Souljourners is an in-person, three-year spiritual formation program for the training of spiritual directors, at Sophia Spirituality Center in Atchison, Kansas. We do not currently offer a Zoom/remote program option.
If you are experiencing a call to spiritual renewal and at the same time want to learn the skills of discernment and deep listening to God, yourself, and others, consider attending one of our Zoom or in-person Souljourners Inquiry Sessions. Beginning in January each year, one session is offered each month through May. Our 2024 schedule is as follows:
Saturday, January 13, 2024 (Zoom) 10:00-11:00 am
Wednesday, February 7, 2024 (onsite) 1:00-3:00 pm
Tuesday, March 19, 2024 (Zoom) 11:00 am-noon
Saturday, April 13, 2024 (onsite) 10:00-12:00 am
Thursday, May 16, 2024 (Zoom) 3:00-4:00 pm
These sessions provide:
A tour of Sophia Center, where we host Souljourners weekend classes (on-site sessions only).
While these sessions are free, we ask that you register at least one week prior to the inquiry session you plan to attend. Persons attending via Zoom will receive an email message with a meeting link the day before the session.
The application deadline to begin the 2024 summer residency program which begins the new class of Souljourners, is May 31, 2024. For any questions, please reach out directly to S. Marcia Ziska at 913.370.3733.
For more information, contact
S. Marcia Ziska of the Souljourners Leadership Team
751 South 8th Street
Atchison, Kansas 66002
One year of course work in the “Knowledge of God and the Christian Spiritual Tradition”.
One year of course work in the “Knowledge of Self and Graced Human Development”.
One year of practicum.
All Souljourners participate in a week-long residency in June during their first year in the program, and again during the second year of the program. Residency weeks take place at Sophia Center and provide an important opportunity for interaction with Souljourner faculty and fellow students.
The small group process is an important aspect of Souljourners weekend gatherings. It is through small groups, that students are given the opportunity to develop the necessary skills such as reflective listening, asking good questions, and being attentive. Through the small group experience, students establish a level of trust in which good learning can take place. They will receive suggestions and adaptations in their directing and have the opportunity to watch and learn from one another. Students are assigned to a small group and each group will have two Faculty Advisors. The small group will meet twice each Souljourner weekend and Group membership will remain the same for that year of the program.
All students will participate in ongoing Spiritual Direction while participating in this program. To meet this program requirement, the student will meet every 4-6 weeks with a Spiritual Director outside of Souljourners.
For each of the two years of study, Souljourner students are expected to:
In September of their second year, students will begin a supervisory experience. In preparation for this, they are to meet with one directee for monthly sessions and bring a verbatim of one of those sessions to the Souljourners weekend. This will then be used in a Supervisory Session, conducted by a Souljourners staff member. The purpose of these sessions is to provide feedback and guidance to foster further improvement of skills as a Spiritual Director.
For the Practicum Year, Souljourner students are expected to:
Mary Kay Whitacre has worked in pastoral ministry in the Catholic Church for more than 45 years. She received a Master’s degree in Religious Education in 1982, and her Doctor of Ministry in 2017 from Seattle University. After she graduated from the Souljourners Spiritual Direction Formation Program in 2005, she joined the Souljourners staff. Currently, Mary Kay is a part of the Souljourners Leadership team and the Sophia Center staff.
Renee Bhatia is a Spiritual Director living in Overland Park, KS. She serves as a staff member of the Souljourners program from which she graduated in 2015. She received a Masters of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. She currently is studying Expressive Arts and its relationship to spirituality and spiritual direction.
Donna Kehoe earned a master’s degree in English Literature and worked for more than thirty years as an adjunct faculty member, writer, and editor, spending many of those years in Christian publishing. She graduated from Souljourners in 2018 and served as an intern, until joining the staff. Donna has been active in local church ministry for many years, leading small groups, mentoring youth, and offering spiritual direction. She is passionate about the ways the Spirit transforms and accompanies people in their daily lives.
We welcome and are grateful for your contribution to the Souljourners’ scholarship fund! Your support helps cover some of the costs of the program tuition. If you would like to contribute to the support of a specific person in the Souljourners Program, please make sure to include their name in the appropriate field when you donate.