Profiles (SDCC Directors)

Valley Spiritual Directors

Lori Carlson - Spiritual Director

Lori Carlson

Lori Carlson, M.A.  has been practicing spiritual direction for three years. She studied Human Development at UC Davis, Marital and Family Therapy at Fuller Theological Seminary, and finally the Art & Practice of Spiritual Direction at Mercy Center in Burlingame, where she found her true calling and home in ministry. She meets with directees from the Central Valley area in her office in Turlock, or via Skype/FaceTime with directees from anywhere. Lori loves the Enneagram and has attended three Enneagram workshops, including a week-long intensive training in Chicago which prepared her to teach, coach and work with leadership teams on the Enneagram. She also loves to engage with and encourage people—her family, her church family, and her directees. She has been married to her pastor-husband, Steve, for 19 years  and they enjoy their four daughters immensely.


Peggy Curran

Peggy recently completed a two-year Spiritual Direction Certification training program at The Journey Center, Santa Rosa.   A few years ago she had a season of the “dark night” which created a deep hunger and thirst to know God in a radical, vibrant, and much more personal way.  Her search for deeper intimacy with God awakened a desire to practice the art of sacred listening with others in order to help other sojourners search more deeply and intimately within and without.


Erin Matteson Spiritual Director

Erin Matteson

Erin Matteson completed certification in the art and practice of spiritual direction through Mercy Center in Burlingame, Ca, May of 2016. She had practiced the art of spiritual formation and spiritual leadership as a pastor for nearly twenty-five years until spring of 2017, having completed a Master of Divinity degree from Bethany Theological Seminary in 1993. Erin is also a musician, having a Bachelor’s of Music degree in vocal performance from Millikin University (1988). She completed Joyce Rupps’ Institute of Compassionate Presence, training in 2012.

Erin believes the human experience is embedded with the presence and activity of the holy. She loves working with individuals and small groups sifting through the soil or walking through the garden of their lives to discover it there. Erin does spiritual direction one on one, has lead group spiritual direction and contemplative experiences on a number of topics, evening/morning events and weekend retreats on particular themes, labyrinth walks for groups, and enjoys crafting new spiritual explorations.

Erin is always seeking to deepen her sense of God, self, the world, and the connectedness of all through savoring various books and writings, poetry, the experience of silence, running, gardening, watching the Chicago Cubs play baseball and more. Some of her current favorite writers are Joyce Rupp, Macrina Weiderkehr, Gunilla Norris, John Philip Newell, Richard Rohr, Joan Chittister.

Erin lives in Modesto, Ca, with her life partner of 28 years, Russ. She has two young adult daughters. She finds great beauty in flowers and people unfolding, the sound and vastness of the ocean, the depth and breadth of art, the movement and invitations of music, the holy nourishment that comes from being around table with others. You can learn even more about Erin and leadership she offers at


Jeff Mitchell Spiritual Director

Jeff Mitchell

Jeff Mitchell M.Div. Has been a pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church for 35 years and a spiritual director for the last 15 years. He came to spiritual direction attending to his own needs and found a calling to listen compassionately to others. He received training at the Bread of Life center In their internship in the art and practice of spiritual direction. He meets with directees In his study at good Samaritan church in Valley Springs California.

Jeff is also a presenter for contemplative outreach, Teaching the centering prayer workshop. He enjoys leading retreats, Workshops, and classes on themes dealing with spiritual formation, Contemplative Christianity, And leadership. One of Jeff’s unique ministry resources is his book, The Gift, Ancient Secret Of Solomons wisdom. This historical fiction presents the life and lessons of King Solomon. Much of the story dialogue is in the context of Spiritual Direction. The book explores wisdom, Spiritual formation, Leadership, And the importance of the contemplative stance in a hurried World. Jeff and his wife Gael Love being with their growing family that now includes six grandchildren.


Mary Anne O’Halloran - Spiritual Director

Mary Anne O’Halloran

Interfaith Spiritual Director

Do you have a theology or a philosophy which brings you meaning or comfort?

Are you wishing to develop a deeper spirituality?

Has the tradition of your childhood led to questions or wounds which you would like to be free of?

Do you have an active relationship with the Divine, Great Spirit, Allah, Yahweh, truth and justice, Buddha, Lord Shiva, God, etc, and you wish to deepen it?

Are you experiencing something in your life which is troubling or painful and you are seeking comfort and an understanding of the meaning of it in your life?

My passion is to work within any tradition and its beliefs to journey with people to answer the questions above. I am present to witness the journey of discovery, in concert with the Divine; to hold sacred space for the one on the journey, fostering the process through conversation, questions, meditation and prayer.


Linda Simmons Harder

Linda studied Family Dynamics and Development as an undergrad and Family Systems to complete her MPH (Masters in Public Health). She has over 10 years of experience and training in companioning individuals and small groups as they make their way through grief and loss. She completed her training as a Spiritual Director in 2016 at the Journey Center, Santa Rosa, CA. She is currently applying for a Vocational Ministry License through the Evangelical Free Church of America. She is available for individual and group spiritual direction in Turlock and Berkeley.


Missy Stewart - Spiritual Director

Missy Stewart

Missy is a trained spiritual director in both The Art and Practice of Spiritual Direction and Group Spiritual Direction.  Her ministry includes facilitating a variety of contemplative  retreats which include soul care, group spiritual direction, one day or weekend retreats as well as one-on-one direction and supervision of spiritual directors.  Missy received her training from Mercy Center and San Francisco Theological Seminary “Together in Mystery”.   She has been involved in Spiritual Direction since 1999 and considers it to be the single most significant life changing and transformative practice in her Christian Spiritual journey. 


Carol Swanson - Spiritual Director

Carol Swanson

I was awakened to the beauty of life experienced with God in the early 2000’s. Ever searching for and pursuing knowledge of God, I came to a personal crisis of wondering if my faith was really sufficient for all that life holds. Through a rich encounter of graced listening by a spiritual director, I began a journey of experiencing the love of God in my every day life. Desiring to create space for others to also experience and know God’s love, I completed training to become a Spiritual Director at Mercy Center in Burlingame, CA in 2008 and also supervision training there in 2014. I have a Masters Degree in Spiritual Formation and Leadership from Spring Arbor University in Michigan in 2009. I am a Centering Prayer presenter and have a deep passion to direct others through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. I facilitate soul care groups and contemplative retreats. My love for travel and spiritual formation have led me to interact with young leaders in Kenya and Malaysia.

Carol has been married to Jay since 1971, has 3 married sons and 11 beautiful grandchildren!


Jay Swanson - Spiritual Director

Jay Swanson

Born and raised in California’s Central Valley, Jay is retired from an active career in the almond industry and is currently working to ensure occupational safety at a manufacturing company.  He has passion to see people develop an experiential knowing of God’s love, and then to live that out incarnationally.  He became a Spiritual Director in 2008 after feeling God’s call to companion others on their journey of spiritual formation.  Jay offers direction, both individually and in groups and has led retreats.  Together with his wife Carol, he has had the privilege of serving church leaders in Nairobi, Kenya and Malaysia.  Jay enjoys the beauty and grandeur of God’s creation and so loves backpacking and camping.


Jill Sweet - Spiritual Director

Jill Sweet

Jill Sweet was ordained to the specialized ministry of spiritual direction by the Reformed Church in America in 2012.   As a pastor and spiritual director she thoroughly enjoys prayerfully helping  others see where God is at work in their lives and encouraging them along in their individual spiritual journey.  She and her husband recently started Come Learn Rest Ministries which provides a place for rest and renewal for pastors, missionaries, church leaders and their spouses at Quiet Oaks.  She spends time reading, writing and walking the hills of Oakdale, California.  For more information about her ministry and to read her blog go to


David Tan

As an ordained minister, David has over thirty years of pastoral ministry in the church. For over ten years a major focus has been in providing soul care for cross-cultural workers on the mission field. He completed his Spiritual Direction training with Spiritual Growth Ministry, New Zealand as well as an Internship in Supervision with Mercy Center, Burlingame, CA. In addition, he has Master’s of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees.

David has taught full-time at the Singapore Bible College and served as adjunct professor at the same college as well as East Asia School of Theology. Since 2003, he has also visited Lanka Bible College, Colombo & Kandy Campus to teach Missions and Spiritual Formation.

In 2008, he helped to launch and organize the biannual meeting of the Asia Member Care Network Conference. In 2016, the Singapore Member Care Network Conference was also launched. A top priority of David’s ministry is to help develop and train the next generation of leadership for cross-cultural and pastoral ministry.

David is available to lead Spirit Retreats, provide one on one Spiritual Direction, and Group Spiritual Direction. A key focus of his ministry is “Returning Soul Care to the Member Care Movement”. A second major interest is understanding how culture influences Spiritual Formation & Direction.


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