About the SoL Center

We are celebrating our 20th year of Honoring Sacred Spaces in the San Antonio area!

Join us in exploring the worlds of religion, social justice, peace building, sacred text, ecology and more in a SoL Center class this year. Across SoL Center programming, scholars and professionals share their knowledge and experience on a broad range of topics. They encourage open, respectful discussions and active learning. Persons of all religious backgrounds are welcome to participate. In the twenty years since SoL Center was started (2001), over 10,000 people have enjoyed its enlightening programs.

The SoL (Source of Light) Center at University Presbyterian Church is an interfaith education center for those who seek to encounter the full dimensions of life and faith in the spirit of respectful curiosity.




The SoL Center, overseen by an interfaith board of directors, sponsors both tuition-based courses and free programs throughout the year. The Center is underwritten by the members of University Presbyterian Church, by friends and sponsors throughout the community, by contributors to the SoL Center Endowment funds, and by tuition paid by course participants. Scholarship assistance is available upon request.

The SoL Center is located at University Presbyterian Church, just north of downtown, 300 Bushnell at Shook, adjacent to the Landa Public Library and Trinity University.


The SoL Center came into being as a result of UPC’s decision, in 1996, to build a new education building. Then-Pastor Elizabeth McGregor Simmons and church leaders decided to create an adult continuing education program to serve the greater faith community of San Antonio. Jack Jackson was the first director.

Looking back, it seems almost prophetic that the SoL Center was prepared to open its first season of courses at one of the most challenging moments in recent U.S. history. On September 11, 2001, 20 people who had enrolled in a class on the spiritual aspects of gardening began arriving just as the 9/11 tragedy was unfolding. With images of the imploding World Trade Center Towers dominating television screens, Pastor Simmons led an impromptu prayer service … and then the class went on.

Board of Directors

Syeira Budd
Santanu Das
Deb Field
Dr. Sandy L. Guzman Foster
Shaya Kara

Waheeda Kara, Chair
Kathy Phoenix, DSW, LCSW-S , Vice Chair
Gayle Kipp, Secretary

Dr. Deepti Kharod
Melinda Higgins Louden
Shanette Mitchell
Mehmet Oguz
Dr. Doshie Piper

Andries Coetzee, Pastor, Ex Officio

Dhawn B. Martin, Executive Director, Ex-Officio

Executive Director Dhawn B. Martin, Ph.D.

Dhawn Martin has taught courses in Philosophy and Theology, Civil Engagement, Peace and Power, and Utopias and Dystopias, at Drew University, St. Mary’s University, and Hanover College. Her areas of academic study include political theology and peace-making. She brings a passion for interfaith community building to the SoL Center.