Helping Christians to grow in Christ was a burden I carried, even as I graduated from UofT, hoping to launch a counseling practice. I was led, by the Spirit, to Tyndale Seminary in 1998 to begin an MDiv. in counseling—graduating with a Spiritual Direction diploma as well in 2003. After 7 years of teaching spiritual formation and spiritual direction at Tyndale, I went on to graduate with a DMin. in Leadership and Spiritual Formation from George Fox Seminary in Oregon. Since then—and with much prayer and discernment with trusted leaders, God has clearly invited me to collaborate in this work: Emmaus Formation Centre. As I continue to lead Emmaus, I am challenged to ensure all ministry, is offered with grace and excellence. I am not only blessed to witness lives transformed and deepened in Christ, but also blessed to witness the movement of the ministry of spiritual direction—within the Evangelical Church.
As Emmaus Formation Centre’s Director of Education, Paul oversees and directs our training programs. Paul’s great joy is in seeing people learn and grow! He has been in ministry most of his life serving in teaching, administrative, and various church roles. Paul has a doctorate from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Christian formation (his dissertation was on Spirituality and Psychological Types among Canadian Evangelicals). and is ordained in the Evangelical Covenant Church. He trained as a spiritual director at Shalem Institute in Washington, DC and is currently in training with the Ontario Association of Jungian Analysts.
He has participated in the founding of a number of centres and programs related to spiritual formation and direction including the John W. Weborg Centre for Spiritual Direction in Chicago, Emmaus Formation Centre in southern Ontario, and the Doctor of Ministry program in Leadership and Spiritual Formation at Tyndale Seminary, Toronto.
Paul now focuses on spiritual direction, educational consulting, and teaching. He does spiritual direction with both professional ministers and lay persons who are committed to discerning the Spirit’s movements in their life, working out their vocation in the world, and engaging cooperatively with God in their own transformation.
Paul lives in North York with his wife, Marlene, a retired palliative care nurse.
I was born and raised in the U.K. and came to Christ during my first year at University. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship became my spiritual home and I quickly found myself dipping into all Six Streams of Living Water: Contemplative, Holiness, Charismatic, Social Justice, Evangelical and Incarnational as reflected by members of the fellowship. Prior to graduation God called me to the mission field where I met a Chinese Jesuit who introduced me to Spiritual Direction. More importantly, I was also introduced to my wife, Olwyn who was born in Northern Ireland; she was four years old when the family moved to Canada. We have two sons and four grandchildren. After thirteen wonderful years on the mission field we returned to Canada and then embarked on seven wonderful years of learning the Art of Spiritual Direction.
The Biblical Basis of my Soul and Spiritual Direction Practice is The Greatest Commandment and The Great Commission which compels me to Love the Trinity, Love Myself & Family and Love our Neighbours both far and near. Thus, I have a global spiritual direction practice and welcome those who hike with the Saints and other Global Nomads overseas and who are at home, or return home to their roots.
Marc is both a pastor and spiritual director, having trained at Tyndale Seminary in the art and practice of spiritual direction, meeting with both pastors and laity for more than 5 years.
Marc regards spiritual direction as, “a ministry of listening, discernment and prayer, taking place within a relational context of confidentiality, acceptance and compassion—guided by the Holy Spirit.”
Marc’s favorite hobbies are fishing, landscaping, car detailing, and volleyball.
Robynn’s greatest joy is to come alongside someone and see where God might be at work in their stories…what he might be inviting them into… where he might be bringing redemption, healing and hope. Robynn is a certified spiritual director through the Souljourner program of Mt. Saint Scholastica, Benedictine College in Atchison, KS. She has a B.A. in Christian Education from Briercrest Schools in Saskatchewan. Robynn is a writer: she wrote a weekly blog housed at Communicating Across Boundaries for over three years and has plans to launch her own blog at www.robynnjoybliss.com . She also co-authored the book, Expectations and Burnout: Women Surviving the Great Commission in 2009.
Robynn and her husband, Lowell, were missionaries in India and Pakistan for fourteen years, and are recently moved to Port Colborne, ON from Kansas. They have three fabulous children—with only the youngest still at home. Robynn has had her hair cut in nine different countries. She loves hot beverages and deep conversation.
Floyd, trained in spiritual direction at Tyndale Seminary, has for the past 12 years, served as a spiritual director for men with a focus on pastors and Christian workers. Floyd offers a spiritual direction experience in Christian companionship, guided by the Holy Spirit, in which you co-discern with him, the next steps in Christ’s transforming grace.
Floyd has served as a pastor and chaplain in Canada and as a cross-cultural worker in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Toronto. He enjoys reading, walking with his wife, and singing in senior homes. Floyd has 3 married sons and 13 grandchildren.
Kathy is a spiritual director trained at Emmaus Formation Centre. The focus of Kathy’s spiritual direction practice is to offer a welcoming context for people to recognize God’s movement in their lives and explore their response to God. As her clients are given room to voice their faith, doubt, and experience of God, it is Kathy’s hope that they will realize an increased measure of self awareness, God awareness, and vitality in their lives. A typical spiritual direction session can include practices such as prayer, silence, reflection, conversation, and formational reading of Scripture.
In addition to her spiritual direction practice, Kathy is a leader of the Barnabas Group, a ministry devoted to helping individuals, small groups, and churches cultivate their ability to hear and discern God’s voice.
A mother of 4 children who has been married for 21 years, Kathy values family, friendship, authenticity, and learning. She likes to experiment with different creative expressions, enjoys colour, and loves all forms of skiing.
Mee Yun is a spiritual director, who trained at both Regent College and Tyndale Seminary. Mee Yun grounds her practice of spiritual direction in the Trinitarian God who holds our identity and calls us into Himself.
“Spiritual direction is entering into sacred space, to listen to the unremitting welcome of our Trinitarian God. In this space, we allow His Presence to speak into our beings and free us to be and live as His beloved.”
She is an experienced teacher, pastor, social worker and spiritual director. She currently offers spiritual direction and counseling through her private practice. She is the wife of an ordained pastor and a mother of 3.
Rick is a spiritual director, trained at Tyndale Seminary, and has offered spiritual direction for the past 10 years to a variety of people, coming for a variety of reasons.
“Spiritual direction is a one-on-one relationship organized around prayer and conversation, together discerning the presence and leading of the Spirit of God.”
Rick is a retired pastor, having served at Spring Garden Church, North York, and The Meeting House, Oakville, supporting spiritual formation, small groups, pastoral care, and prayer, care, and relationship ministry teams.
Husband, father, and grandfather, Rick is most at home with family, or in the natural realm on a hiking trail, in a canoe, or in his garden.
Andy Groen is a modern monk of sorts serving as Associate Director for the Greater Ontario House of Prayer (GOHOP). Andy leads GOHOP’s spiritual direction team and offers spiritual direction for their 10-month internship program. He is regularly engaged in leading workshops, speaking and teaching on a variety of topics related to prayer and spiritual formation. He also helps lead the Barnabas prayer group, a listening-prayer group that equips the body of Christ to hear and discern God’s voice. Andy is lover of many different church traditions, a “contemplative-charismacademic.” He is married to Gwendolen and they and their three young children live in Hamilton.
Peter was a pastor for a number of years and is now a core member of the Greater Ontario House of Prayer (GOHOP), a new monastic prayer community in Hamilton. He serves on the lead team, directs their 9 month internship program, leads annual pilgrimages to Europe and is one of the spiritual directors on staff. He was also in the first graduating class from Emmaus Formation Centre.. He, and his wife Sandy, have three grown sons.
Tammy is a graduate of Emmaus Formation Centre’s Spiritual Direction Certificate program. Her desire for her directees, is for each of them to personally connect with the Lord, to discover God’s present activity and invitation. Spiritual direction is about being a companion, to journey with, through times of blessing, as well as times of challenge, all the while searching for, and noticing God.
Tammy became a Christian at Teen Ranch. She enjoyed working at camps for many years where she served in various capacities. She particularly enjoyed teaching drama and music programs to both children and youth. Tammy also enjoys swimming and reading in her spare time. Tammy lives in Port Credit with her two children: Taylor and Wesley. She enjoys her job as the office manager Clarkson Community Church and getting to engage with people of varied backgrounds, on a daily basis.
Birgid brings her Social Science and Education Bachelor degrees, alongside her MTS from Tyndale Seminary as well as her Spiritual Direction certification in 2010. She has been married for 30+ years to her best friend, Bruce (a pastor in Eastern Ontario), and together they have three grown children. She is the Director of Women's Ministries at her home church and serves as a spiritual director in Alexandria, Ontario. (Also by Skype, FT, zoom and phone.)
Birgid’s passion in ministry has been to journey alongside people as they seek God in the midst of the ordinary "stuff" of their lives. She feels called to the ministry of walking along side people as they become more attentive to the movement of God in their lives and pursue spiritual freedom in Christ. Birgid provides a safe and non-judgmental environment in which directees can explore their relationship with Christ, unearth their true self, and discover where their dreams and passions, as gifts from God, are leading them.
Karen brings her BSc/BEd from Brock University, and is a graduate of the 3-year Spiritual Direction Certificate program at Emmaus Formation Centre. Having worked for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship for 10 years, pastoring and training students from around the world and from a variety of denominations— Karen is currently Life Group Admin staff for her church and now offers spiritual direction.
She believes that it is essential for Jesus-followers to tend to their spiritual, emotional and physical lives. As we do this, it has ripple effects in our families, neighbourhoods and world. Robert Mulholland Jr. defines spiritual formation “as the process of being formed in the image of Christ for the sake of others”. Karen's passion for social justice and for coming alongside others on their spiritual journey has led to a spirit-filled, non-judgemental approach to spiritual direction. Whether you are seeking to know God for the first time or have journeyed with God for a lifetime, you are welcome. As she has gone through many losses in life, she journeys well with others who are experiencing difficult times. If you are in a season of doubt, struggle, transition, ministry exhaustion or feeling like there must be more to life with God, Karen will provide a safe space for you. Through providing spiritual direction, Karen will listen to you and at the same time listen for the movements of God in your life. Isaiah 55, “Come, all you who are thirsty”. Karen lives in St. Catharines with her husband Jonathan and their two sons.
Carol is a graduate of the 3 year Emmaus Formation Centre Certificate program for Spiritual Direction. She also brings 30+ years of leadership experience in the Christian, evangelical tradition. She has offered pastoral care and chaplaincy support for many throughout life’s challenges in recent years.
Her passion is to be a companion and guide for you on your spiritual journey and help you to find renewed joy, hope and rest in your relationship with God.
At the heart of her ministry is the ability to create a safe place of trust and confidentiality for deep listening to your life story, while also listening deeply for the movement of the Holy Spirit in your situation.
Carol offers both Individual and Group Spiritual Direction (3-4 people) in an option of online or face to face meetings. She lives in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.
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Are you looking for your purpose in life? Do you feel lost, alone or abandoned by God? Well, I truly care for you and what you are going through. For me, being a spiritual director and a transformational coach is like being a midwife, someone who assists others in giving birth to a deeper relationship with God.
It is my prayer that as I journey with you during this season of life you are in, through the leading of the Holy Spirit and the use of various spiritual disciplines and self awareness tools, you will be able to hear God through all the noise, learn how He speaks to you, discern what He wants for your “right now” and trust Him for your “not yet”.
Contact: Andrea Chang
Sandra has teaching experience in a variety of settings, most pertinent, at Tyndale Seminary. Her intimate knowledge of the practice of spiritual direction over 13 years, coupled with her teaching experience of Spiritual Direction over 7 years, affords a rich experience for students in the Emmaus Spiritual Direction Practicum.
As Emmaus Formation Centre’s Director of Education, Paul oversees and directs our training programs. Paul has been in education and ministry throughout his adult life, having taught at all levels of education and served in various capacities in church and parachurch organizations. He is retired from his position as Professor of Christian Formation and Leadership and Founder and Director of the Doctor of Ministry program at Tyndale Seminary, Toronto, Ontario.
He is the education director and a core teacher for Emmaus Formation Centre and an education consultant for Formation Insights. Paul is ordained in the Evangelical Covenant Church, trained as a spiritual director, and has a PhD in Educational Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Illinois. Paul’s current research interests are spiritual formation and depth psychology; he has written a number of articles on the subject.
Marc is an ordained minister with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada and has been a congregational pastor for 25 years in Mississauga and Oakville, and is an experienced spiritual director.
For 10 years, he has been developing and delivering a discipleship-based approach to spiritual formation within the local church.
Marc enjoys his wife of 19 years and their 4 young boys.
Freda is a pastor at Logos Baptist Church (York Region) and a trained spiritual director. She has a Bachelors in Statistics and Masters in Business Administration from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and a Master of Divinity (Chinese Pastoral Ministry & Christian Education) and in the last stage of a Doctor of Ministry (Spiritual Formation) from Tyndale Seminary, Toronto.
Freda treasures the Scriptures and takes joy in helping people engage with the Word of God and to live it out in daily life.
She enjoys silence, reading, hiking, journaling and spending quality time with husband Frederick, and their two daughters.
Ingrid is a Doctoral graduate from Tyndale Seminary, and currently serves as Pastor of Spiritual Development at Glencairn MB Church in Kitchener. Ingrid brings many years of studying and teaching Scripture and its formational value to the Christian. We are glad to have her join the Emmaus teaching team!
Mee Yun’s theological training was completed both at Regent College and at Tyndale Seminary. She has 20 years of experience as a teacher, social worker, pastor and spiritual director. She has worked in various contexts (community, institutions, churches, government, and private practice), with clients at various ages and stages of life.
Mee Yun is passionate about drawing people more deeply into the person of Christ and into themselves and believes that learning is best undertaken relationally. Currently, she offers spiritual direction and counseling through her private practice.
Ouida is currently a Pastor, spiritual director supervisor, and expressive arts practitioner. She is a graduate of York University, Tyndale Seminary, and the Haliburton School of the Arts. Ouida also holds a teacher’s certificate in adult education from George Brown College and recently retired from private practice as a RP - registered psychotherapist.
As an active contemplative, she believes we are spiritually transformed by the word of God holistically – body, mind, and spirit. From this focus she brings many years of experience in teaching a wide variety of spiritual formation courses, leading retreats, and facilitating workshops where she includes creative and imaginative ways to discern God’s heart in our everyday lives.
As founder and Executive Director of Emmaus Formation Centre, Sandra is committed to building up the laity of the Christian Church. After completing an undergraduate degree at U of T, she continued with an MDiv. at Tyndale Seminary, after which she began teaching Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Direction at Tyndale, lasting 7 years. These areas became central to Sandra’s call and ministry, which led to her Doctoral Degree: Leadership and Spiritual Formation, at George Fox Seminary (Oregon).
“Spiritual formation is that which connects our head knowledge of God to our heart knowledge of God. Help from another through the spiritual direction relationship can bring the head and heart closer than ever.”
As Emmaus Formation Centre’s Director of Education, Paul oversees and directs our training programs. Paul has taught at all levels of education, from elementary through doctoral levels. After completing his graduate degree in educational administration, he completed theological studies at Regent College, Institute for Christian Studies, and at Tyndale, culminating in his doctoral work in Christian education and psycho-spirituality. He also received his training in spiritual direction at Shalem Institute, (Washington).
Most recently, Paul was professor of Christian Formation and Leadership at Tyndale Seminary where he also founded and directed the Doctor of Ministry program. He is now doing spiritual direction, writing, studying depth psychology, and teaching for Emmaus.
Jim brings 35 years of non-profit leadership, from analyzing funding requests to the role of VP of Global Operations for CCFC (Christian Children’s Fund of Canada) to the Emmaus Board of Directors.
“Spiritual direction has proven to be invaluable in my life as a Christian leader.”
Steve Read has worked for 20 years in the field of Research and Development at IMAX, where he has applied his engineering and science degrees to find novel ways to control light. As an adult, Steve came to place his faith in a different light: the light of truth found in the person of Jesus Christ.
“Spiritual direction is invaluable to the journey, shining light into the darkness, enabling us to see and connect with our good and loving Creator—and each other—in purposeful ways that bring life, hope and freedom.”
Carol VanRavenstein’s passion is listening prayer and the healing and change that Jesus brings when we hear Him speak. She attends Clearview Christian Reformed Church in Oakville, where she has been an elder for the past 5 years and part of a prayer team for much longer than that. She has been using her spiritual direction training, both in ministry and individually, at the church. Carol recently acquired her own bookkeeping business and is looking forward to seeing how God will use her spiritual direction training in this. She has been married to her husband John for 33 years and they have one married daughter and two grandchildren.