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Kasey Hitt, MDiv

WTC Co-founder, Director, and School of Spiritual Direction Teacher 
LEARN MORE ABOUT KASEY

 


Kasey brings 20 years of experience as a spiritual director to Wisdom Tree Collective.

Prior to moving to Mt. Juliet (near Nashville, TN) in 2008, Kasey spent five years in Washington State where she earned a Master of Divinity and Certificate in Spiritual Direction at The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology. She grew up in Ohio and was a youth pastor in the United Methodist Church for five years in Missouri before heading to the Seattle area.

Her way of spiritual direction can be described as offering hospitality to the soul by being present and listening to the whole of one's life—daytime, nighttime, body, mind, spirit, and relationships. She utilizes a variety of ancient and present-day tools to help her directees. These include lectio divina, dreamwork, breathwork, IFS (parts work), imaginative & guided prayer, and relaxation.

Kasey's own story of becoming a spiritual director began with mental, physical, and relational burnout as a youth pastor, so she is especially passionate about a healthy, authentic spirituality.

In addition to spiritual direction, Kasey also offers retreats, classes, supervision for spiritual directors, and is a Level III Reiki therapist. Thanks to directees asking to be trained by her over the years, she has developed and is offering a two-year Wisdom-based online program to train spiritual directors, which began fall 2021.

Kasey resides with her husband, Russ, daughter, Lainey, and son, Alex. She enjoys a cup of tea, reading, juggling, baking, taking art lessons, a walk through the woods, and quiet mornings with her Russian Blue cat, Birdie, on her lap.

Kim Working

WTC Co-founder

 


Kim brings a lifelong love of science and spirituality to Wisdom Tree Collective.

A clinical medical physicist, Kim is board certified by the American Board of Radiology in Therapeutic and Diagnostic Radiological Physics. In this capacity, he currently serves as the president and laboratory director at K&S Associates, Inc. in Nashville, Tennessee. K&S provides calibration services and routine clinical medical physics consulting support to the radiation oncology, diagnostic radiology facilities and the health physics communities nationally and internationally.

Since he was a boy, Kim has been drawn to "God's first Bible"—getting up earlier than anyone in the house to spend time in Creation. He still does! This led to observations and recognition of patterns and insights offered through nature, which further encouraged his interest in the integration of theology and the sciences.

With his completion of the two-year Living School program at the Center for Action and Contemplation (www.cac.org). Kim's own spiritual life and his passion for teaching grew.

Besides the intersection of science and faith, he also focuses on pathways to a maturing spirituality. Through small groups, Kim companions others, especially men, in growing and deepening their awareness. After wrapping up his spiritual direction training through Wisdom Tree Collective, his own awareness, as well as his passion to companion others, continues to grow.

Currently, he draws on the wisdom of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in "trusting in the slow work of God."

Kim resides in Lebanon, Tennessee, with his wife, Mary Francis.

Mary Francis Jording

WTC Co-founder

 

 


Mary Francis Jording (a.k.a Mary Francis Working) brings an incarnational hospitality to Wisdom Tree Collective.

Born in Quincy, Illinois, Mary Francis spent more than 30 years in several states as a radiation therapist and director of radiation oncology departments. It was through this career she met her husband, Kim Working, who is a medical physicist.

Raised in the Lutheran tradition, later in life Mary Francis joined the Episcopal Church where she served as a Eucharistic minister, lay reader, and cantor. She has a special love of hymnody and Taize music. Her deep admiration for Saint Francis of Assisi led to taking his name as part of hers.

When visiting the Workings’ home, you will see icons in most rooms. In the early 1990s, with the help of a Dominican priest, Mary Francis discovered her love of icons and the powerful symbols that each one relays.

Mary Francis enjoys sharing her cooking and home with others. She views both preparing and sharing a meal as a sacred experience that can delight the eyes, ears, and tastebuds. Perhaps this comes from her love of all “the smells and bells” (for you “high church” folks out there!). All who come to the Workings’ home for retreats and dinner parties can taste, smell, and experience the love of God.

Mary Francis was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2010. While living with this disease can be difficult, she continues to live life to the fullest. She and Kim even took a trip to Antarctica in 2019.

She resides in Lebanon, Tennessee, with her husband, Kim.

Laura Huff Hileman, M.A., M.S.

Director for Programs in Dreams & Spirituality
LEARN ABOUT LAURA

 


Laura Huff Hileman, a spiritual director and dreamworker, is honored to coordinate and teach for the Certificate in Dreamwork at Wisdom Tree Collective. Her path has included teaching English, raising a family of boys, and finding God in nature, poetry, the unconscious, and in her church community. (She’s a lifelong Presbyterian, PCUSA.) Laura holds a M.A. in English from Vanderbilt, a M.S. in psychology from Lipscomb University, and certificates in both dreamwork and spiritual direction from the Haden Institute.

With perpetual astonishment at the wisdom of our dreams, Laura has been sharing the spiritual practice of dreamwork since 1999. Through her practice, Fire by Night Dreamwork, she offers group and individual dreamwork, retreats, workshops, and book studies. She currently lives in Jonesborough, Tennessee, where she enjoys family, friends, and daily hikes in the wooded hills.

Amy-Lyles Wilson, M.A., M.T.S.

WTC Teaching Assistant & Content Curator
LEARN ABOUT AMY-LYLES

 


Amy-Lyles believes it is the sharing of our stories that saves us. Toward that end, she helps people get to the heart of the matter through creative and spiritual practices, working as a story coach, spiritual director, and community-based teacher.

She has been published in a variety of magazines and books. Her essay “The Guts to Keep Going” was featured on National Public Radio. Amy-Lyles has served as adjunct professor and writer-in-residence at the Earlham School of Religion, and led workshops across the South, as well as at the Chautauqua Institution.

Amy-Lyles is also a trained facilitator of both Amherst Writers & Artists and SoulCollage® workshops, and holds degrees in English, journalism, and theology. She recently earned a certificate in narrative healthcare from Lenoir-Rhyne University as part of her commitment to continued education and training.

She brings her wide-ranging gifts and experience to her work with Wisdom Tree Collective. Whether as a teacher, writer, or spiritual director, she assists people as they develop skill and confidence in the arts of personal story-telling and sacred listening in community.

Mary Rose Bumpus, RSM, PhD

Teacher & Supervisor of Spiritual Directors-in-Training

 


Sister Mary Rose, a Roman Catholic Sister of Mercy, has been a spiritual director for  more than 40 years. She has taught courses in spiritual direction for 15 years at both San Francisco Theological Seminary and Seattle University, and supervised students from a variety of cultural backgrounds and faith traditions in becoming spiritual directors.

Mary Rose has a Ph.D. in christian spirituality with a focus on biblical studies, as well as significant praxis in Buddhist meditation and study in Navajo tradition and Blessingway Rite.

She comes to Wisdom Tree Collective after having served 10 years on the Leadership Team of the Sisters of Mercy, South Central Community. Mary Rose has also been Wisdom Tree Collective Co-founder, Kasey Hitt’s, supervisor for 14 years following 3 years as her spiritual director.

Students in Wisdom Tree Collective’s School of Spiritual Direction learn about professional ethics at the end of year one from Mary Rose and will be accompanied by her in group and individual supervision throughout year two.

Discover Mary Rose’s wisdom around supervision through the book she contributed to and edited: Supervision of Spiritual Directors: Engaging in Holy Mystery.

Dr. Robbie Pinter

Spiritual Director, Mentor, and Supervision Facilitator
LEARN ABOUT ROBBIE

 


Dr. Robbie Pinter taught English at Belmont University for 40 years. She now enjoys what was once her “career within a career” as she offers spiritual direction, writes, and facilitates retreats and Centering Prayer groups. After a nudge to dwell more fully in the world of metaphor, symbol, ritual, and social justice, she converted to Catholicism. Raised in the Baptist tradition, Robbie now speaks two spiritual languages. 

A three-time graduate of Shalem Institute (Spiritual Guidance Program, Transforming Community, and Soul of Leadership), Robbie has served as a spiritual director for 15 years. She is active on the board at St. Mary’s Sewanee and serves as the point person for Contemplative Outreach of Middle Tennessee. Robbie works with Wisdom Tree Collective as a mentor and the Group Supervision Facilitator. 

Her years as a professor read like a spiritual director’s dream. She designed and taught a spirituality and writing course and developed journaling courses within and beyond the Academy based on Ira Progroff’s eponymous program, “In a Journal Workshop.” She also taught “Literature of Dreams,” “Literature of Silence,” “Writing and Place,” and travel-based classes in the Mid-East and with the Plains tribes of the United States. In the last part of her career she enjoyed coordinating the peer tutoring seminar: to her, tutoring and spiritual direction are a little like “listening a person into existence” as Mary Rose O’Reilley once wrote. Both teaching and spiritual direction offer their own kinds of listening. 

Robbie believes spiritual direction offers people ways to be aware of, and live into, Presence. Direction is a way to listen for the Holy speaking in all parts of life, even and especially in the silence. 

Robbie is wife to Mike, a math professor at Belmont University, and mother to Nicholas, who teaches pre-school at the Jewish Community Center in Nashville. (She’s thrilled he joined the family business of education.)   

 

Heather Harriss

Teaching Assistant in Certificate in Dreamwork

 


Heather is an elder in the United Methodist Church. She serves as the pastor for spiritual care and connection at Belmont UMC in Nashville, Tennessee. She received her certificates in spiritual direction and for dreamwork from the Haden Institute. She loves being a companion with people on their spiritual journey and often explores dream images and archetypes as a contemplative practice in spiritual direction. She offers programs and retreats to draw closer the harmony between our soul and our life.

Bill Campbell

WTC Mentor & Year One Instructor
LEARN ABOUT BILL

 


Bill’s love of nature began in childhood when his mother kicked him and his brothers out of the house so she could get some peace and quiet. Since then, he’s explored the fields and woods just beyond their backyard, hiked trails across the United States and Europe as a Boy Scout, as a campus minister leading students, and as a solo hiker. Water also competes for his attention, through canoeing, fishing, teaching swimming lessons, standing watch as a lifeguard, scuba diving, and swimming on a college swim team.

As a seven on the Enneagram, adventure pulls Bill out to travel in location and mind. Sometimes, he carries a camera and engages in contemplative photography. Some of his best times are walks in the woods with his grandchildren.

After attending Tennessee Tech University as an engineering major, Bill transferred to Lambuth University and graduated with a degree in social work in 1974. Moving to Dallas, Texas, Bill attended Southern Methodist University and received a Master of Theology in 1978. He also worked on a Doctor of Ministry at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. Bill is also a spiritual director, having completed the training program at Southern Methodist University in 2015. In 2023 he received a certificate as a forest therapy guide. 

In 1979, Bill was ordained as an Elder in the United Methodist Church. He served churches in Oklahoma, Texas, and Tennessee. For almost 30 years, Bill was the United Methodist Campus Minister at Middle Tennessee State University.   

The focus of Bill’s spiritual direction practice involves hiking, forest bathing, and contemplation of nature. Too often we are disconnected from nature. This dislocation allows us to treat the earth as a resource for our exclusive benefit. We have ignored our profound interdependence on all other life-forms, and the earth’s vulnerability. Bill seeks to be a careful listener to the trees as well as his directees.

Diane Kilmer

WTC Mentor

 


As a spiritual director, Diane has offered respectful listening and confidential, spiritual companionship to others for more than 24 years. She became a devoted follower of Jesus as a teenager and has continued to serve in churches as an active layperson, cheering people on toward God through prayer groups, teaching and preaching, writing for religious journals, and incorporating creative arts in public and private worship. Diane has also enjoyed an extended career in freelance writing and editing. She currently serves her faith community as an ordained Mother in the church and as an elder.

Her path to becoming a spiritual director began one Michigan autumn when five people came to her separately and asked her to meet with them regularly to talk about their spiritual life. She said “yes,” but after a couple of years, she knew she needed training and support for this activity that she eventually learned was called “spiritual direction.” Three years of preparation and study later, Diane received her certification from the Dominican Center for Religious Development, based in Detroit. For the past 17 years, Diane’s spiritual direction practice has been based out of Nashville, Tennessee. She also continues to provide teaching and direction at spiritual retreats.

Most of Diane’s contemplative-style spiritual direction sessions are held virtually. “I never know where the sharing or prayerful listening or open questions will lead,” Diane says. “Sometimes we may pause in quiet to allow an insight or question or an ‘aha!’ moment to deepen; or to give the Holy Spirit space to provide input in some way. I am regularly amazed at the unique, customized care that the Spirit provides each person by the end of a session!”

Diane enjoys playing with her 10-year-old granddaughter (and gets to help with her homeschooling!); playing dominoes with her 97-year-old dad and her sisters; kayaking when she can; reading mysteries; and baking desserts.

Jess Hansen

WTC Mentor & Year One Instructor
LEARN ABOUT JESS

 


Jess believes spirituality is foundational to every human. If you find yourself in a place where the religious institution/church doesn’t quite fit or is uncomfortable or even painful, Jess wants to hear your story.

“We all have our own flavor of spirituality that is begging to be embraced,” says Jess. “Befriending your own misfit spirituality is a liberating homecoming.”

Jess provides companionship and guidance on finding your way home to yourself, reimagining your faith, and experiencing freedom and healing in embracing your own spiritual misfit-ness.

 

 

LeAnne Nesbitt

WTC Mentor
LEARN ABOUT LEANNE

 


All that LeAnne does is informed by her own lived experience of encountering the Divine through creative and contemplative practices. She first combined the two through her personal practice of contemplative photography. Since then, she has come to a deep appreciation of the way the Divine creator speaks to us in the language of metaphor and symbol. Through our dreams, stories, myths, poetry, and intuitive creative practices we can experience the Divine, understand ourselves better, and receive guidance to help us in our daily lives. She considers her true vocation, her deep gladness, is to live fully into the questions of life and use what she’s learned to encourage, uplift, and inspire others.

In addition to offering spiritual direction, LeAnne also facilitates dream groups and workshops. She serves as the community coordinator for SoulCollage® Inc.

 

 

Rose Devasia

WTC Mentor
LEARN ABOUT ROSE

 


From an early age, Rose knew she wanted to help others. She thought the best way to do that was to become a physician. Rose graduated from medical school in 1999 and spent more than 20 years in medicine and public health. In 2021, after a lot of soul searching, she transitioned to working part time in public health and pursuing work as a spiritual director.

Part of the transition from physician to spiritual director came from her own questions regarding God/Spirit, faith, and life, and how she could best serve people using her unique gifts and personality. 

While Rose was raised Catholic and continues to attend mass at a Catholic church, she’s always been drawn to mysticism, other religions, and what they have to offer. There are pieces of all the major religions that have shaped her own worldview. Her openness to other faiths is why she chose to train as an interfaith spiritual director at the Chaplaincy Institute (Chi). 

Rose’s own spiritual practice currently consists of daily walks, meditation, journaling, and reading. She continues her professional development and spiritual growth through  spiritual supervision, reading, and reflection. Rose is a member of Spiritual Directors International, and follows their guidelines on professional and ethical practice.

Rose has been married for more than fourteen years and has two children. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Work and family are where most of her time is spent but she also provides peer support through Star Legacy for women who have suffered a stillbirth.

 

 

Stéphane Brooks

WTC Mentor & Year One Instructor

 


 Coming soon!

Sr. Betty Drewes, OSB

WTC Year One Instructor

 


 Sister Betty holds advanced academic degrees in elementary education, school counseling, and pastoral ministry. Her current ministry includes spiritual direction, retreats, and serving as the Oblate Sister Contact for the Sisters of St. Benedict in Ferdinand, Indiana. She has worked as a teacher, counselor, retreat minister, and spirituality workshop presenter.  

I was familiar with Ferdinand because my brother was ordained at nearby Saint Meinrad in 1958,” says Sister Betty. “I chose Saint Benedict College because of its elementary education degree. I entered the Benedictine community because of the charisms of prayer, work, hospitality, and education. The Sisters here at Ferdinand are so joyful and I love being with them.” 

Sister Betty enjoys visiting with family and friends, engaging in spiritual direction and the creative expression of prayer, traveling, reading, and being in nature. 

 

Ron McLelland

WTC Year One Instructor

 


 Coming soon!

Whitney Simpson

WTC Mentor
LEARN ABOUT WHITNEY

 


Whitney R. Simpson considers herself a soul care practitioner. She is passionate about embodied spirituality and helping others explore the gift of God’s peace in their daily life.  Whitney pursued her certificate in spiritual formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary after a group introduction to spiritual direction with Kasey Hitt in 2006, which helped pivot her healing journey. 

Between her twenties and early thirties, Whitney experienced multiple health crises including melanoma skin cancer, stroke, and brain surgery. During this time of healing and recovery, she began to seek God’s peace and deepen her relationship with God while exploring contemplative prayer tools. Learning to slow down has been challenging, but as she was not given much choice in the matter, she eventually began to savor—yet admittedly still struggle with—the contemplative journey.

Nearly two decades later, Whitney is a trained spiritual director, an experienced yoga and meditation teacher and reiki practitioner, a deaconess in the United Methodist Church, and the author of several devotionals, including Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit. Whitney holds space for others to meet God through embodied spirituality and the ministry of spiritual formation. She offers spiritual care and holy listening as Wesley Campus Minister at her community’s local university.  It was a stroke and brain surgery (on her birthday) that eventually led Whitney to the ministry of spiritual direction, yoga, and meditation and to the work of helping others connect body, mind, and spirit. 

Whitney enjoys biking (the slow kind), practicing yoga, reading historical fiction, thrift shopping, stand up paddle boarding (SUP), and cuddling with the family dog, Penny (and yes, Penny likes the SUP too).

You can learn more about Whitney and discover her free prayer and meditation podcast at ExploringPeace.com.

Audrey Stanley

Technical Support Specialist
CONTACT AUDREY

 


Audrey has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from UNC Charlotte. She connected to Wisdom Tree Collective through her love of dreamwork.

Audrey provides technical support for the Wisdom Tree Collective website and courses.  Reach out to her with any technical issues or feature requests.

Russ Hitt

Composer & Visual Media Editor
LEARN ABOUT RUSS

 


Russ Hitt is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer of relaxing, ambient instrumental music and nostalgic holiday music whose fans describe as "healing," "uniquely inspirational," "haunting and soulful," and having "a depth of soul with special talent for expressing emotion."

His passion for writing and composing originates from the experience of music as a powerful agent of change, inspiration, healing, and hope as well as a catalyst and companion for celebration, nostalgia, and grief.

For more than a decade, he and his wife, Kasey, have offered the Longest Night service on or around the Winter Solstice, both inside and outside churches, in person, and online. Joining with laments from the Bible and Nature's winter invitation in the Northern Hemisphere to rest, Russ' music offers an opportunity to breathe and be while waiting for the light to return.

When not focusing on holiday music, Russ composes music for audio divina meditations, part of the Wisdom Tree Collective's School of Spiritual Direction training programs. He also edits all WTC media, including course videos. Currently, Russ is been experimenting with classical guitar as a way of healing.   

In Memory of

Sister Maria Edwards, RSM

July 22, 1941– February 19, 2022

 

Sister Maria Edwards was a treasured spiritual director, spiritual direction mentor, teacher, and friend. Wisdom Tree Collective is truly thankful for her time, dedication, and her wisdom (& hugs) she so freely offered. 

Her legacy will continue through all of us.

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