An award-winning author, sought-after teacher and conference speaker, Ruth Haley Barton is the founder of the Transforming Center based in Wheaton, IL.


Ruth Haley Barton 
Ruth Haley Barton is the founder of the Transforming Center: Strengthening the Souls of Pastors and Christian Leaders


Ruth has been a student, a practitioner, a teacher and a leader in the area of Christian spirituality and spiritual formation for twenty years. A trained spiritual director and retreat leader, she is the author of numerous books and resources on the spiritual life.

Ruth holds a Doctor of Divinity from Northern Theological Seminary (Lombard, IL), along with a Bachelor of Arts from Wheaton College (IL) and Master's studies at Loyola University Chicago Institute for Pastoral Studies. She received her training in spiritual direction through the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation (Bethesda, MD) under the guidance of Tilden Edwards, Rosemary Dougherty and Gerald May. She's also a student of family systems theory as it relates to congregational life (Lombard Mennonite Peace Center) and has studied the Enneagram with Russ Hudson of the Enneagram Institute. 

Ruth travels widely, teaching and consulting with leadership teams in the areas of leadership transformation, corporate discernment, and spiritual community.  She has served on the pastoral staff of several churches, including Willow Creek Community Church.  Ruth has taught at the Wheaton College Graduate School, Denver Seminary, Northeastern Seminary and Mars Hill Graduate School and is a senior teaching fellow for the Renovare Institute.  She has recently joined the faculty of Northern Seminary as an adjunct Professor of Spiritual Transformation. 

The breadth of Ruth's study and learning in a variety of settings contributes to the strength of her teaching and writing.  While she values all that she has gained from the teachers and institutions in which she has studied, this does not imply endorsement of everything taught in these environments.  Ruth's teaching and writing have been most profoundly shaped by her commitment to "examine the Scriptures to see if these things are so." (Acts 17:11)  

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The ministry of the Transforming Center exists to strengthen the souls of pastors, Christian leaders, and the congregations and organizations they serve. Ruth is the primary teacher and spiritual director in our core program for leaders, the Transforming Community experience. Learn more about a growing movement of individuals and churches who desire to become a Transforming Church.

To receive some of Ruth's newest writings on spiritual formation, sign up for eReflections via email and discover more Transforming Resources for tools to guide leaders and their communities in experiencing spiritual transformation. Contact Ruth at

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