Monica’s Bio

I am spiritual director, writer, speaker, and retreat leader. By day, I work in Content Development, creating formational and training materials for Grafted Life Ministries. I was blessed to be the founding director of Grafted Life’s Evangelical Spiritual Directors Association (ESDA), conceiving this support ministry and overseeing its development for the first 5 years.

I have a gift for helping Christians recognize the ways that God is active in their lives: loving, guiding, redeeming and healing. I have been giving spiritual direction since 2003. I am also passionate about creativity and the arts, and teach on improvisation, and creativity.  I enjoy offering my original interactive spiritual retreats called Play Without Ceasing which combine the concepts of theatrical improvisation and spiritual formation to help participants encounter Christ and His Body with renewed joy and wonder.

I  have also served as staff and adjunct faculty at Biola University. As the facilitator for Biola’s Center for Spiritual Renewal, I supervised 75 spiritual directors and oversaw all community-building events at Biola’s Institute for Spiritual Formation. As adjunct faculty, I taught spiritual formation classes for both Talbot School of Theology and Biola’s Music in Worship program.

IMG_4926Prior to my work in spiritual formation, I enjoyed a 28 year career in various areas of live theatre, both on stage and behind the scenes. I graduated with distinction from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology: Organizational Behavior, and am member of Phi Beta Kappa. My master’s degree is in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care from Talbot School of Theology.

A native and resident of Southern California, I have also lived in Northern California; Toronto, Canada; and Dallas, TX. My husband Matthew is a teacher, writer and scholar who completed his PhD in Christian spirituality and neuroscience at the Toronto School of Theology in 2016. We share our home with Gomez, an elderly 9 lb Chihuahua dog with mellow disposition and a love for people.

IMG_3232 VerticalIn December 2012, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and spent the first half of 2013 going through surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. I have been out of treatment since July 2013 and have been doing great ever since. Though it was a difficult journey, God’s loving presence was clearly within it. As I continue to move forward, I’m interested to see how God will integrate my experience with breast cancer with my work in spiritual direction and retreat.

Read more of my personal story.