Meet Us

Nancy S. Wiens, M.Div., Ph. 1-2

Nancy’s passion lies in helping others discover what it means to come alive. She is inspired by working with those committed to the growth of themselves, their families, their organizations, and the planet’s regenerativity. She thrives on supporting others’ sense of belonging and empowerment: to know themselves as Beloved, as interconnected with nature, and as uniquely able to contribute to the well-being of the world.


Lived Experience + Reflection + Community Dialogue + Study

I am a mother, a mentor, a catalyst for transformation, a storyteller, a professor, an avid student of human experience, a lover of nature and the Spirit, and a witness to the power of trusting that we are beloved and belong.

  • For more than two decades, I have practiced the art of Spiritual Direction and coaching, helping people, 15-80 years old, pay attention to and follow what is sacred in their lives so that they can live wholeheartedly and contribute to a regenerative world.  I also help other professionals who are developing these skills of spiritual direction and coaching with supervision.  I coach organizational leaders to align their mission with daily, strategic actions.
  • I mentor families who long to experience life and playfulness in their homes, exploring parenting practices that empower wholehearted living and raising kids to have resilience and hope.
  • Since the mid-1990s, I guide wilderness rites of passage, marking inner and outer transitions of every age. I create wilderness rites of initiation for teens and young adults to mark their severance from childhood and their movement toward adulthood.  I help adults mark various life stages as well as inner transformation, navigating rocky transitions and making the move toward elderhood meaningful and vital.
  • I enjoy teaching undergraduates, seminary students, and graduate students in a variety of fields, such as food and faith, spirituality of money,  science and theology in dialogue, wilderness rites of passage, and spiritual discernment.  Occasionally, I publish in my fields.  Find my curriculum vitae here.

How I got here:

  • I have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and International Relations.
  • I received a Master of Divinity and am an ordained Presbyterian minister.
  • I studied with Steven Foster, Meredith Little, and Gigi Coyle at School of Lost Borders, in the art of wilderness rites of passage and Ecopsychology.
  • I hold a Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction, Permaculture Design Certificate, and maintain Wilderness First Aid certification.
  • I have a Ph.D. in Christian spirituality and natural science, with an emphasis in ritual studies and biblical spirituality.

Sam YatesSam Yates

Wilderness Guide

Sam’s passion is rooted in providing hospitality and holding space for people to step into the fullness of their lives.  In particular, mentoring young men into the complexity of responsible adulthood inspires Sam’s creativity and leadership.  He draws nourishment and prayerful rejuvenation from extended time in nature.  His leadership roles in a variety of charitable and justice organizations have focused on social justice, ecological justice, and engaging community challenges with a compassionate, contemplative presence.   He currently is the Director of a residential care facility for adults with intellectual disabilities.

How I got here:

  • I have a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies, also studying French & Music Composition.
  • I completed the Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction at San Francisco Theological Seminary.
  • I quested and trained as a Wilderness Guide in the Snow Mountain Wilderness and the oak woodlands of the Ventana Wilderness with Nancy Wiens and David Vieten.
  • Through the Center for Nature and Christian Spirituality, now Emergence Initiatives, I received training in Nonviolent Communication, Holistic Financial Planning, and have a Permaculture Design Certificate and Wilderness First Aid certification.