Elizabeth de Smaele, CSD

Elizabeth de Smaele


Deeper Devotion, the name I’ve chosen for my ministry, mirrors my passion in life. By nature an active high achiever, I have come home to my true self as I pursue God in reflective devotion. It gives me great joy to assist others in finding their true home in God’s presence as I follow my calling as a spiritual director.

When we enter spiritual direction we might not even know what we are reaching for, but some restlessness within has alerted us to a soul need. Within spiritual direction conversations, we explore our experiences and desires, seek to notice God’s presence and work, and attend to our response. It’s important to me to offer a sacred place where questions can be explored and the path toward spiritual growth and wholeheartedness can be traveled. Becoming rooted in God’s love and grace is always a priority, for it is here where identity can be safely grounded and woundedness transformed.


My life journey has been diverse and global. My first Masters degree was in Piano Performance an Pedagogy, and my experience as an educator and musician influences my current work as I inspire toward living in worshipful devotion. My background spans the realms of performing and educating, musical and spiritual, with all ages and levels, from beginners to mature leaders.

The Netherlands has been my home since 1996 when I relocated from Canada as a single woman with a big heart for God and for people. I completed my theological and spiritual direction training at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto, Canada, and since 2007 have pioneered in the field in my adopted country.

Two initiatives have added breadth and depth to my work during the past several years. Silent retreats offer a taste of the contemplative life and opportunities for deep encounters with God. I also have the privilege and joy of training spiritual directors through Sustainable Faith’s School of Spiritual Direction. This has developed into one of the most satisfying experiences of my career.

Personal Life

Years ago I identified two major themes in my life which make me come alive. The first is sharing heart-to-heart moments with people. The second is creating or facilitating beautiful or meaningful experiences. It is pure delight to be living into these priorities in my everyday life.

I’ve been joyfully married to Gérard since 1998, and together we are enthusiastic about fulfilling our respective callings in life. We enjoy active soul-nourishing days in nature. We’ve breathed in more of Canada’s highlights than most Canadians, and we love that Scandinavia, the Highlands of Scotland, and the north coast of France are all within driving distance from our home in Holland.

Church Life

A longtime leader within Crossroads International Church, Amsterdam, I have given leadership to ministries of worship, creative arts, women and faith formation. I’ve been on the teaching team since 2003, participating in planning our teaching themes and preaching occasionally. In addition, Crossroads has also served as an incubator for several courses that I’ve developed within the realm of faith formation and contemplative spirituality.

Professional Associations

I'm registered with the following associations and adhere to their code of ethics:
TASD Tyndale Association of Spiritual Directors (Canada)
Gaandeweg Association of Spiritual Directors in Belgium and Netherlands
Grafted Life Ministries Evangelical Spiritual Directors Association (USA)


CSD (Certified Spiritual Director) granted by the Canadian Council of Professional Certification, since November 2009
Gcoach certification through Academy of Counselling and Coaching, since July 2012.
tijdelijke link (postcode 1187KE)