Wounded Faith Webinar Series, 2022-2023

ICSA’s program, Spiritual Abuse Resources (SAR), hosted a series of webinars during the 2022-23 season. In these webinars Rev. Dr. Neil Damgaard, editor of ICSA’s book Wounded Faith, interviewed authors who wrote chapters for the book. 

Webinars from the series are listed below. We recommend that you read the Wounded Faith book (available on Amazon).  Recordings of these webinars are available for those who registered.

Making Your Church Spiritually Safe (Neil Damgaard interviewed by Ken Garrett). 

Spiritual Abuse: Women's Issues (Judy Pardon

Forgiveness (Doug Duncan

Marital Damage and Recovery Following Religious Abuse (Pat and Heidi Knapp

The Stages of Recovery (Pat Knapp

Healing Your Image of God (Wendy Duncan

When the Walking Wounded Walk into Church (Ken Garrett) 

Rev. Dr. Neil Damgaard, ThM, DMin, is originally from the Washington D.C. area. A graduate of Virginia Tech (B.S. in industrial engineering and operations research), he worked for the U.S. Navy under contract as a management engineering consultant. After entering the ministry in 1976 he later graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with a four-year Master's of Theology degree in historical theology, and served on staff at churches in Virginia and Texas and then as Senior Pastor of the Dartmouth Bible Church in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts from 1983 until 2019. With an interest in students and young adults and long experience with them, Pastor Neil also served as Protestant Chaplain with the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, 2007-2019. He also earned his Doctor of Ministry degree in 2008 from Dallas Theological Seminary. Neil holds an endless fascination with history, culture, architecture, music, and film. He has authored two books, A History of Dartmouth Bible Church, 1963-2013 (2013 with Westbow Press) and Defiance at Cairo (2020 with Book Baby). Now retired, he lives in Roanoke, Virginia and has been married to Renée (a retired public school high school math teacher) since 1975. Together they have raised two daughters: Jocelyn, a mechanical engineer and intellectual property focal for Boeing Aircraft and a wife and mother of two, living in Denver. Susanna, a graduate of Messiah College and Yale University, is a registered nurse in Los Angeles, California. 

Doug Duncan, MS, LPC, was a member of an aberrant religious group for over twenty years. After defying the cult leader and marrying Wendy, they eventually left the cult and Doug began the task of rebuilding his life. He enrolled in a master’s program in counseling and earned a degree and license to practice therapy. After working on their cult recovery issues by reading all the available cult literature, attending conferences, and becoming involved with ICSA, Doug and Wendy started a ministry to increase the awareness and understanding of cults. They are frequent presenters at churches, civic groups, and conferences, as well as facilitators of a support group for former members of cults and high-demand groups. Additionally, Doug offers individual counseling to ex-members. 

Wendy Duncan, MA, LBSW, has a Master’s Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is a licensed social worker in the state of Texas. She has spent most of her career in the mental health field.Wendy and her husband, Doug, are former members of a pseudo-Christian, Bible-based cult and several years after leaving, they became active in cult awareness activities. They are frequent presenters at ICSA conferences. Wendy co-facilitates a monthly support group for former members of cults in the Dallas metroplex. Wendy is also the author of I Can’t Hear God Anymore: Life in a Dallas Cult. Website: www.dallascult.com Email: info@dallascult.com Phone: (214) 607-1065. Dallas, Texas

Rev. Kenneth Garrett, MDiv., DMin, is senior pastor of Grace Church, Portland, OR. For 12 years Ken and his wife Sharon belonged to an abusive, controlling church in which their life-choices, beliefs, and behaviors were increasingly brought under the control of church leaders. Ken and Sharon left the church in 1996 with their three daughters. Ken attended seminary and has completed post-graduate research in spiritual abuse as it occurs in Christian churches. Ken and Sharon now enjoy many opportunities to counsel and care for survivors of abusive churches from the Portland-metro area and have established the Spiritual Abuse Forum for Education (SAFE), a regular gathering to promote friendship and education for survivors of spiritual abuse. Ken's is the author of In the House of Friends: Understanding and Healing from Spiritual Abuse in the Christian Church, (Wipf and Stock Press, 2020).

Heidi I. Knapp, CLC. Life Recovery Coach specializing in spiritual and relational abuse issues. Heidi has completed University courses in both theology and psychology. In addition, she completed counseling studies in addictions CAC ll.  She has spent 25 years in personal study and education on recovery related issues, which include her formal art education. In addition to coaching clients, Heidi co-directs Becoming Free LLC, alongside her husband Pat, with whom she co-facilitates support and recovery groups for those who have experienced spiritual abuse. Heidi places a high value on the importance of creativity as a supportive part of the healing process.

She contributes to the educational development of writing curricula for Becoming Free support and recovery groups and has had personal experience with aberrant forms of Christianity. She is a member of the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) and the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC).  Additionally, Heidi has previously coordinated and led support groups for parents raising special needs children. To contact her, see Becoming Free’s website: www.becomingfree.org or email becomingfree.org@gmail.com   

Patrick J. Knapp, PhD, completed an MA (Philosophy of Religion) from Denver Seminary (Winter, 2000).  His MA thesis was titled “The Place of Mind Control in the Cult Recovery Process.”  His doctoral studies focused on marriage and family systems and attachment with his PhD (Pastoral Psychology) thesis at Graduate Theological Foundation “A Survey of Religious Abuse and Recovery.” 

He and his wife (Heidi Knapp) co-direct Becoming Free, LLC (www.BecomingFree.org). Their organization facilitates educational support for all those who have been religiously abused. As a life-recovery coach for over 35 years Pat has assisted people to process harmful spiritual experiences for improved insight and emotional healing.  He and his wife (Heidi) provide HIPPA compliant video internet and in-person life coaching both for former members and friends and family effected by religious or spiritual abuse. 

In 2017 he contributed a chapter on support groups in Cult Recovery: A Clinician’s Guide to Working With Former Members and Families (Goldberg, L. et al, 2017).  His most recent book publication is Understanding Religious Abuse and Recovery: Discovering Essential Principles for Hope and Healing (Pickwick Publications, 2021). In this book he evaluates various perspectives of religious abuse recovery and introduces a new perspective (SECURE), a synthesis model that incorporates family systems and attachment theory as understood within a Christian worldview.  He also includes in this book: practical recovery strategies, on-going supportive resources and three user-friendly indexes. 

Pat and his wife (Heidi) can be reached at becomingfree.org@gmail.com or at 720-227-8695. 

Judy Pardon, MEd, has been a teacher and a counselor. Since 1992, she has been Associate Director of the New England Institute of Religious Research (NEIRR) and MeadowHaven, where she has worked with former cult members, including some who have experienced profound trauma. She has also spoken widely on the subject and conducted training programs for human-service personnel. In 2014 Ms. Pardon received, with her husband Robert, ICSA's Herbert L. Rosedale Award. In 2016 Judy gave the Paul Martin Lecture at the ICSA Annual Conference.