vickigarlockRev. Vicki Michela Garlock, Ph.D., currently serves as the Nurture Coordinator at Jubilee! Community Church where she has developed a Sunday School curriculum for kids in preschool through Grade 8. The curriculum reflects the interfaith, nature-oriented aspects of Jubilee! Community Church and incorporates her unique vision for helping children find their faith. This vision includes using the Christian Bible as the primary ancient text, while offering age-appropriate, experiential ways for children to follow their own faith journey – a journey that includes exposure to other cultures and other religious traditions.

Vicki has spent years developing the Faith Seeker Kids™ and Interfaith Made Easy™ concepts. She has studied various Biblical interpretations in the Abrahamic traditions, regularly reads the sacred texts of the world’s major faith traditions, and has experienced both Muslim and Hindu cultures. She also regularly attends services, rituals, and other events at local churches, synagogues, temples, and gathering spaces, especially for the major Jewish, Pagan/Wiccan, Baha’i, Sanatana Dharma (Hindu), and Buddhist holy days. She is particularly interested in how children from around the world embody their religious customs, and she has amassed a large collection of children’s stories from a variety of traditions. She also makes use of poetry – both modern and ancient – with kids of all ages. To honor this commitment to the interfaith education of kids, Vicki was ordained as Jubilee!’s Minister of Education.

Vicki was raised in Kankakee, IL, a small town in the north central part of the state. She attended a Lutheran grade school associated with the Missouri Synod during the week and a Lutheran church associated with the newly formed (at the time) Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) on Sunday mornings for church and Sunday school. She then attended a Catholic high school where, as a Lutheran, she was required to take religion courses only the first two years. One of those courses, World Religions, taught by a priest, served as the foundation for her long-standing interest in other faith paths.

Vicki earned her undergraduate psychology degree from Brown University and her Ph.D. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with dual specialties in neuroscience and cognitive development. Her dissertation focused on the early predictors of reading achievement in kids between the ages of 4 and 8, and her work was published in the Journal of Memory and Language. Her training in cognitive development consistently guided her development of Faith Seeker Kids and its associated Sunday School curriculum.

After completing her Ph.D., Vicki worked as a psychology professor at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC from 1997-2008. She taught a variety of courses related to human development, biopsychology and learning/cognition. She also became interested in – and made numerous conference presentations about – the use of technology in the classroom, the incorporation of service learning into academic courses, and the extension of the adolescent period into the college years.

She also offers sermons, seminars, Bible Study classes, and blog posts that focus on the connections between the Bible and the sacred texts of other faith traditions. This extensive experience as an educator underlies Vicki’s ability to articulate the Faith Seeker Kids™ and Interfaith Made Easy™ concepts to people from all walks of life.

Vicki lives in Asheville, North Carolina with her husband, two children, and their dog. In her “spare” time, she enjoys exercising, hiking, playing the piano and the djembe, singing, practicing Tae Kwon Do, and eating out at Asheville’s amazing restaurants – although the only thing she will admit to being good at is eating out.

Many thanks to Audrey Goforth for the photo.