Imagine a life lived freely and fully — and in service to the world.
We are called to respond to the needs of a hurting world. Second Breath courses and faculty members guide you on a transformational journey to doing just that. We believe there is no great outer work without great inner work. That’s why our programs are not only based on a nuanced, fresh expression of Christian spirituality, but also include a toolbox of practices for moving from knowledge to lived experience. We teach you how to move in the direction of your heart’s longing and cultivate the courage and wisdom to pursue it.
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Rooted at the Servant Leadership School.
Reaching out through Second Breath.
The Reverend Tim Patterson founded The Servant Leadership School of Greensboro in 1991 after personally discovering the power of merging an inner spiritual journey with his outward-focused professional life as a priest. Inspired by thought-leaders Bennett Sims, Robert Greenleaf and Gordon Cosby, Tim crafted a curriculum to teach students in Greensboro, North Carolina, how the wisdom of servant leadership transforms individual lives and, by extension, the world. For more than 25 years, our curriculum’s intellectual framework and spiritual practices have sparked students to uncover their true selves, live out their call, and impact their community.
We continuously update our curriculum to reflect how the latest discoveries across a variety of disciplines confirm and expand upon ancient wisdom. With the launch of Second Breath, we’re able to make these learning experiences available to people well beyond our Greensboro home — an important part of our mission to empower as many as possible in co-creating a better world.
Second Breath: The meaning behind the name
We pull from some of the most powerful teachings across a wide range of disciplines — but we know that a curriculum based on knowledge alone will not be transformational. For that reason, our offerings center on a life-changing learning experience that helps students grow their positive influence by uncovering their truest selves.
For us, everything hinges on, as instructor Rev. Greg Farrand says, “making the coins drop” — moving from mere intellectual understanding of God, faith, and love to actually experiencing them. The best method we know for making the coins drop is spiritual practice. Spiritual practice creates space for a shift to occur; a shift from fear to love, from braced to open, from anxious to trusting. The name Second Breath describes this shift. Often with our first breath we automatically react to a situation. The second breath provides an opportunity to pause, reflect, connect, and respond. It is the gateway into the present moment where we connect with God and our true selves so that we can live the free and full life that God intended for us.
Whether you are taking one of our core Second Breath courses, a companion course such as The Enneagram or Money Redefined, attending a workshop or seeking certification, the whole intention is to create the space for you to take a second breath and embark on a journey to a life lived freely and fully. Ultimately that’s what our courses, retreats and facilitator kits are about. Learn more.Learn More
Second Breath Philosophy
We have been living a life far away from true self — so we make an intentional decision to take a second breath and move towards a life of freedom and fullness.
We begin by being honest with the way things are and then commit to shift to a life that we know — deep within — awaits us.
We know this second breath will take some humor, spiritual practice and a community of support. We are willing to move to the edge of our comfort zone and breathe — expanding into new life.
We realize we have been duped into believing that more, bigger and best equals life fulfillment. We know this “up, up and away” life leads to physical exhaustion, spiritual flatness and emotional collapse.
We are eager and ready for a second breath in life — and we are willing to do what it takes to move towards this breath of life — this fullness of life.
We are ready for more energy, connection and meaning.
Second Breath Faculty
All of our faculty members have experienced dramatic transformation in their lives through the wisdom, practices and community they found at Second Breath. Compelled by their experience, they are here to share their expertise and new understanding through core and companion courses that blend spiritual practice with their greatest passions, from Prayerful Yoga to Writing From the Heart to our foundational Second Breath 1-4 courses that take students on an inward journey leading to meaningful outward work. Their professions span counseling, social work, spiritual coaching, divinity, education, creative writing and more.
Ruth D. Anderson, co-director
When Ruth encountered Second Breath’s coursework (The Servant Leadership School of Greensboro at the time), she was an overwhelmed, stressed out corporate vice-president. As she worked her way through the Servant Leadership School’s curriculum, she developed the ability to work more effectively and courageously in her job and ultimately gained a new sense of call. Now, she is the co-director of Second Breath.
Ruth earned a master’s from Kent State University and a doctorate from the University of Oregon, both in Communication. She has worked as a professor at North Carolina State University and as vice-president of Kindermusik International. A passionate nonprofit advocate, Ruth was actively engaged in the creation of Guilford Nonprofit Consortium and The Executive Director Academy and writes a monthly article for the Greensboro News & Record on the work of nonprofits in the community. For the last 15 years, Ruth also has been involved in the work of Partnership Village, a transitional housing community where she organizes tutoring, facilitates summer camp opportunities and participates in the Future Bound program. She is the author of two books: Hairpin Turn: Trusting Your Heart’s Direction in Leadership and Life and Ruthie Stories: Recapturing the Girl Left Behind.
Greg Farrand, co-director
Greg began his career in ministry full of passion to help people. His passion took him from Uganda, where he was a missionary, to campus ministry at Wake Forest and NC School of the Arts, to founding a church in Greensboro, NC, where he served as senior pastor for almost nine years. Over the course of those years, passion gave way to burnout — it was in a class at The Servant Leadership School of Greensboro where he learned how to refill his tank. Now, as co-director at Second Breath, he passionately shares the content that transformed his life and career with students who are also seeking renewal.
Greg was first ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian church. He has served as co-executive director of Selah Spiritual Formation, a nonprofit focused on spiritual direction and retreat leadership, and is currently an ordained Episcopal priest, serving as associate rector at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, the original home of The Servant Leadership School of Greensboro.
Summer Estes, faculty member
Summer devotes her life to helping people heal. As a licensed professional counselor, she saw how a cognitive approach to working with clients helped people make progress towards healing, but she also sensed it wasn’t the full picture. At the Servant Leadership School of Greensboro, she encountered practices for a tri-centered (mind, heart and body) approach to healing. She also found a beautiful intersection of her passion for spirituality and mindfulness within the community. Having directly experiencing the transformative power of a holistic approach to healing, Summer is passionate about sharing these practices with others as a faculty member at Second Breath.
Summer received her master’s in an integrative program in theology and community counseling from Denver Seminary. In addition to teaching, she keeps a part-time practice in counseling.
Companion Programs Faculty
Steve Cushman (Writing from the Heart) earned an MFA from UNC Greensboro and has published seven books, most recently the poetry collection, How Birds Fly. He has taught writing workshops at UNCG, Guilford College, The Servant Leadership School of Greensboro and The Creative Center. Find more information about Steve and his writing at www.stevecushman.net.
John De Beer, D.Min, MA, B.Sc. (Poised on a Glad Expectancy of God) has for decades been pioneering adult faith formation programs. Since retirement from parish ministry, his focus is in consulting, training and curriculum development. His goal is to empower individuals, teams and congregations to become truly human, measured by the full stature of Christ.
Susan Griffin (Fourth Saturdays) comes to Second Breath after spending most of her life in the corporate world working various technology associated positions. After taking Servant Leadership courses, this self-described full-time pilgrim is eager to help others heal emotionally and spiritually through breath work and the Second Breath program.
Linda Hiatt (Prayerful Yoga) has been a yoga student for twelve years, a certified yoga teacher for six years (200 RYT) and completed her advanced 500-hour yoga teacher certification in 2018 at the Triad Yoga Institute. Linda also has additional certification in Yoga for Healthy Aging. Yoga is an ancient practice designed to yoke body, soul/spirit, and breath. There is indeed a yoga practice for everybody’s body. Come as you are!
Chris Lindley (Creating your Sacred Space) is a self-taught landscape designer who studied and worked abroad after a midlife career change in her forties. Chris has grown successful design/build landscape companies in both Greensboro and Wilmington, North Carolina — and even created gardens that were showcased on several tours and in magazines. A long-time participant in our work, Chris is excited to help us create a sacred space to support our regular spiritual practice.
Ashley McCarthy (Second Saturday) is a long-time resident of Greensboro. She lives with her husband and 14-year-old son and daughter, who happen to be twins. She continues to be curious about the pursuit & practice of psychology and theology; mindfulness & embodiment; and integration of body, spirit and mind. She enjoys facilitating spiritual practices and interpersonal exercises with SB center and in her work as a professional counselor.