February 5-6


With plenary presentations from Dr. Susan Currie, Dr. Neal Siler, and Dr. Ted Wueste

We desire deeply to hear God’s voice in our lives. Indeed, the Scriptures call us to listen. How do we do that? How do we know if we are hearing God’s voice? What are the roadblocks and pathways to a listening life? 6 plenary sessions, worship and prayer, over 10 workshops, and the opportunity to connect with others.

This is a great conference for ministry leaders, spiritual directors, counselors, and anyone who wants to develop a deeper life of listening to God.

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Susan directs Leadership Transformations’ Selah Certificate Program in Spiritual Direction, offering spiritual direction training here in Arizona, on the east coast, and in Europe. She also offers retreat leadership and formation ministry to various church and parachurch bodies, including having served for 13 years with the Pierce Center for Disciple Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College (B.A. English Literature, 1982), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (MA in Theological Studies, 1984; and Doctor of Ministry, 2011), and the spiritual direction certificate program of Christian Formation and Direction Ministries-Northwest (2005). Susan and her husband Dave are affiliated clergy in the Anglican Diocese in New England, and they love making their home in a place where the seasons of nature and the rhythms of the church year shape season and rhythms in the soul. Their lives are graced with three grown children and their beloved spouses, and dear extended family, some with whom they share daily life in their not-so-empty nest.


Dr. R. Neal Siler, Senior Pastor of First Shiloh Baptist Church in Mechanicsville, Virginia, is a clinician, spiritual director, and founder of The Healing Place Center for Counseling and Spiritual Formation. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Ashland Theological Seminary, Ashland, OH and at Tyndale University Seminary and College in Toronto, Ontario, and as the Director of HCM International’s Spiritual Formation and the Art of Spiritual Direction Program in Ashland, Ohio. Neal has a special interest in spiritual formation and soul care and the spiritual, psychological and systemic issues that create pain and brokenness for African Americans and marginalized people. Neal’s wife Dr. Sharon E. Siler serves alongside him in many of these contexts, and they delight in sharing life with two grown children, their spouses, and three grandchildren.

D.Min. Ashland Theological Seminary, Ashland, Ohio
Ph.D. Southwestern University, Tucson, AZ
MA Theology/Counseling, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, OH


Ted serves as the Director of the Spiritual Formation Society of Arizona. After having served as a Senior Pastor and in other Pastoral staff roles for 22 years, Ted now devotes his time to the formation and soul care of leaders. He practices spiritual direction and also teaches as adjunct faculty in the Spiritual Formation Program at Phoenix Seminary where he serves as the Associate Director for SF. Ted has written several formation resources: a Study Guide for Mansions of the Heart, a Study Guide for Brother Lawrence’s The Practice of the Presence of God, and an advent daily devotional. He lives in the Phoenix area with his wife, Jenifer, and they have two children, a son and a daughter in both in college. 

D.Min. in Leadership, Phoenix Seminary, AZ
Master of Sacred Theology, Dallas Seminary, TX
Master of Divinity, Western Seminary, OR

Certificate in Spiritual Direction: Selah, Leadership Transformations, MA
Certificate in Spiritual Direction, New Way Ministries, CO

Conference Workshops

Choose four workshops during registration

“The Listening Life in Spiritual Direction”          Susan Currie

For those who offer the ministry of holy listening (whether formally trained or informally mentored in the practice of spiritual direction), this breakout session will further explore the theology and practice of spiritual direction as a context for deepening the Listening Life.

“Listening: Clearing Space and Creating Welcome”          Neal Siler

This workshop will wrestle with the idea of deep listening and awareness as it relates to embracing fully what it means to be with another, with a focus on the language that communicates that welcome.

“Spiritual Disciplines for Different Seasons”          Ted Wueste

Looking at how different spiritual disciplines nurture our life in Christ in different seasons on our spiritual journey. This breakout session will look at both the cyclical seasons that repeat as well as a more linear journey that occurs simultaneously.

“Christian Contemplation: A Heart that Listens”          Danny Mullins

Contemplation has a rich history in the Christian faith. In this workshop, learn the basics of Christian contemplation, why it is helpful on your journey, and experience a taste.

“Listening to God’s Love”          Tom Ashbrook

What would it be like to experience God’s love – actually experience it every day? Why is “…the greatest of these is love?” In this workshop, Tom will lead a discussion about the surprising biblical meaning of God’s love, how we experience it, and its implications for our lives.

“Discerning God’s Heart Together”          Tom Ashbrook

Do we want to know and follow God’s will or just have Him bless ours? How do we discern God’s will and how do we do it together? In this workshop, Tom will help us unpack and practice the discernment process developed by Ignatius of Loyola and explore how we might use it to follow Jesus together.

“The Psalms: A Model for Prayer and Listening”          John DelHousaye

Jesus quoted the Psalms more than any other book in the Old Testament. David’s words became his words; as the body of Christ, they become ours as well. There is also a place for silence and listening. This workshop explains this ancient way of the reading the Psalms, totus Christus, and offers a group experience.

“A Life of Intimacy: Seeing God in the Ordinary”          Doug Kelley

Intimacy at its core is about discovery and connection. In this workshop we will explore the nature of intimacy through discovery and connection to God…through the ordinary. And, we will take a special look at how God’s love creates space for intimacy’s vulnerability to blossom.

“A Taste of Spiritual Direction”          LuAnn Roberson

In this workshop, you will receive an introduction to spiritual direction, and then have an opportunity to experience spiritual direction with a trained spiritual director.

“Leading Corporate Worshippers to Listen”          Joel Bidderman

How do we lead worship in ways that encourage a participatory listening? This workshop will deal with how to create space for and encourage listening as a part of worshipping together.

“Listening to God with Kids”          Gordon West

Experience practical ways to model and share with your children, grandchildren, or students the spiritual practice of listening to God. Learn to create an environment where children and God can connect.

“The Mystic and the Activist: Living in the Tension”          Sheli Sloterbeek

We live in chaotic and tense times and sometimes it can be difficult to continue to pray, letting God love us, and at the same time struggle for justice. In this workshop we will talk about what it looks like to live in the tension of contemplation and action within the world around us.

“Listening in Small Groups”          Ted Wueste

In the workshop, you’ll learn how to create an atmosphere of listening in which participants have one ear on God and one on another person. Most often, groups talk over each other and fall to hear each other fully – there is a better way.


November 1 – January 15 // Regular registration – $89*

January 16 – February 5 // Late registration – $99*

*Discounts for members
Group registration – Groups of 5 or more receive a 10% discount (cannot combine other discounts – i.e., membership discount can’t be combined with group discount). Contact sheli@sfsaz.org to register your group.

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Friday 9:00-4:00

8:00-8:45 Registration

9:00                 Worship/Intro/Prayer

9:30                 Main Session #1

10:30               Reflection/Exercise

10:50               Break

11:00               Workshop #1

12:15               Lunch

1:15                 Main Session #2

1:45                 Reflection/Exercise

2:30                 Break   

2:45                 Workshop #2

4:00                 Dismiss/Prayer room

4:00                 Dismiss

Saturday 9:00-4:00

9:00                 Worship/Prayer

9:20                 Main Session #3

10:30               Reflection/Exercise

10:50               Break

11:00               Workshop #3

12:15               Lunch

1:15                 Workshop #4

2:30                 Break   

2:45                 Main Session #4