Introducing ZPI Affiliate: San Francisco Night Ministry

To strengthen our planetary network, ZPI will feature newly affiliated groups.    

Join us here on the Hive to explore some of the offerings of the organizations affiliated with ZPI.



Introducing a new ZPI affiliate group:

San Francisco
Night Ministry

Access to Spiritual Care and a Multi-Faith Community


What is your Mission?

Our mission at San Francisco Night Ministry is to increase access to spiritual care and a multi-faith community at night, on the phones, and on the streets. We do not judge or convert. We offer a loving presence and connect with how people make meaning for themselves.

Where is your organization based?

San Francisco, California, USA.

How many regular members do you serve?   The Ministry primarily serves the unhoused population of the City of San Francisco, whose number varies from week to week.

Tell us a bit about how the group was conceived?

Since 1964, San Francisco Night Ministry has been a friend and ally to the LGBTQA+ community. Many of our own ministers and volunteers are part of the community. To read more about the Ministry’s history, click HERE.

Tell us about one exciting project, retreat, or other offerings that you are currently working on.

We train volunteers to be phone counselors on our Care Line and to do night walks with our night ministers. We also offer Clinical Pastoral Education units to train chaplains as an approved site by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). To learn more, click HERE for information about the volunteer programs, and HERE for information about CPE.

How do the Three Tenets inform your social engagement?

Our entire mission revolves around the counter-cultural offering of a ministry of presence—not knowing (not judging), bearing witness, and compassionately responding—on the streets, on the phones, and at night. Night Ministers mindfully saunter the streets from 10 PM – 4 AM every night of the year. Phone counselors provide deep, loving listening. And our community programs offer multi-faith religious happenings for folks who are marginalized to find services that best comport with their spiritual understanding or tradition.

What is the most meaningful challenge your organization faces?

Balancing the counter-cultural aspect of being a spiritual community and offering chaplaincy with the needs and requirements of being a not-for-profit organization.

Your main website URL:

Main contact: Rev. Trent Thornley, Executive Director, 415-702-7020, email:

Rev. Trent Thornley is the Executive Director and Director of Clinical Pastoral Education at the San Francisco Night Ministry. Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is accredited field training for spiritual care leaders in a clinical context. Trent is a Certified Educator with the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). Trent is an ordained minister in the Metropolitan Community Churches, a progressive Christian denomination with an outreach to the LGBTQ+ community. He is also an ordained Buddhist Dharma Leader in the Nyingma lineage of Anam Thubten and Dharmata Sangha. He holds an M.A. in Buddhist Studies from the Graduation Theological Union and a Certificate in Buddhist Chaplaincy from the Institute of Buddhist Studies. Additionally, Trent is a Certified Professional with the International Enneagram Association. He serves as Secretary of the IEA Board of Directors. In his CPE programs, Trent uses the Enneagram – both the personality and process teachings – when supervising and educating emerging spiritual leaders. Trent maintains the website called Living Enneagram.


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Introducing ZPI Affiliate: San Francisco Night Ministry

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