Dr. Edward Santana-Grace, PhD
Born in State College, PA, after a BA in Philosophy from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, he lived for twenty-four years in Italy before returning to the states. In twenty of those twenty four years, he was active with the Waldensian Church [the oldest Protestant denomination dating back to 1174) and the Italian Methodist Church. In 1991 he returned to bring together his abilities in international consulting and bridge building across continents, political affiliations, business/labor and cultures with his growing interest in the dynamic, micro dimensions of human thought processes and the skill sets needed to channel them to their positive purposes as observable in human behavior and suggested in best practices.
While in Italy, he directed The Bridge Association, which he founded in Rome, Italy to reinforce dialogue among democratically elected individuals on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. He brought over more than 130 elected officials (governors, mayors, county officials, legislators). Among those who participated in the international forums was a governor who went on to be a president of the United States of America, three became US senators and others became cabinet members.
Shortly after returning state side, he pursed studies at Princeton Theological Seminary, earned a Masters in Theology (MTh), afterwards becoming a pastor of a local congregation, In 1994, due to marriage crisis in the church, the church “commissioned” him to study relationship enhancement from many of the foremost leaders in the field so as to be able to best serve the couples and families of the church. In the process he developed an innovative program that was so highly effective that one therapist in the area sent one of his most difficult marriage cases to him with positive outcomes. Over the next decade, he advised, coached and trained children, couples, teens, teachers, parents, business leaders, school administrators, elected officials, and clergy to use their new awareness and skill sets acquired from his programs to improve their personal lives, marriages, businesses and organizations and their faith journeys.
Edward developed and refined REPRIT Pedagogy and systematically created a set of core, habit- changing, life-transforming Skills that are specifically grounded only on what is universally observable in human behavior and hence phenomenologically accessible to all through disciplined research and attentive observation. Based on this research, Edward has also developed numerous couple, leadership, teen, children and professional coaching programs.
Click here for an overview of the Pedagogy and Skill Sets.
In 2005, Edward withdrew from the active pastorate and lessened his time spent in actively training and consulting to be an at-home dad to make his wife’s transition to her new job as Executive Presbyter of the San Gabriel Presbytery in California less stressful. He used that time to advance his research in quantum physics and neurobiology regarding the physiological, learning and relational effects of a person’s micro interpretative thoughts. He also thoroughly revised, Getting to Know God, a spiritual disciplines booklet he uses in his Christian, faith-based programs. In July of 2007, he began more actively pursing his life long passion to build lasting relationship bridges in marriages and families, between the couple, with and among their children and teens; as well as between teachers, students and administrators and clergy and congregations. In 2008, he added My Daily Bread to the toolbox for those he trains in having the mind of Christ 24/7. He is currently working on The Path Back to the Mind of Christ: From Secularized Thinking to Having the Mind of Christ 24/7. He holds four postgraduate degrees in theology. His doctoral thesis was: God’s Plan for Marriage in Scripture and In Creation and a Pastoral Response of the Churches.
In 2008, he was requested by the President of the California Healthy Marriages Coalition to develop their strategic partnerships with larger partnering organizations in order to increase the concrete delivery of marriage education at the grassroots level. While working to expand the delivery of marriage education throughout the Catholic Dioceses of California, he also expanded the coalition’s partnering work to include Fuller Seminary and worked extensively with Professor Cameron Lee.
In 2011, after his son graduated from high school, he returned full time to developing his own programs and coaching pastors, couples, professionals and teens.
1998-2003 PhD, Magna Cum Laude, Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome, Italy,
Thesis: God’s Plan for Marriage in Scripture & Creation and a Pastoral
Response of the Churches. [The thesis was written and defended in Italian.]
1991-1992 Master of Theology (Th.M.), Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ
1969-1971 STL Degree in Theology, Gregorian University, Rome, Italy
1967-1969 BA in Theology, Gregorian University, Rome, Italy
1963-1967 BA in Philosophy, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC
PRIOR PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCES
2006-current President and Founder of the Santana-Grace Institute, dedicated to Leadership
in Partnership and Character Developments.
1992-2005 Minister of the Word and Sacrament (Presbyterian USA)
First Presbyterian Church of Hokendauqua, Whitehall, PA
In 1994 marriages crisis in the church led to three successive $10,000 grants from the Lehigh Presbytery, supplemented in the following years by $30,000 in continuing education funds and $30,000 in personal funds for training in the best, skills-based, outcomes programs and marriage educational programs developed by the best researches and "practitioners" in the field of marriage and family. He simultaneously pursued a doctor’s degree in Moral Theology with his dissertation on marriage. By 2001 he had developed an effective ministry model and created an effective couples coaching program; in 2003 the program was launched nationally at the Smart Marriage Conference in Sparks, Nevada. Today the basic coaching program has proven effective not just for marriages and families but has also been successfully utilized to improve relationships from parenting to running business; its experiential “groundedness” allows it to be used by people of all faiths and to be integrated into each individual’s relationship skill set.
1996 – 2002 CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WALDENSIAN SOCIETY,
Co-Executive Director with Rev. Ruth Santana-Grace of the American Waldensian Society. [The Waldensian Church is the oldest, still existing Protestant church dating back to 1174. While in Italy, Edward had worked with, written for and worshipped with the Waldensians since 1971. From them, he learned (1) how to witness to your faith in a culture that counters most of your cherished beliefs and (2) why it is necessary to do it faithfully for centuries.] Was hired to lead the Society from a full time to a part time staff while maintaining and improving all its services and streamlining its administration; moved its offices from New York City to Bethlehem, PA. Also implemented more stringent financial policies and transparency for its investment portfolio.
1984 –1991 President and Founder, The Bridge Association
Rome, Italy (1984-88); Montevarchi, Tuscany, Italy (1988-1991)
Initiated thought and founded non-for-profit association whose primary goal was to create and reinforce dialogue among democratically elected individuals on both sides of the Atlantic Oceans. These goals were accomplished through the development and promotion of international forums, study tours, and publications.
Brought over more the 160 USA officials (130 of whom were elected officials), including governors, legislators, mayors, county officials, and council members. Among those who participated in the international forums, one would become a president of the United States of America, another became a US senator, still another a chief of staff to the President. More than 600 Italian and European officials and prominent national figures participated in these initiates. In additions to regional and local elected European representative, European senators and members of the EU parliament and cabinet members also participated as did prominent industrial and corporate leaders, university presidents, and union leaders. Raised directly and indirectly over 1.2 million dollars toward the international forums and study tours.
Promoted and organized the participation of the first USA governor representing the National Governors’ Association at the Assembly of the European Regions’ Congress in 1990.
1982 – 1991 CO-FOUNDER, EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER, ITALIAN ECUMENICAL
CENTER, Rome, Italy
Initiated thought and co-founded an ecumenical body together with the Moderator of the Waldensian Table, the President of the Italian Methodist Church, the President of the Italian Baptist Churches and Italian Roman Catholic clergy and laity. The ecumenical body was composed by statute of an equal number of Protestants and Roman Catholics and an equal number of women and men in each grouping. Its primary purpose was to create an ecumenical forum to discuss issues of faith and daily life, justice and poverty and social issues relating to the quality of family life.
Reading Capacity: English (mother tongue), Italian, Dutch, French, Spanish
Speaking Capacity: English, Italian, Dutch
Writing Capacity: English
Currently, his wife, Ruth, is the Executive Presbyter of the Philadelphia Presbytery where they live. Their youngest son, Dakota, just graduated from Harvard College, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Their eldest son, David, has founded a successful consulting company to increase membership at fitness centers in Rome, Italy.