Carl McColman

Carl McColman is a contemplative writer, retreat director, and spiritual teacher. His books include The Big Book of Christian MysticismAnswering the Contemplative CallBefriending Silence, and Unteachable Lessons. He blogs about the spiritual life at and co-hosts the Encountering Silence podcast. Carl and his wife Fran co-direct the RCIA program at St. Thomas More Church in Decatur.

Carl is a life-professed Lay Cistercian of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit — a layperson under formal spiritual guidance with the Trappist monks. He also studied with the Shalem Institute in Washington, DC, and received his formation as a spiritual director through Dr. John Westerhoff’s Institute for Pastoral Studies. Carl is a commissioned presenter of centering prayer through Contemplative Outreach Atlanta. He travels widely as a retreat leader, and has directed retreats and days of reflection at Ignatius House since 2015.

Carl is a graduate of James Madison University (B.A., English) and George Mason University (M.A., professional writing and editing). He loves music, books, icons, and just about anything related to Ireland and Scotland (except for haggis). He and Fran live near Clarkston where they are the devoted servants to several rescue cats.