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Changes Coming to the Center

The current Director of the Center for Spiritual Formation, Rev. Dr. Kathy Harvey Nelson, has discerned that she is being called into retirement June 30, 2021.  Kathy has led the Center with passion and commitment to Jesus.  She has focused on the mission God has given us to stay centered in Jesus and to provide a place where persons can grow in the Spirit.  Her steady presence, creativity, and wisdom has allowed The Center to stay strong through the Covid pandemic, and to find new ways to help seekers connect with God and one another.  We ask for God’s blessing on Kathy as she prepares for and begins this new chapter in her life and we are pleased to share that she will remain a part of The Center’s ministry.

The Board of The Center is pleased to announce that our new Director, beginning July 1, 2021, will be Rhonda Strouse.  Rhonda is a deeply committed and spiritual disciple of Jesus. As you will see from her introduction below, she brings experience in working within the ministries of the local church and in leading and serving in educational institutions and nonprofit organizations.  In the last several years, with our ability to teach and minister on line, The Center has greatly expanded our reach with participants from all over the United States.  Rhonda will be able to help us continue to follow God’s call to move outward in the name of Jesus and will provide leadership from her hometown of Lexington, Kentucky.  Rhonda has already begun working on the transition with our current Director, and will begin her employment June 1, serving along with Kathy in completing the transition.

Rhonda Strouse
New Director Rhonda Strouse

Following is an introduction of Rhonda Strouse, in her own words:

It is with deep gratitude that I accept the directorship legacy and begin my service with the Center for Spiritual Formation. I anticipate a collective “we” to enjoin in an expansive and dynamic spiritual leadership journey that brings God’s transformational presence into lives around the world.  We can accomplish this as a community of holy collaboration, communal discernment, and led by divine will. Being invited to serve alongside the Center’s long-dedicated and faithful leadership over time is a great privilege.

Leaning into my “second act,” I combine my two passions as a spiritual companion and leadership consultant. I began receiving spiritual direction in 2014, completed the MSD program in 2019, and now serve as MSD faculty.  I serve as Pastoral Care Coordinator for Centenary UMC in Lexington, KY. There, I work with individuals and groups, focusing primarily on crisis response, grief, and transitions.  An independent partner with Wiley Publishing, I provide leadership assessment, succession strategies, and talent development.  This work encompasses leadership coaching and facilitation as primary elements of my consultancy. Combining these multiple commitments as a spiritual companion, pastoral care coordinator, independent consultant, and now as the incoming Center’s Executive Director, there is much crossover as God weaves together purposeful alignment and intersections. It is an exciting time of spiritual adventure.

Prior to spiritual leadership, I had a longstanding professional career in higher education. I served as an executive administrator and instructor in leadership and student development, overseeing a broad portfolio of student engagement programs and staff teams. I earned my MA degree in Adult and Higher Education with an emphasis in Counseling from Morehead State University (KY), and have served and led with many leadership special projects, professional and community boards, and committees. I enjoy spending concerted time in writing, speaking, and partnering to develop and lift up others. It is an honor to stand with all those committed to the Center’s presence and passions, to see how God leads and defines our work and service together as we journey forward.  Peace in His Presence…Rhonda