The coordinating council is the governing body of Spiritual Directors International. With the role comes fiduciary, visionary, strategic planning, and personnel oversight responsibilities. Council members serve three-year terms, and new members are appointed as members of the council complete their terms of office. The year following each coordinating council member's name indicates the year they complete their term of service on the council.
Ravi Verma, 2019
Los Angeles, California, USA
Ravi Verma of Los Angeles, California, USA sees serving on the coordinating council as a wonderful opportunity to "support the bridge builders who are called to be present to all who are seeking the mystery and to build a global community of fellow seekers and travelers."
Verma brings his years of experience with a variety of cultures, religious traditions, boards, and a combination of a contemplative stance with organizational development and management experience. His own life has been one of bridge building between the East and the West, Hindu and Christian, in himself and to accompany others in building their own bridges with the Divine, themselves, each other, and the cosmos. He hopes to bring his passion, joy, and gifts of this journey to expand and adapt the reach of SDI especially to people of other cultures, young people, people of color, and the next generations of pilgrims. Verma graduated from two different training programs and is committed to listening to the Silence and being of service.
Cynthia Bailey Manns, DMin, 2019
Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA
Cynthia Bailey Manns is an experienced spiritual director with a background in social work, human development, spirituality, and spiritual development.
She is a passionate workshop and retreat leader, and has served as adjunct faculty at Drew Theological School and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, as well as a campus minister and spiritual director at Seton Hall University. She is the director of adult formation at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
Cynthia is a contributor to the anthology Embodied Spirits: Stories of Spiritual Directors of Color.
Wendie Bernstein Lash, 2020
Redwood City, California, USA
Wendie Bernstein Lash, MS, is a spiritual director, supervisor, and pilates instructor in Redwood City, California, USA. Lash is the former co-director of the Morei Derekh Jewish Spiritual Direction training program and the Yedidya Center for Jewish Spiritual Direction, and has authored two CDs.
Lash has been involved in SDI for over a decade, including planning Leadership Institutes and leading workshops at the annual conference. She finds it a privilege to be part of a community where different faith traditions can join together in honoring both our differences and our similarities.
"As SDI continues to grow, it has even more opportunity to influence interfaith unity, peace, social justice, and the well-being of our planet and its resources."
Bruce Calvin, MDiv, 2019
Washington, DC, USA
Bruce Calvin, MDiv, of Washington, DC, USA brings more than twenty years of experience in strategic planning, developing and managing programs, marketing resources, and responding to member requests.
Calvin completed an internship in the art of spiritual direction at the Mercy Center, Burlingame, California, USA. In addition to having a private spiritual direction ministry and service, he is a hospice chaplain.
As one of the leaders of the SDI Men’s Institute over several years, he is sensitive to the quandary of men on both sides of the spiritual direction conversation, who struggle with vulnerability. Calvin follows the Rule for Life of Availability and Vulnerability of the Northumbria Community.
Leslie Keener, CDP, 2021
Sister Leslie Keener is a Sister of Divine Providence of Kentucky who directs a ministry called God Space, which fosters community and spirituality through small groups, social events, and service. A campus minister for twelve years, she now serves as the vocation director for her community, meets with people for spiritual direction, and offers preached and directed retreats. She has a Masters in Ministry and a Certificate in Spiritual Direction and Retreats from Creighton University. Leslie is a native of Cincinnati, and she enjoys spicy food, arts and crafts, and dancing.
Eric Massanari, M. Div., 2021
Newton, Kansas, USA
Eric Massanari, M.Div., is an ordained pastor in the Mennonite Church USA, living in Newton, Kansas where he serves as a spiritual director and the chaplain of a continuing care community for older adults. He joins the Coordinating Council after ten years of membership in SDI, bringing a passion for inter-faith learning, community building, and companioning people who are exploring the fertile ground of elderhood and those who are nearing the end of life. An avid poet and essayist, Eric is a contributing author of An Open Place: The Ministry of Group Spiritual Direction.
In his own words: “I celebrate how spiritual companioning takes so many vital forms across time, place, traditions and cultures. In its myriad expressions it’s a practice that our world needs now more than ever, as together we seek the paths that make for enduring peace.”
Bernadette Miles, 2020
SDI welcomes Bernadette Miles to the SDI coordinating council, she has been a member of SDI for over ten years.
Bernadette trained in spiritual direction and theology after twenty years of computer consulting and business management and has a special interest in formation of apostolic leadership and applying the concepts of Ignatian Spirituality to organizational development.
She is co-director at the Kardia formation and training program in Australia.
Sean Murphy, 2020
New Mexico, USA
SDI welcomes Sean Murphy to the SDI coordinating council. Sean has had nearly three decades of formal Zen meditation training, including extended periods of monastic retreat.
He’s the author of the American Zen chronicle One Bird, One Stone, which won a 2014 International Book Award. He serves as adjunct professor for University of New Mexico-Taos and is founder of the Sage Institute Meditation Leader Training Program in Taos, New Mexico.
He presents widely on matters of meditation, mindfulness, and creativity.