ABOUT THE SCHOOL
A Deeper Understanding
We may have many people in our lives but few with whom we can share the depths of our spiritual journey. If you are someone who finds yourself listening to others, perhaps it is time to seek a deeper understanding of the spiritual path. Is it time to develop your skills in accompanying others along the way? Spiritual direction takes many forms, informal and formal: guiding, companioning, befriending, counseling, mentoring and sharing.
Spiritual Direction Training
Adelynrood is blessed to provide special training for women and men from all faiths seeking to develop a call to holy listening. The Adelynrood School for Spiritual Direction is held each summer at Adelynrood for one week in June and August for four sessions over two years. All faculty have been trained in recognized spiritual direction training programs and are experienced directors. Get an overview of the curriculum, our mentors, and how to register below.
Program Comprised of Four Sessions
Two Sessions are offered each year. Take them in any order.
Sessions I and II will be offered in 2024.
This session introduces spiritual direction/spiritual companioning, how it differs from and relates to other kinds of helping relationships, and what gifts it calls out of us. Participants will be introduced to a variety of approaches to spiritual direction and invited to explore these in practice sessions.
Session Leader: The Rev. Ken Orth, Ph.D.
Supporting the Development of a Spiritual Life: This session focuses on the core practice of discernment in spiritual direction, inviting students to explore their own spiritual journeys and their practices of prayer as the foundations of a spiritual life.
This session explores various theories of human personality and their possible uses in spiritual direction. We will look at the Enneagram, the Myers Briggs Type Inventory and the Pearson-Marr Type Indicator. We will also review the importance of a peer group and supervision.
Session Leader: The Rev. Michelle Meech
This session invites participants to look inward, examining the ways in which biases shape our responses without our being aware of them and how we can cultivate openness through our spiritual practices. Our presenters will offer tools that can be used with any population. The practicalities of ethics and developing a spiritual direction practice will also be addressed.
Session Leaders: The Rev. Anne Ritchings, Dr. Kathleen Hope-Brown
Meet Our Leaders
Anne Ritchings, SCHC, MA, MSLS, MDiv, (Session IV and Program Co-Director)
Anne Ritchings is an Episcopal priest with 30 plus years’ experience in spiritual direction. She received her training at the General Theological Seminary and the Adelynrood School for Spiritual Direction. She is also certified as a Dream Work Facilitator and a SoulCollage® Facilitator. She serves as a spiritual director in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania companioning those who are in a vocational discernment process. She has worked as a college English teacher, a reference librarian, and a cheese maker at a goat dairy in New Mexico. “Every life experience offers us a connection with the Divine presence. We need only to open ourselves to hear the music of eternity, the song that God is singing in our souls.”
Dr. Kathleen Staudt, SCHC, Ph.D. (Session II and Program Co-Director)
Kathy has worked as a teacher, poet and spiritual director at a number of institutions in the Washington, DC area. She received her certificate in Spiritual Direction from Washington Theological Union and has been offering Spiritual Direction for over 20 years. A finalist in the 2021 Paraclete Poetry contest, she has published several books of poetry, most recently Viriditas: New and Selected Poems (2023) as well as scholarly work on the British artist and poet David Jones. Her approach to discernment is developed in her book Shaping a Faithful Life: Discernment and Discipleship for Young Adults (2021). Her website is kathleenstaudtpoet.com
The Rev. Michelle Meech (Session III)
The Rev. Michelle Meech trained with the Enneagram Institute and has taught the Enneagram ever since. She works as rector for St. John’s Episcopal Church in Kingston, New York, where she lives and grows things with her beloved wife, Ana.
The Rev. Ken Orth, Ph.D. (Session I)
The Rev. Dr. Ken Orth, Ph.D. offers pastoral psychotherapy and spiritual direction as part of his affiliation on the staff of the First Congregational Church (UCC) and Horizons Associates in Winchester, MA. A graduate of Harvard Divinity School and Andover Newton Theological School, he was ordained in the UCC in 1976. A Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and associate of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, Dr. Orth specializes in offering spiritual direction to clergy of many denominations in the Boston area. o.
Dr. Kathleen Hope-Brown, DMin, (Session IV)
Kathy is affiliate faculty at Virginia Theological Seminary and DeSales University, where she teaches spiritual direction and spirituality studies. She is the co-founder and primary instructor of the Bon Secours Spiritual Direction Institute and Coordinator of Spiritual Formation at the Saint Luke Institute in Silver Spring, MD, a psychiatric treatment facility for clergy and religious. Kathy trained at Catholic University and the Washington Theological Union. She is the author of Lay Leaders of Worship: A Practical and Spiritual Guide (Liturgical Press 2004) and co-author of Companions on the Journey: The Gift of Spiritual Friendship (DeSales Resource Center, 2006). Her article about spiritual direction with victims of abuse was published in Presence (Vol 23, No 4) in December 2017.
Betty Lane, MBA, SCHC, Program Administrator
Betty is a mostly retired Medical Device consultant and a graduate of the first class of the Adelynrood School for Spiritual Direction. An active Companion, she has been chairwoman for several SCHC committees. She heads adult faith formation and the worship committee in her parish. She is active in her diocese in education around racial reconciliation and is a Sacred Ground Facilitator. She is the Administrator for the Adelynrood School for Spiritual Direction.
It is essential that anyone desiring to offer spiritual direction to others be engaged in the practice with her/his own spiritual director. Ideally, applicants should have at least six months experience with direction. If you don’t have a spiritual director, visit Spiritual Directors International for a list of spiritual companions at or check with your parish, diocese, conference or synod for a local list.
Applicants must submit before their first session, a 3- to 4-page spiritual autobiography that includes:
- Challenges you have faced.
- Ways in which you think you have grown.
- Practices that support your life in God.
- Your experience with spiritual direction.
- What draws you to seek training as a spiritual director.
- How you see yourself using this training.
Prior to the first session, participants should read chapters 1-3 in Spiritual Direction: A Practical Introduction, by Sue Pickering. It is available to order from your local independent bookstore, or wherever you purchase your books.
The program fee for one session is $828. This includes all materials, single room lodging and meals (Monday dinner through Friday Lunch) at Adelynrood, attendance at the Quiet Day and the opportunity to practice spiritual direction during the session dates.
Lodging and Meals
Single room lodging and meals at Adelynrood are included in your program fee. (Monday dinner through Friday lunch.) If you want to share a room, are commuting to Adelynrood or would like to stay before or after the session dates, contact our reservations staff at 978-462-6721 ext. 31 for rates.
Registration is now open for the 2024 programs. Please see the registration links located within each description.
Scholarships are available.
Thank you for your interest in the Adelynrood School for Spiritual Direction. We welcome your questions about programs, enrollment or lodging.