Over the last 25 years, Joy has also been an educator (the Outstanding Young Educator of the USA), counselor, women in development specialist, and manager of international development programs. She has lived and worked in the developing world for organizations such as the Ford Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme, Save the Children, and Child Fund (formerly Christian Children's Fund). She is also on the editorial team for SpiritualityandPractice.com, a multifaith and interspiritual website, devoted to resources for spiritual journeys.
Joy holds an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from Nebraska Wesleyan University, master's degrees in Spiritual Direction from the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church and in counseling psychology from the University of Maryland. She has also done graduate studies in Asian Affairs, women and development, and management at Scarritt College, New York University, and Harvard University. Fifteen years ago Joy had three close encounters with death and has since dedicated her life to spirituality and healing. She is a volunteer for the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, the Central Park Conservancy, and the Broadway Soup Kitchen. She has been trained and is experienced in trauma counseling, grief and bereavement counseling, death and dying, hospice work, healing techniques, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, imagery, and meditation.