NURTURING THE CALL: SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE PROGRAM STAFF

Phillip Stephens, Director of the program, is an Episcopal lay-person and graduate of the 2006 Spiritual Guidance Class. In addition to being an associate of the Order of the Holy Cross, he serves as a spiritual guide and retreat facilitator. He is interested in cross-cultural studies and inter-spirituality.

Margaret Benefiel, Shalem’s Executive Director, holds a PhD in Spirituality from Catholic University and an MA in Theology from Earlham School of Religion. She is a graduate of Shalem’s Nurturing the Call: Spiritual Guidance Program and the author of numerous articles and books on contemplative leadership.

Greg Cochran, a graduate of Shalem’s Nurturing the Call: Spiritual Guidance Program, is the Associate Pastor for Children and Youth and Spiritual Formation at Woodbrook Baptist Church in Baltimore, MD.

Lerita Coleman-Brown, a spiritual director and author, is Professor Emerita of Psychology at Agnes Scott College and past director of the Science Center for Women at Agnes Scott. She is a graduate of our Nurturing the Call: Spiritual Guidance Program and speaks and writes about contemplative spirituality in everyday life.

Ann Dean is also on the staff of Transforming Community: Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats and on the staff of Going Deeper: Clergy Spiritual Life and Leadership. A nationally-known leader for deepening the life of prayer and for developing new structures committed to Earth care and social justice, she is a minister in the ecumenical Church of the Savior and part of their Dayspring Retreat Mission Group.

Bill Dietrich, a Quaker, is a graduate of Shalem’s Transforming Community: Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups & Retreats and Nurturing the Call: Spiritual Guidance Programs. A long-time spiritual director and retreat leader, he currently devotes much of his time to hospice ministry and supporting end-of-life caregivers through the Companioning the Dying: Opening Fully to Living program. He is a member of the White Plum Asanga Zen Teacher’s Association and teaches Zen in interfaith settings.

Tilden H. Edwards, Jr., an Episcopal priest, is a nationally respected speaker and spiritual leader and Shalem’s Founder and Senior Fellow. He has designed and led long-term contemplative programs since 1979 and is the author or editor of six books on the spiritual life.

Sid Fowler is a United Church of Christ pastor who recently served First UCC in Washington, DC. He also has worked with the national staff of the United Methodist Church and with the UCC in spiritual formation.

Katy Gaughan, the registrar for Shalem’s Nurturing the Call: Spiritual Guidance Program, is a graduate of Shalem’s Transforming Community: Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups & Retreats Program. She also is a drum circle facilitator who offers drumming for wellness and spiritual deepening.

Kerry Hamilton serves on the staff of Nurturing the Call: Spiritual Guidance Program and is also a graduate of that program. Kerry is a UCC lay-person, a spiritual director and a leadership coach, serving leaders in the business world and congregational settings. Of particular interest to Kerry at this moment is the interconnectedness of all beings, experiencing the sacred in work and play, and being present to what is unfolding.

Patience Robbins, a graduate of Shalem’s Nurturing the Call: Spiritual Guidance Program, has been a spiritual director for 30 years. She was the director of Shalem’s Living in God: Personal Spiritual Deepening Program from 2003-08, the director of the Young Adult Life and Leadership Initiative from 2013-2015, and is the author of Parenting: A Sacred Path.

Emily Schwenker is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) to the Validated Specialized Ministry of Spiritual Direction. She is the Associate for Spiritual Formation and Direction at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, DE, is a member of the adjunct faculty at Lancaster Theological Seminary and a graduate of Shalem’s Nurturing the Call: Spiritual Guidance Program.

Francie Thayer is the Director of The Retreat House at St. Paul’s Hillsboro, a new ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Easton, and is a graduate of Shalem’s Nurturing the Call: Spiritual Guidance Program. She is also a graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary and offers spiritual direction to several current seminarians.

Andrea “Ani” Vidrine is a graduate of Shalem’s Transforming Community: Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups & Retreats and Nurturing the Call: Spiritual Guidance Programs. She is an interfaith minister, licensed clinical social worker, spiritual director, CEU provider, yoga instructor, and former massage therapist who has served in multiple clinical settings, most recently with hospice as social worker, chaplain, and volunteer coordinator. She is currently a PhD student in Integral & Transpersonal Psychology through The California Institute of Integral Studies.

Elizabeth (Liz) Ward, former Director of Shalem’s Nurturing the Call: Spiritual Guidance Program, is a graduate of this Program and has served as a spiritual director for Virginia Seminary since 1994. She is an experienced retreat leader and is as a discernment facilitator for the Diocese of Virginia. She also serves on staff for Shalem’s Transforming Community: Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups & Retreats and the Going Deeper: Clergy Spiritual Life and Leadership Programs. Her ministries are further informed by Master’s degrees in English and International Relations.

Matthew Wright is an Episcopal priest, writer, and retreat leader working to renew the Christian Wisdom tradition within a wider interspiritual framework. He is a graduate of Shalem’s Transforming Community: Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups & Retreats Program and serves as priest-in-charge at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Woodstock, NY.

Mission

Our mission is to nurture contemplative living and leadership.

Vision

Grounded in our understanding of God’s desire for peace, wholeness and well-being, we envision a world transformed by contemplative living and leadership in which all people honor one another and creation, recognize their unity and interconnectedness, and courageously seek to live out of this reality.

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