Listen carefully with the ear of your heart. ~ Rule of St. Benedict
How to make an appointment:
Schedule a complimentary exploratory meeting or make an appointment for a spiritual direction visit by calling: 515-274-4006 or emailing: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Spiritual Direction?
Within each of us lies the desire to find meaning beyond the moment, to discover our true selves, and to grow closer to the sacred and one another. A spiritual director can help you satisfy that longing.
Spiritual direction is a privileged time and space to reflect with another about your spiritual life. It is the art of sacred listening carried out in the context of a one-to-one trusting relationship. A spiritual director “companions” you in uncovering God’s presence in your life. As a process, spiritual direction involved slowing down, being quiet, and learning to tune into the guidance of a divine spirit within.
We live in a society that is fast-paced, noisy, competitive, and driven by consumerism and other false gods. We live in times of conflict and war, both internally and in the world around us. In the midst of all this, we are a people hungering to make sense of our lives and to find meaning and hope.
Spiritual direction is a time for you to confidentially share and reflect in the presence of a trained and experienced guide. The goal is to help you discern how God is at work in your life and to come home to your truest self.
Is spiritual direction faith-based? Must you believe in God to be in spiritual direction?
Spiritual direction is really not about being “directed.” Rather, it is much about being encouraged to draw closer to all that is holy in your life. Spiritual direction invites you into this relationship whether you attend a church, mosque, synagogue, temple, or none of these. Spiritual direction might be more about wrestling with questions, rather than offering pat answers. Spiritual directors come in all religions and no faith.
Who seeks spiritual direction?
People who seek spiritual direction come from all walks of life and all faith backgrounds. They are individuals who:
- Desire to grow spiritually.
- Want a deeper prayer life, a greater sense of holy presence in daily life.
- Wish to learn discernment in sorting out choices, making important life decisions, or going through times of transition.
- Are experiencing loss or disillusionment, wondering what it all means.
- Are struggling with a sense of God’s absence in life or with questions about faith or belief.
How often does one meet with a spiritual director?
The first exploratory visit might be to acquaint with the concept of spiritual direction, and to discern if this service and the director is a good fit for you. While a single session may be requested, most individuals choose a continuing relationship, meeting every month or so with their spiritual director. The subject matter may be anything that has occurred in life that the directee wants to examine in the light of how the divine is present in or working through this event and his/her life.
Spiritual Direction Services offered:
- Individual spiritual direction
- Group spiritual direction
- Individual spiritual direction supervision
- Group spiritual direction supervision
All the Center’s spiritual directors are also trained spiritual director supervisors. Learn more about Spiritual Direction Supervision
Chris Waddle M.Div.
Director of Leadership and Spiritual Life
Chris believes that the essence of spirituality is rooted in ever growing loving relationships with God, others, creation, and our best selves. As the Director of Leadership and Spiritual Life, Chris helps leaders, communities, and individuals from all walks of life and religious beliefs nurture these significant relationships. Chris believes nurturing these relationships involves faith, vulnerability, wonder, and playfulness. Chris’ religious perspective and practice was formed in the United Methodist Church and he continues to be active in this faith tradition. Chris has a Bachelor of Science degree in Social and Rehabilitation Services from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University. Chris has two units of Clinical Pastoral Education: one from the American Institute for Ministry and the other from The University of North Carolina Medical Center. Chris has served as an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church in Mississippi and in Iowa. He has experience as an associate pastor, small church pastor, and a large church pastor. Chris also served as the Chaplain and Director of Church Relations for Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa from 2001-2009. He also served as a teacher and clergy coach for the Iowa United Methodist Conference’s Healthy Church Initiative. Chris’ vocational interests include Applying Bowen Family Systems Theory to congregational leadership, spiritual and vocational direction, the psychology of happiness, the integration of faith and science, and mysticism in world religions. His hobbies include fishing, running, playing guitar, travel, and vintage toys.
Christine A. Dietz, Ph.D., L.I.S.W.
Christine Dietz is a licensed independent social worker and spiritual director. She received her M.S.W. from the University of Iowa, her Ph.D. in Sociology from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and her Doctor of Ministry degree in Jewish Spirituality from the Graduate Theological Foundation. She is a graduate of the Lev Shomea Training Program for Spiritual Direction in the Jewish Tradition. Christine’s focus in counseling and spiritual direction is on helping people reconnect to their innate wholeness and renew their sense of hope and possibility. She works with people experiencing anxiety, depression, trauma, life transitions, chronic illness, grief and loss, relationship issues and LGBTQ+ concerns. She also offers individual and group spiritual direction to people from all religious and spiritual traditions as well as those with none. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, Spiritual Directors International and the Jewish Spiritual Directors’ Association.
Jim Hayes, D.Min.
Jim is the executive director of the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center and a spiritual director. Jim holds a master of divinity degree from St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, and a doctoral degree in homiletics from the Aquinas Institute at St. Louis University. He studied philosophy at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome, Italy. Jim has been in spiritual direction for over 35 years and served as a spiritual director since 1990. Previously, Jim served students and faculty at Simpson College in a variety of administrative roles and as a religion professor. He has also served as campus minister at Iowa State where he continued to expand his global awareness through study abroad and work with international students, including the use of conversational English, French, Italian and Spanish. Before his work in the higher education sector, Jim provided spiritual counseling and pastoral ministry in a wide variety of settings through priestly ministry in the Northeast Iowa Archdiocese of Dubuque. Read Jim’s blog here: www.dmpcc.org/Jim
Juan Pablo is a bicultural and bilingual (Spanish/English) licensed mental health counselor. He holds a B.A. in theology from the Pontificia Studiorum Universitas Salesiana of Rome and obtained a M.A. in Spanish as well as a M.S. in Counseling from Texas A&M University-Commerce. Juan Pablo is working towards his certification as E.M.D.R (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) therapist. Juan Pablo has a background in ministry as a catholic priest and as a spiritual director. He is passionate about helping people to heal, grow, and finding meaning in their lives. He works primarily with adults, couples, and families to resolve their relationships, trauma history, depression, anxiety, and life transitions. Juan Pablo also has been working in the education field as a teacher and school counselor, giving him experience with children and adolescents using play therapy. Juan Pablo is excited about starting as a spiritual director and mental health counselor here at the Center.
Andrea Severson is a mental health counselor and spiritual director. Her degrees include a Master of Science in counseling from Drake University and a Master of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. She holds a certificate in spiritual direction and is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. Andrea enjoys hearing the unique stories of the individuals and couples with whom she works. Her areas of interest include anxiety, depression, trauma, identity, faith and spirituality, life transitions, and relationships. Andrea is a member of the American Mental Health Counselors Association and Spiritual Directors International. In her spare time, she likes reading historical fiction, listening to the Beatles and camping.
Erin Storm is a licensed independent social worker in the state of Iowa, and a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Missouri. Erin earned her B.A. in religion and her B.A. in psychology from Hope College. She went on to obtain her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Chicago’s Crown School, and also pursued her Master of Divinity degree from the University of Chicago’s Divinity School. As a pastoral counselor, Erin is interested in the integration of faith and existential commitments and concerns into counseling. Erin has worked with clients from a variety of religious and non-religious backgrounds. She also has a special interest in applying Bowen systems theory to her work with clients as they navigate the complexities of the systems that they are a part of. This work includes individuals, families, clergy, and organizational leaders. Most recently, Erin worked in a university counseling setting, and brings experience working with young adults on a variety of concerns such as anxiety, depression, identity issues, family issues, eating disorders, and grief. Erin is open to seeing adults in all stages of life. Outside of the office, she likes to hike and explore nature, do crossword puzzles, and watch movies with her family.
For more information about PrairieFire, a 2-year spiritual renewal program
Silence . Contemplation . Deepening . Finding meaning . Freedom . Connection