Upcoming Events

February 24, 2025

2024 The Art of Retreat

Mike Bowden will be facilitating this interactive time as we learn from one another and work together in small groups to create a retreat we can offer within our ministry contexts. Bring your questions and your resources so we can hone our skills in this very important place of ministry. Mike will also be sharing his own experiences from leading retreats around the world.

Purchase Past Events

February 26, 2024

2024 ESDA Gathering

Reserve your spot for our annual ESDA Gathering, February 26th - 29th, at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Phoenix, Arizona!

October 12, 2023

ESDA Book Club

This fall we will read Dr. Curt Thompson's the Soul of Shame. We invite all ESDA members to join us!


September 09, 2023

To Be Restless Companions: Discovering the Gifts in Unsettled Seasons

We’re excited for this opportunity to learn from Casey Tygrett, the author of “The Gift of Restlessness: A Spirituality for Unsettled Seasons.” Casey, a spiritual director and member of ESDA, will help us articulate both the reality of restlessness and the work of remaining with God in the wilderness.

March 04, 2023

A Conversation with Michel Hendricks

Why does spiritual transformation seem fleeting? And why do Christian communities often seem shallow? Michel Hendricks asked these questions when he met neurotheologian, Jim Wilder, and discovered what's been missing from his church community and spiritual life.

January 27, 2023

2023 ESDA Gathering

Our 7th annual ESDA Gathering was held at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Phoenix, Arizona. The title was Gathering is Holding the Soul: Exploring God's Design for Transformation.

November 12, 2022

Deepening Self Awareness - How Our Enneagram Patterns Influence Our Practice

This online Seminar with Marilyn Vancil focused on how we, as Spiritual Directors, can be more fully present to our directees and to God. We explored the Enneagram’s unbounded invitation to draw closer to the center of God’s love while reimagining how we are called to move into our spiritual direction practices with greater freedom and authenticity.

September 17, 2022

Creating a Formational Retreat Experience

Do you have a desire to offer a formative retreat experience? Have you hesitated wondering where to begin? Do you offer retreats and are looking for a fresh perspective? These are some of the questions we explored with Mindy Caligure, co-founder and team leader at Soul Care. We explored together the various ways to create a deep and rich experience for others.

May 14, 2022

A Conversation about Deconstruction

What does it mean to deconstruct one’s faith? Is this a dangerous 21st century trend or is there something valuable about pulling apart one’s belief system? This seminar explored common experiences of deconstruction and how you can be present with directees who may be questioning the foundations of their faith.

April 23, 2022

A Conversation with Sharon Brown: Using Story as a Tool for Discernment

During this virtual event we explored the role of story in discernment with the author of Sensible Shoes and fellow ESDA member, Sharon Garlough Brown.

January 20, 2022

Life in the Body Virtual Event Series : Session 3 - Pictures of Hope in the Church

In this session you will hear from church leaders who are experiencing the movement of the Spirit in their church bodies--in all its glory and messiness. Their stories can cast a vision for what is possible and renew hope as you move into God’s call in your church relationship.

November 11, 2021

Life in the Body Virtual Event Series : Session 2- Honoring Relationships

This session explored how you can be spiritually healthy and loving in your church relationships while responding to God’s call, whether that is to stay, pursue change or leave your current situation.

September 30, 2021

Life in the Body Virtual Event Series : Session 1- An Honest Conversation About Church

In this session we honestly explored what it can feel like to be disconnected or frustrated by church. Acknowledging the truth gives us a place to begin dialoguing with God about what we do from here.

June 26, 2021

ESDA Virtual Event: The Long Range Effects of COVID

Dr. Genalin Niere Metcalf explores the effects of our collective and prolonged societal trauma, complicated by politics, polarization, racial unrest, vaccine controversies, and personal loss.

May 22, 2021

ESDA Virtual Event: Spiritual Direction and Diversity: Tools for Greater Sensitivity

Without awareness, understanding, and training in intercultural encounters we can easily close the doors that we desire to open. ESDA Members Brenda Darby & Ellen Kuo shared tools for greater sensitivity.

April 24, 2021

ESDA Virtual Event: Tools of Discernment

Father Mark Thibodeaux, has written on discernment and Ignatian spirituality, and shares tools that can help us and our directees in the discernment process.

March 20, 2021

ESDA Virtual Event: Guiding Directees from Head to Heart

In this session, Dr. Betsy Barber will discuss tools that encourage directees to explore the meaning and emotional context of their lives.

February 20, 2021

ESDA Virtual Event: Styles of Direction

Fr Ryan Bradley discusses direction styles from a historical perspective, in relation to other contemporary forms of one-another ministries, and how our personal giftedness can play a role when we meet with directees.