Rev. Katherine Gould Epperly, D.Min.

Biographical Information

Katherine “Kate” Epperly believes that holistic spiritual direction and affirmative life coaching, in combination with retreat and workshop leadership, best allows her to integrate her passion for holistic healing and wholeness with her background and gifts as a pastoral counselor and Reiki practitioner and teacher.

Ordained in 1979, Kate holds a Doctor of Ministry degree and a Master of Divinity from Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California. There her focus of study was human development, pastoral counseling, and theology.

Having begun personal and group spiritual direction in the early 1990s with the staff of the Shalem Institute (Bethesda, Maryland), Kate believes that spiritual direction has played a major role in her own growth and flourishing as a pastor and spiritual guide for others.

She graduated from a two-year training program in spiritual direction called “Spiritual Direction for Spiritual Guides” (SDSG) at Oasis Ministries in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.

Kate and her husband, Bruce, currently work as a team to nurture ministerial spiritual formation, excellence and self-care in the Cape Cod area from their home in Centerville, Massacusetts.

She is a member of the Spiritual Directors International (SDI) and the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC),

Prior to moving to Massachusetts, Kate offered spiritual direction and life coaching in private practice in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She also served as co-pastor with her husband, Bruce, at Disciples United Community Church in Lancaster for six years. Her work also included co-leading spiritual formation and nurture groups for clergy at Lancaster Theological Seminary through the Office of Continuing Education and teaching in the Lancaster Theological Seminary Summer Academy program.

In the past, Kate served ten years as Senior Pastor of The Palisades Community Church in Washington, DC, an independent progressive congregation affiliated with the International Council of Community Churches. Prior to that, she worked as a pastoral counselor, interim minister, and church consultant.

About Tending to the Holy: The Practice of the Presence of God in Ministry

Named the 2009 Book of the Year by the Academy of Parish Clergy, Tending to the Holy invites pastors to embody their deepest beliefs in the routine and surprising tasks of ministry. Inspired by Brother Lawrence’s classic text in spirituality, The Practice of the Presence of God, Tending to the Holy integrates the wisdom and practices of the Christian spiritual tradition with the commonplace practices of pastoral ministry. Bruce and Katherine Epperly utilize a variety of spiritual disciplines—especially Benedictine, Celtic, Ignatian, Rhineland, and process spiritualities—to provide a framework for helping clergy nurture the awareness of God, creative imagination, and personal well-being in every aspect of their ministerial lives.

Practicing God’s presence in the ordinary tasks of ministry inspires wholeness, spiritual transformation, vision, imagination, endurance, and healthy self-differentiation in ministry. Commitment to joining spiritual practices with the routine and repetitive tasks of ministry provides an important antidote to unhealthy stress, burnout, and loss of vision in ministry. By seeing their congregational leadership in terms of spiritual transformation, imaginative practice, and relational interdependence, ordinary ministerial practices can become ways pastors can deepen their relationship with God.

Growing out of their work with pastors at every season of ministry, as well as combined ministerial experience of nearly sixty years, Bruce and Katherine Epperly invite pastoral leaders to complement and expand on their understanding of spiritual leadership, pastoral excellence, and self-care, integrating traditional and contemporary spiritual practices with the concrete arts of ministry.

Purchase this title at the Alban Institute bookstore.

Praise for the book

“The great value of Tending to the Holy is the humanity of Bruce and Katherine Epperly. They demonstrate with gentleness and understanding how the pastoral vocation is completed and made whole in the practice of the spiritual disciplines. With this book, those who ‘tend to the holy’ will pause and rediscover it in their own lives. What a helpful book!”

—Richard Lischer, James T. and Alice Mead Cleland Professor of Preaching, Duke Divinity School

“The Epperlys have written an engaging invitation to think about our daily walk as servants of the living Christ. Whether you are ordained or lay, parish pastor, chaplain, or counselor, you will find sustenance in this book.”

—Marja L. Coons-Torn, Conference Minister, Penn Central Conference, United Church of Christ

“Reading this book is already beginning to practice the holy presence it teaches. With their resonantly real, unpretentiously wise, and delightfully different voices, Bruce and Katherine Epperly narrate and nudge us into the breathing room of life. Here is the map of a spiritual path that can sustain your day-to-day ministry—and your moment-to-moment existence.”

—Catherine Keller, Professor of Theology, Drew Theological School and author of On the Mystery: Discerning God in Process

About Reiki Healing Touch and the Way of Jesus

“In a high-tech world, Kate and Bruce Epperly present a paradigm for high-touch healing in the environments of one’s inner self, family, community, work, and world. This is not just for practitioners of reiki, but for any who want to be in touch with the Light that shines in the darkness.”

—Kent Ira Groff, Founding mentor of Oasis Ministries