Holly Benzenhafer Redford

Ph.D. Student in Practical Theology, Concentration: Spirituality

Areas of Interest:

Spirituality, Dream Studies, Pilgrimage, Medieval Female Mysticism, Celtic Christian Spirituality, Intentional Community, Sabbath Practices


Holly Benzenhafer Redford is an ordained Baptist minister affiliated with Alliance of Baptists and a spiritual director trained through Haden Institute. She completed the MDiv degree with Spirituality concentration at Boston University School of Theology (STH) along with certification in Religion and Conflict Transformation through Boston Theological Institute. Her contextual education for this degree was serving as a volunteer abbey housekeeper with the Iona Community on the Holy Isle of Iona, Scotland, in 2007. Prior to moving to Boston, Holly completed a MS graduate degree in Sociology at Mississippi College and worked as a sociology professor for over a decade, specializing in family, social problems, deviant behavior, and sociology of religion. She also served as the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Mississippi’s moderator for two terms with an emphasis on building community and identity.

A practicing Contemplative Christian since 1997, Holly’s interests focus on bringing both traditional spiritual practices and the dailiness of living as sacred practice into spiritual and theological conversation in the theological academy. Her dissertation research seeks to address this focus through the daily experience of dreaming by bringing dream studies and Christian spirituality studies to bear on the spiritual practice of dream sharing. From her time on Iona, Holly has also developed a form of guided intoning prayer and now mentors a group which meets monthly at STH with facilitators she trained.

A retreat leader, poet, and labyrinth facilitator, Holly delights in the artistic and aesthetic creativity of nature and human expression. She is an avid photographer and a juried hand weaving Fellow in the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi. She and husband Ken are chapter members at BU’s Marsh Chapel where she periodically joins in worship leadership and where they are thoroughly enjoying watching their daughter, Kristen, live into her contextual education as a MDiv student at STH! Along with cats, Serena, Samhain, and Moonshine, they regularly welcome STHers into their home for meals (or weekends!), and claim the practice of Presence with the understanding that the very best meetings are those with the intention to discuss nothing in particular.