Spiritual direction is “help given by one Christian to another which enables that person to pay attention to God’s personal communication to him or her, to respond to this personally communicating God, to grow in intimacy with this God, and to live out the consequences of the relationship.” (William A. Barry and William J. Connolly, The Practice of Spiritual Direction)

Spiritual Direction is a conversational relationship in which one Christian – who has been or is being trained in the “art” of Spiritual direction – serves as a companion to another Christian on the journey of faith, enabling and encouraging that person to do the things outlined in the quote above, from The Practice of Spiritual Direction: pay attention, respond, grow, and live out what they are hearing and experiencing in their relationship with God.

The term “director” is a bit of a misnomer, because in fact the director does not direct – it is God who directs – and the director comes alongside the directee to notice, to make suggestions, to reflect back what the directee is already hearing, seeing, noticing, thinking. Spiritual direction is not problem solving or counseling, but noticing where someone senses that God is present and active or absent and quiet, and then deciding how to respond.

Typically, the two meet once a month for an hour, at the convenience of both, in a safe and quiet place.  There is no charge for spiritual direction. In the beginning you meet 3 to 6 times and then decide whether or not to continue. The relationship continues for as long as both director and directee sense that God is present in their conversation.

What is the First Step?

Three Ways to Begin:  Choose what works for YOU!
1.  Contact One of the Below Individuals Directly.
2.  Contact Rev. Joe T. Mitchell at fatherjoe@stjamesskan.org or 315.685.7600
     and he can assist you with taking the next step.
3.  Contact the Spiritual Renewal Center-CLICK HERE

Spiritual Retreat Centers in CNY

Are you interested in an immersive spiritual retreat? Click the button below to learn more about retreat centers in Central New York.

St. James' Episcopal Church Spiritual Directors

 Debra Rose has been an active parishioner at St. James’ since retiring to Auburn six years ago with her husband, Santo. She has been active in Stephen Ministry, serves as a lay reader and chalice bearer, facilitated an adult Lenten study on “Race through the Lens of the Gospel” in 2017, and is a member of the St. James’ Racial Justice and Reconciliation Commission. Debra Rose received her BA in Literature from Bard College, a Master of Arts in Teaching from Tufts University, and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Andover Newton Theology School. She is currently enrolled in a 2-year Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. After an initial career in publishing she worked for over twenty years in trademark law, as a paralegal and manager. Debra is involved with Celebrate! Diverse Auburn and the Harriet Tubman Boosters. She was certified as a spiritual director in 2018 and loves listening to people and walking with them on their spiritual journeys.
You may contact Debra Rose via email at debra_rose@live.com and via phone or text at 617-515-8948.

Michael Brown’s credentials include degrees in Music, Library Science, Educational Administration, and a Masters in Theology and Social Justice. I worked in school libraries for 40 years, most of them in the lower grades, using books, storytelling and music, to spark the imagination and empower a life of creative thought. I see Spiritual Direction as a process involving two persons but focusing on one, the directee. The director offers the gift of mirroring: reflecting back to the directee the image of Christ that is within that person. 
I was trained as a Spiritual Director through the Horizons Program at the Spiritual Renewal Center in Syracuse. This is a two year program in Spiritual Direction with an Ignatian undergirding. As a Tertiary in the Third Order Society of St. Francis, I find the melding of Franciscan and Ignatian Spiritualities to be a delight. I see Ignatian Spirituality as connecting with the intellectual side of my spirit, and Franciscan Spirituality connecting with my heart. As Francis spoke the words, “I have done what was mine to do,” I believe we each do our best to follow this advice by learning and doing what is ours, and ours only, to do by the indwelling Spirit of Christ.
You may contact Michael Brown by email: michaelbrownmarcellus@gmail.com
Christina enjoys spiritual companioning with others- knowing Jesus is always delightfully present. One of her passions is cross-cultural spiritual exploration and listening to others’ journeys.
Christina completed her Spiritual Direction Training via the Horizon’s program at the Syracuse Spiritual Renewal Center in 2021. Background training includes: Masters in Cultural/ Applied Anthropology, Bachelors in Social work and an Associates in Human Services, along with training in mediation work and facilitating group dialogue on cultural and diversity issues. Currently Christina teaches cultural studies at a local community college.
She enjoys worshipping with St. James Episcopal church and being part of community relationship ministries. Watching nature’s beauty feeds her soul. She loves discovering anew God’s great Love for each of us as we journey together, an amazing privilege.
Christina Stavenhagen-Helgren is currently taking a pause in her spiritual companioning ministry.  Please reach out to one of the other wonderful people on this page.
I am a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York, where I served in full-time parish ministry for over 40 years. I hold an AB in British Literature from Syracuse University, a Master of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge MA and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Virginia Theological Seminary. I have two quarters of Clinical Pastoral Education, both in mental health settings. I currently serve as a Supply Priest in the Finger Lakes area. I have a commitment to a Benedictine life that expresses itself in a balance among Prayer, Study, Work and Self-Care/Expression. I am committed to the development of a contemplative life, and recently completed construction of a prayer shelter on my rural property to further that work. Pastoral care, healing and spiritual friendship have been at the core of my ministry for many years. I love music and photography and working with others.
The Rev. Dr. Jim Corl may be reached by email at jimcorl3@mac.com or by text at 315-263-8296.
Pam joined St. James’ in 2000 when she and Chuck Stewart were married. She was still on active duty, stationed in San Diego and moved to Skaneateles on her retirement from the Navy in 2002. She has served as a Parish Nurse, a Stephen Minister, and Safe Church trainer. While in the Navy, among her many assignments, she served as a command drug and alcohol program adviser and worked on an admiral’s staff coordinating with the Fleet and Family Services Support Program. Upon her retirement from the Navy, she attended nursing school and worked as a critical care nurse and a psychiatric/substance abuse nurse. She has a BA and MA in business and an BS in nursing. She is a novice in the Third Order Society of St. Francis and has begun a two-year program in spiritual director training through the Spiritual Renewal Center in Syracuse, NY.
Pam may be reached via email at pjstewart50@verizon.net and via phone or text at 315-224-1777.