Spiritual Direction at The Abbey


Spiritual Direction is an ancient tradition in the Church and we here in The Abbey are blessed to have a number of Spiritual Directors in our midst.

Spiritual Directors are trained listeners – they’re not there to give you all the answers or counsel you on a change of behavior, but to hold space with you, God, and the longings of your heart. As opposed to pastors who counsel or therapists who facilitate change, Spiritual Directors are companions on the journey of faith, there to help you notice the presence of God in your life.

Whether you are struggling to discern the voice of God, wrestling with questions of faith and doubt, or just need to be reminded that God is good and holds all things and you’re going to be ok, Spiritual Direction can be a well of blessing in your life.

We believe wholeheartedly in the ministry of Spiritual Direction and want to make it accessible and available to anyone who’s interested. In that spirit, The Abbey will sponsor up to half of the session fee for members of The Abbey.

Spiritual Direction sessions generally take place once a month, in-person or online.

If interested, please connect directly with a Spiritual Director below and mention that you are a Member of The Abbey and what level of sponsorship you desire (full, partial, or none).

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Whitney Simpson | Lebanon, TN

Trained at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, 2010-2012

Spiritual direction is an ancient and respected practice of the presence of God, one that has greatly impacted my own faith journey for more than a decade. It’s an honor to be in a ministry of helping others listen for God with their whole selves - breath, body & spirit.

Pricing can vary greatly in spiritual direction, based on location and experience. I currently offer sessions at $75 on a recurring monthly basis for both online and in person sessions. I am opening up two of those spaces for Abbey members and those new to spiritual direction to experience this ministry.

Session fee: Sliding scale of $50-$75

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Amy Warner | Madison, WI

Trained at Sustainable Faith School of Spiritual Direction

I was blessed to find spiritual direction at a time in my life when I was struggling to connect with God. The things that I’d done for years – quiet times, prayer, reading the bible even yoga left me feeling far from God’s presence. 

I love being able to hold a safe space for others to explore what divine presence looks like in their life.  And to help you tune your ear to the song God is singing over you.

I’d be happy to sit down with you in the Madison, WI area or meet you in a virtual session from anywhere.

Session fee: $50

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Melissa Reed | Columbus, OH

Trained at Sustainable Faith School of Spiritual Direction

To me, Spiritual Direction is a luxurious, sacred hour of resting in God's presence. It's a slow, quiet conversation about what God is stirring in your heart. It's about uncovering your deepest, truest desires. It's about discovering who you were created to be.

Session fee: $50

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Kayla Hopgood | Philadelphia, PA

Masters of Divinity, Princeton Theological Seminary
Certificate in Spiritual Direction for Spiritual Guides from Oasis Ministries for Spiritual Development

One of my favorite contemporary mystics, Richard Rohr, has said that prayer is so much more than words and thinking thoughts. Rather, it's a stance. What a gift it can be when we expand our understanding of spirituality to realize that our entire lives are an embodied prayer in which God is within us, around us, and surrounding us. In Spiritual Direction, we care about the commonplace -- the daily rhythms which make up a life. As a Spiritual Director, I companion with you through the joys and sorrows, the mundane and the extraordinary, the doubt and the surety, as we discover the thread of grace running through our lives. Our one-hour together, typically on a monthly basis, is a sacred, confidential, and safe time to bask in God's presence. I am an active member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA).

I'm happy to meet in-person in the greater Philadelphia area or over Skype/Zoom if you're further away.

Session fee: Sliding scale of $50-$75

Renee Clark | Scottsdale, AZ

In training with Selah, Leadership Transformations, Inc.

Renee has a heart for soul care and enjoys walking alongside others on their spiritual journey. She is a former widow and single mom with years of experience offering hospitality.  What she most likes about the discipline of spiritual direction is that it is a holy invitation with a trained listener who will accompany you as you share about your spiritual journey, helping you to notice God’s presence and activity along the way, as well as your personal reactions and responses. Hospitable, confidential, and grounded in biblical truth, spiritual direction is a ministry that helps you grow in prayer and live into your calling as a follower of Christ. 

Renee is currently finishing her training in Spiritual Direction through Selah. She lives in the Phoenix area and is available to meet for direction online or in-person.  There is no financial obligation while she is completing her training.

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Amy Brady | Orlando, FL

In training with Selah, Center for Spiritual Formation

One of my greatest joys over the past 20 years has been to walk with other women as a fellow Sojourner on the journey of life. A favorite quote encourages us to, “let our souls catch up with our bodies.” That’s the heart of spiritual direction for me; a sacred space where we sit and bring it all together. We do this by taking a walk down the contemplative path, listening to your story, and finding His hand in it all. Spiritual direction is sitting with another, holding space for the highs and the hard of daily life, discerning the sound of the still small Voice and the grace of Love. It would be pure joy to join you where you are and listen for where He wants you to go.

Amy is currently undergoing her training in Spiritual Direction through Selah, Center for Spiritual Formation. She lives in the Orlando area and is available to meet for direction online or in-person. There is no financial obligation while she is completing her training.


Spiritual Direction sessions are not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling. While there is some overlap, counseling primarily focuses on one’s relationship with others and the issues surrounding them or on a particular situation in which one is seeking resolution, while spiritual direction focuses on one’s relationship with God. Sometimes God brings issues to the surface that need to be worked through and require the help of professional therapy in addition to or in lieu of spiritual direction. Spiritual direction does not include financial, professional, relational or health care advice and any decisions or actions taken in that regard are done without the advice or recommendation of the Spiritual Director or The Abbey.