The Allender Center Podcast

Join us for an all-new episode of the Allender Center Podcast as we sit down with our dear friend Matthias Roberts, author of the upcoming book "Holy Runaways: Rediscovering Faith After Being Burned by Religion."

Matthias, a queer psychotherapist specializing in religious and spiritual trauma, brings a unique perspective to the conversation. His book is a beacon of hope for those who have felt ignored, oppressed, or rejected by their religious communities and churches. It offers a clear path forward, centered on speaking truth, deep listening, and acting with compassion.

Join co-hosts Dan Allender and Rachael Clinton Chen as they engage in a conversation with Matthias about the origins of his latest book, the struggle between staying put and envisioning fresh paths forward, and the unexpected connections between concrete and our faith. Yes, concrete.

If you're eager to explore a fresh perspective on faith, healing, and the power of community, this episode is a must-listen.

Plus, don’t miss Matthias's book, "Holy Runaways," now available for pre-order at and coming to bookstores everywhere on October 3rd.

Direct download: TAC501-Export.mp3
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Welcome to a very special episode of the Allender Center Podcast! We can hardly believe it, but today marks a monumental milestone – our 500th episode! 🎉

Join your hosts, Dan and Rachael, as they come together to celebrate this incredible journey with you, our listeners, and to answer some of your questions about the inner workings of the conversations that happen here on the Allender Center Podcast.

As a heartfelt thank you for your support, we're doing something extra special:

Head over to to not only listen but to WATCH the live recording of this celebratory episode with Dan and Rachael. 

You’ll also gain access to a special bonus section, where Dan and Rachael dive deeper into your questions and share some personal behind-the-scenes stories. It's a unique peek into the making of the Allender Center Podcast that you won't want to miss.

👉 Get access to this week’s video episode and bonus segment at:

All of us here at the Allender Center are grateful for your loyal listenership. It's your continued support and engagement that have made this journey so remarkable.

So, we hope you’ll join us as we celebrate 500 episodes of growth, healing, and connection. And here’s to 500 more!


Direct download: TAC500_Export.mp3
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When we examine the far-reaching impact of spiritual abuse, it becomes evident that it transcends isolated incidents, permeating a broader culture, system, and ideology that inflict harm.

In this week's episode, Rachael engages in a thought-provoking conversation with Joel Kiekintveld, a pastor and Adjunct Professor at The Seattle School, shedding light on the intricate dynamics of systems and cultures that foster spiritually abusive environments.

Joel recently hosted Season 4 of Transforming Engagement, the Podcast, called "Church After Mars Hill," in response to the widely popular podcast, “The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill.” Through their series of conversations, Joel and his guests not only examine Mars Hill Church as a case study to identify the systems, cultures, and leadership structures that contributed to its downfall, but they also create a space for introspection and imagination for what can be done with these lessons learned. In the aftermath of the destruction wrought by spiritually abusive church cultures, their dialogues explore the delicate tension between deconstruction and rebuilding.

We hope you enjoy this conversation and also check out “Church After Mars Hill,” the full season of Transforming Engagement, the Podcast, at 


Direct download: TAC499-export.mp3
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In a time when divisions seem to define us, can we still foster meaningful conversations capable of driving real change?

In anticipation of the upcoming virtual summit, “Seattle School Connect 2023: Discourse,” we’re exploring the intricacies and challenges of engaging in discourse with Dr. J. Derek McNeil, President and Provost of The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology.

Discourse isn't simply having a conversation; it's a transformative dialogue that can impact and change us. In this episode hosted by Rachael Clinton Chen, Derek McNeil walks us through some of the challenges we face in a world filled with polarization, trauma, the influence of technology, and much more. He also delineates some of the essential elements necessary for authentic discourse to thrive, emphasizing the creation of intentional and sacred spaces where curiosity and empathetic understanding can truly flourish.

We hope you’ll join us for Seattle School Connect 2023: Discourse, a free virtual summit kicking off this fall. This series is designed to engage in challenging discussions in order to enhance our capacity to serve God and neighbor through transforming relationships.

The inaugural event hosted by The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology is centered around the art of discourse, focusing on pertinent cultural topics. With a lineup of 6 live conversations, we aim to explore the practice of constructive conversations while embodying values of humility and hospitality. By engaging in these discussions, attendees will gain insights into bridging gaps, confronting personal assumptions, and building relationships grounded in empathy and growth.

Registration is free and open to all. Learn more at

Direct download: TAC498-Export.mp3
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We’re back with Curt Thompson, MD, to talk about hope.

Have you ever wondered how to summon hope when everything seems bleak? Is hope a fleeting notion or something we can truly cultivate?

Hope, like faith and love, is not just an abstraction, but a skill we can nurture. It's a profound practice that finds its home in both our minds and bodies.

Curt shares: “The things that I pay attention to on purpose, I remember. And what I remember becomes my anticipated future. Hope is a function of the mind that addresses the future. And this is what I mean when I say hope is a thing that I form by paying attention to the glory that is offered to me in the middle of my pain, in the present moment. And it requires lots and lots of practice, but it then is not like, ‘Oh, maybe I'll have hope. I hope I have hope.’ It's a thing that I maybe I won't like. And so… I'm going to have to practice.” 


We thrive on shared experiences of hope within a community. Even a brief 3-minute interaction can spark the daring prospect of relying on another person. Our communal practice etches hope into our brain's pathways, grounding it in the way we engage with one another. Although personal introspection has its place, the true growth of hope blossoms within the context of human connection.

Tune in to this thought-provoking dialogue as we explore the intricacies of cultivating hope and the transformative power of embracing it together.

As you listen, we’d be honored if you shared this episode with someone else, too!

Direct download: tac497-Export.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am PDT