Heidi Haverkamp is a writer, spiritual director, and Episcopal priest. In 2019, she won two awards from the Church Associated Press for her article “How I learned to love the doctrine of total depravity” in The Christian Century. Her newest book is a year-long personal study and prayer resource based on the Sunday lectionary, the first in a series of three with Westminster John Knox Press: Everyday Connections: Reflections and Practices for Year C (Year A and Year B forthcoming). She is the author of two previous books: Advent in Narnia and Holy Solitude: Lenten Reflections with Saints, Hermits, Prophets, and Rebels. She received her M.Div. from The University of Chicago Divinity School in 2006 and a certificate in Anglican studies from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary (now Bexley Seabury). She lives in Indianapolis with her husband.
More about Heidi
I am a writer, author, spiritual director, and Episcopal priest. I write an occasional newsletter called Letters from a Part-time Hermit.
I was honored to be quoted in an article about spirituality and solitude in The New York Times, “What We Can Learn from Solitude” in November 2020, because of my book Holy Solitude and a piece I wrote for a hermit newsletter called Raven’s Bread, edited by Paul and Karyn Fredette, featured prominently in that NYT article.
I grew up on the South Side of Chicago, in Hyde Park. I went to St. Thomas the Apostle Elementary School, even though my family attended a Protestant congregation, Hyde Park Union Church. I went to Catholic girls high school: first, Academy of the Sacred Heart, where my mother was a teacher, then, after it closed, its sister school, Woodlands Academy. I majored in English at the College of Wooster in Ohio. After college, I worked on organic farms, alongside adults with mental illness, as pastor of a rural congregation in New England, and in a Chicago corporate law office.
When I moved back home to Hyde Park, I found myself in the pews of St. Paul and the Redeemer and felt a welcome and call to leadership there. I was received as an Episcopalian, I earned my Master of Divinity at the University of Chicago Divinity School in 2006, and finished a Certificate in Anglican Studies in 2007 at Seabury Western Theological Seminary, now part of the Bexley-Seabury Federation. I was ordained a deacon and a priest in 2007 there, in the Diocese of Chicago.
My first call was as the vicar of a small congregation in the southwestern Chicago suburbs. I spent nine years with the people of St. Benedict (Bolingbrook), which shaped me in many ways as a priest, a Christian, and a writer. For more of that story and some thoughts on the spiritual geography of strip malls and cornfields, explore the blog I kept from 2012-2016: The Vicar of Bolingbrook.
I started writing more, outside of my parish, in 2012, after being encouraged by friends and a writing workshop for pastors at the Collegeville Institute in Minnesota. I began writing for religious magazines and published two books with Westminster John Knox Press while working full-time in parish ministry.
In 2016, just a few weeks after I became the Senior Associate Rector at St. Chrysostom’s (Chicago), my mother died unexpectedly during cancer treatment. This changed many things in my life and in 2017, I decided to leave parish ministry. I started pursue writing full-time. My husband and I moved to DeKalb, Illinois, where he could finish coursework on his Ph.D. at Northern Illinois University.
In 2020, we moved to Indianapolis, to be near a growing cluster of our good friends and pursue some other opportunities. Meanwhile, I’ve been working on a new book series, called Everyday Connections, a year-long devotional for each of the three lectionary years (A, B, C), based on the excellent new sermon commentary series, Connections.
I also work as a spiritual director, meeting with folks to puzzle through their spiritual questions, struggles, and wonderings. I completed a training and internship with the Claret Center in Chicago in 2019-2020. Contact me or look at this page if you’d like more information.
I like to read, make dinner, grow vegetables and flowers, take pictures, go for walks, do yoga, and hang out with my niece and nephews. I’ve been married to minister, geographer, programmer, photographer, and fellow part-time hermit, Adam Frieberg since 2008.