Br. Keith Nelson, SSJE

Keith Nelson, SSJE grew up first in New Jersey, then in Alabama. He studied at Kenyon College and Harvard Divinity School. Prior to his arrival at SSJE in 2014, he worked in secondary and adult education, as well as in church administration. He was life professed in 2019, and has served the community as Assistant Superior, Novice Guardian, and director of the Monastic Internship Program. He enjoys drawing and painting, journaling, hiking, spending time with trees, and foraging (a new hobby!).


Learn more about Br. Keith's Catch the Life journey to monastic life >

Selection of Br. Keith's teachings from "Brother, Give Us a Word"


The proud palm branches of last Holy Week are once again reduced to two handfuls of humble ash. This day beckons us again to a lifetime’s work of seeing afresh, seeing clearly, and giving our need to the God who formed us from dust. In that holy confidence and humility, let us begin. Br. Keith…

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The way of Christ equips us with the strength, serenity, healthy detachment and compassion to gaze upon people, places, and things as unconditionally as Jesus. Opening our eyes to the kingdom among us and yet-to-come can help us accept our contradictions even while we long for their integration. -Br. Keith Nelson, SSJE Read More and…

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In every genuine vocation found, God has united a need of the world with a single heart’s deep gladness. -Br. Keith Nelson, SSJE Read More and Comment >

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Selection of Br. Keith's writing

On Time in Navajoland

“So many realities require direct confrontation: the weight of such historic oppression, the ways the white Church has caused or colluded with it, so much suffering. In a place of such woundedness and so many ghosts, I confronted the question: What can I possibly do to help?”

In this heartfelt interview, Br. Keith Nelson shares some of the challenges and inspirations that he gleaned during his time in Navajoland.

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Prayer with Substance

“It is quite easy to heap up empty phrases. In such moments, what hope do we have? For me, it is the Lord’s Prayer.”

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Letter from the Deputy Superior – Advent 2022

“It is humbling to know and feel that we belong: that the threads of our being are woven into a fabric so much bigger than we can comprehend, and all for the fulfillment of God’s purpose.”

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