Shann Ray Ferch, M.F.A., Ph.D.

Professor of Leadership Studies; Editor of the International Journal of Servant Leadership

Poet and prose writer Shann Ray Ferch teaches leadership and forgiveness studies at Gonzaga University. Dr. Ferch is the author of a work of leadership and political theory, Forgiveness and Power in the Age of Atrocity: Servant Leadership as a Way of...

Dr. Shann Ferch

Contact Information

Education & Curriculum Vitae

Ph.D., Systems Psychology, University of Alberta, Canada

M.F.A., Poetry and Fiction, Eastern Washington University

M.A., Clinical Psychology, Pepperdine University

B.A., Organizational Communication, Pepperdine University

Courses Taught

DPLS 730 Servant Leadership

DPLS 700 Leadership Theory

DPLS 780 Servant Leadership

DPLS 708 Leadership, Forgiveness, & Restorative Justice

Principles of Research

DPLS 756 Leadership & Psychology

DPLS 799 Leadership and Film

DPLS 730 Proposal Seminar

Poet and prose writer Shann Ray Ferch teaches leadership and forgiveness studies at Gonzaga University. Dr. Ferch is the author of a work of leadership and political theory, Forgiveness and Power in the Age of Atrocity: Servant Leadership as a Way of Life (Rowman & Littlefield), and co-editor of Servant-Leadership, Feminism, and Gender Well-Being (SUNY Press), Servant-Leadership and Forgiveness (SUNY Press), Global Servant-Leadership (Rowman &Littlefield), Conversations on Servant Leadership (SUNY Press), and The Spirit of Servant Leadership (Paulist Press). In his role as professor of leadership studies with the internationally renowned PhD program in Leadership Studies at Gonzaga, he has served as a visiting scholar in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. In addition to his work in leadership studies, he has also taught poetry at Stanford University and the Center for Contemplative Leadership at Princeton Theological Seminary.

His novel, American Copper (Unbridled Press), is a love song to America revealing the life of Evelynne Lowry, a woman who transcends the national myth of regeneration through violence. The novel won the Foreword Book of the Year Readers’ Choice Award and the Western Writers of America Spur Award, and was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award, the High Plains Book Award and the Foreword Book of the Year Award for Literary Fiction.

A former professional basketball player in the German Bundesliga, his collection of stories American Masculine (Graywolf Press) was named a "3 Books Every Man Should Read" selection by Esquire Magazine, and won the American Book Award, the Bakeless Prize, and two High Plains Book Awards, for Best Story Collection and Best First Book. A finalist with Ted Kooser’s Splitting an Order and Erin Belieu’s Slant Six, his book of poems, Balefire (Lost Horse Press), won the High Plains Book Award for Poetry. He is also the author of atomic theory 7: poems to my wife and God (Resource Publications), a collaboration with painter Trinh Mai, Blood Fire Vapor Smoke (Unsolicited Press), stories on healing in the context of toxic masculinity; Transparent in the Backlight (Great Wide Open Publishing), a collaboration with panoramic photographer Craig Hergert; The Great Divide, an audiobook published by McSweeney's; a collection of essays called The Souls of Others (Unsolicited Press); and The Garment of Praise, a libretto. His work has appeared in Poetry, Esquire, Narrative, McSweeney's, Prairie Schooner, Diode, and Salon. He has served as a poetry mentor for the PEN America Prison and Justice Writers Program, as a visiting scholar of leadership and forgiveness for a group Fulbright between Gonzaga University and the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and as a visiting poet in collaboration with painter Makoto Fujimura on a United Nations Sustainable Development Grant entitled Intercultural Dialogues Through the Use of Beauty as a Language of Peace.


Ferch, S. R. (2022). The Souls of Others. Unsolicited Press.

Song, J., Walsh, J., Reynolds, K., Tilghman-Havens, J., Ferch, S. R., & Spears, L. C. (2022). Servant-Leadership, Feminism, and Gender Well-Being: How Leaders Transcend Global Inequities Through Hope, Unity, and Love. State University of New York Press.

Ferch, S. R., & Hergert C.W. (2021). Montana Panoramic: Transparent In The Backlight. Great Wide Open Publishing.

Ferch, S. R. (2020). Atomic Theory 7: Poems to My Wife and God. Resource Publications.

‌Ferch, S. R. (2020). Blood Fire Vapor Smoke. Unsolicited Press.

Song, J., Tran, D. Q., Ferch, S. R., & Spears, L. C. (Eds.). (2020). Servant-leadership and forgiveness: How leaders help heal the heart of the world. SUNY Press.

Mathew, P., Song, J., Ferch, S.R., & Spears, L. C. (2020). Global Servant-Leadership: Wisdom, Love, and Legitimate Power in the Age of Chaos. Rowman & Littlefield.

Ferch, S. R. (2017). The Great Divide (an audiobook). McSweeney's Publishing.

Ferch, S. R., Spears, L. C., Mcfarland, M., & Carey, M. R. (2015). Conversations on servant-leadership: insights on human courage in life and work. Suny Press.

Ferch, S. R. (2015). American Copper. Unbrided Press.

Ferch, S. R. (2014). Balefire. Lost Horse Press.

Ferch, S. R. (2012). Forgiveness and Power in the Age of Atrocity. Rowman & Littlefield.

Ferch, S. R., & Spears L.C. (2011). The Spirit of Servant-Leadership. Paulist Press.

Ferch, S. R. (2011). American Masculine. Graywolf Press.

Dr. Ferch's research focus is on forgiveness, atonement, and grace in every day life, individually and collectively, interpersonally as well as between nation states, and how servant-leadership honors responsibility and self-transcendence across the disciplines.