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Mary Albert Darling

Associate Professor of Communication
Sayre Decan Hall, Com Suite 224
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Connecting communication and spiritual practices is a passion of mine. I teach a variety of classes in the Department of Communication, Media, and Fine Arts, including Intro to Communication, Intercultural Communication, speech courses, and a special course called “Communication, Spirituality, and Service.” I also love to speak on various areas of communication and spiritual formation at retreats, workshops, and seminars in and outside of Spring Arbor University. I have also been trained in spiritual direction, which is a form of spiritual mentoring; and in the Enneagram, a personality test that can aid us greatly in our relationships with God, ourselves, and others. I believe my training in both has helped me teach communication from an even stronger Christian perspective. I am married to Dr. Terry Darling, Professor of Psychology at Spring Arbor University, and Men’s Tennis Coach for several decades. We have two sons, David and Michael, daughters-in-law Jenna (David), and Ashley (Michael), five precious grandchildren, Norah, Liam, Ramona, Sutton, and McCoy. Our sons and daughters-in-law all graduated from SAU. My mission statement is to help people find and experience the love of God in Christ that frees them to “do justice, love mercy, and walk tenderly with God”(Micah 6:8).


I came to SAU as a student, loved it, and decided this is where I wanted to be after graduation. I started working in Student Development and then moved over to teaching after getting my MA in Communication Arts and Sciences at Western Michigan University. Teaching about how to be better communicators is a passion of mine. I believe that having good relationships is what is most important to God, since our God is a communicating God. That means learning to communicate well with one another, whether that is interpersonally or with an audience in a public presentation, is vitally important. No matter what class I teach, how to do that is a major focus, and I love making those connections with students. For me, the best part of being at Spring Arbor University is interacting with students, and being a part of their growth in becoming life-long learners, committed to living their faith in the world.

Memberships and Affiliations

International Enneagram Association

2018 to present

Spiritual Directors Association of Jackson County

2009 to present

Awards & Honors

Spring Arbor University Keeper of the Concept Award


Teaching Excellence Award

1997 and 2020

Faculty Merit Award

Spring Arbor University, 2008

LeRoy M. Lowell Alumni Award

Spring Arbor University, 2003

Young Careerist of the Jackson Business & Professional Women’s Club


Spring Arbor College Staff Distinguished Service Award




The God of Intimacy and Action: Reconnecting Ancient Spiritual Practices, Evangelism, and Justice” (Fortress Press, 2019).

Connecting Like Jesus: Practices for Healing, Teaching, and Preaching (Fortress Press, 2019).

Other Relevant Experience

Enneagram International Accredited Professional, 2018 to the present
Certification, Spiritual Direction Program, Manresa Jesuit House