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"


We are not separate from God, from one another, or from the earth. But because we are materially distinct from one another, and because the ambient energy of sin clouds our sight, our felt experience of separation is often very real, with many layers and deep roots. Contemplative prayer slowly but steadily lifts the veils…

Read More


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 >

Read More

Water: Friday

In living out our Christian journey, we all know from experience that this is not one moment of progress and glory, followed by another moment of progress and glory, into the triumph of Christ’s risen life. We know from our hard experience that grace is costly, and there are many moments that call us to die. Baptism is not a once and for all transaction. It is a lifelong covenant that is expressed afresh in so many moments in life, that seemingly have nothing to do with God or church on the surface.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.”

Read More

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.”

Read More