Continuing Education

Healing the Narrative

We are excited to be offering a new curriculum for spiritual directors, pastors, and chaplains who want to deepen their skills and understanding as they walk with people toward wholeness. We know that everyone’s story has areas of brokenness that long for healing and wholeness. Healing the Narrative is an opportunity to explore new skills for walking alongside people in our care, or deepen our understanding and experience with tools we use in our ministry. 

Ministers, Chaplains, and Spiritual Directors can register for individual sessions. Spiritual Directors can also register to be part of a cohort. Didactic sessions are in the morning for all.

Individual Sessions for Continuing Education

Ministers, Chaplains, and Spiritual Directors can register for Individual Sessions. All Sessions are on Saturday mornings from 9am to 12pm on the dates listed below. 

Non-Cohort Participants

1-3 sessions $100 each – pay as you go
4-8 Sessions $90 each – pay upfront
9 Sessions $75 each – pay upfront ($675)

(To receive discount one must pay upfront)

Cancellation Policy for Individual Workshops

Up to 2 weeks before session starts: 50% refund.
Less than 2 weeks before: no refund, but 50% off another workshop.

Cohort Model for Spiritual Directors

Spiritual Directors have the option to register for a 9 month cohort. All Sessions are on Saturday mornings from 9am to 12pm on the dates listed below. Practicum sessions for cohort participants are in the afternoon to deepen understanding and use of each of these tools. The only exception is on March 23. The two following practicum sessions will include material from the March 23 session.

Cohort participants attending all sessions and completing the practicum with supervision endorsement will receive a certificate.

Cohort Participants:

$1500 ($675 for didactic. $825 for practicum.)
$150 non-refundable deposit to reserve your spot.

Course Schedule

Instructors are: Sister Mel Ryley, Rev. Ida Regina Oliver, and Rev. Eva Sullivan-Knoff who each have many years of experience training others.

SessionTopicInstructorDate
Session 1Identity: How Do I Experience MyselfIda10/6/18
Session 2Creating a Hospitable and Protected SpaceEvaRescheduled for 1/19/2019
Session 3ENNEAGRAM: A Tool for Spiritual Transformation/Healing the NarrativeMel11/3/18
Session 4FocusingIda1/12/19
Session 5Inner Dialogue-Tool for Accessing the Wisdom of the Soul/IndwellingMel2/16/19
Session 6Grief and Loss
Ida3/23/19
Session 7Helping Others to LamentEva3/23/19
Session 8Healing Prayer and Spiritual DirectionEva4/6/19
Session 9Healing the Narrative Through Attention to Dreams, Part IIMel5/4/19

Course Descriptions

Session 1: 10/6/2018
Identity: How Do I Experience Myself

This interactive workshop will explore how one’s self-perception impacts their personal and professional identities.

  • We will consider how viewing one’s self from different perspectives such as “abundance vs. scarcity” and “being vs. doing” affects their identity.
  • We will contemplate how our identity impacts and is impacted by our own sense of power, authority, control, and approval.
  • Finally, we will explore how our identity contributes to our “use of self” in our intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships and in our work.
Ida Oliver

Instructor: Rev. Ida Regina Oliver
Ida-Regina Lucas Oliver is an Ordained Minister in The Evangelical Covenant Church. She serves as an Association of Professional Chaplains Board Certified Chaplain (BCC) and as an Association for Clinical Pastoral Education ACPE Certified Educator. Ida earned Bachelor’s Degrees in The Teaching of Sociology and in Psychology; Master’s Degrees in Counseling and in Communication; and a Master’s of Divinity Degree. Ida also earned a certificate in Spiritual Direction. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and a Certified Focusing Trainer. Ida is married to her husband, Ken. They share dedication to loving God and serving God’s people.

Session 2: Rescheduled for 1/19/2019

Creating a Hospitable and Protected Space

Using scripture and story we will look at what it means to create a hospitable and protected space in spiritual direction and pastoral care for the LGBTQ person and the community around them. We will reflect on what it means to be created in the image of God, the impact of religious rejection, and the healing nature of the hospitality of God. This workshop is not designed as a Biblical study of controversial verses. Instead its focus is on how to love and care well for LGBTQ persons and the community around them.

Instructor: Eva Sullivan-Knoff
Eva Sullivan-Knoff has worked in a variety of ministry settings in the last 30 years. She worked with refugees, served churches as pastor and institutions as chaplain.  She received her training as a spiritual director and supervisor at the C. John Weborg Center for Spiritual Direction. She has been involved in training spiritual directors for several years. Her greatest desire is to help people deepen their awareness of and intimacy with God, find healing and meaning in their lives, and live their lives in transformed ways. Eva is the Founder and Executive Director of Journey Center of Chicago and Adjunct Faculty at North Park Theological Seminary. She has her own spiritual direction and supervision practice, as well as leading contemplative retreats and workshops. She is an ordained minister with the Evangelical Covenant Church.

Session 3: 11/3/2018

Enneagram: A Tool for Spiritual Transformation

“For me to be a saint means to be myself. Therefore the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my true self.”   ~Thomas Merton

The Enneagram is a system of thought that combines psychology and spirituality for the purpose of self-understanding and self-acceptance.  The Enneagram can serve as powerful tool for the spiritual/life journey home to ourselves; others; all creation; and God.

In this workshop, you will be presented with the nine personality types—nine predominant ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving— that help us better understand and accept who we are and how we survive in the world. In addition to offering you greater insight into your own motivations and behavior, it can be a valuable resource in coming to understand the behavior of others with whom you share life.

Instructor: Mel Ryley
Mary Ellen Ryley, SCMM (Sister of Charity of Our Lady Mother of Mercy) received her training in Spirituality and Dreams from the Institute for Spiritual Leadership in Chicago. She has been involved in the training of Spiritual Directors for more than 25 years as staff member of the Institute for Spiritual Leadership; the Institute of Spiritual Companionship and the Center for Spiritual Direction at North Park Seminary. She continues to be involved as a Spiritual Director, supervisor, retreat and workshop facilitator in the Chicago area. Mary Ellen (Mel) holds a Masters Degree in Religious Studies from the University of Detroit and a Masters Degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in Chicago

 

Session 4: 1/12/19  

Introduction to Focusing

Focusing is a process that facilitates exploring one’s experiences. This interactive workshop will introduce the Focusing process which is a way to listen to the wisdom of one’s body toward greater self-understanding. We will learn the Focusing process steps. Also, we will practice using Focusing to get in touch with our own experience. Then, we will learn how to guide others as they use the Focusing process.

Ida Oliver

Instructor: Rev. Ida Regina Oliver
Ida-Regina Lucas Oliver is an Ordained Minister in The Evangelical Covenant Church. She serves as an Association of Professional Chaplains Board Certified Chaplain (BCC) and as an Association for Clinical Pastoral Education ACPE Certified Educator. Ida earned Bachelor’s Degrees in The Teaching of Sociology and in Psychology; Master’s Degrees in Counseling and in Communication; and a Master’s of Divinity Degree. Ida also earned a certificate in Spiritual Direction. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and a Certified Focusing Trainer. Ida is married to her husband, Ken. They share dedication to loving God and serving God’s people.

Session 5: 2/16/19  

Inner Dialogue-Tool for Accessing the Wisdom of the Soul/Indwelling

One way to experience a wisdom and direction in relation to whatever we might be feeling or experiencing is through Inner Dialogue.

This technique allows us to enter into conversation with specific feelings, parts of ourselves (gifts/vulnerabilities), our Enneagram survival mode, our dream symbols and God. This process allows for an encounter with Wisdom and Compassion – God Source within and beyond. Inner dialogue is one way to move toward healing the narratives we have held within.

Instructor: Mel Ryley
Mary Ellen Ryley, SCMM (Sister of Charity of Our Lady Mother of Mercy) received her training in Spirituality and Dreams from the Institute for Spiritual Leadership in Chicago. She has been involved in the training of Spiritual Directors for more than 25 years as staff member of the Institute for Spiritual Leadership; the Institute of Spiritual Companionship and the Center for Spiritual Direction at North Park Seminary. She continues to be involved as a Spiritual Director, supervisor, retreat and workshop facilitator in the Chicago area. Mary Ellen (Mel) holds a Masters Degree in Religious Studies from the University of Detroit and a Masters Degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in Chicago

 

Session 6: 3/23/19  

Exploring Loss and Grief

Throughout the lifespan humans experience losses and they grieve. This interactive workshop will explore:

  • Types of loss and grief
  • Effects of loss and grief
  • Models for coping with loss and grief
  • Ways to companion and care for others on their journey through loss and grief
Ida Oliver

Instructor: Rev. Ida Regina Oliver
Ida-Regina Lucas Oliver is an Ordained Minister in The Evangelical Covenant Church. She serves as an Association of Professional Chaplains Board Certified Chaplain (BCC) and as an Association for Clinical Pastoral Education ACPE Certified Educator. Ida earned Bachelor’s Degrees in The Teaching of Sociology and in Psychology; Master’s Degrees in Counseling and in Communication; and a Master’s of Divinity Degree. Ida also earned a certificate in Spiritual Direction. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and a Certified Focusing Trainer. Ida is married to her husband, Ken. They share dedication to loving God and serving God’s people.

Session 7: 3/23/19

Helping Others to Lament

As persons of faith we have our own stories of suffering and as caregivers we walk alongside others in the midst of theirs. In this workshop, we will explore the gift of lament as a means to respond to suffering and look at practical ways to help people lament as a source of healing.

Instructor: Eva Sullivan-Knoff
Eva Sullivan-Knoff has worked in a variety of ministry settings in the last 30 years. She worked with refugees, served churches as pastor and institutions as chaplain.  She received her training as a spiritual director and supervisor at the C. John Weborg Center for Spiritual Direction. She has been involved in training spiritual directors for several years. Her greatest desire is to help people deepen their awareness of and intimacy with God, find healing and meaning in their lives, and live their lives in transformed ways. Eva is the Founder and Executive Director of Journey Center of Chicago and Adjunct Faculty at North Park Theological Seminary. She has her own spiritual direction and supervision practice, as well as leading contemplative retreats and workshops. She is an ordained minister with the Evangelical Covenant Church.

Session 8: 4/6/19

Healing Prayer and Spiritual Direction

Healing was a central part of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus was attuned to people’s needs for healing body, mind, and spirit. Throughout the gospels we see Jesus moved by compassion healing those who were broken. This workshop builds on Jesus’ ministry of healing. It identifies when healing prayer may be emotionally and spiritually beneficial and how to respectfully and practically use it.

Instructor: Eva Sullivan-Knoff
Eva Sullivan-Knoff has worked in a variety of ministry settings in the last 30 years. She worked with refugees, served churches as pastor and institutions as chaplain.  She received her training as a spiritual director and supervisor at the C. John Weborg Center for Spiritual Direction. She has been involved in training spiritual directors for several years. Her greatest desire is to help people deepen their awareness of and intimacy with God, find healing and meaning in their lives, and live their lives in transformed ways. Eva is the Founder and Executive Director of Journey Center of Chicago and Adjunct Faculty at North Park Theological Seminary. She has her own spiritual direction and supervision practice, as well as leading contemplative retreats and workshops. She is an ordained minister with the Evangelical Covenant Church.

Session 9: 5/4/19

Healing the Narrative through attention to Dreams, Part II

“When we keep track of our dreams we receive spiritual direction for life.  We access our own inner wisdom and our personal point of contact with God.” -Jeremy Taylor

This workshop will build upon the experience of the introductory workshop on the Transformative Power of Dreams. Some introductory time will be given to an overview of some practical ways of exploring the meaning of our dreams. After which we will experience more creative ways of being present to and uncovering the significance of the content of our dreams.

Consider inviting a dream before coming to this workshop. Before sleeping journal about a particular issue you would like some guidance on or simply ask for a dream. Write down this dream or any other dream you remember and bring it to the workshop. It will be important to be able to attend to your own dreams during our day together!

Instructor: Mel Ryley
Mary Ellen Ryley, SCMM (Sister of Charity of Our Lady Mother of Mercy) received her training in Spirituality and Dreams from the Institute for Spiritual Leadership in Chicago. She has been involved in the training of Spiritual Directors for more than 25 years as staff member of the Institute for Spiritual Leadership; the Institute of Spiritual Companionship and the Center for Spiritual Direction at North Park Seminary. She continues to be involved as a Spiritual Director, supervisor, retreat and workshop facilitator in the Chicago area. Mary Ellen (Mel) holds a Masters Degree in Religious Studies from the University of Detroit and a Masters Degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in Chicago

 

+ Session 1

Session 1: 10/6/2018
Identity: How Do I Experience Myself

This interactive workshop will explore how one’s self-perception impacts their personal and professional identities.

  • We will consider how viewing one’s self from different perspectives such as “abundance vs. scarcity” and “being vs. doing” affects their identity.
  • We will contemplate how our identity impacts and is impacted by our own sense of power, authority, control, and approval.
  • Finally, we will explore how our identity contributes to our “use of self” in our intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships and in our work.
Ida Oliver

Instructor: Rev. Ida Regina Oliver
Ida-Regina Lucas Oliver is an Ordained Minister in The Evangelical Covenant Church. She serves as an Association of Professional Chaplains Board Certified Chaplain (BCC) and as an Association for Clinical Pastoral Education ACPE Certified Educator. Ida earned Bachelor’s Degrees in The Teaching of Sociology and in Psychology; Master’s Degrees in Counseling and in Communication; and a Master’s of Divinity Degree. Ida also earned a certificate in Spiritual Direction. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and a Certified Focusing Trainer. Ida is married to her husband, Ken. They share dedication to loving God and serving God’s people.

+ Session 2

Session 2: Rescheduled for 1/19/2019

Creating a Hospitable and Protected Space

Using scripture and story we will look at what it means to create a hospitable and protected space in spiritual direction and pastoral care for the LGBTQ person and the community around them. We will reflect on what it means to be created in the image of God, the impact of religious rejection, and the healing nature of the hospitality of God. This workshop is not designed as a Biblical study of controversial verses. Instead its focus is on how to love and care well for LGBTQ persons and the community around them.

Instructor: Eva Sullivan-Knoff
Eva Sullivan-Knoff has worked in a variety of ministry settings in the last 30 years. She worked with refugees, served churches as pastor and institutions as chaplain.  She received her training as a spiritual director and supervisor at the C. John Weborg Center for Spiritual Direction. She has been involved in training spiritual directors for several years. Her greatest desire is to help people deepen their awareness of and intimacy with God, find healing and meaning in their lives, and live their lives in transformed ways. Eva is the Founder and Executive Director of Journey Center of Chicago and Adjunct Faculty at North Park Theological Seminary. She has her own spiritual direction and supervision practice, as well as leading contemplative retreats and workshops. She is an ordained minister with the Evangelical Covenant Church.

+ Session 3

Session 3: 11/3/2018

Enneagram: A Tool for Spiritual Transformation

“For me to be a saint means to be myself. Therefore the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my true self.”   ~Thomas Merton

The Enneagram is a system of thought that combines psychology and spirituality for the purpose of self-understanding and self-acceptance.  The Enneagram can serve as powerful tool for the spiritual/life journey home to ourselves; others; all creation; and God.

In this workshop, you will be presented with the nine personality types—nine predominant ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving— that help us better understand and accept who we are and how we survive in the world. In addition to offering you greater insight into your own motivations and behavior, it can be a valuable resource in coming to understand the behavior of others with whom you share life.

Instructor: Mel Ryley
Mary Ellen Ryley, SCMM (Sister of Charity of Our Lady Mother of Mercy) received her training in Spirituality and Dreams from the Institute for Spiritual Leadership in Chicago. She has been involved in the training of Spiritual Directors for more than 25 years as staff member of the Institute for Spiritual Leadership; the Institute of Spiritual Companionship and the Center for Spiritual Direction at North Park Seminary. She continues to be involved as a Spiritual Director, supervisor, retreat and workshop facilitator in the Chicago area. Mary Ellen (Mel) holds a Masters Degree in Religious Studies from the University of Detroit and a Masters Degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in Chicago

 

+ Session 4

Session 4: 1/12/19  

Introduction to Focusing

Focusing is a process that facilitates exploring one’s experiences. This interactive workshop will introduce the Focusing process which is a way to listen to the wisdom of one’s body toward greater self-understanding. We will learn the Focusing process steps. Also, we will practice using Focusing to get in touch with our own experience. Then, we will learn how to guide others as they use the Focusing process.

Ida Oliver

Instructor: Rev. Ida Regina Oliver
Ida-Regina Lucas Oliver is an Ordained Minister in The Evangelical Covenant Church. She serves as an Association of Professional Chaplains Board Certified Chaplain (BCC) and as an Association for Clinical Pastoral Education ACPE Certified Educator. Ida earned Bachelor’s Degrees in The Teaching of Sociology and in Psychology; Master’s Degrees in Counseling and in Communication; and a Master’s of Divinity Degree. Ida also earned a certificate in Spiritual Direction. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and a Certified Focusing Trainer. Ida is married to her husband, Ken. They share dedication to loving God and serving God’s people.

+ Session 5

Session 5: 2/16/19  

Inner Dialogue-Tool for Accessing the Wisdom of the Soul/Indwelling

One way to experience a wisdom and direction in relation to whatever we might be feeling or experiencing is through Inner Dialogue.

This technique allows us to enter into conversation with specific feelings, parts of ourselves (gifts/vulnerabilities), our Enneagram survival mode, our dream symbols and God. This process allows for an encounter with Wisdom and Compassion – God Source within and beyond. Inner dialogue is one way to move toward healing the narratives we have held within.

Instructor: Mel Ryley
Mary Ellen Ryley, SCMM (Sister of Charity of Our Lady Mother of Mercy) received her training in Spirituality and Dreams from the Institute for Spiritual Leadership in Chicago. She has been involved in the training of Spiritual Directors for more than 25 years as staff member of the Institute for Spiritual Leadership; the Institute of Spiritual Companionship and the Center for Spiritual Direction at North Park Seminary. She continues to be involved as a Spiritual Director, supervisor, retreat and workshop facilitator in the Chicago area. Mary Ellen (Mel) holds a Masters Degree in Religious Studies from the University of Detroit and a Masters Degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in Chicago

 

+ Session 6

Session 6: 3/23/19  

Exploring Loss and Grief

Throughout the lifespan humans experience losses and they grieve. This interactive workshop will explore:

  • Types of loss and grief
  • Effects of loss and grief
  • Models for coping with loss and grief
  • Ways to companion and care for others on their journey through loss and grief
Ida Oliver

Instructor: Rev. Ida Regina Oliver
Ida-Regina Lucas Oliver is an Ordained Minister in The Evangelical Covenant Church. She serves as an Association of Professional Chaplains Board Certified Chaplain (BCC) and as an Association for Clinical Pastoral Education ACPE Certified Educator. Ida earned Bachelor’s Degrees in The Teaching of Sociology and in Psychology; Master’s Degrees in Counseling and in Communication; and a Master’s of Divinity Degree. Ida also earned a certificate in Spiritual Direction. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and a Certified Focusing Trainer. Ida is married to her husband, Ken. They share dedication to loving God and serving God’s people.

+ Session 7

Session 7: 3/23/19

Helping Others to Lament

As persons of faith we have our own stories of suffering and as caregivers we walk alongside others in the midst of theirs. In this workshop, we will explore the gift of lament as a means to respond to suffering and look at practical ways to help people lament as a source of healing.

Instructor: Eva Sullivan-Knoff
Eva Sullivan-Knoff has worked in a variety of ministry settings in the last 30 years. She worked with refugees, served churches as pastor and institutions as chaplain.  She received her training as a spiritual director and supervisor at the C. John Weborg Center for Spiritual Direction. She has been involved in training spiritual directors for several years. Her greatest desire is to help people deepen their awareness of and intimacy with God, find healing and meaning in their lives, and live their lives in transformed ways. Eva is the Founder and Executive Director of Journey Center of Chicago and Adjunct Faculty at North Park Theological Seminary. She has her own spiritual direction and supervision practice, as well as leading contemplative retreats and workshops. She is an ordained minister with the Evangelical Covenant Church.

+ Session 8

Session 8: 4/6/19

Healing Prayer and Spiritual Direction

Healing was a central part of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus was attuned to people’s needs for healing body, mind, and spirit. Throughout the gospels we see Jesus moved by compassion healing those who were broken. This workshop builds on Jesus’ ministry of healing. It identifies when healing prayer may be emotionally and spiritually beneficial and how to respectfully and practically use it.

Instructor: Eva Sullivan-Knoff
Eva Sullivan-Knoff has worked in a variety of ministry settings in the last 30 years. She worked with refugees, served churches as pastor and institutions as chaplain.  She received her training as a spiritual director and supervisor at the C. John Weborg Center for Spiritual Direction. She has been involved in training spiritual directors for several years. Her greatest desire is to help people deepen their awareness of and intimacy with God, find healing and meaning in their lives, and live their lives in transformed ways. Eva is the Founder and Executive Director of Journey Center of Chicago and Adjunct Faculty at North Park Theological Seminary. She has her own spiritual direction and supervision practice, as well as leading contemplative retreats and workshops. She is an ordained minister with the Evangelical Covenant Church.

+ Session 9

Session 9: 5/4/19

Healing the Narrative through attention to Dreams, Part II

“When we keep track of our dreams we receive spiritual direction for life.  We access our own inner wisdom and our personal point of contact with God.” -Jeremy Taylor

This workshop will build upon the experience of the introductory workshop on the Transformative Power of Dreams. Some introductory time will be given to an overview of some practical ways of exploring the meaning of our dreams. After which we will experience more creative ways of being present to and uncovering the significance of the content of our dreams.

Consider inviting a dream before coming to this workshop. Before sleeping journal about a particular issue you would like some guidance on or simply ask for a dream. Write down this dream or any other dream you remember and bring it to the workshop. It will be important to be able to attend to your own dreams during our day together!

Instructor: Mel Ryley
Mary Ellen Ryley, SCMM (Sister of Charity of Our Lady Mother of Mercy) received her training in Spirituality and Dreams from the Institute for Spiritual Leadership in Chicago. She has been involved in the training of Spiritual Directors for more than 25 years as staff member of the Institute for Spiritual Leadership; the Institute of Spiritual Companionship and the Center for Spiritual Direction at North Park Seminary. She continues to be involved as a Spiritual Director, supervisor, retreat and workshop facilitator in the Chicago area. Mary Ellen (Mel) holds a Masters Degree in Religious Studies from the University of Detroit and a Masters Degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in Chicago