Leadership Development

for Local Conveners

FREE Institute

(if you have already registered for the conference) 

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Click on the red box to learn about the SDI Communities Program

Thursday, April 22, 2021

9:00 - 5:00pm (lunch included)

Do you want to spend time with other spiritual directors and spiritual caregivers in your local area? Do you want to network, to learn new things and to build connections with other spiritual directors?  Are you willing to start a local gathering, but are not sure of what is needed or feel overwhelmed with where to start?  Do you wonder how you would find enough speakers or resources to put together a regular program?  Maybe you are already the convener for a local group, but are feeling tired or that things are a bit stale and you are looking for new resources or ways to build up your community?  Are you wanting to find and invite in new people who are in your area?

Come and join other conveners and aspiring conveners as we learn from each other.  We will:

  • Identify the key tasks for starting and running a regular gathering;

  • Compare what has worked in other places and what has not worked;

  • Share resources that are available, including support for SDI;

  • Begin building a network for conveners to continue providing ongoing support, and;

  • Have fun!


Bruce C. Calvin will be joined by Mary Kay Whitacre and Rebecca Bass as well as Steven Crandell, SDI's Director of Content & Communities, as presenters for this institute. Other conveners of local groups will also share their wisdom and experience

Email stevenc@sdiworld.org for more information or to sign up.

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FREE with Conference Registration. 

Bruce C. Calvin

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Bruce Calvin, along with Kimberly Barker-Brugman, started a new gathering for local spiritual directors and spiritual caregivers in Northern Virginia, USA in 2019.  They are experimenting with how to provide educational activities, to offer opportunities for networking and to build a supportive community for spiritual directors at the local level. 

Calvin worked for a large membership association for over twenty five years providing membership services, with experience in identifying member needs and developing new programs.  He served on the SDI Coordinating Council from 2013-2019.​ Calvin completed an Internship in the Art of Spiritual Direction at the Mercy Center, Burlingame, California, USA.  He follows the Rule for Living of Availability and Vulnerability of the Northumbria Community, Great Britain.

Mary Kay Whitacre, D.Min

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Mary Kay is a spiritual director and a supervisor of spiritual directors. She’s the convener of the “Middle States” SDI Community which meets in Atchison, Kansas, USA. She is on the staff of the Souljourners’ Ecumenical Spiritual Direction Formation Program at the Sophia Center in Atchison. She has served in a variety of pastoral ministry roles in the Catholic Church for over forty years. She has her Doctor of Ministry degree from the Jesuit, Seattle University, Mary Kay is a native of the Kansas City area; a oldest sister to seven younger siblings; a wife of almost forty years; a mother of two adult, married children; and the proud grandmother of two of the most adorable grandchildren ever.

Rebecca Bass, MA

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Rebecca Bass lives in Clearwater, Florida where her ministries include spiritual direction, retreats and chaplaincy. She’s been convening local gatherings of spiritual directors in her region for several years. She holds a Master's Degree from Creighton University's Christian Spirituality Program and is a graduate of the Wellstreams Ecumenical Training Program for Spiritual Directors in Columbus, Ohio. Becca serves on the team of the Audire Spiritual Direction Training Program in Orlando and at the Jesuit Spiritual Center in Milford, Ohio. Her chaplaincy experience includes hospice, hospital and retirement settings. She now also directs a community bereavement program. Accompaniment in these wide variety of settings is what Becca most values.