Kathi Gatlin

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Jeff Savage

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Jean Nevills

Lynn Holt

Spiritual Direction
Formation &
Training Program
Cohort 2025

This intensive one-year offering is for those who have completed the Renovare Institute Program: Becoming a Listening Presence in Everyday Life. 

Spiritual direction instruction forms those who wish to accompany others desiring an intimate friendship and experience of God. The breadth and depth of today’s challenges and questions in this threshold moment highlight the need for those who are trained for generous-active listening as soul companions. As a listening and healing presence, spiritual directors assist others to recognize their inner movements toward greater freedom and wholeness to encourage active responses of love and goodness for the sake of the world.    

Following a contemplative, compassionate, and evocative model, we offer attention to foundational components which include theory and robust practical experience. Our approach is in the Christian Contemplative traditions that engender a capacity to host those of other faiths or no faith.

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  • Listening Silence
  • Encountering Presence
  • Generous Compassionate Justice
  • Forming for Companioning Self and the World
  • Discernment Leading Toward Freedom
  • Embodied Listening Awareness
  • Collaborative Learning and Relational Focus

The art of sacred listening in spiritual direction nurtures and sustains soul-tending and is different from problem-focused pastoral counseling, goal-making in coaching or mentoring, and teaching through discipleship. We live in a time when our souls are easily ignored, languishing in the ambiguities and paradoxes of being human. We experience both our greatness and our fragility and underneath those tensions, we may notice fear and uncertainty, busyness and achievement, shame and isolation. Taking the time to intently listen to our inner life readies and sustains our personal encounter with Christ and prepares us to engage our outer world with compassion, grace, and new insight. Here we find for ourselves and for the sake of others space and time for the soul to thrive.

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Our program is designed for a cohort to journey together in learning the art of spiritual direction while growing deeper in self-awareness. The cost of this robust program is $4200.

  • Virtual Intensive Dates: February 3-6, 2025
  • Weekly Online Sessions starting Tuesday, January 14, 2025, 3:30-5pm PT
  • Session dates honor summer breaks and holidays
  • Program completion by December 2025
  • Personal Attention From Experienced & Engaging Instructors and Supervisors
  • Intensive
    Spiritual Direction
    Formation & Training


    12-Month Fully Virtual Program

  • Date

    January 14 - 
    December 16, 2025
    with two months off in the summer

  • Time

    3:30-5pm PT

  • Cost

    $4200. Tuition includes full curriculum including supervision, mentoring, and five spiritual formation courses.

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Spiritual Formation Courses Included

Each of these spiritual formation and applied spiritual direction courses are included in the program cost. They are all designed for spiritual directors in training. They are designed to hold space for our own journey as well as for those we walk alongside. If you believe you already have the understanding gained from these courses, you may challenge them based on prior training. 
  • Hosting Difficult Conversations
  • Offering Group Spiritual Direction
  • Internal Family Systems
  • Forming a Spiritual Direction Practice
  • Shame and Resilience

Our Program Guides

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Lynn Holt

Praxis Mentor
Lynn Holt is an experienced educator in the formation of spiritual directors and those who offer soul companionship. She has trained and supervised spiritual directors through Portland Seminary in an online/hybrid format for the past 7 years. Her vocation as a soul companion includes serving as a spiritual director and supervisor for 23 years, 18 years of pastoral ministry, and teaching theological, leadership, and spiritual formation courses. Lynn is a Quaker and holds an M.Div from Portland Seminary and received her spiritual direction training from the Mercy Center of Colorado Springs and supervision training from the Mercy Center in Burlingame. 

Lynn is gifted in preparing and supporting soul companions whose faithful response in these challenging times invites generous listening and a compassionate heart for the sake of the world. Her ministry is grounded in a contemplative posture of holy listening, surrendering to the Mystery with a sense of awe and curiosity, and the dynamic relationship of God's Presence.
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Kathi Gatlin

Praxis Mentor & Spiritual Formation Instructor
Kathi Gatlin founded Boldly Loved and co-founded the Companioning Center to bring together her two greatest passions: spiritual formation and teaching. In this, she utilizes her DMin. in Leadership and Spiritual Formation from Portland Seminary and her M.Ed. earned through George Fox University.

Her greatest joy is walking alongside others, individually and in groups, in their own spiritual journey, sharing ways of understanding God anew through contemplative prayer and teaching, and to see them grow in the depth of their own understanding of who God is and who they are in relationship with God. Kathi is a spiritual director, supervisor, writer, spiritual formation group facilitator, retreat speaker, and leadership mentor. For more information about Kathi, check out boldlyloved.org.
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Jeff Savage

Praxis Mentor
Jeff Savage is a spiritual director, retreat guide, and couples facilitator shaped by over 30 years of pastoral ministry and contemplative practice. He has also served as a spiritual director and faculty advisor for Portland Seminary. Jeff and his wife, Janet, offer retreat space for reflection, rest, and renewal at their home above the McKenzie River at Vida, Oregon. In each expression of his calling, Jeff finds abundant joy in holding space for folks to pay attention to their life in God. The values that center him in his vocation include hopeful trust, hospitality, attentiveness, and integrity. Jeff finds balance in tending garden, photography, wandering, and being Pop Pop to four grandchildren (photos supplied on request). For more about Jeff visit his site at sacredspacevida.com.
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Jean Nevills

Praxis Mentor
Jean Nevills' desire for God has led to adventures in contemplative wisdom and solitude, as well as mission adventures as far away as Ethiopia, South Korea, and China.  Marriage and mothering, a family business and community life are the natural arenas for ongoing spiritual transformation, spiritual practices, and living life with God in a Jesus way. A Spiritual Director and Supervisor with a Master’s degree in Christian Education and Certificate in Spiritual Formation from the Renovare Institute, Jean has served as a Spiritual Director and Supervisor at Portland Seminary and a praxis instructor for Fuller Seminary’s DMin in Spiritual Direction. For more information about Jean's retreat cottage and Spiritual Direction/Supervision practice, check out her site at JeanNevills.com.

Frequently asked questions

Who should apply?

This section is for those who have completed the Renovare Becoming a Listening Presence in Everyday Life program. We are welcoming Spiritual Seekers and Spiritual Leaders who have a capacity to listen to and articulate their own spiritual experience and are drawn to deep authentic and vulnerable conversations. Applicants should have experience in an ongoing relationship receiving spiritual direction or less formal spiritual accompaniment. A recommendation from that person will be required as part of the application process. Those who do not currently have a formal spiritual direction relationship will need to engage one. We have a list available of spiritual directors who offer the same contemplative flow of what we are teaching. 

What is the expected workload?

Students can expect to spend 8-10 hours per week in reading, reflection, online cohort discussions, and praxis sessions.

What is the size of the cohort?

Due to our high praxis and relational approach we are limiting each cohort to 8-18 participants. With three trained praxis mentors, the student to mentor ratio is six to one maximum. 

Why would I join?

As we journey together over these 12-months, you will receive content with guided praxis to develop listening skills to hold space for others without having to fix them. Our program is heavily weighted with listening and spiritual direction praxis, while you are accompanied by trained supervisory praxis mentors who desire to help you learn to openly listen with empathy, compassion, offering a contemplative, judgment-free space. In addition to spiritual direction content, we include eight spiritual formation courses to help define your own way of understanding yourself, God, and those around you. 

What is included in the cost?

The cost for this one-year program—excluding personal spiritual direction, books, and supplies—is $4200. A deposit of $1000 is due by December 15, 2024 once a student is accepted. The balance can be paid in full by February 2025 or through a 11-month payment plan of $300 per month starting in January 2025. All spiritual direction training sessions, spiritual formation courses, and supervision/mentor sessions are included.

Where are you located?

We are located outside of Portland, Oregon and our weekly sessions are all virtual. So there is no need to travel to our location.

Who do I contact for more information?

Email Kathi Gatlin at kathi@companioningcenter.org for more information.