Spiritual Companionship Program

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The Lindenwood Spiritual Companionship Program may be for you.

Are you serious about your spiritual journey? Do others seek you out to share intimately about their spiritual life? Do you feel “called” to offer yourself as a fellow traveler and guide to others?

Lindenwood offers a program that assists people in discerning their call to and being formed as spiritual companions. It is designed to introduce the theory, spirituality, and practice of spiritual direction today. You will learn the distinction between spiritual companionship and counseling, what spiritual companionship is and what it is not, various methods of prayer, listening skills, discernment and much more.

The cohort will meet every other month for a two-day overnight formation. There are also two five-day, four-night formation workshops.

Download our Information and Application Packet here.

September 2023 - March 2025

September 29-30, 2023
May 17-18, 2024
November 17-18, 2023
July 23-27, 2024
December 6-8, 2023
September 20-21, 2024
January 19 - 20, 2024
November 15-16, 2024
March 15-16, 2024
January 17-18, 2025
- March 7-8, 2025


Sr. Joetta Huelsmann, PHJC

Sr. Joetta has trained Spiritual Companions since 2009. Since then eight groups with 73 people have participated.
She is the former director of John XXIII Retreat Center, served in community leadership, and is presently ministering at Lindenwood Retreat & Conference Center. Sr. Joetta has training in Ignatian Spirituality and is a graduate of the Shalem Institute of Spiritual Guidance.
Her master's degree is in Human and Religious Studies and she holds a bachelor's degree in English with an Elementary Education minor. She has been a spiritual director for 35 plus years with experience in parish ministry as well.
Sr. Joetta is a member of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.

Rev. James Hilleson, MDiv, BCC

James is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, serving parishes in Ohio and Indiana for over 25 years. In 2008 he began serving as Director of Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy Services at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, IN. He was endorsed by the ELCA for chaplaincy with the Association of Professional Chaplains. Retired from Chaplaincy in 2020, James has served as co-facilitator of the Spiritual Companionship Program since 2019.
James' MDiv. is from Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, IA and a BS in Social Work is from Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN.
In 2000, he received a Lilly Clergy Renewal Grant and studied Ecumenical relations with an emphasis in Jewish, Islamic and Christian studies. Part of his sabbatical included a 5-week study trip with the Tantur Institute, a Roman Catholic Ecumenical study community located between Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the Holy Land. He is a Spiritual Director having completed the Spiritual Direction Program at John XXIII Retreat Center in 2016, formerly in Hartford City, IN.

A Welcoming Presence Touched by Nature - Lindenwood Retreat & Conference Center

Lindenwood provides meeting rooms suitable for business, non-profit organizations, church groups or individuals to address issues of personal growth and development or spirituality in the workplace. The Villa Maria offers 47 double-occupancy bedrooms with private baths and individually controlled heat/AC units. Two accessible bedrooms are available for those with special needs. The beautiful gothic style chapel, the surrounding farm fields and woods, lakeside grotto, Prayer garden, outdoor Labyrinth and Way of the Cross create an environment that is peaceful and serene.

Please call Lindenwood at 574-935-1780 for more information.

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