J. Marshall Jenkins

Author, Therapist, Spiritual Director

About Me

J. Marshall Jenkins, Ph.D.

I write to listen.  In reading, may you feel heard in a way that helps you name your passions, quandaries, and convictions on the faith journey.  As a psychotherapist and spiritual director, I bring well-honed insight and skill to these posts; yet, my vulnerability plays a more important part, for more than advice from experts, serious people of faith need resonance with fellow travelers.  In my writing and in your reading and comments, may we face our challenges in God’s compassionate presence rather than in a private dressing room where we try in vain to make ourselves presentable to God at an appointed meeting.  God meets us where we are.

For a sense of what resonates most with other readers, check the links to the top two posts per Beatitude plus a few other very popular posts at the bottom of this page. But first…

A few things you may want to check out about my educational and working background: Since 1987, I have spent most of my working hours serving students at Berry College as Director of the Counseling Center, and I provide psychotherapy in an evening private practice in Rome, Georgia.  I assumed this work after earning a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Davidson College in 1980 and the Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1986.

But I see all that as part of a larger life of ministry that includes writing, spiritual direction, and teaching.  My published works include A Wakeful Faith: Spiritual Practice in the Real World, and The Ancient Laugh of God: Divine Encounters in Unlikely Places.  In fall 2016, Skylight Paths publishes my most recent book, Blessed at the Broken Places: Reclaiming Faith and Purpose with the Beatitudes, and much of my blog spins off from it.  This book will help readers hear God blessing them personally through the Beatitudes when they feel least worthy of blessing.

Spiritual direction – a listening relationship directed by the Spirit – offers companionship and prayer to people as they discern God’s stirring and leading in their daily lives.  Earning Certificates in Spiritual Formation (Columbia Theological Seminary) and Spiritual Guidance in the Christian Contemplative Tradition (Shalem Institute) offered rich experiences in prayer and formation for this ministry.  Let me add that teaching a Bible Study at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Rome and leading prayer and discussion groups in the community mean much to me.

But I do not just study, write, teach, and listen: I love running, yoga, centering prayer, hanging out with my son, and hiking assorted trails as I ask my patient and lovely wife, Wanda, to help me name the wonders about us.

Now here are the top two post per Beatitude plus a few other very popular posts. Click the links and enjoy!


Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

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