About Me

About Rev. Joellynn Monahan, MDiv, MEd (she/they)

I’m an ordained minister with a full-time ministry of spiritual direction. A Queer contemplative & mystic, I also serve as Abbess of Heart of Wisdom Monastery, a pop-up monastery for non-monastics.

My passion is helping religious leaders, artists, organizers, activists, non-profit workers, and changemakers develop deep resources to help them be sustained and to flourish over time. This ministry reflects my 35+ year commitment to education and activism on social justice issues including anti-racism/dismantling white supremacy, gender equity, LGBTQIA+ advocacy, disability rights, and environmental & food justice.

I’ve previously served in ministries of seminary administration, campus ministry, and congregational leadership. Prior to my 2010 ordination in the United Church of Christ, I worked for a decade in secular higher education in student services and as a therapist.

Born in New Jersey (home of the best pizza), a lover of Adirondack fall foliage & Washington DC’s cherry blossom springs, I’ve lived on the West Coast with my partner since 1999. Near the ocean and among evergreens is my heart’s home.

In my own spiritual life I’ve come to know:

  • the gift/wound of being deeply formed in the faith of your family’s religious tradition
  • the freedom of edges & liminal spaces beyond what we once thought possible
  • the pain of exile from what was once was a spiritual home
  • the joy of welcome by varied religious traditions as a guest and pilgrim
  • the surprise of return to familiar spiritual paths completely anew
  • the wisdom received & embodied when we are brave enough to surrender & open to every place we encounter Holy Mystery



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