Peer Coaching and Spiritual Direction

The Mountain Sky Conference encourages clergy and laity to take part in peer coaching and spiritual direction. You may be looking for a trained colleague to walk alongside you for a season. You may contact any of the coaches or spiritual directors below as people the Leadership Development area recommends.

Coaching Benefits:

  • Connection
  • Support
  • Accountability

Coaching Activities:

  • Imagining / Role-Playing Conversations
  • Outlining Challenges / Discussing Solutions
  • Debriefing Situations
  • Goal-Setting
  • Celebrating Successes 

Details for Leadership Development Matching Funds for Coaching:

  • Each coach or spiritual director listed here can offer up to 12 sessions over the course of 12 months and receive a $25 matching honorarium when they charge the participant $25 per session 
  • The participant pays the coach directly; the coach turns in their invoice to the leadership development area for sessions in any given month
  • Each coach or spiritual director is dividing these 12 sessions among several coaching participants and each will likely receive 2-3 sessions at the discounted rate of $25
  • All sessions beyond the discounted sessions will be arranged with the coach at the full price for the participant

Meet our Coaches:

Rev. Dr. Amy Gearhart


Amy has served university, suburban, rural, and urban congregations for over 33 years in Colorado, Missouri, North Carolina, and Illinois. She is currently the Lead Pastor of Arvada UMC in northwest Denver metro-area. In 2020, she was conferred a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in educational leadership and policy analysis, focusing on organizational leadership, non-profit and leadership development. Her dissertation focus is on Part-time Local Pastors as the fastest growing professional clergy population in the UMC, and their unique experiences and challenges in the Mountain Sky Conference. Leadership and coaching credentials include:

  • 2020 Ed.D. in organizational and educational leadership and policy analysis from University of Missouri
  • 2016 ACC coaching certification from International Coach Federation
  • 2016 Executive Non-Profit Management certification from Duke University
  • 2016 College Teaching certification from University of Missouri
  • 2016 Endorsement as Life Coach by UMEA
  • 2015-2017 Adjunct Faculty, Central Methodist University and University of Missouri
  • 2009-2010 Course of Study Faculty, Saint Paul School of Theology
  • 1993 M.Div. from Duke Divinity School

Rev. Elizabeth Tay McVicker


Rev. Elizabeth Tay McVicker is the pastor of Park City Community Church and former district superinetendent of UT/Western Colorado.  She was ordained in 1999 and completed coaching training by Chris Holmes. She has coached people through book-writing projects, new pastors, and pastors who feel stuck in their ministry.

Rev. Dr. Kay Palmer Marsh


I am credentialed and available as Spiritual Director for clergy, those in process to become clergy, and laity. I have also taken the coursework to serve as Coach for clergy, those in process to become clergy, and laity. I took the coursework to become credentialed in Spiritual Direction at the Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico through the Still Point Spiritual Direction Program. Since graduating from the Ghost Ranch program, I have walked along side/provided Spiritual Direction to UM Clergy, UM Chaplains, UM Laity, LDS members, atheists, agnostics, and many who had not made a decision about a God. I have also provided Spiritual Direction for candidates for ministry in the Metropolitan Church, UM Church, and the Episcopal Church.

I am an Elder in the Mountain Sky Conference, now retired for 5 1/2 years. I have an MDiv and a DMin from the Iliff School of Theology and served 4 churches in my 20 year ordained career, my 'second' career.

Presently, in my retirement, I am the Interim Director of Spiritual Care at the 500 resident retirement community of Frasier Meadows in Boulder, Colorado. This position ends soon, because recently Frasier hired a new permanent Director. At this time, nearly every day, I provide Spiritual Direction and extend the hand of healing to a wide variety of people: the very diverse staff and the highly educated residents. It is beautiful and challenging work.

Rev. Ken Daniell

Contact: (307) 855-6998

Kenneth Edward Daniell is a provisional elder in the Mountain Sky Conference of the United Methodist Church. He graduated from Iliff School of Theology in Denver in 2018. He has previously served as the pastor of Riverton United Methodist Church, in Riverton, WY. He is currently serving Community UMC in Pagosa Spring, CO.

Ken is a proud native of Texas and worked many years in education before following his call to ministry. He has a master's degree in education and has taught almost every grade level at some point. 

Ken is trained through CAST (Coach Approach Skill Training), the premier experiential coach training organization for faith leaders. He believes we are all creative, resourceful, and whole and seeks to tap into that creativity and insight to help you reach your objectives. Ken is committed to helping shape a more life-giving, non-violent, and equitable world. 

Ken works with individuals, groups, clergy, and laity and seeks to expand your possibilities by working with you to create actional steps and accountability.

In his free time, Ken enjoys running and loves going on adventures with his wife, Amanda, and daughter, Grace, who is a toddler, so it’s always an adventure. 

“What excites me about coaching is the speed at which transformation occurs. It creates a greater impact than any other type of work I have done in the past as an educator, consultant, and mentor. It is such a joy to see how God is working through the coaching experience.” – Ken Daniell

Rev. Laura Rainwater


I have served for several years as a peer clergy coach. I have done so through the Conference's Rev. Dr. Kay Palmer MarshYoung in Ministry Program. I also continue to serve as a mentor for new clergy at both the conference and district level. I am excited to offer peer clergy coaching for those who need an accountability partner as they serve in ministry.

Rev. Dr. Mark W. Johnson

Contact: or (719) 491-2749

Coaching begins with the belief that each person is capable, resourceful, and creative and so the coaching process involves thought provoking questions, deep listening, and a commitment to act. The coach is not an expert who will give you five principles to solve your problems or regale (bore?) you with war stories. Rather, the coaching session is a time for the client to broaden and explore the range of options available to them and make a realistic action plan to deal with the issue the client chooses.

In 2005, I coached for a Fortune 500 company and then began using the coaching process in leadership development and pastoral care in a variety of church settings. I am an Elder in Full Connection with the Baltimore Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church and for over 30 years I have served rural, suburban and large downtown churches in Colorado, Maryland, and Montana. I am a fully trained coach, a member of the International Coaching federation and am pursuing certification.

In 2022 my wife, the Rev. Dr. Sandi E Johnson, and I formed Focused Life LLC to provide a range of Coaching, Counseling, and Communication services to clergy, lay leadership, the Deaf and DeafBlind. It would be an honor to talk with you about how we might be of service to you and your congregation.

Stacey Atkins, CSD, MTS

Contact: (469) 408-0242
Stacey works with people from all types of backgrounds who have all kinds of life experiences and concerns. Major life transitions such as divorce, job changes, death of a loved one or feeling lost spiritually usually send people seeking a spiritual guide. Stacey is uniquely qualified to work with those who are experiencing life-threatening illnesses and those who are caring for them.

Stacey has an MTS from Perkins School of Theology and is a Certified Spiritual Director through Perennial Zeitgeist in Atlanta. She is also a Level II Reiki practitioner.