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Available Online

While the campus is closed

“We will never believe that we have anything to give unless there is someone who is able to receive. Indeed, we discover our gifts in the eyes of the receiver.”

– Henri Nouwen

What is It?

Open Circle's resource staff are available for spiritual companioning, an opportunity to take regular time out of your daily pace for reflective space and conversation. A spiritual companion is someone who listens in a supportive and resourceful way, acting as a sounding board as you discover your own truth and sift through your experiences to find meaning. Possible topics of exploration are values, self-awareness, mindfulness practices, life choices, spiritual practices and beliefs, “what am I going to do with my life?” etc.

How Can It Help?

  • Keep perspective and maintain balance as you explore different ideas about spirituality and meaning
  • Increase self-awareness and listen to your life for direction
  • Examine your worldview, intuitions, and values so as to act in the world with greater intention and integrity

Other info

  • For people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives
  • Flexible meeting times for up to 50 - 60 minutes at a time
  • Free for McMaster students
  • Choose to meet with either Jeff or Marybeth

For more information contact:




Jeff compassionately listens, helping you to connect with your inner life and discover spiritual practices that relate to your everyday life.

He is trained through the Ontario Jubilee Spiritual Direction training program and offers spiritual companioning for students from a diversity of faith and non-religious perspectives. Particular interests include dream work, interfaith spirituality, creativity, and exploring connections between our spiritual lives and making a difference in the world.

“Just being around Jeff is calming, and he has a gift for putting feelings and questions into words and a quiet sensitivity that makes it easy to talk with him about anything.”

Marybeth is committed to working towards a world in which we value and care for each other, while living lightly on the earth.

She explores spirituality in all of life and through creative expression such as art and dance. She is trained through the Ontario Jubilee Spiritual Direction training program and offers spiritual companioning for students from diverse spiritual backgrounds by listening in a supportive way for where meaning is emerging in your life, also offering resources and opportunities to find a meaningful spiritual or creative practice.

“Mary Beth’s support and encouragement have been so valuable to me. She can always ask me the right question or share the right story to help me think and grow spiritually and otherwise. I value her openness and her authenticity.”

"I wanted to learn more about my religion of birth, but when I got involved with a study group on campus, I felt pressured to ignore my own ideas, refrain from asking too many questions, and act like I was comfortable with everything I was learning when I wasn't. I wanted to talk about what I was going through with someone outside of that group. I found out about Open Circle's spiritual companioning, but I was very skeptical. With so many groups out there trying to recruit for their faiths, I was wary of a hidden agenda. I tried it anyway, and it became clear to me that Marybeth's genuine motive was to provide a safe space for students to figure things out for themselves. Her way of asking questions helped me to sort out my relationship with my religion of birth, and to figure out what is meaningful to me in life."




“A creative listener is not someone who simply allows me to say what I already want to say, but someone whose listening actually makes it possible for me to say what I never could have said, and thus to be a new kind of person, one I have never been before and could not have been before this directed listening.”

- James P. Carse