The daughter of a Greek Orthodox father and an Irish Catholic mother, Rev. Kathryn (Kat) Banakis was raised in Protestant churches throughout the Bible Belt and at a missionary outpost in Hong Kong. She holds a Master's of Divinity from Yale Divinity School and the Institute of Sacred Music, a certificate in Anglican Studies from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, and a BA in religious studies, also from Yale. She's a proud alumna of the Youth Theological Initiative, a former Fund for Theological Education undergraduate fellow, and a board member of The Beatitudes Society, a national progressive Christian leadership organization that equips emerging entrepreneurial faith leaders.
Kat began her career as a federal lobbyist on issues of community development and has also worked in non-profit development and administration. She works for a fundraising consulting firm in Chicago, helping non-profit institutions use data, analytics, and technology to better reach their donors. As Community Connector at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Kat tries to foster relationships within St. Luke’s and to the surrounding community. She is ordained as a priest in The Episcopal Church.
The winner of the Associated Church Press award in first-person writing (2011), Kat’s work has appeared in Split Ticket (Chalice 2009), The Washington Post, Reflections, the Beatitudes Society blog, and several other online and print publications.