Deep Listening in the Neighborhood Spiritual Companion Training

Monday, February 7, 2022 12:00 AM to Thursday, May 25, 2023 12:00 AM

Register Now


You are invited on a journey…

  • Embodying deep listening in a neighborhood
  • Gathering in five (5) retreats –
  • three (3) in-person & two (2) online
  • Learning in large groups and small clusters
  • Encountering a Peer Supervision model

Through immersive engagement, you will…
  • Discern a particular community context in which to companion
  • Enter into multi-cultural listening
  • Develop a Neighborhood of Listening map
  • Learn tools of trauma-informed companioning
  • Explore a nimble posture of presence
  • Recognize how people and place are linked to God’s loving activity in the world
  • Shift from doing spiritual companionship to being a spiritual companion

Topics along this journey…
  • Becoming Present: Intro to deep listening in the neighborhood
  • Borders Matter:  Being at home in the neighborhood
  • Spaces for Spirit:  Trauma-informed companioning within the neighborhood of the world
  • Discoveries at the Border:  Discernment in the neighborhood
  • Surprises Along the Way:  Embodying new ways of companioning

Application Process
  • Complete your Online Application form including contact and Spiritual Autobiography information via the reg link above. Click here to view pdf copy of Application Form to see questions.
  • Submit two personal recommendations via online application.
  • Please submit a $100 non-refundable application fee with your application materials.  This fee can be made online by submitting the application above, OR mailed to
Rolling Ridge Retreat & Conference Center
Attn: Deep Listening in the Neighborhood
660 Great Pond Road
North Andover, MA    01845

(Please make checks payable to “Rolling Ridge”)

Applications are received until January 3, 2022 (or until cohort fills).  Apply early as space is limited.  Acceptance is on a rolling basis.  Our director will notify you of acceptance.

Retreat Dates
  • February 7-10, 2022 (at Rolling Ridge)
  • May 20-23, 2022 (remote online)
  • September 26-29, 2022 (at Rolling Ridge)
  • February 3-6, 2023 (remote online)
  • May 22-25, 2023 (at Rolling Ridge)
(Full participation at all retreats is expected)

Course Fees & Requirements
Total Course Fee = $ 3,700 
includes non-refundable application fee, course tuition and accommodations (note: any books, travel and other incidentals are not included)

Payments:  :  After application, half of the remaining course fee is due one month after acceptance into the course with the balance due by Retreat #1.  

Limited scholarships available.  Contact Jackie Trotter Dove, DLN Director, for details.  United Methodist clergy are eligible for MEF grants.  CEUs available.

Although there are no specific educational requirements for this training, those applying should have an active spiritual life, a deep love for all God’s people, strength in purposeful listening, embrace diversity, be in spiritual direction, and have time and resources for the five retreats.  (Note:  Rolling Ridge’s “Gateways to God” provides an excellent foundation for “Deep Listening in the Neighborhood.”)

For more information, contact Director Jackie Trotter Dove at

About the leader(s)

Deadra Ashton

A Presbyterian pastor, conference center chaplain and retreat leader for more than 30 years, Deadra Ashton joined the Gateways staff in 2016.  She has served congregations of all sizes and settings in New England, New York and the Mid-Atlantic, including a federated church that put her back in touch with her Methodist roots and led her to the Gateways I program in which she was trained as a spiritual director.  She is currently pastor of Christ Church, Presbyterian in Burlington, Vermont.

Andrea Bliss-Lerman

Andrea Bliss-Lerman is a graduate of Shalem Institute of Spiritual Formation and has been active in facilitating and teaching in the Gateways to God Spiritual Direction Training Program at Rolling Ridge, as well as being involved in Days Apart, Drawing Nearer to God, and individual and group spiritual direction. She has served as the Minister of Spiritual Direction at Free Christian Church in Andover, Massachusetts since 1990. In addition to teaching in a variety of spiritual direction training programs and leading numerous retreats and workshops, she has also served in reaching out to inner city youth and young adults through skateboarding events, writing projects, and community development.

Jacquelyn Dove

Jackie is founder and president of Paraclete Place. A nonprofit that provides spiritual companionship, emotional and meditative sacred space, education awareness, and short-term residency to Breast Cancer and other cancer survivors and their families as they journey through treatment and recovery. As retired clergy from the New England Conference of The United Methodist Church, Jackie received her training as a Spiritual Director/Companion from Gateways at Rolling Ridge and Boston University and is a member of Spiritual Directors International. Jackie attended Howard University, Boston University, Hood Theological Seminary (MDiv) and is a current Doctoral Candidate with a dissertation on providing spiritual support to Millennials who were raised in the church but are no longer associated with a community of faith. Currently residing at Paraclete Place on beautiful Lake Gaston in North Carolina, she is committed to the New England Conference and the Rolling Ridge Retreat Center ministry.

Heidi Miller

With more than 20 years in academic and non-profit settings, Heidi A Miller, Ph.D. currently serves as Director and Assistant Professor of the Master’s in Practical Theology at Pfeiffer University in Charlotte, NC. Her areas of teaching, research, and writing focus on transformative leadership, spirituality, transition and trauma, justice, and worship. Heidi designs and facilitates curriculum in spiritual direction and soul tending in one-on-one, small group, community, congregational, and organizational contexts.