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 paradox of God’s simultaneous beyondness and nearness takes concrete flesh for us in the person of Jesus. God is not only enthroned above the flood, but a fellow passenger in the boat.-Br. Keith Nelson, SSJERead More and Comment >

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Emmanuel, God-with-us, has always been God’s nature. But the human birth of Jesus reveals that with-ness in an unprecedented way in his Incarnation. He is born of our flesh so that we can be born of his Spirit. Br. Keith Nelson, SSJE Read More and Comment >

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Just as we are called to celebrate the work of salvation accomplished in and through Christ, we are called to celebrate the slow and often undramatic work by which God is restoring all things. -Br. Keith Nelson, SSJE Read More and Comment >

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Selection of Br. Keith's writing

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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A Heart of Flesh in Place of Stone: God-with-us in the Midst of Climate Grief

“What if the awakening of our conscience to profound new layers of the world’s pain is a sign – not of God’s absence, but of the Spirit of God excavating strata of our personhood and our collective attention that we are now called to engage? And what if the path of grief thus sensed could become a sober and conscious choice – claimed and lived, come what may, as the cost of our full becoming?”

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