Kardia Formation

Strengthening Spirit – Releasing Potential

Dr Marlene Marburg

Dr Marlene Marburg
DipAppSci(MedRad) BTheol MTheol GradDipEd(Sec) PhD

Dr Marlene Marburg PhD has twenty or so years experience engaging with the Spiritual Exercises, spiritual direction and the formation of spiritual directors.  She was a Senior Lecturer and Student Formator at Sentir Graduate College of Spiritual Formation, a College of the University of Divinity.  She and Bernadette Miles are the Directors of Kardia Formation Pty. Ltd. which began in 2015.

Marlene’s doctoral thesis, ‘Poetry and Grace: an Autoethnography Exploring Poetry as Prayer in the Context of Ignatian Spirituality’ explores the capacity of poetry to access levels of deep personal and communal awareness. Marlene has a series of poetry collections entitled Grace Undone, listed below. She has also written Grace upon Grace: Savouring the Spiritual Exercises through the Arts.  The next collection will incarnate the comments of William Barry SJ on Marlene’s PhD thesis This thesis shows that poetry is a way of making the Spiritual Exercises.

Marlene is committed to listen to disenfranchised voices to determine how best to create and deliver program opportunities which facilitate deeply formative listening towards meaningful expression.


Marlene’s poetry has been published widely in journals and magazines including Eremos, Earthsong, Eureka Street, Famous Reporter, Page Seventeen, Poetrix, Presence, Studio, Spiritus, and Westerly. She has contributed to many poetry and non-fiction anthologies. To purchase Marlene’s books, click here.

Some Spirituality and Spiritual Direction papers in print.

Marburg, Marlene. An Autoethnographic Exploration of Burn-out Suffering Supported through Spiritual Direction. Presence: Spiritual Directors International, 2022. Autoethnographic research.

———. “Courage to Explore Hidden Stories: Sometimes It Causes Me to Tremble.” Presence 20, no. 4 (2014): 47-51.

———. “Imaginative Co-Creation through Poetry and Ignatian Spiritual Direction.” Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction 21, no. 2 (June 2015): 48-54.

———. “Landscapes of Contemporary Spiritual Direction in Australia.” Research essay. Presence 22, no. 4 (December 2016): 28-37.

———. “Spiritual Direction, Emotion and the Poetic.” In Companioning at the Edges: Exploring New Dimensions of Spiritual Direction in Australia, edited by Peter Bentley and Ann Lock, 245-69. Ashburton: Wellspring Centre, 2021.

“Dr Marlene Marburg Interviewed by Norm Currie Series 12, Episodes 5 and 6.”. In Harmony in Diversity, edited by Northern Access Television Multi-faith and Inter-faith Awareness.: Melbourne Community Television. Channel 31, 2015.

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