Who is Todd Spencer?


Hello There ~
Just a little about me here, in case you are wondering. I am a spiritual director and spiritual formation minister for adults, a 31 year veteran of youth ministry, a husband and father. I live in the beautiful town of Colorado Springs, Colorado, which serves as base camp for all of the hiking and fly fishing that I get to do. My wife and two sons and I also find living here a great advantage to visiting so many of our nation’s National Parks and wild spaces. And we sure enjoy spending time at the gorgeous John Wesley Ranch, just on the other side of Pike’s Peak from here.

I have served in full time ministry for over 2.5 decades. Over the years, I have been fortunate to have studied with the following folks, whom I count as spiritual mentors: Richard Rohr, Thomas Keating, Dallas Willard, Roberta Bondi, Mike Yaconelli, Mark Yaconelli, James Fowler, Tilden Edwards and Rose Mary Dougherty. In my work, I frequently draw upon those fine souls, as well as others, such as Henri Nouwen, Brennan Manning, Eugene Peterson, Parker Palmer, C.S. Lewis and Richard Foster.

I must say that I am probably even more indebted to a number of folks who worked with teenagers in the United Methodist community back in Oklahoma, when I was a teenager. Most were earthy contemplatives, some were justice workers, some pastors, some youth ministers, there were a number of poets and song-writers, and, nearly all of them had a wicked sense of humor (thank God)! They had names such as Kathleen Leithner, Ed Coy Light, Bill Tankersley, Leslie Penrose, Guy Langston, David Nichols, Dave Torbett, Dub Ambrose and Ginger Howel. But there were more. These were the persons whom first taught me such revitalizing practices as the breath prayer, lectio divina, sung chants, spiritual friendship, time in natural wilderness, praying a daily office, silence, solitude, serving those on the fringes of society and play as spiritual practice. The lived spirituality they passed to me is rooted in my UMC faith tradition and yet expressed in Monday to Monday real-world living beyond any church walls. Because of these wonderful souls, I have always felt at home as a “religious and spiritual” adventurer. Although I have a number of dear friends who claim the term “spiritual but not religious,” it lacks heft and authenticity for me personally. I feel so at home drawing on and living with my “one deep religious well” (as Rohr puts it), which includes saints and mystics from Methodism, Anglicanism, Catholicism, the Church undivided, the desert fathers and mothers, the Apostles, Jesus, his home tradition of Judaism and all the way down to Abraham, who found God’s love and presence without a tradition of any kind. All of it is together nourishing and feeding my days and my faith community.

Another contemplative I owe a great deal of thanks to is my uncle and friend, Sam Thornham, who convinced me to join him on a Centering Prayer retreat with Father Thomas Keating and a couple dozen others back in 1989. I had no idea who Keating was at the time. What an experience! Uncle Sam and I “cheated” a bit by actually talking well into the night — it was supposed to be a silent retreat. But my life trajectory was deeply changed, thanks to Keating and Sam.

Centering prayer, along with all of those other practices from my early years, took many years of gestation before being more fully woven into my daily life. This being my experience, I believe strongly in being a contemplative seed-planter/waterer with teenagers and the adults who whole-heartedly love teenagers. Now, as a spiritual formation minister and spiritual director, more of my time is spent leading and serving adults.  But youth work holds a very special place in my life and always will.
If you are still reading this, you might be interested in my education, which is as follows:

Broken Arrow High School
Oklahoma City University (B.S. in Psychology)
Emory University, (MDiv)
Shalem Institute (completed their Program in Spiritual Guidance)
Fuller Theological Seminary (Doctor of Ministry, with a focus on contemplative-missional leadership)

Well, thanks for reading! And I especially thank you for praying the Scriptures with me via the podcast. I would enjoy hearing from you and learning about your life as well, so shoot me an email sometime: toddaspencer@me.com or Todds@fumc-cs.org.

Deepest Peace with You,
Todd Spencer

24 thoughts on “Who is Todd Spencer?”

  1. Eileen McCarter said:

    Hi! I’m 73 years old, Widowed. I always had a very strong prayer life. In March 2007 I lost the oldest of three children Richard at 42 in an accident. My younger son Troy was serving his 2nd tour in Iraq. Simply stated I lost my faith. I now belong to the Order of Daughters of the King. Saint James the Apostle Episcopal Church in Conroe Texas. Our Order has an active Prayer group about 25 ladies. I am trying to work my way back from the depression of losing Richard. I don’t drive any more and live with Troy in Conroe my lifestyle now affords me hours alone with nothing but time, so my prayer life with the Order is wonderful. Quite by accident I found your website yesterday. I was looking for Lexio Divina yesterday something I had been introduced to at Ville Matel In Houston at a silent retreat. I am so thankful for your Pod Cast and was hopeful you will continue
    Our Order has an up dated Confidential Prayer list weekly. This would be a wonderful introduction before we begin our prayers. I would love to forward your information to the ladies.

    • Hi Eileen,
      It is wonderful to have you and get your note! Please do share my podcast with any and all. Thank you for your gift of prayer on behalf of others. I trust that God leans in and is near in our praying — with or without words. I will enjoy hearing more from you down the line!
      Deepest Peace,

  2. Dina Lauman said:

    Thank you for your Podcast…I really appreciate it! I’m a UCC minister in Northern Illinois and your Lectio Divina offerings are nourishing and so very helpful in sermon preparation and in getting in touch with, getting deeper into the Scripture. I first learned about Centering Prayer and Father Thomas Keating’s work at Chicago Theological Seminary (MDIv) from Professor George Cairns. I held off with a full practice until there were others in my area who were well versed in this prayer. I understand the power of Centering Prayer and how it is best to weave an individual practice in with a group too. Your Podcast is part of that, as well as two groups that are now in Rockford, Illinois that I attend regularlly, as well as one now in DeKalb, Illinois. So happy to find your ministry and inspiration. Blessings to you and yours. Dina

    • So great to hear from you, Dina! I really enjoyed hearing about our common connections with contemplative life and practices. That Thomas Keating is a wonderful gift to the world. Back in 1989 I was lucky to be with him as he led a Centering Prayer retreat for a small group of us — like 25 of us — at the Saint Francis monastery here in Colorado Springs. It was such a meaningful experience. But I didn’t really weave the practice into my life until a number of years later. Now, it’s one of my core practices. The fact that CTS actually included CP in your education is encouraging and impressive! Let’s stay in touch.
      Deepest Peace,

  3. Dina Lauman said:

    Thanks, Todd! Great to o great to hear from you too! Wow, what a wonderfu gift to be with Thomas Keating in such a small setting!!! I’m sure the Presence of God was expecially powerful!!! I’m hoping to one day make the trip out to Colorado and/or meet him in Chicago. Yes, he’s a wonderful gift to the world, and I’m so glad that my seminary and Professor Cairnes were and are so wise about that. I’d love to stay in touch! Thank you again and Blessings! Dina

  4. Bobbie Maltas said:

    Hi Todd. I came across your name and podcast as I was preparing to preach. How awesome to see all that you’re doing, where God has led you. Bobbie

    • Hello there, Bobbie!
      Thank you for the note. It has been fun to have numerous who preach come along for the ride. As you might have already discovered, I have a few years worth of lectios available in my archives, so use that Search field and see if a particular text you’re working with is in there if you feel so led. Also, I would enjoy learning a little more about you if you would share. It really helps me to have folks’ stories in mind as I continue this online contemplative work. It can be rather isolating on my end without my listeners reaching back a little bit. Anyway, either way, welcome! And may God’s presence be sensed in your day today.
      Deepest Peace,

  5. Hey, Todd ! My name is Guy Moore and I am a ” retired ” pastor after having served for almost 30 years as the Pastoral Counselor at a local church here in the Springs. For the last 6 years my best friend and I have been reading through Richard Rohr’s writings and as a result are more excited about our Christian faith than ever before !
    We would like to connect up with others in this journey, but don’t know where to even start ??!! Perhaps, if your schedule allows we could hook up for lunch/coffee after the start of the new year ? If not, could you recommend some other like – minded individuals ?? We would be grateful for any suggestions. Thanks so very much !
    Guy Moore

    • Hi Guy,
      I sent you a text via the number you provided. Did you get it? Or, maybe it’s not a mobile number. At any rate, good to hear from you. I hope we can meet up after the holidays! How’d you get introduced to Rohr? I look forward to learning more about your journey, Guy. And may your Christmas and New Year be rich with peace and rest.

      • Guy Moore said:

        Hey, Todd ! Sorry that I’m just now getting back to you, but the holidays were a bit crazy ( good crazy, I might add ! ) and would still love to connect with you ! I pretty much work primarily through my home phone which is 719-591-8657. My young adult daughters give me continual grief over my stubborn unwillingness to text and engage with social media. 🙂
        Regardless, I’d still love to meet up for lunch or coffee when you have the time.
        Thanks, Bro !
        Grace to you, as well !!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. I love this podcast. It has brought my wife and I such blessing and peace. I feel much closer to God when I start my day this way. I just listen to them over and over again 🙂 Thank you for this resource Todd!

    • Hi Nicky!
      Thank you so much for your note. It’s nice to know that you and your wife are along with me listening for God! From what part of the world are you listening? How’d you find my podcast? Thanks again!
      Deepest Peace of Christ,

  7. Heather Ploen said:

    Hi there,
    Just a quick question. The photo used in your page header- where did you take it? It reminds me of the many ruins of various churches I visted this past August in Scotland. I had the pleasure of spending a few hours on Iona and touring the Abby, church, and other buildings. It was incredibly inspiring.

    • Hi Heather,
      It’s gratifying that you are another with appreciation of this! I took that photo of the Abbey ruins on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne off the coast of Scotland/England on the North Sea a few years ago. I was there for 10 days, studying Celtic spiritual/theological heritage while working on my doctorate. You probably know that Lindisfarne was a daughter Celtic Christian community to Iona and our Irish ancestors of the faith. I am deeply touched and inspired by so much of that part of our roots. Thanks for asking about the photo! Love for you to share similar ones!
      Be Well,
      Deepest Peace,

  8. George Van Kirk said:

    Hello Todd,
    Following the bread crumbs in my spiritual journey brought me to Lectio and more recently, Centering Prayer. I’m reading Keating right now. The seeds of all this started many moons ago! I’m thankful for the Lord’s patience. We began a lectio group at our church a couple years ago and surfing the Web, I happened on your website. Love it. Keep up the good work, I’ll remember you in my prayers and be back to visit this site often.


    • Good morning, George. It was a delight to get your note. Thank you for your kind thoughts and for taking a moment to share them! I too practice centering prayer. It’s at the core of my rhythms. Lectio and centering prayer are very nice companions, in my experience. Tell your group I send my warmest greetings and pray for deepening love with God as you all continue the path!
      Deepest Peace,

  9. Christopher Jackson said:

    Hi, Todd. I would like to speak to you about your retreat offerings.

  10. George Van Kirk said:

    Beautiful music on your lectio podcast today! Great thoughts today during your readings. The ordinary became the extraordinary that day Jesus first walked along that shore! Heaven and earth overlapped and interlocked forever…remembering that today. Thanks Todd, and blessings to you.

  11. Chris Jackson said:

    Hi Todd. Two weeks ago i was diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer. Since this diagnosis my prayer life has blossomed without my really doing more or anything. I spend 20 minutes three times daily in silent centered prayer. Tomorrow I will include your podcast in place of one of my sessions. I don’t know what the future will bring, Todd, but I do know that with God’s help, I will be healed.



    • Dear Chris,
      I sighed in reading of your health news. My goodness, life is fragile. And I sighed again in joy, reading of your felt nearness of God’s help. Please know that I feel a deep honor to get to be one part of your spiritual journey right now. I pray with you for that healing you are trusting in. I also pray for just the right folks to be at your side. Thank you for writing, Chris! Keep me up.
      In God’s Grace with You,

    • Hi Chris, I prayed for you this morning, again…I hope it’s ok that I invited some close friends to pray for you as well. Is this alright?
      Deep, Felt, Peace,

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