Donna Farrell

Donna is one of our leaders for Mission u 2019 Issue Study: Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Dr. Monique Morris.

Donna is an ordained Deacon in the California-Nevada Annual Conference. She currently serves as a pastor at the Church of the Mountains, Truckee United Methodist Church. Her desire to serve in ministry came from her experience of serving the sick and dying through her work as a Hospice Pharmacist in the early 2000’s. Her background as a critical care pharmacist has segued into following her passion for providing care to those that are suffering from spiritual dis-ease and distress.

Following her call to ministry led her to Claremont School of Theology, where she obtained her Master of Divinity degree, with an emphasis in Interfaith Chaplaincy. Four units of Clinical Pastoral Education brought her to the streets of the Tenderloin in San Francisco, the oncology unit of Sutter Roseville Medical Center, and the maximum and minimum yards of the California State Prison – Sacramento.

She recently sat before the Center for Spiritual Care and Pastoral Formation’s Chaplaincy Certification Board, and she is now a Board Certified Clinical Chaplain and Board Certified Pastoral Counselor.

Donna’s interest in prison came during her first year in seminary when she visited a restorative justice program at San Quentin State Prison. It was during this visit that she decided to pursue restorative justice programming facilitation as her way to make change in the United State’s broken system of mass incarceration. She has been a Spiritual Leader for a Kairos weekend at Dublin FCI – a women’s prison – as well as a sponsor for Kairos and Celebrate Life worship services at Northern Nevada Correctional Center (NNCC) in Carson City, Nevada.

She currently facilitates Houses of Healing, a restorative justice program, in both the California State Prison – Sacramento and NNCC. A hope she has for her future, at NNCC, is to become involved in the Hospice and Palliative Care unit. On the other end of the school-to-prison pipeline is an overwhelming number of aging prisoners who are sick and dying while incarcerated. Donna brings passion and a grassroots volunteer spirit to the prison system in hopes of “releasing the captives” through deep listening, restorative justice programming, and spiritual practices.

Donna feels one of her greatest accomplishments is raising four wonderful children, one of which has brought her the joys of her life, two very beautiful grand-babies.


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