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Faculty Spotlight: Barbara Martell

Barbara H. Martell, MS Ed, MA, MS
Adjunct Professor, Formative Spirituality & Spiritual Direction

Contemplative dialogue. Holy listening. Discernment. Wisdom practices.

These are a few of the areas that we delve deeply into in our Formative Spirituality and Spiritual Direction graduate programs at Moravian Theological Seminary (MTS). Our program methodology has been called by some as the “rigors of the heart.” This means that our focus is on integrating the heart with the head and the body to create wisdom.

I love the transformative nature of the Formative Spirituality courses. Few things bring us more delight than witnessing those moments when a student is “surprised by joy” and moves a little deeper into spiritual freedom. I also value that these programs are rooted in a love for the body and for the real world.

Altar created by Formative Spirituality students for a Peace Day worship. It is covered with saris from India.

Having been a spiritual director and supervisor of spiritual directors for 30 years I am noticing the current rapid growth of interest in both giving and receiving spiritual direction. Spiritual direction now embraces all faith traditions, cultures, and geographic locations. Students from the US, Canada, England, and Czechoslovakia have attended our classes.

We have had the good fortune to study with Lucy Abbot Tucker, Mathew Wright, and Nancy Bieber, who are all respected figures in our field. Most recently the students completed their second of two Wisdom School Retreats where they follow the Benedictine example of “ora et labora” or pray and work. We emerge from these contemplative experiences renewed and transformed.

In the words of C.S. Lewis in his famous book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, “Äslan is on the move” at MTS!