Peer group supervision program

For ministers, pastoral carers, chaplains, & lay pastors

Expressions of Interest

You are invited to express your interest in this exciting opportunity to establish yourself in a supportive peer supervision group, as a supplement to one-to-one supervision.

To register your interest, contact ...

  • Joan Wright-Howie 0424 670 093 |, or
  • Julie McDonald 0425 707 583 |

Download the flyer here ... 2023-10 bethel flyer supervision 1p_eoi


  • $1,000 $500 special 50% discount for Uniting Church ministry agents ($20ph x 25hours).
  • Commencing February 2024, the program entails one 2.5-hour session per month over 10 months.
  • Participant numbers are limited to a minimum of 8, maximum 12.
  • The program counts towards professional development and group supervision hours.

Everyone engaged in ministry

Needs a safe holding space to reflect on their work. The benefits of good supervision enable you to:

  • Enquire into emerging or persistent challenges arising in ministry
  • Share perspectives and deepen understandings
  • Attend to self-care, and avoid burnout
  • Receive support to discern how best to respond to challenges
  • Foster inner freedom, passion, joy, and creativity to nourish soul work
  • Celebrate the skills and gifts given in the course of ministry

Why peer supervision?

In an ongoing small group, peer supervision offers supplementary support in addition to one-to-one supervision. Everyone engaged in ministry needs a safe holding space to reflect on their work. The benefits of good supervision enable you to:

– Enquire into emerging or persistent challenges arising in ministry.
– Share perspectives and deepen understandings.
– Attend to self-care and avoid burnout.
– Receive support to discern how best to respond to challenges.
– Foster inner freedom, passion, joy and creativity to nourish soul work.
– Celebrate the skills and gifts given in the course of ministry.

The opportunity

Hone your skills in reflective practices and discernment.

Peer groups will be established to foster connection between participants, enabling them to give and receive in rotating roles.

The program runs over ten months, with a 2.5 hour session each month.

Each session includes a professional development seminar, followed by group work. At the completion of the program, participants will be established in groups which can continue to provide mutual peer supervision at no cost. To maximise compatibility and engagement, these groups will be formed amongst peers with like roles. Times, locations, and dates will be determined to meet participants’ availability.

Participants learn a range of methods for exploring the presenting issue, including :

  • Act storming
  • Brainstorming
  • Contemplative Listening
  • Sounding Board
  • Inner Village
  • Role play
  • Discussion
  • Externalising through symbols

Program format

Professional Development Seminar

“I am who I am”. Exploring the ”I am” statements from John’s gospel, in which Jesus explores identity and purpose. By engaging with connection within, and with the great “I am”, participants articulate identity, purpose, and inner vision in relation to their ministry practice.

Group Work Sessions

“We are who we are”. The program draws on Kim-Oliver Tietze‘s Six phases of Peer Group Supervision of Spiritual Direction. The group process provides the opportunity to take turns in defined roles, and to engage with creative tools to enquire into the group’s experiences in ministry. Along the way, participants will identify the patterns which ripple through individual stories and reflect the collective experience of the group. The group environment fosters a sense of trust and genuine care, so that participants enter freely into the reflective process to gain insights and clarity.

Week 1. I am here. Safe space.
Week 2. I am who I am; we are who we are.
Week 3. I am the bread of life. Companions.
Week 4. I am the good shepherd. Guides.
Week 5. I am the vine. Pilgrims.
Week 6. I am the light of the world. Felt sense.
Week 7. I am the door of the sheep. Intuition.
Week 8. I am the way, the truth, and the life. Grace.
Week 9. I am the resurrection and the life. Contemplation
Week 10. I will be who I will be. Unity.

Where am I?
Am I safe?
What feeds me?
What do I like about myself?
What do I need?
What can I see?
What do I fear?
Who am I?
In whom do I belong?
How then shall I live?

Introduction & orientation.
Group safety, self-awareness, listening.
Slowing down and noticing.
Gratitude, creating space.
Present state. Roots. Growth.
Self-protection. Resistance as grace.
Spiritual connextion
Clarity of purpose


Rev Joan Wright Howie BA, BTheol, Grad Dip Supervision, MA Spiritual Direction. Joan is a Uniting Church minister, spiritual director, and professional supervisor, with 30-years’ experience in congregations, synod, chaplaincy, NGO, project, and educational contexts. She is a member of the Australian Association of Supervisors (AAOS) Board of Directors, and trains supervisors and spiritual directors alongside her private practice.

Julie McDonald, MA Creative Arts Therapy, Post Grad Certificate Supervision. Julie is a creative arts therapist, professional supervisor, and educator, with 20 years’ experience in the helping professions. She is a member of the Australian Clinical Supervisors Association. Alongside her private practice, Julie is coordinator of the Bethel Centre counselling service, and a counselling supervisor with Doncare Community Services.