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The Rev. Robert L. Haden Jr.

Bob preaching at St. Francis chapel, Kanuga

Dear Friends,

Today we learned that our beloved founder and teacher, Bob Haden (the Rev. Robert L. Haden Jr.), died early this morning, April 17, following an extended illness. He was surrounded throughout the week by his beloved family, wife, Mary Anne, son Jimmy, son Robert, and son Will, and many others. Jimmy serves as executive vice president for mission at Kanuga, a place Bob loved so much that he and Mary Anne moved next door in 2004. Bob also served as a member of the Kanuga Board of Visitors.

Bob founded the Haden Institute in Charlotte, NC in 1994 as a forum to educate others about the transformational gifts of spirituality and Jungian psychology. Bob, both an Episcopal priest and a Jungian-oriented therapist, had discovered that spirituality and the teachings of Jungian psychology are complementary on the transformational path to health, wholeness, spiritual maturity, and individuation. He was called, on a walk on the labyrinth, to begin the Haden Institute as a way to bring the ancient spiritual practice of dream work, along with other lost spiritual practices, back to the work of the Church.

Bob's revelation to found the Haden Institute came to him while walking the labyrinth, and the labyrinth was a significant part of Bob's journey. In the early 2000s as Journey into Wholeness (a long-lived conference steeped in spirituality and depth psychology) ended, Kanuga President Albert Gooch suggested that Bob hold a conference at Kanuga. Bob said he would, if Kanuga would build a labyrinth! In 2003, the Haden Institute held its first annual Kanuga Summer Dream Conference (now called the Summer Dream and Spirituality Conference). This year, May 28 - June 2, marks the 21st annual conference. Currently, Kanuga has plans to renovate the labyrinth in honor of Bob.

The Haden Institute was born while Bob was still serving as rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Charlotte. When Bob retired from St. John’s, he and Mary Anne moved to their mountain home in Hendersonville, NC. Bob continued to follow his dreams in the years after founding the Haden Institute, and those dreams served as guideposts in the discernment of his ministry with the Institute. He also had a private practice as a pastoral counselor and spiritual director with a Jungian focus. Bob was Diplomate of the American Psychotherapy Association with more than 30 years’ experience in teaching about dreams.

Bob’s work and teaching continues to evolve through us, the faculty, staff, students and graduates of the Haden Institute. Bob will forever be remembered in the hearts of those who studied under him and worked with him at the Haden Institute. He was a brilliant teacher, a generous leader, and believed in his work and in the journeys of all who passed through the Haden Institute. We are grateful that Bob’s mission has spread and for the many lives forever changed because of their journeys at the Haden Institute.  

Listen to Bob’s keynotes from the Summer Dream Conference. Take a trip down memory lane or learn more about the history of the Haden Institute and Bob’s calling to found it.

We are grateful for Mary Anne Haden, her support of Bob and the Haden Institute in countless ways, including offering creative space, borne out of her gifts as an artist and her recognition of the importance of creativity on the spiritual journey, at the Summer Dream Conference and during training intensives. 

Bob received his BA from the University of the South in Sewanee, TN, his MDiv from Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, VA. He earned a master’s degree in “The Use of Dreams in Spiritual Direction” from General Theological Seminary in New York City, NY. Bob also studied at the graduate level at the C.G. Jung Institute in Switzerland. He is co-author of the Soul’s Labyrinth and author of Unopened Letters from God: Using Biblical Dreams To Unlock Nightly Dreams, a Workbook for Individuals and Groups. As a priest Bob served Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Columbia, SC and St. John’s Episcopal Church in Charlotte, NC, among others, always with faith and following Creator's call.

A memorial service will be held for Bob on Saturday, May 13 at 11:00 AM at St. James Episcopal Church, 766 N. Main Street, Hendersonville, NC, 28792.

The service will be in person and also livestreamed. Kanuga Conference Center plans to set aside rooms and cottages at a special rate for those who want to stay at Kanuga to attend the service. Reservations at Kanuga should be made with this special designation.