Ven. Bup Mee, MSHP, MA, CT, HEC-C
President, Co-Founder, Course Facilitator

Ven. Bup Mee (Kevin Hickey), is a fully ordained Zen Buddhist priest (Bhikkhu) and is President and Co-Founder of The Institute for Contemporary Buddhist Ministry.

Ven. Bup Mee obtained both his Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Oakland University and completed his 2nd Master’s degree in Hospice & Palliative Studies at Madonna University in 2019. Kevin is certified by the Association for Death Education & Counseling in Thanatology, the study of dying, death, and bereavement and is also certified as a Healthcare Ethics Consultant (HEC-C) through the American Society for Bioethics & Humanities (ASBH). Ven. Bup Mee has spent extensive time studying and working in China, Japan, and South Korea.

Ven. Bup Mee is also the manager of Spiritual Care for Beaumont Royal Oak and the manager of Clinical Ethics for Beaumont Health. Ven. Bup Mee joined Beaumont in 2014 and completed his Clinical Pastoral Education residency here in 2016. Ven. Bup Mee has served as the Palliative Care Chaplain since 2015 and previously served as the Interim Director for Spiritual Care in 2019. Ven. Bup Mee directs the “No One Dies Alone” (NODA) volunteer program and has provided end-of-life volunteer training to over 120 people, last year alone.

Ven. Bup Mee holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Foundational Medical Studies at OUWB School of Medicine and also lectures in the Religious Studies Program at Oakland University.

Ven. Bup Mee has been active in the Detroit metropolitan interfaith community, serving as a founding board member and conference organizer for The Institute of Engaged Hospitality and has made several appearances on the local PBS affiliate television program Interfaith Odyssey.

Ven. Bup Mee is passionate and dedicated to innovative and contemporary approaches to Buddhist ministry with a particular focus on the theory and practice of spiritual care, communication and language, inter-religious relationships, and end-of-life dynamics.

Ven. Bup Mee is a professional member of the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), Association of Professional Chaplains (APC), Spiritual Care Association (SCA), The Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education (ACMHE), & Association for Death Education & Counseling (ADEC).

Ven. Hae Won
Provost, Co-Founder, Course Facilitator

Venerable Haewon is a fully ordained Bhikkhu (Buddhist monk) as well as the founder, abbot, and spiritual director of Boundless Buddha Zen Society. He has studied and practiced Korean Seon (Zen) Buddhism since 1997.

He started his journey by studying with Samu Sunim in Chicago. He then went to Korea to practice in Kyol Che at Hwa-Gye Sa Temple in Seoul. It was there that he realized that he wanted to devote his life to the study and practice of the dharma. When he returned from Seoul, he studied and lived at Yuk Jo Sa temple in Berkeley California under the guidance of Ven. Hyunoong Sunim. (Hyunoong Sunim is a Korean Zen master as well as a Taoist Master born in South Korea. He is a Dharma heir of Seon (Zen) Master Ku San Sunim.)

Venerable Haewon then went to stay in Korea with Hyunoong Sunim at a temple that he had just established to study and practice as a novice monk. In 2008, he was introduced to the Taego order and the Ven. Dr. Jongmae Park.

Venerable Haewon is in graduate school working on his Masters In Divinity with plans to do chaplaincy/pastoral care work in the St.Louis area. Venerable also serves on the cabinet & board of directors for the Interfaith Partnership of Greater St.Louis.


Karen Nelson Villanueva, Ph.D
Course Facilitator, ICBM Board Member

Karen Nelson Villanueva, Ph.D. is Faculty at the Institute for Contemporary Buddhist Ministry, and a Lecturer at Holy Names University in the Humanities program, Central Michigan University in the Religious Studies program, and California Institute of Integral Studies in the Consciousness & Transformation and Women’s Spirituality programs.

She is an Interfaith Chaplain at San Francisco General Hospital and volunteers with the No-One-Dies-Alone program at Laguna Honda Hospital. As a Vajrayana Buddhist practitioner, she has led Buddhist ritual and meditation at the Tse Chen Ling Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies. Her dissertation, "Invoking the Blessings of the Tibetan Buddhist Goddess Tara Through Chanting Her Mantra to Overcome Fear," explores the effects of chanting mantra with contemporary Western practitioners at an urban Buddhist meditation center.


Experts who help to develop, revise, and improve the ICBM curriculum and overall strategy.

Michael Rochelle, Jr.

Michael Rochelle, Jr. is a Project Director at the Center for Social Development (CSD), an applied research center at George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. Michael leads CSD’s Financial Capability and Asset Building (FCAB) Initiative. FCAB is a professional education initiative focused on increasing the capacity of social work and human service professionals to help individuals, families, and communities build financial security and generate policy and program solutions.  

Michael is a co-author of CSD’s FCAB Curriculum for Professional Education- a post-secondary curriculum for social workers and human service professionals- and oversees its pilot implementation and evaluation at social work programs across the U.S. Prior to joining CSD, Michael worked in commercial finance, where he was responsible for the operations and personnel management of three banking centers. Michael holds a BS in Business Administration from Hampton University and a Master's Degree in Applied Economics from the University of Michigan.


Respected and experienced religious teachers, scholars, and professionals who affirm and support the ICBM mission and program.

Ven. Jaguang

Jaguang Sunim began her zen practice in 1975 as a resident of a small Korean zen center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In 1978 she traveled to South Korea to train under Zen Master Kusan Sunim in Songwangsa Monastery, joining the Bulil International community. From 1986 through 2010 she worked with and studied under Ven. Hyunoong Sunim, a Korean zen monk and disciple of Master Kusan Sunim. Together they established zen centers in Vancouver, BC, Seattle WA, and, from 1991 to 2010, in Berkeley CA. During these years she served as Ven. Hyunoong Sunim’s translator for his dharma talks, and during the zen retreats which they conducted together in various locations around the USA.

Late in 2014 she returned to the San Francisco Bay Area to reopen the doors of the zen center. The Sixth Ancestor Temple in Seoul and the Sixth Ancestor Zen Center in Oakland CA are sister temples.

Dr. Charles Mabee, PhD, MDiv

Dr. Charles Mabee, an ordained Presbyterian minister; and professor of biblical studies and inter-religious dialogue, holds a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate School in Religion and the Master of Divinity (Mdiv) from Dubuque Theological Seminary. Previously, he held teaching and administrative positions at Radford University, Marshall University, Oakland University, and the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, MI.

He has authored two books on biblical interpretation in the American context. He co-founded the Colloquium on Violence and Religion; an international organization founded on the study of the mimetic theory of social interaction based on the thought of Rene Girard. His current research interests include theology of peace/post-apocalyptic theology, and the development of a new inter-religious grammar.

Dr. David Zuniga, PhD

Dr. David Zuniga completed his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology focusing on the intersections of mindfulness and psychology. In addition to his doctoral studies, he earned a Masters degree from Harvard focusing on mindfulness-related forms of meditation and philosophy. Dr. Zuniga also holds a Masters degree in literature and incorporates an interdisciplinary approach to his therapeutic work.

Prior to his current therapy practice, Dr. Zuniga was ordained as a Zen priest in South Korea, and worked for over a decade in pediatric and adult oncology and end-of-life healthcare. These experiences as a hospice worker and Zen priest inspired him to become a psychologist. Dr. Zuniga has extensive experience in assisting clients in a variety of areas, such as depression, anxiety, relationship issues, grief, GLBT concerns, and life transitions. He is certified in mindfulness and wellness and has provided hundreds of customized mindfulness-based stress reduction seminars in a wide range of settings such as hospitals, businesses, universities, and wellness retreats.

Dr. Zuniga is a Licensed Psychologist. He offers individual and couples counseling, consulting, and related services. A frequently sought-after speaker, he speaks internationally and has been interviewed by media outlets such as Public Radio International, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, Clear Channel Radio Network, and The Harvard Divinity School Ministerial Studies magazine. Dr. Zuniga has numerous publications; in addition to his therapy practice, he is currently completing a book on mindfulness and end-of-life care for Wisdom Publications.

Affiliated Organizations

ICBM is a proud partner and affiliate of the following organizations.

Boundless Buddha Zen Society

Boundless Buddha Zen Society is a Western Buddhist community dedicated to teaching and cultivating the path of Awakening through Korean Rinzai Zen (Ganwha Seon) according to the teachings of the great Master Kusan Sunim. It is our mission to offer space for Zen practice to the region. Our hope is that by engaging the community and providing practice places for awakening, more people will begin to realize the many benefits of beginning and continuing a Zen meditation practice. It is our hope that once the practitioner recognizes the enrichment found in the practice, they will help to enrich the lives of all beings.

We strive to make the teachings and practice of Zen more accessible and approachable to a modern-day western mindset, without sacrificing the wisdom of the Zen masters that have been handed down to us through this incredible tradition. We focus more on the Zen practice of awakening, rather than being tied to very specific forms and protocols.