Listing of Spiritual Directors
Here are the spiritual directors who have agreed to be part of this service. All are experienced in spiritual direction, are familiar with Henri’s writings, and subscribe to the guidelines for ethical conduct as outlined by Spiritual Directors International (SDI). You can order your own copy of the guidelines by going to the SDI web site.
Spiritual Directors: Mark Anderson, Rick Hatem, Wil Hernandez, Joann Nesser, Karen Patena, Susan Vander Woude
My wife, Petra and I have two children in College and together co-pastor a small congregation in Vancouver, British Columbia. In addition to offering Spiritual Direction, I also draw on my background as a consulting engineer to provide Whole Life Coaching to leaders in ministry and the corporate world. My passion is to help professionals have an inner experience of God that is just as real and formative in their lives as their career and family. To this end, I have an M.Div. from Regent College with an emphasis on biblical spirituality and a 2-year Certificate in Spiritual Direction from SoulStream. I grew up outside the church and remember as a young adult finding the hope which faith in Jesus can bring. However, professional training and the complex demands of life in our society can steal away all our joy if we do not continue to mature spiritually. This results in a deep emptiness and hunger for more. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, business executives, sales people, artists, pastors, and church planters ... if you are looking for more to life: healing, freedom, and effectiveness, I'd love to join you in paying attention to what God is doing in and around you. While meeting in person for Spiritual Direction has definite advantages, I do most of my one-on-one work with people over the phone. When I'm not walking with people, I'm out walking with our dog, or paddling a canoe, or snowboarding, or mountain biking, or planning a trip, or ... well, you get the idea!
I am in my late 50’s, single and Catholic. My training as a spiritual director was with the Spiritual Renewal Center in Syracuse, NY. Today I work as a spiritual director through The Spirituality Network in Columbus, Ohio and am a supervisor in Wellstreams, an Ecumenical Program of Spiritual Formation and Training in the Art of Spiritual Direction. I lived in Jerusalem between 1986 and 1991 and was active in dialogue with Jews, Muslims & Christians. In 1987 I joined l’Arche Bethany, the first l’Arche community in the Middle East. Daily Bible reading, centering prayer, experiences with the three Abrahamic religions, and 12 years in l’Arche influence my spirituality. I lead retreats using scripture stories to explore life. Beginning in 2001, I helped my parents for nearly a decade in the challenges of aging and my mother’s Alzheimer’s. They were able to remain in the rural home they built until shortly before their deaths five months apart.
I graduated with a Ph.D. in Practical Theology with a special concentration in Spirituality from Fuller Theological Seminary (with additional training from the University of Notre Dame and Loyola Marymount University). I am a trained counselor and a certified spiritual director who holds a private practice in Southern California. In addition, I teach courses and conduct retreats all year round on Henri Nouwen and his writings. I have written three books on the spirituality of Nouwen all published by Paulist Press: Henri Nouwen: A Spirituality of Imperfection (2006) and Henri Nouwen and SoulCare: A Ministry of Integration (2008) and Henri Nouwen and Spiritual Polarities: A Life of Tension (2012). I consider it a privilege to accompany people on their spiritual journey regardless of where they're at. I enjoy working ecumenically with both Catholics and Protestants, two faith traditions I feel equally at home with. I have been married now for more than 25 years to Juliet and blessed with two grown-up sons, Jonathan and David. Reading books of all types remains my favorite pastime of all! You can check out my website at: www.nouwenlegacy.com
Joann Nesser, DMin
I am a graduate of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, have an MA in Pastoral Theology and Ministry from Luther Seminary and a DMin in Spiritual Direction. I am Founder and retired Executive Director of Christos Center for Spiritual Formation outside St. Paul, MN. USA. I have led retreats, workshops and classes on contemplative prayer, spiritual direction and formation in the US, Canada, Europe and Africa as well as authored several books and articles on related topics. After reading Henri’s books for years, by happy chance I was able to spend a week retreating at Dayspring with him. I accompanied him to offer Eucharist at the group homes in Toronto, we ate meals together, washed dishes together and I was able to attend the daily Eucharist and much informal chatting. I have never met a person so open, and real. He was a window to God for me. I will treasure these memories always. My Book titles: Contemplative Prayer: Attending to Prayer When the Well Runs Dry and Journey Into Reality. Articles: Presence Magazine (Spiritual Directors International Journal) several including June 2011 issue; The Lutheran; Thrivent Financial Publication. I am available for email and telephone spiritual direction.
I am a spiritual and retreat director as well as a certified lay ecclesial minister in the Cleveland, Ohio Catholic Diocese. For 9 years I facilitated lay ecclesial minister candidates in their spiritual formation year. My ministry includes giving retreats, one-on-one and group spiritual direction as well as preparing couples for marriage and guiding couples already married. I have a particular love for praying with Scriptures and reflecting on the lives of the saints, the 'big S’ and 'little s’ saints as I like to call them. I see in the stories of their lives God’s passionate love for us and the invitation for all of us to respond to His incredible love. Henri Nouwen is a great example to me of a 'little s’ saint. He has served at times as my mentor and spiritual director through the gift of his life and his writings. His honesty, openness of sharing his life’s struggles, the clarity in which he wrote, and the depth of his insights has touched my life tremendously. My incredibly supportive husband, Jim, and I take great delight in our two grown sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren. I love reading, walking, and nature, especially sunsets on Lake Erie.
Susan Vander Woude
I graduated from Tyndale Seminary, Toronto with a Master of Divinity Degree with a counseling focus in 2000, received training in spiritual direction at Tyndale and at Loyola House in Guelph, Ontario, and have been a spiritual director for several years. Henri Nouwen has been an influential mentor to me through his writing and life witness. It is great privilege for me to witness and accompany others as they journey more intentionally with God. I’m a supervisor for spiritual directors, facilitator for SoulStream’s Art of Spiritual Direction Program, and facilitate Spiritual Direction Groups. I have been married to Tony for 45 years and we live in British Columbia, Canada. I'm mother to three grown children and grandma to six grandchildren. I enjoy walking, hiking, reading, traveling, exploring, gentle yoga, watercolor painting and being a grandma.
(Back to top)