Sacred Friendships by Dr. Robert Kellemen & Susan M. Ellis (review)

Sacred Friendships: Celebrating the Legacy of Women Heroes of the Faith, by Dr. Robert Kellemen & Susan M. Ellis; BMH Custom Books.


This book review is part of a larger blog tour of Sacred Friendships.  See what others are saying here.  For more information about the authors of this book and availability click here.

Stated purpose:

  • To uncover the buried treasure of wisdom about soul care and spiritual direction as practiced by women throughout the history of Christianity.
  • To inspire today’s generation as they hear the voices of past female Christians speaking through the pages of Sacred Friendships.

To accomplish that stated purpose, Kellemen and Ellis tell the untold stories of women’s soul care and spiritual direction from the early Church to the modern era.  As a way to reveal these stories, the authors use a Cross-based, four-dimensional model (sustaining, healing, reconciling, and guiding) of soul care and spiritual direction as a grid to map these historical women’s ministry

The authors, Kellemen & Ellis, do a fantastic job of immediately addressing the stated purpose (above) of Sacred Friendships from the beginning of the book.  They draw the reader in with their masterful telling of the forgotten voices of women believers throughout history.  In the telling of each and every story, the reader is faced with the encouragement and challenge to adapt the biblical practice of “soul care and spiritual direction” (biblical counseling).

Personally, I read this book with the goal of pulling out the very specific aspects of soul care and spiritual direction, with a view of using these stories as illustrations of biblical counseling done properly.  I was not disappointed.  Each story, (many just glimpses into these godly women’s lives), gave insight into “sustaining, healing, reconciling and guiding”.  As a lover of history, I enjoyed being introduced to the godly heritage of these forgotten voices.  Kellemen & Ellis made it very clear, not only in relating these stories and history, but through adequate and concise quotes from our historical, biblical fathers that these women played instrumental roles in the church.  From Vibia Perpetua (181-203AD) to Betsie ten Boom (1885-1944), insight on how to deal with sin and suffering leaped from the pages of Sacred Friendships.

I received two copies of Sacred Friendships.  One was a review copy and the other was one I ordered personally.  I used my review copy to “mark up” and pull valuable soul care and spiritual direction insights.  My personal copy has already been handed out in hopes to be used of God as a tool to encourage the reader to greater sensitivity in ministering to others.  I can confidently recommend Sacred Friendships as a challenging and encouraging resource for self-counsel, as well as, for counseling insights for ministry to others.

Recommended; paper-back, 300 pages.

ellis kellemen


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