Here are the kinds of questions that you might consider asking yourself when finding spiritual directors to interview:
- What is your experience with working with a spiritual director? Is this a first experience of spiritual direction?
- What brings you to spiritual direction at this time in your life?
- Would you like to meet with a male or female?
- What spiritual affiliation or denomination would be most helpful for you?
- What time of day would best serve you for meetings?
The desire and search for the “right fit” is an important part of the process.
Remember, it is up to you to choose your spiritual director wisely. Let them know what draws you to spiritual direction in this time in your life and notice how comfortable it is for you to tell your faith story. Listen carefully for the way the spirit is guiding you in your selection process.
Each person seeking a spiritual director needs to take reasonable steps to verify the competency of any potential spiritual director. As a ministry and service in many nations and many faiths, spiritual direction does not have a centralized certifying body that verifies qualifications of spiritual directors since each faith tradition handles spiritual directors differently.
Spiritual Directors International does not endorse or recommend particular spiritual directors. We are not a certifying body, but rather a global learning community that supports spiritual directors in their ministry and service with educational programs, publications, and contemplative practices.
Questions to Ask a Prospective Spiritual Director
Spiritual Directors International recommends you ask each person you interview to become your spiritual director questions such as:
- What spiritual formation and theological education do you have in spiritual direction?
- What is your personal experience tending your own prayer, meditation, and contemplative life?
- What is your experience as a spiritual director? How many years? In what environments? What are you most interested in spiritually?
- How do you continue your education and supervision for your spiritual direction ministry and service?
- What ethical guidelines do you abide by, such as those published by Spiritual Directors International? Have you ever been accused or convicted of misconduct?
- What type of engagement agreement will we establish to clarify roles and responsibilities in our spiritual direction relationship?
Spiritual Directors International publishes Guidelines for Ethical Conduct (in English and Spanish), which provides a framework for a healthy spiritual direction relationship. You may want to ask your prospective spiritual directors about their formation and training, on-going education, if they are in supervision for their ministry and service, and if they abide by the SDI Guidelines for Ethical Conduct or some other ethical code.
Spiritual direction is a ministry and service that helps people tell their sacred stories every day. To clarify the relationship between the spiritual director (also known as spiritual guide, spiritual companion, or spiritual accompanier) and seeker, it may be helpful to use an engagement agreement to clarify roles and responsibilities.
A sample engagement agreement can be downloaded below and may contain language that is beyond the scope of every spiritual direction relationship. It is offered as a sample and model. Spiritual directors, when they create an engagement agreement on their letterhead, will include language that is appropriate to their spiritual direction relationships.