lisa has been with Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute since 2018.



Marti Hayes - Assistant Registrar
Marti supports the UWSI Registrar, Chris Gannan, as well as UWSI students and instructors with data entry. She has a BA in Education and over 25 years of experience as an executive assistant. Marti works a part-time schedule and is in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Marti has been with Unity Worldwide Ministries and now Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute since 2004.