What is Spiritual Direction?

Spiritual direction can best be summed up as encouraging the nurture of a listening heart. It happens when one competent guide journeys with another person, listening to that person’s life story with an ear for the movement of God.

Ellen RatmeyerSpiritual director

Everyone who helps guide the spiritual lives of others needs to have someone in their own lives doing the same for them.

Rev. Tim TenClayReformed Church in America pastor

In spiritual direction, one person helps another pay attention to God’s presence. A spiritual director acts as a companion, listening for the movement of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life. Though pastors daily do this work, they don’t often have someone as a companion on their own faith journeys. Spiritual directors can provide that spiritual support for pastors or for any Christian seeking greater spiritual direction.

Spiritual direction is normally carried out in the context of a one-to-one trusting relationship or a small group,” explains Ellen Ratmeyer, a spiritual director and member of the Reformed Church in America. “Spiritual direction happens during scheduled meetings, usually once a month for about one hour, and provides an opportunity for the director and directee to seek to enter a prayerful atmosphere where together they can be attentive to the Holy Spirit, who is in fact the real Director. Spiritual direction is for beginners who do not know where they are on the journey, for spiritually mature people who have reached a crisis point and need to refocus their lives, and for people who have grown weary in their obedience and seek renewal of faith and love.”

Learn more about spiritual direction.

Find a Spiritual Director

If you’re interested in receiving spiritual direction, please reach out to any of the spiritual directors listed here. All of these spiritual directors are available for remote spiritual direction via phone or video call. Many of them have agreed to offer free spiritual direction services to Reformed Church in America pastors from April to June 2020 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about what a spiritual director does.

A few notes: Spiritual direction relationships are not facilitated through Faithward or through the Reformed Church in America. Although most of the spiritual directors listed are RCA members or ministers of Word and sacrament, their certification as spiritual directors is not granted through the RCA. Directees are expected to compensate directors, unless otherwise agreed upon.

Ann Akers

Dingmans Ferry, PA

Qualifications/services

  • Certification: Shalem Institute
  • Additional information: In addition to being ordained and serving a congregation in Port Jervis, NY, I am a licensed psychoanalyst in private practice and near completion of my spiritual direction training at Shalem Institute. My experience in accompanying individuals and groups includes working with trauma, grief, critical incident stress debriefing, and the deep emotional and spiritual impact that circumstances such as Covid-19 bring to living and being. I am on the faculty of Hebrew Union College Doctor of Ministry program, teaching clergy in pastoral care and within the Classis of Orange have instructed/equipped lay commissioned pastors in pastoral care. I offer my heart and experience in the service of supporting clergy in these both difficult and powerful times of growth and discernment of God’s presence.
Counseling for RCA clergy during COVID-19: Free

Contact information

  • Email: ann.akers471@gmail.com
  • Phone: 917–612-8950

Martha Andrews

Livingston, NY

Qualifications/services

  • Certification: Linwood Spiritual Center, Rhinebeck, NY
Counseling for RCA clergy during COVID-19: Free

Contact information

  • Email: heartsaliveministry@gmail.com
  • Phone: 518–929-1792

Celaine Bouma Prediger

Holland, MI

Qualifications/services

  • Certification: Marywood\The Dominican Center in Grand Rapids
  • Additional information: In addition to my training in spiritual direction, I am also a trained master’s-level marriage and family therapist
Counseling for RCA clergy during COVID-19: Discounted

Contact information

  • Email: ckb_p@yahoo.com
  • Phone: 616–610-0441

Dale Buettner

Lafayette, IN

Qualifications/services

  • Certification: Fall Creek Abbey School of Spiritual Direction (Indianapolis, IN)
  • Additional information: I’m an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the RCA, and received my Spiritual Direction training at Fall Creek Abbey, an urban retreat center and Ecumenical training school for spiritual directors in Indianapolis. I utilize contemplative prayer exercises with my directees, and the practice of noticing, listening to, and naming the inner movements of the soul.
Counseling for RCA clergy during COVID-19: Free

Contact information

  • Email: dalebuettner74@gmail.com
  • Phone: 717–968-0790

Miriam Bush

Muskegon, MI

Qualifications/services

  • Certification: Mentored by spiritual direction teachers in one-on-one relationships
  • Additional information: I have experience mentoring clergy in the Reformed tradition, I include spiritual practices from other faith traditions, and I am a Benedictine oblate
Counseling for RCA clergy during COVID-19: Free

Contact information

  • Email: miriamdb55@gmail.com
  • Phone: 231–766-3415

Dianne E. Clark

Mahwah, NJ

Qualifications/services

  • Certification: San Francisco Theological Seminary DASD, 2002
  • Additional information: Participated in and coached Faithwalking courses
Counseling for RCA clergy during COVID-19: Free

Contact information

  • Email: dianneclark@optonline.net
  • Phone: 201–327-6736

Norma Coleman-James

Cherry Hill, NJ

Qualifications/services

  • Certification: Schools of Sustainable Faith; certification pending
  • Additional information: Spiritual direction practices include spiritual exercises, the daily examen prayer, and lectio divina
Counseling for RCA clergy during COVID-19: Free

Contact information

  • Email: normacole1@gmail.com
  • Phone: 616–633-7900

Lesley Mazzotta

New York, NY

Qualifications/services

  • Certification: General Theological Seminary
  • Additional information: Specialty in working with women and girls
Counseling for RCA clergy during COVID-19: Free

Contact information

  • Email: lesleymazotta@gmail.com
  • Phone: 917–623-4554

Linda J. Miles

Ulster Park, NY

Qualifications/services

  • Certification: Linwood Spiritual Center
  • Additional information: specialize in working with female clergy and clergy spouses, former special education teacher, spiritual director for yearly retreat at Linwood Spiritual Center
Counseling for RCA clergy during COVID-19: Free

Contact information

  • Email: lindajosiemiles@gmail.com
  • Phone: 845–430-3348 (cell)

Ellen Ratmeyer

Slingerlands, NY

Qualifications/services

  • Certification: Shalem Institute of Spiritual Formation
  • Additional information: specialize in contemplative prayer practices and leading directed retreats; experiences include walking the labyrinth, leading online retreats with Jan Richardson and Abbey of the Arts (Christine Valters Paintner), providing leadership on RCA staff for more than 25 years, facilitating contemplative retreats annually at Fowler Camp & Retreat Center and Lenten retreats at the Linwood Spiritual Center in Rhinebeck, NY, particularly grounded in the spiritual practices of gardening and photography
Counseling for RCA clergy during COVID-19: Free

Contact information

  • Email: ellenratmeyer@gmail.com
  • Phone: 973–951-8176

Barbara Schutt

Pleasant Hill, IA/Surprise, AZ

Qualifications/services

  • Certification: Journey Center, Santa Rosa, CA; member of SDI
  • Additional information: I am accustomed to doing Zoom or FaceTime direction sessions, have had additional training in use of Enneagram, contemplative retreats and group spiritual direction.
Counseling for RCA clergy during COVID-19: Free

Contact information

  • Email: schutt.barb@gmail.com
  • Phone: 209–609-0274

Marijke Strong

Hamilton, ON

Qualifications/services

  • Certification: Dominican Center Spiritual Direction Program (Grand Rapids)
  • Additional information: I am also a pastor and a trained coach with specialty in the areas of leadership development, emotional intelligence, and systems theory. My spiritual direction follows a contemplative listening approach, seeking to notice the presence of a loving God and to nurture the growth of our whole Self, in the midst of life’s joys and challenges.
Counseling for RCA clergy during COVID-19: Free

Contact information

  • Email: marijke.strong@gmail.com
  • Phone: 289–925-4444

Jill Sweet

Oakdale, CA

Qualifications/services

  • Certification: Mercy Center, in Burlingame, CA, D.Min. in spiritual direction from Fuller Theological Seminary
Counseling for RCA clergy during COVID-19: Free

Contact information

  • Email: bjrmsweet@gmail.com
  • Phone: 209–402-4160

Lin Van Hofwegen

Sioux Falls, SD

Qualifications/services

  • Certification: Sioux Falls Seminary
  • Additional information: I am an ordained elder in the RCA and have been married 43 years. I work by day in community development, and also lead small groups, facilitate retreats, and meet with individuals for spiritual direction. My approach is one of prayerfully listening people to life in the light of Christ Jesus and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I hold a certificate in spiritual direction and master’s degree from Sioux Falls Seminary.
Counseling for RCA clergy during COVID-19: Discounted

Contact information

  • Email: linvanhofwegen@gmail.com
  • Phone: 605–310-4686

Virginia Young

La Grangeville, NY

Qualifications/services

  • Certification: Archdiocese of NY; Linwood Spiritual Center, Rhinebeck, NY
  • Additional information: Also a clinical social worker
Counseling for RCA clergy during COVID-19: Free

Contact information

  • Email: vcyoung@optonline.net
  • Phone: 914–475-2163

Julie Van Til

Holland, MI

Qualifications/services

  • Certification: Nuos Formation
  • Additional information: I’m willing to provide discounted direction during the pandemic; I am an accredited Enneagram professional with the International Enneagram Association
Counseling for RCA clergy during COVID-19: Discounted

Contact information

  • Email: jvdvvt@gmail.com
  • Phone: 415–637-1237

Are you a spiritual director?

If you’d like to offer your services as a spiritual director to others, apply to add your name and qualifications to this directory.

Add your name to the list