Spiritual Direction Certificate Alumnae/i

St. Kate’s Theology Department is proud to present a selection of graduates from the Spiritual Direction Certificate program.


about the program

St. Catherine University's Spiritual Direction Certificate program is widely recognized for its academic rigor and emphasis on spirituality. It combines graduate-level theological education and intensive internship training in spiritual direction. In addition to classes taught by the theology faculty, the director of the certificate program teaches courses related to developing the skills of spiritual direction. The program is enriched by guest lecturers in the field and an advisory committee composed of members from the larger community.

The Spiritual Direction Certificate faculty and staff invite you to come to know our graduates, and applaud their contributions to the ministry of spiritual direction.

in their own words

St. Kate's graduate students describe their experience in the Spiritual Direction Certificate program as:

  • Challenging
  • Enriching
  • Expansive
  • Holy
  • Inclusive
  • Academic
  • Healing
  • Engaging
  • Faithful
  • Community
  • Rewarding
  • Affirming
  • Aspirational
  • Growth
  • Introductory
  • Spirituality
  • Focused
  • Grounding
  • Relevant
  • Holistic

Meet our Graduates

Carmala has a private spiritual direction practice in addition to the major emphasis on spiritual development and retreat ministry in the congregation at which she is the Senior Pastor. She also enjoys being on the faculty and board of the Nebraska Synod's Institute for Spiritual Direction Formation.

Janice’s spiritual direction practice is shaped by the people she meets through The Basilica of Saint Mary. The Basilica has brought her in contact with people from a variety of life experiences — from wealth to poverty, from old to young, from life-long believers to seekers. Being immersed in diversity, she has come to know deeply the beauty of sacredness in all stories. Janice’s life has been shaped by 12 Step spirituality. Letting go of all preconceptions and expectations, she is honored to journey with people who have experienced addiction and loss.

While Beth comes from a Roman Catholic background, she works with people from a variety of religious traditions or from no tradition at all. She is interested in working with women and men facing life transitions, people wrestling with spiritual questions, and women in recovery. Her particular areas of interest include the Enneagram, dream work, and art as a spiritual practice. Beth is also available for retreats or workshops, and is trained to lead people through the Extended Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. Beth has also retired from the practice of law.

Kathy offers individual spiritual direction and days/evenings of reflection. Her passion is using story to connect the secular with the spiritual, to discover God/the Divine Presence in everyday life. As Kathy listens to others’ stories, she helps them discover that Divine Presence in their lives. She believes strongly that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Kathy writes a monthly column on spirituality for the Davenport Catholic Messenger, and works at Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality in St. Paul, Minnesota, which is a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. She is the author of Walking on a Rolling Deck: Life on the Ark, stories of living with people with disabilities in a L’Arche community in Iowa.

Patricia is a spiritual director, contemplative retreat leader and writer. Her background is Lutheran; she is currently a member of St. John's Episcopal Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her emphasis is on the “art of inner listening,” awakening to the presence of God through contemplative practices, ancient and modern. Patricia works privately with individuals and with small groups. She leads retreats at the Episcopal House of Prayer in Collegeville, Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota and in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She is available for presentations on contemplative prayer, the spirituality of retirement and other life transitions, and the spirit of home. Patricia is a member of Spiritual Directors International.

As a spiritual director, Karen’s intention is to provide a safe and supportive environment where people can explore their questions and reflect on the circumstances in their lives. The use of creativity in her practice centers on living life as a work of art, by living creatively and in the present moment each day. Self-expression is important in this process and can take many different forms, which all involve the exploration of the authentic self.

JoAnn is a spiritual director at Hazelden’s Dan Anderson Renewal Center, where she works with people in 12 Step recovery and leads retreats on grief, writing, meditation and emotional balance. She is also an associate at Loyola Spirituality Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she is a spiritual companion to individuals from many different spiritual traditions, including those with no religious affiliation.

Jane has been working with women in the area of spiritual growth for 20 years. Her roots are in the Catholic tradition and she is a member of St. Joan of Arc parish in Minneapolis, Minnesota. With a background in performance, she studied and performed comedy at Dudley Riggs Theatre in Minneapolis, Second City in Chicago and The Groundlings in Los Angeles. She is the founder of the Vineyard, which offers retreats and programs for adult women in the areas of spiritual development and personal growth. Jane is passionate about slowing down very active women and reconnecting them to God, who is the source of their strength and healing.

Sarah is a Unitarian Universalist Director in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is deeply honored to witness to the sacred stories of others and companion them as they ask big questions, journey through life's mystery and connect and reconnect with the Holy in their everyday lives. Direction is a time where one can just be with all that is in a reverent and supportive space. Any topic, dream, concern or celebration is ripe material to explore in a session. Sarah passionately believes that our whole lives are spiritual, and she is a thoughtful explorer of the terrain where personal values meet the world.

Catherine is an ordained minister with the United Church of Christ and on staff at Plymouth Congregational Church. She works as a hospice chaplain for Fairview Home Care and Hospice. She is a spiritual director and retreat leader with an ecumenical background. Her areas of interest include prayer, healing and life transitions. Catherine is a trained energy healer and continues to explore healing physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Julie currently works with women dealing with breast cancer as well as with families who are dealing with the disease, through the chaplain’s office at Lakeview Health in Stillwater, Minnesota. Life transitions are often the theme of her spiritual direction work.

Kathy works full time as an academic advisor for students at St. Catherine University, where she has also been an adjunct instructor in the theology department. She works with women and men of all ages, and looks forward to expanding her practice as a spiritual guide and companion for people of all faiths who are exploring their experience of God. She worked in parish ministry for 22 years. This background informs her work with women or men who are or have been in ministry. She especially enjoys working with women or men in transition. Kathy's religious background is Christian/ Roman Catholic.

Central to Dorothy’s spiritual direction practice is the belief that everyone has the inner wisdom to navigate life’s shifting currents. Dorothy has special interest in working to integrate spirituality and healthcare, whether acute or chronic, with emphasis in spirituality and dementia. Currents Spiritual Care is a spiritual direction practice, which includes people of all faiths and of no faith. Dorothy is available for private and group spiritual sessions in Minneapolis, Minnesota and other locations as circumstances require.

Susan believes the role of spiritual director is to empower people to find God’s grace and wisdom as it operates in their lives and to help them be mindful of the sacred in every day. She is an active member at The Congregational Church UCC in Rochester, Minnesota and loves her work leading a lively adult education class in theology and spirituality. Susan also has a degree in English literature from Stanford University. She is working toward a Ph.D. through the University of Chicago.

Certificate in Spiritual Direction, MA Theology, Supervision Training

mary@loyolaspiritualitycenter.org

Mary offers spiritual direction for individuals and groups at Loyola Spirituality Center in St. Paul. She is trained as a supervisor for spiritual directors and offers supervision in the Twin Cities. Her ministry flows from a passion to be active in co-creating a world of love by deepening connections with God, with self, and with others.

MA Theology

dianegardner@comcast.net

Diane has companioned seekers for 16 years. She has received training in end-of-life issues, but is experienced in many spiritual situations such as dryness in prayer, images of God and family struggles. Diane was on the faculty of Sacred Ground Center for Spirituality and now coordinates their teaching team. She is a Commissioned Minister for Spiritual Direction in the United Church of Christ. She welcomes people of all beliefs.

As a married mother of five, Cindy brings much wisdom, patience, and humor into her listening. Raised as a Presbyterian in a biracial family of seven children, she joined the Catholic Church in 1993. Cindy has varied experiences: working in hospital treatment centers, teaching children with OCD, ADHD, and autism, supporting youth with gender identity issues, and facilitating church retreats and classes for both youth and adults. She is also an active participant in both a women’s chorus and a hand bell choir. Cindy enjoys journeying with people of all ages and stages as they seek their passion and find the sacred in the ordinary moments of their daily life.

Nancy’s spiritual direction practice includes people from all faiths as well as people who don’t have a faith base, but are seeking meaning and purpose for their lives. She sees people in directee’s homes and hospitals when mobility prevents them from coming to her home. A session may happen over lunch at a quiet restaurant or a meeting in a car in a parking lot. Nancy enjoys diversity and discovering something new in every encounter with a directee and this mysterious third component she calls Spirit. As she listens to and witnesses stories of the beloved children of God, she finds herself surprised and graced by the wisdom of the human heart.

Marykay’s special interests include: spirituality and wellness, women’s spirituality, prayer styles and retreat direction. She is a cancer survivor and works with others dealing with cancer. Marykay provides one-to-one and group spiritual direction, as well as supervision for spiritual directors. She also offers directed retreats, reflection days, and continuing education on a variety of topics for spiritual directors and parish ministers. She has training from Creighton University in the Spiritual Exercises and supervision of spiritual directors. She is Contemplative Outreach certified as a Centering Prayer teacher. Marykay sees directees in her home, their home or at the Jesuit Retreat House in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Pat’s spiritual direction ministry has a focus on inner healing. Spiritual practices such as Lectio Divina and contemplative prayer teach people how to live in the presence of God and guide others through the challenges of life in a calm and peaceful manner. The simple practice of telling stories reveals the sacred in the ordinary experiences of life. Pat offers individual and small group experiences in St. Paul, Minnesota and the Southwestern suburbs. She has additional training in pastoral ministry.

As a retired teacher and member of the presenting team at a Franciscan retreat center, Corrine has journeyed with persons of many ages and faith traditions. Her experience from her years of practice and her interest in Indian and Eastern Spirituality have enriched her spiritual direction practice. As a seeker of the Divine herself, Corrine is a Catholic who serves with peace and joy in any way the Spirit leads her.

BA Psychology, Certified Spiritual Direction

marguerite.klaers@gmail.com

Maggie Klaers is a Spiritual Director certified through the Masters in Theology program at the College of St. Catherine (now St. Catherine University). Her early training in spiritual direction was with the Sisters of the Cenacle located in Wayzata, which based their spirituality in the Jesuit’s Spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola. She now serves as a spiritual director with Sacred Ground, formed and supported by the Cenacle Sisters when they moved from Minnesota. Her on-going studies include the Art of Living and Dying, grief work, identifying personal gifts and talents, moving through inner transformations, as well as mentoring young contemplatives. She provides individual spiritual direction, group retreats, programs and training for developing spiritual directors. Maggie feels privileged to listen to other's journey as they search for meaning and purpose in the Western Suburb and St. Paul.

Debbie currently sees directees at her parish in Cottage Grove, Minnesota and is open to coming nearer to clients at other locations. She is a spiritual director at the Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center in Prior Lake, Minnesota and is available to see clients there as well. Debbie is on staff to present retreats periodically at the center throughout the year, and is available for presentations to groups on spiritual direction topics.

MA, MS, Spiritual Direction Certificates from Sacred Ground and St. Catherine University

s.laughton7@gmail.com

A military veteran herself, Sheila has a special interest in working one-on-one with veterans and family members, especially on issues surrounding deployment, traumatic experiences, and reintegration. She is also a workshop facilitator for the Institute for Healing of Memories-North America which provides a safe, confidential space for anyone to process traumatic experiences and take one step on their healing journey. Sheila is a member of Sacred Ground and Spiritual Directors International.

Rooted in Christianity, but open to meeting with people from other faith traditions, Gayle has worked in a variety of settings and with diverse individuals and groups. Her desire is to provide a safe and supportive place where people may explore questions of faith and reflect on the circumstances of their lives. Her areas of interest include gifts and creativity, grief and loss, transition and finding the sacred in the ordinary.

MA Theology, Certificate in Spiritual Direction

logsdon.marylou@gmail.com

Mary Lou provides individual spiritual direction and facilitates retreats and days/evenings of reflection through her private practice. She is trained and experienced in guiding the Extended Ignatian Exercises. She meets with directees of all denominations as well as those who have stepped out of traditional faith communities. Her experience includes spirituality for women, life transitions, discernment of vocation, 12-step programs, grief and loss, dream work and struggles with and within church communities. She writes a column for The Phoenix Spirit, a local newspaper for the recovery community. She teaches in the Sacred Ground Spiritual Direction Certificate Program. She is a practicing Roman Catholic. Prior to her work in spirituality she had a 30 year career in Information Technology.

Nancy is on staff at Loyola Spirituality Center and sees directees either at Loyola in St. Paul or in Burnsville, Minnesota. She has years of experience in parish work as a pastoral minister as well as experience as a grief counselor. She has extensive history working with those journeying through illness, grief and loss, depression and anxiety, and transitions of all types. Nancy’s passion is helping others to slow down and hear the “still, small voice” of God. She loves to hear people’s sacred life stories and help them name and claim how God is working in and through their lives.

In June of 2011 Lori began her spiritual direction practice, Riverbend Spiritual Care, in New Ulm, Minnesota. She enjoys working with people of all faith traditions or none at all and is committed to respecting others' experiences of God, wherever they are on their journey. Lori’s areas of specialty include: youth and young adult spirituality, mindfulness practice, yoga and mind-body work, spirituality and social justice work, and rural spirituality. She also leads mission retreats annually to San Lucas, Guatemala. She is currently training to facilitate the MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) program through the Center for Mindfulness at University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Cathy serves as program director at Well Within, a nonprofit holistic wellness resource center in St. Paul, Minnesota where she provides spiritual care for people facing cancer, stress, and other chronic health issues. She also provides individual and group spiritual direction for people in ministry professions at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. Cathy facilitates workshops for area congregations on topics related to spiritual wellbeing in a stressful world, shifting to positive emotions, and the mind-body-spirit connection.

Amy is a spiritual director and a teacher of middle school English. Her work experience in the secondary classroom has given her a special awareness of the interplay between spirituality and the teaching life. Amy has facilitated mindfulness workshops for teens and has helped lead wilderness retreats in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. She was raised in a Protestant church; her current spiritual practices are also informed by Buddhist and contemplative Christian traditions. Amy lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and attends House of Mercy Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. Amy offers spiritual direction to individuals and groups and is available to lead retreats.

Mary is the co-founder and President of Well Within, a nonprofit holistic wellness resource center in St. Paul, Minnesota. She uses her spiritual direction training when assisting people who live with serious illnesses. Her first book, Thin Places: Where Faith is Affirmed and Hope Dwells, was named Honorable Mention in the category of Aging/Death and Dying at the Independent Publisher’s Awards. She is currently working on her second book: Meant to Be: Do Things Really Happen For a Reason? In 2010 Mary began hosting the Hope, Healing and WellBeing internet radio show, where she interviews experts in the work of spirituality and integrative health. For more information about her books and/or speaking topics, marytreacyokeefe.com.

LauraRose currently directs individuals who are in recovery or dealing with grief. She also facilitates spirituality groups for those in grief or recovery, providing support for 4th and 5th Steps.

Jennifer is an interfaith spiritual director who brings a compassionate listening presence to those who are seeking to know themselves and God — however they understand God — more deeply. Her approach to spiritual direction is guided by her understanding that we all are already on our path, that growth occurs as we “remember” who we truly are, and that we have all the material we need for our spiritual journey in the events and relationships of our daily life. Most recently, Jennifer has been working as a spiritual companion to people who are society’s “outsiders.” She is a practicing Episcopalian and a certified Healing Touch Spiritual Ministry practitioner.

Pam offers individual and small group spiritual direction and supervision for spiritual directors. She has experience in grief and loss, life transitions, pastoral care, and living one’s call within business and parish work. She invites others to slow down, breathe deeply and notice the Divine Presence in everyday life.

MA Adlerian Psychotherapy and Spiritual Direction Graduate Certification and Licensed Professional Counselor

laschwartz@healinghousesaintpaul.org

Laure approaches mental and spiritual well-being by integrating spiritual direction, psychotherapy, and somatic experiencing (body-based trauma recovery therapy). She practices at The Healing House of Saint Paul, www.healinghousesaintpaul.org. Laure has expertise in helping clients heal from previous traumas that have resulted in current symptoms such as depression, anxiety, addiction, and other conditions.

Kathleen offers spiritual direction with an emphasis on developing prayer practices as the path to spiritual formation. She offers workshops on intercessory prayer, the labyrinth, discernment and Lectio Divina. She creates custom designed retreats for specific needs or themes. Kathleen maintains a website devoted to prayer. She is the author of periodic spiritual formation articles for The Herald, the monthly international magazine for the Community of Christ.

Richard has a B.S.B., a M.B.A. and a M.A. in Theology. He continued his studies in Spiritual Direction and Scripture at St. John’s University School of Theology and Seminary. Richard is a Spiritual Director and a Spiritual Formation Director for a lay community of a Catholic religious order. He is a professed member of this lay community. He specializes in Carmelite Spirituality, Carmelite Prayer, Carmelite Saints, Carmelite Spiritual Formation, discernment, and living a spiritual life in a secular world. He is also interested in the use of sacred music in spiritual formation. He is on the board of the Bach Society in Minnesota. He is a teacher, a trainer of teachers and writes reading guides for books on spiritual topics.

Ann is a teacher by profession. A new path, outside of K–12 education, opened up for her through her studies at the SEND (Spiritual Emotional iNtuitive Development) Institute in St. Cloud, Minnesota. This experience led to her interest in the integration of contemporary holistic spiritual practices with the ancient and traditional spiritual practices of the Catholic Christian tradition. As a recent graduate, she offers her services in the “holy (holistic) listening” practice of spiritual direction.

Jean is volunteer coordinator in social outreach ministry at St. Olaf Catholic Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She facilitates retreats at several local parishes. Favorites are her mother/daughter retreats and the “Sip of Grace” eight-week series that she created. Jean is available for spiritual direction for all faith traditions in the Northwest suburbs.

Lillian is the Community Living Coordinator at the retirement home of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, and also does spiritual direction there. She is a spiritual companion for the Busy Persons Retreat at St. Catherine University. Lillian also sees directees in her home in Woodbury, Minnesota.

MAT Spiritual Direction Certificate, CFRE

marthawest@charter.net

Martha’s spiritual direction practice is one of listening, discernment, and prayer that takes place in a confidential setting of encouragement and compassion. The focus is on the directee’s experience with God. As a director, she companions people on their spiritual journey by listening attentively, asking reflective questions, and suggesting possible resources. She offers spiritual direction from an interfaith perspective, specializing in dream work and bio-spiritual focusing. She works with clients from a wide variety of cultures and faith traditions, and has a dedicated priority to working with LGBTQ persons. After an initial “meet and greet,” Martha recommends a minimum of 3–5 sessions, meeting once a month for an hour. Please contact Martha to set up a preliminary appointment.

Read Martha's full story

As a spiritual director, Robin companions others as they seek to deepen their experience of the sacred. Robin’s spiritual background is ecumenical and she works with people from all religious traditions. Her areas of interest include spirituality in recovery, grief and loss, and discernment through life transitions. She is available to listen to Fifth Steps. Robin is a member of Spiritual Directors International.