Leadership and Spiritual Life

The Center’s Leadership and Spiritual Life programs offers opportunities for individuals, faith communities, pastors, professionals and others who seek

  • Spiritual Enrichment
  • Professional Development
  • Clergy and Congregational Consultation

Finding a spiritual home and supportive spiritual companions can be challenging for anyone. LGBTQ+ individuals, most of whom have experienced insensitivity, censure, rejection and trauma in their families and/or religious communities, are particularly in need of sensitive spiritual companionship. The Center’s spiritual direction staff offers affordable LGBTQ+ sensitive spiritual direction for seekers (and their families or support persons) from all religious traditions as well as those who do not identify with any particular religious tradition or belief system.

Please contact Chris Waddle, Director of Leadership and Spiritual Life, at cwaddle@mindspiritcenter.org for further information or to make a referral or appointment. 

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Meet Chris Waddle, M.Div., Director of Leadership and Spiritual Life

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Chris believes that the essence of spirituality is rooted in ever growing loving relationships with God, others, creation, and our best selves.  As the Director of Leadership and Spiritual Life, he helps leaders, communities, and individuals from all walks of life and religious beliefs nurture these significant relationships. Chris believes nurturing these relationships involves faith, vulnerability, wonder, and playfulness.  His religious perspective and practice was formed in the United Methodist Church and he continues to be active in this faith tradition. Chris has a Bachelor of Science degree in Social and Rehabilitation Services from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University. He has two units of Clinical Pastoral Education: one from the American Institute for Ministry and the other from The University of North Carolina Medical Center. Chris has served as an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church in Mississippi and in Iowa. He has experience as an associate pastor, small church pastor, and a large church pastor. Chris also served as the Chaplain and Director of Church Relations for Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa from 2001-2009. He also served as a teacher and clergy coach for the Iowa United Methodist Conference’s Healthy Church Initiative. His vocational interests include:  Applying Bowen Family Systems Theory to congregational leadership, spiritual and vocational direction, the psychology of happiness, the integration of faith and science, and mysticism in world religions.  His hobbies include fishing, running, playing guitar, travel, and vintage toys.

For more information, contact Chris Waddle, at cwaddle@mindspiritcenter.org

Click HERE to read more articles written by Chris!

Ongoing Leadership and Spiritual Life Programs


A two-year renewal program on contemplative spirituality. Open to the community.
For more information, click here.

PrairieFire Practicum

A one year program to train as a spiritual director open to PrairieFire graduates.

Pastoral Care Specialist Program

A two-year professional development series on topics related to pastoral care-giving for clergy and congregational leaders. For the most current list of classes, click here.

The Congregational Assessment Tool (CAT)®

The CAT is a method of organizational listening so that leaders can move forward with decisions in a way that includes everyone, not just the voices that are the loudest, and does not rely on opinions or guesses of the few.

Suicide Awareness, Prevention and Intervention

One and two-day workshops for clergy, youth leaders, teachers, police, health care providers, parents and others. Ongoing suicide support group – click here.

Workshops for Renewal and Continuing Education

Short term opportunities addressing a variety of topics. Open to the community.


Spiritual Direction

For individuals and groups.

Conflict Transformation Services

A service for congregations, non-profit organizations, and businesses. Just as families can develop conflict among their members, persons working closely together can experience tension and/or conflict. Conflict transformation is a dynamic process of helping congregations, non-profit organizations, and businesses come to a better understanding and resolution of problems.

Ethical Boundary Training

For clergy and faith leaders. To learn more, click here.

Clergy Coaching

For individual clergy members. Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center is a resource for clergy who desire confidential consultation regarding leadership, pastoral care and/or other aspects of their ministry, vocational discernment, or professional growth.

Psychological Evaluations

For clergy candidates (Note: Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center also offers a full range of psychological testing, for more information about what we provide, click here)