Why is the Mennonite Brethren Conference directing people to Jesuit training? Could it actually be possible that an organization of this size has simply not done their homework? On their Leadership Development page, under Partners in Leadership Training is this recommended resource:
Partners in Leadership Training
• NextLEVEL Leadership
Following Module 1, we offer a kick-start mentoring call where a NextLEVEL trained mentor who will call you to help you review your material and help you decide what you are needing in a mentor.
In addition, we have Christian men and women in our network qualified in the areas of Coaching and Spiritual Formation who offer their services to NextLEVEL Leadership alumni. Click on the links below to check out an individual’s services, location and contact information.
The Tyndale link will take you to a list of Spiritual Directors who have been trained and certified by the Tyndale Association of Spiritual Directors.
Listed below this are Next Level Leadership’s recommended mentors, coaches and spiritual directors.
The first one is April Burrows — Qualified as Spiritual Director and Coach by Mt. Carmel Spirituality Centre and the Haden Institute (a training institute based on Jungian psychology and spirituality where faculty includes Lauren Artress of Grace Cathedral labyrinth fame and its former Dean, Episcopal priest and author Alan Jones who believes the Cross of Christ is a vile doctrine). Here is what April Burrows’ Spiritual Direction is about:
What is Spiritual Direction and how does it work?
Since the times of early Christianity, Spiritual Direction has been a profound resource to foster an increased consciousness and awareness of God within ourselves and our world. It is the practice of Spiritual Companionship once known in Ireland as Soul Friendship (Anamcara).
The role of a Spiritual Director is to listen with reverence to the Spirit working in your life. Through the sharing of your prayer, spiritual practices and life with God, your ‘Companion’ reflects with affirmation, support and challenge to aid you to discern what invitation is being extended for the purpose of your self discovery and spiritual growth. (…)
My favorite descriptions of Spiritual Direction are found at…
Simple prayer suggestions every day: http://sacredspace.ie/
John Velti’s Website: an incredible source of knowledge and tools about Ignatius Spirituality – http://www.jesuits.ca/orientations/
Spiritual Directors International where I hold a membership – http://www.sdiworld.org/
Jesuit Retreat Centre in Guelph Ontario – http://www.loyolahouse.ca/
Guelph Ecumenical Guild of Ingnatian Spiritual Direction – http://www.freewebs.com/eguild/ – This group also has a list of local Spiritual Directors in Guelph who are trained in Ignatian Spirituality as well as host yearly for 26 years “The Week of Guided Prayer” which was my first experience with a Spiritual Director and Ingatian Prayer.
Other recommended coaches and spiritual directors at Next Level Leadership include:
Sandra Ricketts — Qualified as a Spiritual Director by The Ignatian Centre of Spirituality, Montreal
Tyndale Spiritual Directors (website link)
[Note: Tyndale Seminary has strayed far from their roots as revealed by their Spiritual Formation Reading Room
which is filled with contemplative spirituality and mysticism.]
Ironically, these recommendations at NextLEVEL Leadership come with the following disclaimer regarding what they have identified and promoted as “excellent resources.”
While we endeavour to identify excellent resources, NextLEVEL Leadership assumes no responsibility for the information provided, and we provide no warranty of any kind with regard to such information or resources. Given that we have no control over the content or interpretation of messages, advice, counselling, information or publications supplied by third party resources, we cannot and will not be held liable in any way for connecting with any of the resources listed on this website. We will also not be held liable for the content or use of any advice, information, recommendations or counselling provided by any such third parties who are accessed by users of this website.
The MB Conference may or may not have a similar disclaimer about directing their leaders to NextLEVEL Leadership and into the arms of spiritual directors trained in Ignatian and Jungian Spirituality and contemplative spiritual formation. What would be far better than such a disclaimer would be simply to not even promote Next Level Leadership on their MB Conference Leadership Development web page in the first place. If they were to make such a bold decision, they might also have to turn on the spot light and do some housecleaning in a few other dark contemplative corners, and that might be embarrassing. This is why the obvious problem with this recommendation, if brought to their attention, will either be ignored, swept under the rug, or quietly removed.
Once again, where oh where are the watchmen?
Mennonites and St. Ignatius
About those Spiritual Exercises
WHO IS IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA?
SPECIAL REPORT: The Jesuit Agenda and the Evangelical/Protestant Church