Spiritual Direction FAQs
How do I choose a spiritual director?
We have begun creating a list of spiritual directors who are currently serving within the Arkansas Conference, and you could start there! It’s important to meet with a spiritual director that you feel comfortable with and can walk alongside you in spiritual conversation. Perhaps, start with a commitment to meet for several months before you decide if you want to continue meeting beyond that.
- Reach out to friends and colleagues who’ve engaged in spiritual direction for recommendations.
- Spiritual Directors International provides a search tool for finding spiritual directors by location and area of interest or giftedness.
What can I expect during our time together?
That’s a good question to ask a director with whom you’re meeting! Each director will approach each directing relationship differently, but you can expect to meet with someone who is trained and experienced in accompanying others in spiritual conversation and experiences. Your session may include spiritual practices, contemplation, or conversation.
What you may experience from a spiritual director is:
- A person willing to walk alongside you on your spiritual journey – in silence or in dialogue, in peaceful times or terrible times. One who is present.
- A companion who will listen attentively and reflect back to you what you are experiencing and discovering.
- Confidentiality—what you talk about in your time with the spiritual director will go no further.
- Encouragement and hope; an effective spiritual director always carries hope for you and gently nudges you toward the wisdom and grace God is already pouring into your life.
- Reverence and respect for the spiritual movement in your life. A wise spiritual director recognizes that God speaks to people in many different ways. The spiritual companion listens to you describe your experience as it makes sense to you, in words and phrases that are meaningful to you. Although he or she may help you connect your experience with spiritual concepts such as grace or the movement of the Holy Spirit, there’s no attempt to rewrite your experience to be anything other than what it is.
- A person wise enough to understand when you need help that is different from spiritual direction. An attentive spiritual director will notice if you appear to be struggling physically, emotionally, or mentally and will encourage you to get the support you need. In other words, a spiritual director recognizes that he or she is not your social worker or psychiatrist and will not try to fill those roles.
- A person with whom you are safe to talk about your interior life in all its complexity and unfolding beauty. One who offers welcoming and non-judgemental space for you to come and be just as you are.
How much does it cost to meet with a spiritual director?
The cost is determined between the director and the directee. Some directors have a set fee and others leave it open for the directee to set.
What kind of training do spiritual directors have?
The training programs vary, but all accredited certification programs will include coursework, practicum experiences, and supervision during a period of time, often with ongoing continuing education. It’s fair to assume that your spiritual director meets with his or her own spiritual director or supervisor.