ACSD Executive Members
The people featured on this page are volunteers appointed by members of the Association every two years. They represent the members by being drawn from various denominations, ages, locations and of course both genders. They retire by rotation every two years. Please view the ACSD constitution for more information about executive appointments.
Jeff Whittaker, Auckland
Jeff Whittaker is a Baptist minister living in Auckland. He is presently the Chairperson of the Executive. Married to Margaret (a teacher), they have three adult children. Jeff undertook the SGM Training Programme in 1998/99, and subsequently joined ACSD. Since then Jeff has continued to offer spiritual direction and supervision to a clientele that has included ministers, counsellors, and SGM trainees. Interested in Christian spirituality, at various times Jeff has lectured on this subject at both Laidlaw College (Christchurch Branch) and Carey Baptist College (Auckland). In the more recent past Jeff has offered periodic 'Retreats in Daily Life' together with Auckland director Jeannie Martin-Blaker. Jeff has found receiving spiritual direction to be incredibly valuable both personally and professionally. Committed to on-going personal and professional development, Jeff sees his involvement with ACSD as helping facilitate such development in the wider cadre of New Zealand's spiritual directors.
Bev Phillips, Waikanae
Bev Phillips is married with three adult daughters, two of whom are based in Africa. She and her husband Murray have four grandsons. Bev completed her training with SGM in the mid 1990s and has been offering spiritual direction and supervision for almost 20 years. Her first experience of receiving spiritual direction was 25 years ago when she worked as a chaplain to industry. It was that experience, at a time of burnout that was the beginning of a call to train as a spiritual director. Following that season she was employed by the Baptist Church to lead their community ministry in Wellington City. Her training as a spiritual Director together with a diploma of Mission from Carey College has equipped her well for the roles she has held.
She is now semi retired and loving a quieter life at Waikanae Beach. As well as her love for the ministry of spiritual direction she is passionate about walking the Camino trails in Europe. This she finds both challenging and transformative, and these days is her preferred kind of retreat. email@example.com
John Franklin, Mosgiel
John Franklin has been a spiritual director for 34 years, and was instrumental in founding Spiritual Growth Ministries. He has been in ministry with PCANZ, PCUSA, and the Anglican Church of ANZ and Polynesia. Since moving to Mosgiel four and a half years ago (after 20 years in Palmerston North), he has been Chaplain for Prayer to the Anglican Bishop of Dunedin, and is now doing full time spiritual direction and supervision, quiet days and retreats. He understands the Christian life to be about transformation into the likeness of Christ though the agency of the Word and the Spirit.
His passion is seeing people grow in relationship with God, neighbours, and our Mother Earth.
Amy Armstrong, Dunedin
I have been working in a role as Pastoral Leader for the Catholic Diocese of Dunedin for about two years. I have also been in tertiary chaplaincy at the University of Otago for twelve years. In both roles, I try to bring God into the everyday lives of people by helping to build community, creating environments for prayer, and providing opportunities for service.
I strongly believe that people know God more fully through knowing themselves better, so meeting with people for spiritual direction and faith formation is also part of what I do. I share this life and ministry with my husband, Paul and our three-year-old son, Anton. I feel blessed and enriched by this ministry, and the people I encounter along the way.
Di Woods, Wellington (mostly)
Jeannie Martin Blaker, Auckland
I am married, and live in Auckland enjoying life as a spiritual director and supervisor.
I am involved with the SGM Spiritual Directors Formation Programme, and lead occasional retreats for different churches.
The desire to deepen my own walk with God led to seeking spiritual direction for myself, and then a longing to share that with others.
My background was early involvement with an evangelical organisation in disciple making and evangelism, before embarking on a career in teaching and language teacher education with a particular interest in literacy education for refugees. firstname.lastname@example.org
Rosemary neave, Secretary and Treasurer
Rosemary has a background working in the Anglican Church, at the Women's Resource Centre in Auckland, and retains an interest in post denominational Christianity.
She designs websites, does social media coaching, and also works part time for Ruth Dyson MP as her diary secretary.
After living in Auckland and Northland for most of her life, Rosemary now lives with her partner Cynthia in Redcliffs Christchurch.