A spiritual director is a trained and usually certified person, lay or ordained, with whom an individual communicates on a regular basis concerning his/her/their spiritual life. A spiritual director listens and, when appropriate, responds by giving “direction” which may include spiritual advice, help with discernment, suggested reading or action, or a question to ponder.


Local trained and certified Episcopal spiritual directors

Ms. Carol Ackley is a spiritual director located in the North Country. She received her certification from the Kairos School of Spiritual Formation in Lancaster, PA. Carol is interested in creating space for contemplative prayer practices. She believes that attending to the inner life we cultivate deeper love to grow in freedom to live into our truest self with God. She welcomes individuals and small groups. Reach Carol at cackley09@gmail.com or (315) 771-5663.

The Rev. Lisa Busby is a spiritual director, counselor and clergyperson serving northern New York. Certified in spiritual direction by the Metagem Institute of Huntsville, Alabama, Lisa is also an Associate of Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, NY. She hopes to promote healing and restoration to wholeness, particularly as it emerges in communities and relationships grounded in holy listening and conversation. She is willing to work with individuals and small groups. Lisa can be reached via email at lisajbusby@gmail.com or by call/text at (607) 745-5661.

The Rev. John Crosswaite is a spiritual director and retreat leader grounded in Ignatian and Benedictine spiritualities and experienced in facilitating centering prayer practice retreats. John completed a Masters in Applied Spirituality from USF in 1984 and Spiritual Directors Supervisory training from Mercy Center in Burlingame, California in 1988. Reach John at jcrosswaite@twcny.rr.com or (315) 767-1728.

The Rev. Daisy Kirkpatrick offers spiritual direction at her home in Lansing, New York (near Ithaca). She is a deacon in the Episcopal Church and received spiritual direction training from the Haden Institute. She has experience in many faith traditions and welcomes anyone who seeks a closer relationship with God. She has a particular gift for walking with people in ordained ministry. Daisy can be reached at (607) 733-7143 or revdaisy2@icloud.com.

The Rev. Rebecca Drebert is a certified spiritual director through the 2-year Wings program. She is located in the Binghamton, New York area. She is also an oblate of the Order of Julian of Norwich, following a Benedictine rule of life, which influences how she approaches spiritual direction. Discernment-of-life decisions are a focus, but she also engages with those looking for a deeper relationship with God. Rebecca can be reached at: beckydre15@gmail.com or (262) 349-6162.

The Rev. Richard Schaal is a spiritual director who received his certificate from the Wings program led by Rev. Canon Barbara Price and Fr. John Colacino. His emphasis is on grief counseling and LGBTQ issues as well as our spiritual welfare. Richard serves the folks of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Speedsville and can be reached at richardschaal08@gmail.com or at (607) 427-4698.

Ms. Betsy Sentigar is a spiritual director in the Elmira/Corning/Ithaca area. She received her certificate of spiritual direction from the Wings program in Rochester, NY (2009) under the direction of the Rev. Canon Barbara Price, Fr. John Colacino, and Fr. Han vandenBlink, Ph.D. She also has a certificate in group spiritual direction from Shalem Institute (2011-2012) under the direction of Anne Grizzle. Betsy completed the 19th Annotation Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius thru the Mercy Spirituality Center in Rochester, NY (2016). She enjoys both individual and small group work. Her work focuses on the spiritual needs with a complement of spiritual practices per request and includes clergy as well as laity. Betsy can be reached at betsysentigar@gmail.com and by phone at (607) 426-8676.


Other Local Resources for Spiritual Direction

The Spiritual Renewal Center in Syracuse offers the choice of 24 highly-trained spiritual directors from various Christian denominations: spiritualrenewalcenter.com.

Sister Mary Donald and the Rev. Robert Dwyer offer spiritual direction at Transfiguration Monastery in Windsor, New York and may be reached at (607) 655-2366.

Ms. Andrea Schaffer, Associate Director of the Office of Faith Formation for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse, offers spiritual direction and may be reached at (607) 348-0746 or sroffdir@stny.rr.com.


Spiritual Retreat Centers

Many spiritual directors will offer spiritual direction through monthly phone calls and/or video-conference sessions. The following retreat centers outside of Central New York may have directors offering this option.

Holy Cross Monastery (Episcopal), West Park, NY

New Skete Monastery (American Russian Orthodox), Cambridge, NY

Spring Water Retreat Center, Springwater, NY

Society of St. John the Evangelist (Episcopal), Cambridge, MA


Other Resources

Spiritual Directors International maintains a directory of spiritual directors from various denominations and wisdom traditions, and offers helpful questions to ask when beginning with a new director.

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