Spiritual Directors

Johnson Service Corps introduces corps members to the concept of spiritual direction, encourages interested corps members to engage in spiritual direction, and refers corps members to spiritual directors in the area.

What is spiritual direction?

Spiritual Directors

The Rev. Susannah Smith is an Episcopal priest who has retired from parish ministry and now has time to be a spiritual director. She trained for three years in the Faithful Companions of Jesus program. She has served as the spiritual director/chaplain of Johnson Service Corps and in 2014 facilitated the group in its Praxis Project. She is married to Ralph and has 3 children and 7 “grands”.


The Rev. Betty Morton, JD, MA, MDiv: I am a life and spiritual coach certified by the International Coach Federation and ordained in the United Church of Christ. I coach individuals and groups toward personal and professional wellbeing, growth and success — as they define it. I believe wellbeing begins in the soul and grows out of being true to who we are. From that rich place, we find our purposes, our voices and our power for living well, personally and with others. In ministry, I have experience as a spiritual growth coach (also called a “spiritual director”), chaplain, chaplain educator and grief counselor and, in my prior profession, experience as a lawyer and corporate executive.

Ms. Barbara Atkinson: Barbara Atkinson is a spiritual director trained in Ignatian spirituality through the Faithful Companions of Jesus. She is a Certified Lay Minister in the United Methodist Church, a retreat facilitator, and a leader in pastoral ministry. She leads Quiet Days for reflection and meditation and is passionate about knitting and being part of a prayer shawl ministry.

Ms. Jamie Burnett: Jamie Burnett is an experienced spiritual companion/director who comes from a family of many faiths — Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, and none at all. She enjoys conversations about the discernment of vocation and the joy of everyday encounters with the sacred. A small donation is requested but not required.

The Rev. David Frazelle: David Frazelle has served as an Episcopal priest in Chapel Hill since 2005 and has been offering spiritual direction as part of his ministry. He has completed a training program in contemplative leadership through the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation and has led contemplative prayer groups, retreats, and classes over the past 15 years.

The Rev. Robert Fruehwirth: Robert Fruehwirth, an Episcopal priest, spent twenty years in an Anglican monastic community, which is where he started practicing spiritual direction. Having left monastic life, he is now married with two children and has a Masters degree in therapeutic counseling. Robert is an author and a frequent speaker at conferences on spirituality. He has given retreats across the US and in the UK, and he is comfortable with a wide range of spiritual experience and religious practice.

Ms. Mary Grace McCoy: Mary Grace McCoy is the co-founder of The Listening Place Spiritual Center, a nonprofit in Durham dedicated to the art of sacred listening. She received her training through the Faithful Companions of Jesus, a female religious order in the Ignatian/Jesuit tradition. Her particular areas of interest include the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius and Enneagram work. Her life experiences have led her to be welcoming of the LGBTQ community to her spiritual direction practice. 

Ms. Jean Whicker: Jean Whicker is a graduate of the Faithful Companions of Jesus Spiritual Direction Training Program and Friends of Christ School for Christian Spirituality. She is a retired Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and holds a MSW degree in Social Work and a MA in Christian Education.