The Institute for Conscious Being was founded in 2012 to promote living in spiritual consciousness by Dr. Joe Howell and Lark Howell.

Dr. Joseph Benton Howell, Founder
The founder of the Institute of Conscious Being is Joseph Benton Howell Ph.D. is a graduate of Samford University   (B.A.1971), Yale Divinity School (MAR 1974), The University of Virginia (Ph.D.1978), and Fellow in Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School (1978-79). He is an International Enneagram Association (IEA) Accredited Professional.

Dr. Howell has been practicing Clinical Psychology since 1980 in Anniston, Alabama. He began teaching topics in spiritual development in the late eighties and has traveled extensively presenting conferences and seminars in such disciplines as dream work, the Enneagram, levels of spiritual development, techniques in spiritual direc

tion, and the theology of Henri Nouwen, Joe’s mentor at Yale Divinity School.

Aided by his wife, Lark Dill Howell who presents her own topics at conferences, Joe is in demand as a conference presenter all over the country. His book, Becoming Conscious: The Enneagram’s Forgotten Passageway  is a ground-breaker in the area of consciousness achievement through the ancient Enneagram. Over a lifetime of treating patients and teaching spirituality, Joe

 has vast experience in psychology and spiritual growth and change. Through the years, he and Lark have undergone their own spiritual transformations that were brought about by the implementation of the spiritual consciousness of which they teach. Joe wants to share this accumulated knowledge and years of study across many disciplines.

He also brings to the Institute other experienced teachers who are interested in teaching vital areas of spiritual consciousness and transformation. This way, even more people can be aware of this knowledge, more students can be trained as teachers to pass on this wisdom, consciousness can be raised, human suffering can be diminished and healing can occur in the individual as well as in the collective.

Lark Howell, Co-Founder / Retreat Coordinator is a native of Anniston, Alabama where she attends Grace Episcopal Church. She has served on two vestries, the Altar Guild and the Healing Ministry. Participating as a Eucharistic Minister has been most rewarding as well as participating in the Preservation Committee for historic Grace Church. She is a past chairman of the Alabama Diocesan Commission on Spirituality, and since 2007, Lark has been the Coordinator of the annual Liturgical Arts Conference (FACE) at Kanuga Conferences. Her leisure time is filled with creative activities such as needlework, photography and flower arranging. Lark is married to Joe, her favorite husband for more than 40 years and they live with their 2 pampered cocker spaniels. For many years she spent her time being mother to Ben and Lauren, volunteering for local organizations and managing Joe’s private practice office. Today Lark finds meaning and purpose helping in the creation and administration of The Institute For Conscious Being. “This work and the study of the Enneagram has shown me a pathway to transformation and given me a chance for healing and wholeness. Passing along this wisdom to others is now my life’s work.”


The Reverend John Adams is a graduate of Mercer University (Macon, Ga.) and Midwestern Seminary (Kansas City, Mo). He was first introduced to the Enneagram in 2009, receiving his first Enneagram Certification with Dr. Jerome Wagner of Loyola University in Chicago. His goal is to live authentically, using the benefit of the Enneagram for his own life relationships and his own personal spiritual growth.  In pursuit of this goal, he received his second Enneagram Certification with Dr. Joe Howell in 2013.  He is a strong advocate for the Enneagram’s potential for others both personally and professionally and uses the Enneagram in his practice as a Professional Life Coach and as a member of the ICB Senior Faculty.

John’s credentials as a coach include the International Coaching Federation (ACC/ICF) and the Center for Credentialing and Education (BCC). Before retirement, John served as Director of the Turner Ministry Resource Center, a division of the Pastoral Institute (Columbus, Ga.), working primarily with clergy and congregational care. An ordained minister, John has served both urban and rural congregations.  His background includes serving as a pastoral counselor, family life educator, and consultant. John briefly served as a Hospital Chaplain following his training in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE-Advanced). He leads workshops and retreats on the use of the Enneagram for staff development and team building for clergy, lay leaders, and congregations.  John is married to Beth Adams, a retired educator, and they find special joy in travel and in their three above average grandchildren!

Roger Conville
Born and reared in Birmingham, Roger Conville learned a love of fishing and nature from his dad and older brother. He graduated from the University of Montevallo and was in business for 25 years until he co-founded the Black Warrior Riverkeepers and took up the cause of international water conservation. Fiancé of Barbara Sloan, Roger has two grown daughters, one grandson and another on the way. He is now in real estate. Having studied the Enneagram with the Howells for years, he joined ICB’s certification class for formal training in February 2017.

Brigid Elsken Galloway is a writer and writing instructor who has reported for NPR’s All Things Considered and Marketplace. She was previously an editor for Time Inc. and advertising director at Turner Network Television. She is currently a senior writer with an international patient advocacy company. As such, she help empower people with chronic and rare diseases to write and share their stories. As a member of ICB’s faculty, Brigid shares her writing techniques as a means for spiritual discernment.

After years of seeking, Brigid found harmony in her spiritual practice by combining Buddhist philosophy and 12-Step principles with her Catholic upbringing. While attending ICB’s first Kanuga conference in 2012, Dr. Howell’s lecture on the Soul Child resonated with her and she began to delve into ways to use this knowledge to inform every aspect of her life. She was invited to join ICB’s faculty in 2013. “The Enneagram is the perfect companion to 12-Step work and Buddhist study,” she says. “All three practices involve the letting go of ego or self in order to achieve greater awareness and compassion.” In addition to presenting lectures on Ennegram principles, and mindfulness and meditation practices, Brigid also manages ICB’s communications and digital media.

A native of the south, she lives in Birmingham, Ala. with her fiancee, Jason Haessly and son, Jack. Brigid is the author of The Nature of Things, a collection of stories and writing meditations based on her spiritual journey, and chronicles her insights about parenting, relationships and everyday experiences in her blog Adventures of a Southern-Buddhist Catholic.

Jason Haessly grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, but has lived in Birmingham, Ala. for more than 20 years. An RN, he joined the Cardiovascular ICU team at Brookwood Hospital five years ago. “The decisions we make in a critical care setting have life and death consequences, and that definitely influences my perspective in other areas of my life,” he says. He now manages patient education and heads up the ICU’s effort to promote and support healthier lifestyles for patients after surgery.

Jason is a graduate of ICB’s September, 2017certification class. He joined ICB’s faculty in October, 2017 where he uses his skills as an instructor and moderator to lecture and lead discussion groups. He recently launched the Enneagram Awakenings pilot study group in Birmingham, Ala. and is a contributor to ICB’s Enneagram blog.

Erika Jobes
Erika Jobes grew up in Birmingham, Ala. A natural athlete, she loved playing sports and being with her friends and her dog. She received her BSN in nursing from the University of Alabama and went onto receive her MSN as a Family Nurse Practitioner. After 10 years in healthcare, she got her MBA and joined her husband, Jon, in his landscape business. She and Jon became intrigued with the Enneagram three years ago after a colleague shared his knowledge with them. Determined that it would help them with all their relationships, Erika began reading all she could find on the subject and eventually met Joe Howell. She and Jon now use the principles they’ve learned through their work in ICB’s certification in their everyday lives and to help manage their 50+ employees.  “As an Ego Type 8, when I return to my essence I’m a servant leader and a very compassionate, nurturing person,” she says. “When I apply that in our business, our retention rates go up. Our turn-over rates go down. My relationships with our team members, customers and vendors, completely changed.”

Jon Jobes
Jon Jobes is a native of Birmingham, Ala. where he grew up building forts, exploring the woods, climbing trees and (occasionally) setting things on fire. His love of the outdoors led him to study landscape design, horticulture and contracting. He and his wife (and high school sweetheart) Erika Jobes now own and manage NatureScape, Inc. Jon is father of active two boys who keep his love of Star Wars and soccer alive, and inspire him to remain present. Jon and Erika have learned to use Enneagram within their relationships and as a management tool in their business. “The hardest thing for me to learn and understand about consciousness is not about ‘doing’ but about ‘being,’” Jon says. “You cannot force it. It just happens on its own and you do not even know it until after the fact when you look back. It is an awe inspiring experience — if you are ready for it.”

Daniel L. Miller
Dan is a “recovering” Ego Type 7—thus his professional and spiritual journeys are multi-faceted. His roots are from his childhood in the protestant corn fields of Indiana. He has used his music training as an avocation in various religious settings directing worship, choirs and handbells as well as, organist for a variety of denominations. He has often served as Interpreter for the Deaf. Dan went on a Walk to Emmaus in the early ’80’s and thus began a focused journey of spiritual seeking that included completing and serving as a Team Member for The Upper Room Academy for Spiritual Formation and later certification in Spiritual Direction. Dan is currently the Prior of the Community of the Mantle, a dispersed monastic community. He is the former Director of the Pond House Retreat Center—a place of spiritual rest and healing near Talladega. Since completing the first advanced training class of the Enneagram, Dan joined the faculty and serves on the ICB executive committee.

Melanie Rodgers
Melanie Rodgers is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree. Throughout her career, she has blended together her love of teaching and performing, as well as providing music for therapeutic and praise/worship purposes. As a freelance orchestral musician, Melanie has performed in the viola sections of regional orchestras throughout the North and Southeastern states, including the Pittsburgh Ballet & Opera Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony, and Alabama Symphony. For six seasons, she served as principle violist of the Huntsville Symphony in Huntsville, Alabama. Currently, Melanie is on the faculty of Birmingham Southern College’s Conservatory of Fine and Performing Arts as a violin, fiddle, and viola instructor. She provided music at ICB’s Kanuga Conferences events since 2011. She is a graduate of the ICB class of 2015.

Barbara Sloan
Barbara Sloan is the development director for Camp Winnataska, a place where she learned at an early age about the four dimensions of a human being: spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical. A graduate of the University of Montevallo with a double major in Art and English, she got her master’s degree in Literature with a thesis in medieval arts at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Barbara is a visual artist, playwright, and non-fiction writer whose book, Barefoot Among the Thorns  tells the story of dance in Birmingham. For over two decades, she served as professor of theatre and staff costume designer at Samford University, and she has designed costumes and scenery for over 250 productions. From 2001-2007, she was the Creative Director of the American Village, and then the Executive Director of The Seasoned Performers, Alabama’s only senior adult acting company (2007-2013). Barbara is a graduate of Education for Ministry (EfM). Certified by The Institute for Conscious Being in the Spirituality of the Enneagram in 2013, she now serves on the faculty of ICB.

Adjunct Faculty

ICB Adjunct Faculty members have completed the Certification training in the Spirituality of the Enneagram or are esteemed experts in their field who share their knowledge with our students and participants at conferences and training sessions.

Beverly Casey
Beverly Casey earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations from The University of Alabama and is completing a master’s in humanistic psychology from the University of West Georgia. Beverly and her husband, Patrick, are parents to two amazing kids and work together in the family business. Beverly has worked in the private sector in public relations and management consulting over the course of her career, as well as owning and operating a retail business. She is active in her community and church, and loves performing in local theater. She is a graduate of the ICB class of 2013. “Understanding my own fears and the true source of them has been a liberating experience,” she says. “The Enneagram has given me the tools that along with my spiritual life in Christ have made my existence meaningful and full of the joy that God intended for us all to harbor.” Beverly shares how she applies the wisdom of the Enneagram to family life in popular ICB workshops and lectures.

Melinda Hawkins
Melinda Hawkins grew up in Mobile, Ala. playing outdoors, swinging, checking on morning glories, playing dolls and making her clubhouse in the trees. She was a high school English teacher, guidance counselor, AP Director and English Dept. Chair. She has been married for 44 years and has three children and five grandchildren. Melinda began study of the Enneagram at the ICB Conference at Beecken Center in April, 2016, and decided to enroll in ICB’s certification program. “The Enneagram has made me more compassionate because I now see everyone as originating from an essence, sustaining a wound, and adopting a coping mechanism,” she says. “My gratitude for God’s limitless grace continues to grow.”

Denise White was first introduced to the Enneagram after being given a copy of Dr. Joseph Howell’s book Becoming Conscious: The Enneagram’s Forgotten Passageway. As she began to read, the answers to so many questions in her life began to be revealed through the wisdom of this ancient spiritual mapping tool. Denise had recently retired from a Civil Service career as a Management and Program Analyst from the Defense Logistics Agency and knew that this information had came into her life through the perfect timing of God and through His Divine Plan. A graduate of Jacksonville State University, she holds both a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Public Administration Degree. Denise is also a graduate of the Institute for Conscious Being and certified in Conscious Being through the Spirituality of the Enneagram. The knowledge and insights gained through the wisdom of the Enneagram have led her to a deeper faith in her daily walk with God. As an Ego Type One, she now understands the One’s Holy Idea of Holy Growth and Holy Perfection and sees God’s perfection inherent in all beings. She and her husband reside in Anniston, Alabama where she spends time volunteering within her community.

ICB Administrative Staff

Brenda Jones
Since Brenda Jones began studying the Enneagram, it has helped her become stronger and more flexible to change. “Because of this study my relationships are flowing better and are not so restrictive,” she says. “As I have moved around the hexad, I see that this study has opened my world to incredible new experiences.” She graduated from ICB’s Certification program in 2015. Brenda grew up in Anniston, Ala., where she still lives today.  She is a member of Highlands Church in Birmingham, Ala. Retired from the Army Department of Civil Service, she enjoys spending time with her three children and five grandchildren. As an Ego Type Two, Brenda aspires to practice moving around the hexad in her professional life to see where changes will lead.