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Institute for Spiritual Guidance

Siena Retreat Center’s Institute for Spiritual Guidance (ISG) was developed in response to the need for continuing education and growth of spiritual guides.  The Institute offers workshops that create opportunities for guides to learn and further integrate the art and skill of companioning another person.

Now in its fifth year, the Institute is for both seasoned spiritual guides and those who have more recently completed training.  Supervision training is periodically offered through the Institute for Spiritual Guidance.  The following workshops are scheduled for 2020.  To register, visit the appropriate page in the Retreat Programs section.

Retreat for Spiritual Guides: “Nurturing Souls:  Our Own  and Those We Companion”

This retreat, held virtually only via Zoom, is for spiritual guides who desire to take some time to reflect on their ministry of nurturing others and to gift themselves with the time to nurture themselves.

The retreat begins on Thursday at 7:00pm and concludes on Friday at 5:00pm. Register
You will be given a more precise schedule after joining the first session on Thursday evening.
Cost of $95 includes $50 non-refundable deposit.
Cost of $155 includes $50 non-refundable deposit for all four programs within the Institute for Spiritual Guidance

Diane M. Millis, PhD, is a professor, spiritual director, and retreat presenter who focuses on the art of storytelling and deep listening.  She is the author of three books: Re-Creating a LifeConversation—The Sacred Art, and Deepening Engagement.  She currently teaches Narrative Leadership at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.  To learn more about her ministry, visit www.dianemillis.com.

Changing Times for Spiritual Guides

This workshop, held virtually via Zoom, will explore some of the current thinking and themes regarding the “religiously unaffiliated” and how this impacts our ministry as spiritual guides.  What are the gifts and challenges we face as spiritual guides in serving this population as they make choices for different spiritual paths?

The morning will be facilitated by Annette Jo Giarrante and Nicki Nelson.  See bios below.

Saturday, August 8, 2020
9:00am—12:00noon; cost: $20. Register

Group Supervision Methods

Supervision explores what is “beneath the surface” of the spiritual guide—unexamined patterns, reactions, or assumptions—to better understand oneself and companion others.  Some people experience supervision in a group of peers.

This workshop, held virtually via Zoom, will present helpful guidelines that can be used by spiritual guides for group supervision.

Participants will have the opportunity to experience and process these guidelines. 

The workshop will be facilitated by Annette Jo Giarrante and Cindy Ulrich. 

Saturday, August 8, 2020
1:00pm—4:30pm; cost: $20.  Register

Annette Jo Giarrante has a private practice in spiritual guidance and life coaching.  She is the former director of the Institute for Spiritual Leadership in Chicago.

Nicki Nelson is a spiritual director, retreat facilitator, certified Parent Effectiveness Training™ Instructor, and mother of two. She holds an M.A. in Theology from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, with concentrations in Social Theory and Ethics and in Women’s Studies in Religion.  She loves supporting women as they engage with the inner work of the spiritual journey and then integrate it with the outward expression of their lives.

Cindy Ulrich is a spiritual guide who received her training from the Spiritual Guidance Training Program at Siena Retreat Center.  She companions those who desire to notice and respond to the inner movements of Spirit in their everyday lives.  Cindy spends her mornings facilitating music enrichment programs to young children and her afternoons working at the Sheil Catholic Center at Northwestern University where she serves young adults who are seeking connection with God in their lives.  Cindy has three sons and lives with her husband in Evanston, Illinois.

Alice in Wonderland:  A Paradigm for the Transformative Journey of Curiosity, Messiness, and Courage

This morning workshop, held virtually via Zoom, will include input, reflection, and discussion on the topic of spiritual guidance.  Through storytelling and reflection on her own personal experiences as a spiritual guide, Lucy Abbott Tucker will focus on practical skills and the artful nature of companioning another.  Her presentation will help to enrich our own spiritual guidance practice.

Sunday, August 9, 2020
Cost:  $20. Register

Lucy Abbott Tucker has worked in adult formation and the preparation of people for the ministry of spiritual guidance for the past 36 years.  She studied at the Institute for Spiritual Leadership and at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and earned a masters degree in theology.  Lucy worked for many years at the Institute for Spiritual Leadership in Chicago and is a leader in—and frequent presenter for—Spiritual Directors International.  Lucy has also published several articles on adult formation and the ministry of spiritual guidance.