Anam Cara Ministries was founded in 2007 as a place where true soul friendship can be found. Our name, Anam Cara, is an ancient Celtic word meaning “soul friend.” With a soul friend, our entire selves find a place of belonging and presence with another.
At Anam Cara Ministries, we believe this kind of trusting and committed relationship is essential to following the Way of Christ. Celtic Christianity and its practices form a foundation to our work. We aim to be a place of grace and hope, where a deeper relationship with God can be pursued in a context of hospitality and safety.
To that end, we offer spiritual direction through a curated network of trained spiritual directors who reflect this heart. We facilitate spaces of wrestling and exploration, where community and Scripture, faith and doubt, questions and certainty exist in creative tension. We also offer training in the practice of spiritual direction through a relationally formational experience called the Anam Cara Apprenticeship, as well as supervision and support to spiritual directors in a home called the Peregrini Program.
“Spiritual Direction through Anam Cara Ministries has been a life changing experience for me. The healing and freedom that have occurred, and the better understanding I have of myself and of my God are immeasurable.
It is a gift to have someone journey with you, to have them hold your story with you, to have them call out to God on your behalf and help illuminate the path. I am so grateful for the journey I have taken over the past 2.5 years and look forward to more and more.
I HIGHLY recommend spiritual direction; it is both life changing and life giving.”
Anam Cara Ministries is rooted in and anchored by a set of values that shape our rhythms, practices, and presence in the world.
God created us with inherent worth and dignity. Anam Cara seeks to be a non-manipulative presence in all that we do, extending kindness, honoring each person we encounter, and believing that each soul bears the divine image of God.
God in Christ
Anam Cara is deeply rooted in the Christian tradition, grappling with the realities of an ancient faith in present time. We are in a constant posture of surrendering to God, trusting that God in Christ accompanies us.
In true soul friendship, we extend and receive intentional love toward the other. This friendship is not based on transaction, but on gift. As such, it pours forth transformative power beyond the relationship into the world.
Anam Cara is grounded by the communal narrative and practices of Christianity, understanding there has been a conversation going on for centuries around what it means to follow Christ. We choose to listen first, then act, living and contributing both out of and into that conversation.
We believe that to live fully in the reality of what it means to be the people of God is to both acknowledge and enact a faith that is in motion. This motion often (although not always) takes the form of wrestling, which we believe is an important practice of encounter and intimacy.
Tov is the Hebrew word (טוב) for Scriptural “good.” It encompasses the reality that things are not only as they are intended to be, but are dynamic and flourishing, giving life and reproducing. The definition we like to use is “the actualization of the potential for life, embedded in the creation by God, when the creation brings it forth with the seeds of future life already in it.” If you’d like to know how we get to that definition, please join us for a Scripture Circle.
True shalom is far beyond the absence of conflict, or superficial peace. Shalom is the reality of peace that means everything as God intends it to be, wholly integrated and in place, with nothing missing. Shalom is complete, congruent, and full.
Anam Cara believes that with God, there is sacred abundance and more than enough. There is a hospitality that is overflowing with grace and rest. There is space to be welcomed in, space to form friendships, even space to wrestle or wait.
Anam Cara Ministries is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. As such, we are led by a community of people. While our founder and executive director Tara Owens leads the day-to-day operations, our values, vision, and mission are curated and tended by a group of people who pray for everyone who interacts with Anam Cara on a regular basis. These folks (pictured at left) are always available to answer questions or interact with the Anam Cara community.
They are (from left to right, back row to front row) Rachel Reed, Ken Wilson, Sarah Jackson, Christy Janssen (Board Chair), Tara Owens, and Bryan Owens.