IN MEMORIAM: Margaret A. Guenther ’83

The Rev. Dr. Margaret A. Guenther, Class of 1983, died peacefully early Sunday morning, December 11, 2016, surrounded by her whole loving family.

Guenther was Professor Emerita of Ascetical Theology at The General Theological Seminary, where she served for many years as Director of the Center for Christian Spirituality. She was a noted retreat leader and lecturer, and author of many books including Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction (1992); Toward Holy Ground: Spiritual Directions for the Second Half of Life (1996); My Soul in Silence Waits: Meditations on Psalm 62 (2012); The Practice of Prayer (1998); Just Passing Through: Notes from a Sojourner; (2007); At Home in the World: A Rule of Life for the Rest of Us (2006); and most recently, Walking Home: From Eden to Emmaus (2011).

A portrait of Guenther hangs in the Refectory of The General Theological Seminary.

Guenther was an active layperson at St. Columba’s, Washington, D.C. in the 1960s and 1970s, when she moved to New York to pursue Ordination to the Priesthood. She received her M.Div. from General in 1983, and returned to St. Columba’s in 1998 to serve as Associate Rector. She also holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Kansas and a Ph.D. from Radcliffe College. She is survived by her husband, Jack Guenther; they have three grown children and five grandchildren.

A Celebration of the Life of Margaret Guenther will be held on Wednesday, December 28 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church, 4201 Albemarle Street NW, Washington, DC 20016, with a reception to follow.

The Rev. Canon Stuart A. Kenworthy, Class of 1984, remembers his friend and colleague from the Diocese of Washington for “touching so many faithful and those seeking God across the years with her compassion, spiritual wisdom, and counsel. She was a treasure of the church and all whose lives she touched.”

Dr. Anne Silver, current leader of the Center for Christian Spirituality, deeply appreciates the legacy of her work, “especially how important her first book, Holy Listening, was in introducing people, including women and lay people, to the ministry of spiritual direction, and the role it continues to play in forming spiritual directors now.”

“Margaret’s presence at General has lasted long after she finished her service here,” said the Very Rev. Kurt H. Dunkle, Dean and President. “Her spirit lives through the Center for Christian Spirituality, and her wisdom and compassion have become part of the DNA of The General Theological Seminary.”