Deep Listening in the Neighborhood Spiritual Companion Training

Monday, September 26, 2022 12:00 AM to Thursday, February 29, 2024 12:00 AM

Register Now

View file

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 August 23,  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
  •  September 26-29, 2022 (at Rolling Ridge)
  •  February 5-9, 2023 (remote online)
  •  May 22-25, 2023 (at Rolling Ridge)
  •  September 24-28, 2023 (remote online)
  • February 26-29, 2024 (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)

Deep Listening in the Neighborhood Payment Plans
Course fee includes tuition and accommodations.  (Books, travel, and other incidentals are not included). Total Course Fee: $3700

Payment Plan A (2 payments)
$1850 one month after acceptance into the program
$1850 by August 4, 2023

Payment Plan B (3 payments)
$1250 one month after acceptance into the program
$1250 by August 4, 2023
$1250 by December 4, 2023

Due to the nature of this program, there are no refunds after the start of the course. Limited scholarships are available.


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

Rev. Deadra Bachorik Ashton, MDiv, BCC, is a chaplain at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, spiritual director, and retreat leader. A PC(USA) Minister of Word and Sacrament, she is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary.  Deadra served as a parish minister for 20 years, and prior to that as a summer chaplain at a conference center. Her areas of special interest include spiritual formation in the second half of life, the effects of culture and life context on the soul, spiritual support for caregivers, and spiritual care amid loss and grief.

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.

Cris Kerekes

Cris received her training in spiritual direction through Tending the Soul and Advanced Gateways to God.  Her current work as a spiritual director takes place primarily in nontraditional settings including grocery stores and parking lots, hospital rooms, spiritual formation gatherings, and the online classroom.  After a first career as a high school chemistry teacher, Cris earned an MDiv from Northeastern Seminary and completed two units of CPE as a hospital chaplain.  She currently enjoys serving as an adjunct professor in spiritual direction at NES and a peer group supervisor for Tending the Soul. 

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.

Karen Skalla

Karen Skalla is a bi-vocational ordained Deacon in the Methodist Church.  She came to ministry via a career as a Nurse Practitioner and she continues to listen deeply to patients, as well as groups, after completing the Gateways to God program in Missional Spiritual Direction.  From her home in Vermont, Karen has a particular love for the created world and enjoys expressing it through the written word and art.  She has a passion for pastoral care in Street Ministry and partnering with her Therapy Dog.  She completed a Masters Degree in Nursing, four units of Clinical Pastoral Education, and a Masters Degree in Theology from Boston University.  Her primary Diaconal appointment is Kendal at Hanover as a Geriatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and she serves as a faith leader for an online ecumenical church, “Faithwaze.”