Presence is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes thought-provoking articles addressing topics of interest to spiritual directors.
Rev. Dr. Lauren Artress
San Francisco, California, USA
The Reverend Dr. Lauren Artress is author of Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Practice, The Sand Labyrinth Kit and The Sacred Path Companion: A Guide to Walking the Labyrinth to Heal and Transform. She serves as a Canon at Grace Cathedral and is Founder of Veriditas a non-profit dedicated to introduce people the healing, meditative powers of the labyrinth. She travels worldwide offering workshops and lectures on Hildegard of Bingen and on the labyrinth including a yearly program in Chartres, France. In addition to being an Episcopal priest she is a spiritual director and licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the State of California.
Dr. Wilkie W. Au, PhD
Redondo Beach, California, USA
Wilkie Au, PhD, Professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University teaches in the area of Christian spirituality and coordinates the graduate concentration in spiritual direction. He is the author of five books on Christian spirituality, three of which have received awards: By Way of the Heart: Toward a Holistic Spirituality, The Enduring Heart: Spirituality for the Long Haul and The Discerning Heart: Exploring the Christian Path. His (with Jungian analyst Noreen Au) Urgings of the Heart: A Spirituality of Integration blends the insights of depth psychology with Christian spirituality and their The Grateful Heart: Living the Christian Message relies on the findings of Positive Psychology to delineate a spirituality of gratitude. Dr. Au has served as a member of editorial boards for scholarly journals and is a leader in the field of spirituality and formation for spiritual direction and pastoral ministry.
Rev. Canon Peter W. Ball
Ramsbury, Wiltshire, England
Peter Ball has an active retirement ministry and service offering spiritual direction, leading retreats and training workshops, and also helping out with services in the churches around Ramsbury where he lives. Work in four parishes in the London Diocese led to his final appointment as Canon Chancellor at Saint Paul’s Cathedral. His books include Journey into Faith, Adult Believing and Faith on the Way (on the Catechumenate as a way to accompany people into faith and Christian initiation) and Anglican Spiritual Direction and Introducing Spiritual Direction. He is a member of Spiritual Directors International and of Spiritual Directors–Europe. His wife Angela died in 2004. Peter has two daughters and a son and nine grandchildren. Among his many interests are music, playing bass clarinet in a wind band; painting and drawing; foreign travel, and his home and garden.
Rev. William A. Barry, SJ, PhD
Weston, Massachusetts, USA
William A. Barry, SJ, was born in 1930 and has been a Jesuit for sixty-two years and a priest for fifty. He earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan in 1968. He has taught at the University of Michigan, Weston Jesuit School of Theology and Boston College and engaged in administrative work in the Society of Jesus. While teaching at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge he co-founded with 5 other Jesuits the Center for Religious Development, one of the first training centers for spiritual direction. With William J. Connolly, SJ, he wrote The Practice of Spiritual Direction, now in its second edition, which has been translated into at least 10 languages. He is the author or co-author of twenty books. At present he gives retreats and spiritual direction at Campion Renewal Center, Weston, MA, USA, and elsewhere.
Aldinga Beach, South Australia, Australia
Philip Carter is a retired Anglican Priest in South Australia. His ministry and service has included founding the Julian Centre, an independent and ecumenical Spirituality Centre in Adelaide (1997-2006). He was the Inaugural President of the Australian Ecumenical Council for Spiritual Direction from 2006-2009.
Mary Ann Clifford Rodriguez, RSM
Mary Ann Clifford Rodriguez, RSM, is a Sister of Mercy and received an MTS from the Franciscan School of Theology. She ministered in Peru with the Aymara people during the 1980s and 1990s. Since 2000, she has worked with Mercy Center in Burlingame, California, USA. She has worked with teams in preparation of Acompañantes Espirituales in California, Texas, Ecuador, Guatemala, Argentina, Guyana, and Trinidad. Since 2011, Mary Ann has continued this ministry from Guyana.
Rev. Jill Hawk Clupper
Tulsa, Okalahoma, USA
Reverend Jill Clupper is Executive Director of The Sojourn Institute for Spiritual Formation, Inc. in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, a non-profit center for spiritual direction and training. She is a 1995 Graduate of Phillips Theological Seminary and an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church and received her certification in spiritual direction from HeartPaths Training Centre for Spiritual Direction, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA in 1999. She is a member of Spiritual Directors International and has served on the review board of Presence since 2006.
Rebecca Damron, PhD
Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA
Rebecca Damron, PhD, is as Associate Professor of English at Oklahoma State University. She is a graduate and faculty member of HeartPaths Spirituality Centre.
Rev. Dr. Joseph D. Driskill, PhD
London, Ontario, Canada
Joseph Driskill is Professor Emeritus of Spirituality at Pacific School of Religion and Dean Emeritus of the Disciples Seminary Foundation, Berkeley, California, USA. He holds ministerial standing (retired) with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the USA and Canada and the United Church of Canada. His interests include Protestant Spirituality, contemplative prayer, and spiritually informed pastoral care. Selected publications include: Protestant Spiritual Practices: Theology, History and Practice (1999); Ethics and Spiritual Care, co-authored with Karen Labacqz (2000); “Exploring ‘White’ Identity Formation in Pastoral Care and Counseling Training,” in American Journal of Pastoral Counseling (2003); “The Progressive Face of Mainline Protestant Spirituality,” in Four Views on Christian Spirituality (2012).
Sue Dunbar, BSc, DipEd, MA
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Sue Dunbar is the Director of Barnabas Ministries Inc., an ecumenical agency offering spiritual care and nourishment for those on the journey of faith both as individuals and groups. She trained in spiritual formation at the Institute for Spiritual Leadership, Chicago, becoming a staff member there while completing a master’s degree in spirituality at Loyola University. Dunbar has a strong commitment to training spiritual directors and is currently the director of three training programs with residential in different parts of Australia. This is in addition to her work as a spiritual director, supervisor and retreat/workshop leader.
The Rev. Tilden Edwards, PhD
Bethesda, Maryland, USA
The Rev. Tilden Edwards, PhD, is the Founder and Senior Fellow of Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, in Washington, DC, USA, and the executive director of Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation from its inception in 1973 until 2000. Over the years he has designed and led many ecumenical extension programs for spiritual leaders, as well as many ecumenical and denominational workshops, retreats, and lectures across the United States, in Korea, Canada, and South Africa. Edwards is author or editor of eight books as well as articles in various periodicals. He holds an MDiv from Harvard Divinity School, a PhD from the Union Graduate Institute, and an honorary Doctor in Divinity from the Virginia Theological Seminary. He was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1962. He is married to Mary Jane Edwards, a clinical social worker, and he has three grown children and three grandsons.
Rev. Dr. Bob Gardenhire, III
Eufaula, Oklahoma, USA
Dr. Bob Gardenhire III, an ordained United Methodist minister, is the founder and director of the HeartPaths Spirituality Centre of Oklahoma City/Dallas/Fort Worth where he has been training spiritual directors since 1982. He was a member of the founding editorial board of Presence and past president and member of the Coordinating Council of SDI.
Rev. Dr. Douglas H. Gregg
Springdale, Utah, USA
Rev. Douglas H. Gregg, PhD, is an ordained Presbyterian minister and consultant to pastors and churches in areas of prayer, spiritual formation, and spiritual direction. He is president and co-director of Christian Formation & Direction Ministries (CFDM). He also serves alongside his wife, Catherine, an ordained Episcopal Priest, as Associate Pastor at Grace Episcopal Church in Saint George, Utah, USA. He is a certified spiritual director, supervises other directors, and guides the Certificate programs in Christian Formation & Spiritual Direction for CFDM. Doug loves to hike and explore the wilderness and has a special love for the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California and Nevada, USA; and he has thirty years of experience as a stained glass artist. But, most of all, he loves working alongside his wife Catherine—at church, with CFDM, and with their six children and seven grandchildren.
Rev. Canon Douglas S. Hardy, PhD
Leawood, Kansas, USA
Douglas S. Hardy grew up in New Brunswick, Canada where he received spiritual guidance from several adults in his home church before leaving for studies in the United States. His PhD from Boston University in psychology of religion focused on the interface between Christian spiritual direction practice and psychoanalytic object relations theory. An ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene and drawing on the Wesleyan and Ignatian theological and spiritual traditions, Doug’s fundamental calling is to come alongside others to help facilitate their alignment with God. He has done this in parish pastoral ministry, by providing spiritual direction and leading retreats, and as a professor, currently serving as Professor of Spiritual Formation and Director of the Doctor of Ministry program at Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Kansas, USA. He has published articles and reviews for scholarly and trade journals, and contributed chapters to several books.
Dr. Wil Hernandez
Pasadena, California, USA
Wil Hernandez, PhD, Obl, OSB, was born and raised in the Philippines. Prior to coming to the United States for graduate studies, he served full-time with an international, interdenominational parachurch organization for eighteen years. He graduated with a PhD in practical theology with a concentration in spirituality in 2005 at Fuller Theological Seminary, with additional summer studies at the University of Notre Dame and Loyola Marymount University. A trained counselor and a certified spiritual director, Wil devotes a big part of his time “companioning” others on their spiritual journey, aside from teaching courses and conducting retreats and seminars focusing on the spirituality of Henri Nouwen in both Catholic and Protestant institutions across the United States and abroad. A Benedictine Oblate of Saint Andrew’s Abbey in Valyermo, CA, USA, Wil also serves as a lector and lay Eucharistic minister at St. James Episcopal Church in South Pasadena, CA, USA.
Rev. Dr. Dwight H. Judy, PhD
Syracuse, Illinois, USA
Dwight H. Judy, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Formation and founder of the Rueben Job Institute for Spiritual Formation at Garrett-Evangelical Seminary in Evanston, IL, USA. He has served as a parish pastor in the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, a retreat leader, faculty member for the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and for the Academy for Spiritual Formation. His professional affiliations include Spiritual Directors International, American Association of Pastoral Counselors, and Hearts on Fire: Fellowship of United Methodist Spiritual Directors and Retreat Leaders. Dwight received his BA degree from Southern Methodist University, his MTh from Perkins School of Theology, and his PhD from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. His books include A Quiet Pentecost: Inviting the Spirit into Congregational Life; Discerning Life Transitions: Listening Together in Spiritual Direction; Christian Meditation and Inner Healing; Embracing God: Praying with Teresa of Avila; and Healing the Male Soul: Christianity and the Mythic Journey.
James Keegan, SJ
Weston, Massachusetts, USA
James Keegan is a Jesuit priest of the New England Province. His major interests are doing spiritual direction and directed retreats, and training and supervising directors. Jim is a graduate of the Center for Religious Development in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and was the first graduate to work full time on that staff—from 1985 to 1989. In Louisville, Kentucky, USA, from 1990 to 2001, he was part of the team of the Archdiocesan Office of Ministry and Spirituality. In 2002 he returned to Massachusetts as director at Eastern Point Retreat House in Gloucester. He is currently doing spiritual direction and supervision for the Jesuit Collaborative in Cambridge. Jim has been a member of the Coordinating Council of Spiritual Directors International and was part of the editorial board that founded the journal Presence.
Dr. Valerie A. Lesniak, PhD
Seattle, Washington, USA
Valerie Lesniak, PhD, is Associate Professor of Spirituality and Director of Formation at Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry. She teaches in the area of contemporary spirituality including courses in the art and practice of spiritual direction. She did her doctoral studies in spirituality at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, USA. She has taught in various places including GTU in Berkeley, University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Heythrop College in London, England. She has lectured nationally and internationally. She has served as a spiritual director and retreat leader for over twenty years. She researches and writes in the areas of mysticism, transformation, interreligious spiritualities, spiritual formation and development. She enjoys travel, poetry, good novels, the arts, and exploring the natural world.
Fr. Matthew Linn, SJ
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Fr. Matthew Linn, SJ (as a team with Dennis and Sheila Linn) has focused on integrating physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. He is a member of the Association of Christian Therapists with advanced graduate degrees in sociology, anthropology, spirituality, and theology. Since 1970 he has given courses and retreats in over 60 countries from Alaska to Australia. Ordained in 1973, he currently lives in a Jesuit community in Minneapolis where he trains spiritual directors at Sacred Ground and serves on the editorial board of Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction. Matt, Dennis, and Sheila have written twenty-two books translated in over twenty languages, and with over a million copies in English.
Carol Ludwig, MA, ABD
Vero Beach, Florida, USA
Carol Ludwig, Executive Director of the Center for Spiritual Care in Vero Beach, Florida, USA has been offering spiritual direction for almost twenty-five years. She served on Spiritual Directors International’s Coordinating Council from 2001-2007. She also has submitted articles, interviews, and book reviews to Presence. Carol, an adjunct teacher in past Loyola University (NO), Sacred Heart University's spiritual direction formation programs, and the Shalem Institute’s Personal Spiritual Deepening Program, has taught in the Audire Spiritual Direction training program in Winter Park, FL, USA since 1999. A career diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service before her retirement, Carol has lived for extended periods in Tokyo, Kyoto, Rome, Mexico City and Manila. She holds a Master's degree from the University of Dayton and completed doctoral studies in international communications and international relations at the American University in Washington, DC, USA.
Rev. Jill Manton
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
During the 1990s, Jill was the founding Director of the Wellspring Centre, an ecumenical spirituality centre in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and she established and taught the Spiritual Formation Program at Whitley College. With her background in parish ministry, interfaith dialogue, and spiritual formation of ordination candidates and spiritual directors, she has been extensively involved in teaching and in conducting seminars, workshops and retreats for over two decades. She has participated as a plenary session speaker at national and international conferences and has held leadership roles at local, state and federal levels including positions with the Australian Ecumenical Council for Spiritual Direction and the Victorian State Executive of the Council of Christians and Jews. Now in semi-retirement, Jill continues to teach in formation and professional development programs for spiritual directors. Jill is passionate about peace and reconciliation, social justice and protection of the environment.
Diane M. Millis, PhD
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Diane M. Millis, PhD, is an educator and spiritual director whose passion is companioning people as their hearts awaken through contemplative conversations. Through her teaching and retreat ministries, she cultivates conditions for persons of all ages and faith backgrounds to participate in dialogue, discovery, and discernment. Diane is the author of Deepening Engagement (2015) and Conversation—The Sacred Art (2013). In 2012, she was invited by the Spiritual Directors International leadership to design and launch the New Contemplatives Initiative for emerging spiritual companions in the first half of life. Diane brings to her ministry over twenty-five years of teaching and consulting experience in the fields of communication studies, human development, and spiritual formation.
Sr. Jung Eun Sophia Park, SNJM
Alameda, California, USA
Sr. Jug Eun Sophia Park was born in South Korea, practicing various religions such as Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. After joining a contemplative religious community, Park came to the United States to study Christian Spirituality. Her immigrant experience in the USA has influenced her identity as a cross-cultural spiritual director, as well as a scholar of spirituality. She studied and researched spiritual direction ministry and service, stressing the issues of culture and power. Park brings a strong sense of justice and culture in the context of spiritual direction. Her vision for SDI is to deepen international identity in the global context. In her own words, "When we approach cross-cultural or international direction, we have to keep in mind the danger of being superficial, touristic, and western-centered."
Dr. Susan S. Phillips, PhD
Piedmont, California, USA
Susan S. Phillips, PhD, is executive director of New College Berkeley, an affiliate of the Graduate Theological Union dedicated to Christian education and spiritual formation for everyday life. Susan is a sociologist, and much of her writing and teaching relate to the sociology of care. Susan is also a trained spiritual director and author of Candlelight: Illuminating the Art of Spiritual Direction. She works with individuals and groups, teaches, leads retreats, and writes in the field, serves as supervisor for spiritual directors, and has lectured about Christian spirituality in many parts of the world. In addition to teaching for New College Berkeley, she is a member of the faculty of the Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction program at San Francisco Theological Seminary and regularly teaches courses in spiritual theology at Fuller Theological Seminary and Regent College.
Dr. Michael Plattig, OCARM
Michael Plattig is a Carmelite priest who holds a doctorate in theology from the University of Vienna and a doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Berlin. He is a professor for spirituality at the faculty of the Capuchins in Muenster, the director of the Institute for Spirituality, and leads a formation program for spiritual directors at the Institute in Muenster. He is also a member of the Institutum Carmelitarum in Rome and a visiting professor at the Pontifical Universities Gregoriana and Antonianum in Rome. He contributed the chapter “Freedom to Souls: Spiritual Accompaniment According to the Carmelite Tradition” in Tending the Holy. Spiritual Direction Across Traditions.
Sr. Susan Rakoczy, IHM, PhD
Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Susan Rakoczy, IHM, PhD is professor of Christian spirituality and systematic theology at St. Joseph’s Theological Institute and the School of Religion, Philosophy, and Ethics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. She has led courses in spiritual direction for many years and has a special research focus on spiritual direction and HIV/AIDS. She has written widely in the areas of cross-cultural spiritual direction, spirituality and social justice, feminist theology, and eco-feminism, and is writing a book on feminist interpretations of discernment.
Dr. Janet K. Ruffing, RSM
New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Janet Ruffing, RSM, PhD, is a member of the Sisters of Mercy. She is Professor of the Practice of Spirituality and Ministerial Leadership at Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, and Professor Emerita in Spirituality and Spiritual Direction at Fordham University in New York, New York, USA, where she chaired the spiritual direction program for more than twenty years. She earned her doctorate in Christian Spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, USA, and is the author/editor of 100 articles and six books, her most recent being To Tell the Sacred Tale: Spiritual Direction and Narrative. She is one of the founders of Spiritual Directors International and has been mentoring spiritual directors since 1984.
Joyce M. Rupp, OSM
Des Moines, Iowa, USA
Joyce Rupp is an international speaker, retreat director, and a "spiritual midwife." Her ministry includes writing, conferences and spiritual direction. Joyce is the award-winning author of numerous books on spiritual growth. Her professional education includes degrees in English, Religious Education, and Transpersonal Psychology. Joyce is a member of the Servants of Mary community and a volunteer for Hospice. In 2004, she received U.S. Catholic's national award for furthering the cause of women in the church.
Sr. Ligita Ryliskyte, SJE
Ligita Ryliskyte, MD, PhD, works in her congregation's retreat house, leads retreats, workshops in spirituality, scripture, and pastoral care and sees people for spiritual direction. She is also a consulting cardiologist at the Vilnius University Hospital, “Santariskiu linikos” (Lithuania). Since 2006, she has been a researcher and lecturer there. She is also a member of the General Council of the Congregation of the Sisters of Eucharistic Jesus and writes scripture commentaries and articles about spirituality. Among her many degrees, she holds a PhD in medicine from Vilnius University, and Certificate of Advanced Educational Specialization in Religious Education from Boston College. She has published several articles on the spiritual dimension of the Gulag experience and on discernment in The Way, Review for Religious, etc.
The Rev. Dr. Frederick W. Schmidt
Evanston, Illinois, USA
The Rev. Dr. Frederick W. Schmidt holds the Rueben P. Job Chair in Spiritual Formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL, and directs the Rueben Job Institute for Spiritual Formation. Schmidt is an Episcopal Priest, spiritual director, retreat facilitator, conference leader, writer, and consulting editor at Church Publishing in New York. He is the author of numerous published articles and reviews, as well as several books: A Still Small Voice: Women, Ordination and the Church (Syracuse University Press, 1998), The Changing Face of God (Morehouse, 2000), When Suffering Persists (Morehouse, 2001), What God Wants for Your Life (Harper, 2005), and more. He and his wife, Natalie, live in Highland Park, Illinois, with their Gordon Setter, Hilda of Whitby. They have four children and four grandchildren: Henry, Addie, Heidi, and Sophie.
Gordon Self, DMin
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Dr. Self provides executive leadership for clinical and organizational ethics, mission integration, diversity, and spiritual care for Covenant Health. He is co-facilitator of the Covenant Health Leadership Program, helping develop leaders in values-based decision-making and moral reflection. Gordon was a member of the Core Team commissioned by the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada to develop the new edition of the Health Ethics Guide, the foundational ethics resource used by Catholic health care organizations in Canada, including Covenant Health. A former chaplain at St. Boniface General Hospital in Winnipeg, Gordon pursued a fellowship in mission and ethics with Trinity Health in Michigan. He holds a doctorate in organizational ethics with a focus on discernment and decision-making.
Rabbi Jacob J. Staub, PhD
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Rabbi Jacob Staub is a Reconstructionist rabbi. He serves as Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Spirituality and Chair of the Department of Medieval Jewish Civilization at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, PA, USA, where he served as Academic Vice President for seventeen years. He also directs the RRC Program in Jewish Spiritual Direction that he was instrumental in founding in 1998—the first program in Jewish Spiritual Direction at a rabbinical seminary in Jewish history. He served as SDI Conference Spiritual Director in 2008. Staub is a published poet and the author of over 100 articles in the areas of contemporary Jewish thought, practice and spirituality. He is the author of Guide to Jewish Practice: Shabbat, and The Creation of the World According to Gersonides, the co-author of Exploring Judaism: A Reconstructionist Approach, and the editor of Creative Jewish Education and Reconstructionism: Denominationalism That Works?.
Frankston, Victoria, Australia
John was born in Melbourne, Australia. He has spent his adult life engaged in the exploration of our journey into God. This exploration has led him along various path; initially, as a priest in the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. Ordained in 1969, he served in parishes for eight years. One of his most important paths has been his work in the alcohol and other drug field. His path since 1990 has mainly been in the area of spiritual direction. He is currently a team member of The Living Well Centre for Christian Spirituality in Melbourne. He has served as President of The Australian Network for Spiritual Direction, and is currently a council member of the Australian Ecumenical Council for Spiritual Direction. The writings of Tielhard de Chardin and Thomas Merton have informed many of the paths he has journeyed along during the last 50 years.
Steven F. Sturm, DMin, DASD
Waialua, Hawaii, USA
Steven lives in the quiet community of Waialua, on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, USA. Three generations share the house on the property of the Waialua Christian Church where he has served as Minister since 1976 along with his wife Blossom. Steve is a spiritual director and Pastoral Counselor. He teaches in the graduate psychology department of Chaminade University of Honolulu, and is an adjunct instructor at Bible Institute of Hawaii. Steve’s education was at Ozark Christian College, California Graduate School of Theology, Chaminade University, and San Francisco Theological Seminary where he earned a Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction, and a Doctor of Ministry degree.
Saintfield, Co Down, Northern Ireland
Sally Taylor is a practitioner within the Tibetan Buddhist Gelugpa tradition. She lives at, and hosts, Hermitage Cottage and all that emerges from it as a spiritual retreat and contemplative experience. Programs that reach across faith traditions and speak from the heart, which are the core of all spiritual traditions, are offered on a regular basis. Her background and training is in religious and political studies, horticulture, and she has lived and worked in Northern Ireland for over thirty years where she is an active member of the Northern Ireland Interfaith Forum. Sally is a "Guardian of Gratefulness" with ANG*L (A Network of Grateful Living).
Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
Therese Taylor-Stinson is a retired Federal Senior Program Analyst after thirty-two years of service, where she also received certification as a lead mediator for Equal Employment Opportunity disputes across Government. She is an ordained deacon and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA). A graduate of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, Therese is a spiritual director in private practice. She is a member of the Shalem Society for Contemplative Leadership and commissioned as associate faculty for taking their Personal Spiritual Deepening Program into her community. She is a founder, incorporator, and the managing member of the Spiritual Directors of Color Network, Ltd., and a long-time member of Spiritual Directors International. Therese is a co-leader and assistant organizer for Iona DC, an emerging Christian community. As a writer, author, and editor, she has published in Presence, is a guest author for the SDI Blog, and has written for SDI's Connections newsletter. Therese's most notable work to date is as co-editor and contributing author of the groundbreaking anthology Embodied Spirits: Stories of Spiritual Directors of Color.
Fr. Stephen Truscott, SM
Nedlands, Western Australia, Australia
Stephen Truscott SM, PhD, an Australian Marist priest, is the Director of the Fullness of Life Centre (Inc.) in Perth, Western Australia. He is committed to the psycho-spiritual growth of people. He assists individuals, groups and organisations through spiritual direction, counselling, professional supervision, retreats, organisational reviews and vocational assessment. Stephen provides professional development seminars and personal growth workshops including the Myers-Briggs, the Enneagram, organizational spirituality and Open Space Technology. Stephen’s extensive experience and qualification include: over 30 years as a Marist priest, Associate Diploma in Welfare Work, formation as a spiritual director at the Institute of Spiritual Leadership, Chicago, IL, USA, Master’s Degree in Pastoral Studies, majoring in Spirituality at Loyola University, Chicago, IL, USA, professional supervision at the Wasley Institute (Perth) and a PhD from Murdoch University examining the developmental influences that shape the practice of contemporary spiritual directors.
Rev. Jane E. Vennard, MDiv
Denver, Colorado, USA
The Reverend Jane E. Vennard is Senior Adjunct Faculty in prayer and spirituality at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado, USA, where she lives. She earned her BA from Wellesley College, her MA from Stanford University, and her MDiv from San Francisco Theological Seminary. She was called to a special ministry and service of teaching and spiritual direction and ordained in the United Church of Christ. Jane is a spiritual director in private practice and a long time member of Spiritual Directors International. In addition to Iliff, Jane has taught at the Pacific School of Religion, Vancouver School of Theology, Columbia Seminary and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She is also a regular faculty presenter with The Upper Room Academy for Spiritual Formation and teaches classes in a variety of ecumenical settings, leads retreats internationally, and is the author of numerous articles and seven books.
Dr. Wendy M. Wright
Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Wendy M. Wright, PhD is Professor of Theology at Creighton University in Omaha, NE, USA, and holds the John C. Kenefick Faculty Chair in the Humanities. She teaches regularly in several graduate ministerial programs including Creighton's Christian Spirituality Master's program and the National Methodist Academy for Spiritual Formation. Her expertise falls in the areas of history of spirituality (notably Salesian spirituality), family spirituality, spiritual direction and the Catholic devotional tradition. She is co-host of the Creighton University podcast "Catholic Comments," a retreat director and spiritual guide. She and her husband, Roger Bergman, are the parents of three grandparents of one.
Marika Zelča-Čerāne, MBA, MA, is the founder of the Institute of the Christian Life in Latvia (Kristīgās dzīves institūts), and she is a spiritual director and retreat leader. She studied spiritual direction at the graduate School of Religion and Religious Education at Fordham University in New York, NY, USA. She is a contact person for the Roman Catholic Church in Latvia in the Theobalt network. She leads Ignatian retreats in both in retreat houses and online. At the Institute of the Christian Life in Latvia, she gives courses integrating life and faith, finding God in daily work, and courses on scripture and life. She writes articles for the local religious media and her blog (in Latvian Language) Dvēseles draugs (Soul friend).