I was a life-long church-attender and active participant, a multiply-certified coach, an award-winning, long-time educator, writer, musician, parent, wife...
Yet these questions still dogged me. After our children left the house and we were empty-nesters, I was suddenly, deeply uncertain about my purpose. I felt like I was treading water.
My life was transformed a few years ago, however, when one person took an interest in my faith journey and began to disciple me one-on-one. She prayed with me and for me; patiently answered my millions of questions; and taught me how to read the Bible for the first time in my life.
We also "did life together" which means we regularly shared faith, family and fun together: spending time with each other faithfully (Hebrews 10:24-25), building each other up (1 Thess. 5:11), encouraging each other (Hebrews 10:24-25), being honest and open with each other so we could bear each other's burdens (Gal. 6:2), and helping each other grow in Christ (Col. 3:16).
God has used this relationship to help transform my heart from the inside out. I discovered that we all need someone - or a few someones - to believe in us (1 Thess. 5:15), sacrifice for us (Phil. 2:3-4), gently and compassionately speak truth to us (Matt. 18:15), forgive us (Eph. 4:32), and celebrate with us (Romans 12:15), so we can submit to each other (Eph. 5:21), and love each other (John 15:12-13).
Commitment and consistency are critical! As Hebrews 10:24-25 says, "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
Our God is a triune God, somehow in a community dance with God-self. One of the ways we express how we are made in God's image is that neuroscientifically, God created us to need each other. So share your lives together and do not give up meeting togther or spurring each other on toward love!
"Out of the hundreds of coaches I have met in my 20-year career as a coach, I can honestly say, Deb is one of the most authentic, approachable, and powerful coaches out there. She knocks the socks off of most coaches in terms of knowledge, passion, and whole-hearted dedication to her work.
However, I am most moved by her effortless ability to create a safe, loving space and connection with me. The openness and kindness she offers have enabled me to feel safe and heard. She has had a profound effect on my life and my approach as a coach. Thank you, Deb, for all you do, how you show up, and what you've shown me about myself."
~Michelle Anne, CEO system2
By introducing me to the Enneagram my friend also helped guide me in beginning to release the "masks" I was wearing that I thought protected me from all my fears of not being "enough"... of anything.
I remember talking to her one time about a difficult conversation with someone else. A bit defensively I said, "This isn't a spiritual problem, it's a relational problem."
I could practically hear her jumping up and down with excitement on the other end of the phone, "Yes! All spiritual problems are relational problems!"
That's when the light bulb came on for me.
I realized that my relationship with God dramatically impacts my relationships with other people. If it doesn't, then I'm just not "getting it."
And that's when God practically grabbed me with both hands on my face and gently but firmly turned my eyes toward him. God invited me to begin to become like Jesus by keeping my focus on Jesus. There is no other way.
The longing in my heart to know God much more intimately and far more deeply, and to serve God with all my being, became an all-consuming passion.
I already had multiple coaching and teaching certifications, but now I began discipling others, pursued multiple certifications in the Enneagram, spiritual formation, and spiritual direction. I also became passionate about learning enough neuroscience to understand how God made us in such a way that we can be transformed.
"Deborah Owen is well trained and well qualified to aid you along your spiritual path toward Christ-likeness; and she has a genuine desire to do so. She is a person of integrity, intentionality, and someone you can trust.
Best of all, Debbie is on the journey with you, experiencing her own ongoing transformation through time-tested spiritual disciplines and an ever growing sense of self-awareness. I encourage you to let Debbie serve you on your journey with Trinity."
~Cindy Carey, spiritual formation colleague
I have a Master's degree in Library and Information Science, and am a professional researcher and writer, so I began writing the book which ultimately became From the Inside Out; Experiencing New Life in Christ through the Neuro-based Enneagram and Integrated Discipleship (click for more information on this book, journal, and other resources).
When I discovered the power of the Enneagram - or, as I call it, the Neuro-based Enneagram (click for more information) - as a tool for personal and spiritual transformation – by the grace of the Holy Spirit – I finally began to form answers to questions about the meaning of life and the beauty of God-filled relationships.
I have also experienced the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, which has helped me begin to unseal the process of discerning God's voice, both for myself and with my clients/directees.
Now, combining my experience, training, skills, and gifts as a spiritual director, coach, and consultant I am eager to speak with you about your personal and spiritual journey.
I would also like to help your church create a thriving disciplemaking culture... all by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit. I am excited to help you find your own answers to those critical questions, and any others you may be asking.
I specialize in the intersection of discipleship, spiritual direction, and coaching/consulting with the Neuro-based Enneagram and Internal Family Systems, but am qualified and certified to coach and consult about the Enneagram both in religious and secular contexts.
"Debbie Owen is my Spiritual Director. She is honest and kind. She has a deep love for the Triune God, the written Word, and for walking with others in their formation in Christlikeness. Individuals and groups will benefit in refreshing ways through the Holy Spirit and Debbie’s gifts, talents, and compassion."
~Janet Burgess, directee
Certifications, Awards, Degrees
-Pursuing a Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives degree (Portland Seminary, George Fox Univ., OR)
-Spiritual director (PAX Institute)
-Spiritual formation (Renovare Institute)
-Strategic Intervention coach (taught by Tony Robbins’ coach trainers)
-iEnneagram coach (Ignatian principles and the Enneagram for discernment and spiritual formation) (Clare Loughrige)
-Enneagram for Spiritual Directors (Doug and Adele Calhoun)
-Teacher in the Enneagram Spectrum Method (Jerome Wagner)
-Life coach (C. Mickelsen)
-Parenting coach (C. Mickelsen)
-Mental toughness coach (Brian Grasso; Craig Sigl)
-National Board Certified Teacher
-Master of Science in Library and Information Sciences (Simmons University)
-Master of Music in Choral Conducting (New England Conservatory)
-BA as a double major in English and Music (Mount Holyoke College)
I grew up in northern NJ with wonderful parents who brought us to church and prayed with us regularly at mealtimes. I started learning violin at a Christian school at the age of 6 and began to sing in our Presbyterian church choirs at the age of 7. Later, I attended Mount Holyoke College and graduated with a double major in English and Music, then immediately went on to New England Conservatory where I earned a Master's degree in Choral Conducting.
While in grad school the first time, I met my husband, Arch Owen, an engineer, at Newton Presbyterian Church. We have three children - two sons and a daughter - whom we raised in a UCC church for many years.
In addition to our own three children, a few years ago we were blessed to add a wonderful daughter-in-law to our family, and two young granddaughters who bring us great joy! (Not visible in the photo, baby #2 was born in Feb. 2023.)
While I was a young mother, I earned a second Master's degree, in Library and Information Science, from Simmons College. At this time I am pursuing a Doctor of Leadership degree (DLd) from Portland Seminary, George Fox University (Oregon).
Teacher, author, researcher, coach, spiritual director...
After earning my library degree, I was a public school library teacher for a dozen years... teaching reluctant teens how to do research! My experiences with these young people caused me to begin my quest to understand neuroscientifically how God created us for transformation.
I earned National Board Certification for teaching excellence as a Library Teacher, but then found I needed a change of pace. I also wanted to see if I could have a greater impact on even more young lives.
So I earned coaching certifications in Strategic Intervention, parenting, and mindset. I published my first Amazon-best-selling books about parenting.
The route I traveled to get to where I am today took a sharp turn at this point as I was given opportunities to become a professional researcher and writer. Using what I had learned about what makes people "tick", I wrote SEO-based content and sales and marketing copy for clients.
In fact, in the style of St. Paul, who was a tent-maker to subsidize his missionary activities, I continue to write content and copy for clients today.
I had the great privilege to gain a 2-year certification in Spiritual Formation with the Renovare Institute, through which I learned to love Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, Carolyn Arends, Trevor Hudson, Gary Moon, Mimi Dixon, NT Wright, and many others of that reformed strand of Christianity.
I also earned my certification in Spiritual Direction from the PAX Institute, and various Enneagram certifications.
My great interests in Internal Family Systems and neuroscience have significantly enhanced my understanding of how God creates each of us so incredibly uniquely.
Yet both individually, and as a whole community of humanity, we also reflect the image of God.
I am passionate about discipleship, both for individuals and for churches, because of the profound difference it has made in my life because one person decided to disciple me.
It would be my great privilege and honor to walk with you on your individual or church spiritual journey. Click here to schedule your discernment call.
(View near the top of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire.)
After raising our family in historical Massachusetts for over 30 years (when our children were in school, we activitely participated in a local colonial Minutemen Fife & Drum Company!), toward the end of Covid, my husband and I moved to the backwoods of Maine full time.
We enjoy lake-living, with the vast network of White Mountain hiking trails within easy access, and downhill skiing at Sunday River just 30 minutes away. (That's why most of my coaching and direction are via Zoom!) We have two flat-coated retrievers who keep us on our toes and get us outside throughout the day.
I've directed church choirs for over 25 years and travel to Cambridge every week to sing with the Boston Cantata Singers. I've also sung with the Handel & Haydn Society Chorus, the Boston Baroque Chorus, and solos with various community choruses. I frequently play my violin in church and am learning how to play the guitar (I'm not very good yet...).
Below are photos of me at a reunion of my a cappella singing buddies from Mount Holyoke College, still getting together annually.
And our flat-coated retrievers, Samson and Ketel.