Spiritual Directors International

The Home of Spiritual Companionship

Frequently Asked Questions: Seekers

Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions. Scroll down to the answers of these frequently asked questions.

  1. What is spiritual direction?
  2. I am looking for a spiritual director. Can Spiritual Directors International help me?
  3. I'm seeking a spiritual director. What are good questions to consider in my search?
  4. Where will I meet with my spiritual director? How much does it cost?
  5. Does SDI endorse and certify its members?
  6. I've recently moved. How do I become connected with other spiritual directors in my geographic area?
  7. I feel called to become a spiritual director. Where can I pursue spiritual director education?


1. What is spiritual direction?

Spiritual direction is a mentoring relationship between a seeker and a spiritual guide. Learn more about its presence in different spiritual traditions on the What is Spiritual Direction page.


2. I am looking for a spiritual director. Can Spiritual Directors International help me?

Yes, SDI offers online resources designed to help you find a spiritual guide. The Seek and Find Guide is an interactive map of more than five thousand SDI members who have self-identified as available for spiritual direction. We also offer a world map of retreat centers that offer spiritual direction. Learn more about how to find a spiritual companion in the Find a Spiritual Director section of our website.


3. I'm seeking a spiritual director. What are good questions to consider in my search?

Each person seeking a spiritual director needs to take reasonable steps to verify the competency of any potential spiritual director. As a ministry in many nations and many faiths, spiritual direction does not have a centralized certifying body that verifies the qualifications of spiritual directors since each faith tradition handles spiritual directors differently.

SDI recommends you interview each potential spiritual director before meeting in person. We reccomend that you include the following questions in your interview:

  1. What spiritual formation and theological education do you have in spiritual direction?
  2. What is your personal experience tending your own prayer, meditation, and contemplative life?
  3. What is your experience as a spiritual director? How many years? In what environments? What are you most interested in spiritually?
  4. How do you continue your education and supervision for your spiritual direction ministry?
  5. What ethical guidelines do you abide by, such as those published by Spiritual Directors International?
  6. What type of engagement agreement will we establish to clarify roles and responsibilities in our spiritual direction relationship, such as the samples provided to members of Spiritual Directors International?


4. Where will I meet with my spiritual director? How much does it cost?

You and your spiritual director will agree on a convenient location and time for meeting, usually once a month for an hour. Many spiritual directors request a fee, some receive your free-will donation, and others offer their time with no expectation of anything in return.

Generally payments to spiritual directors fall into three categories:

  1. Spiritual direction is offered as a part of the paid staff work of the spiritual director and a fee or donation is made to the organization that employs the spiritual director.
  2. Spiritual direction is paid for as a fee for service or by a donation directly to the spiritual director.
  3. The spiritual director asks that payments or donations be made to a local charity or organization.

Each spiritual director has unique circumstances and many offer sliding payment scales. When you interview prospective spiritual directors, ask them about how they handle fees.


5. Does SDI endorse and certify its members?

No, SDI does not endorse or recommend individual spiritual directors. Qualifications of SDI members and all information in the Seek and Find Guide is not verified by SDI.

SDI is not a certifying body, but rather, a learning community that supports spiritual directors and seekers with resources such as educational programs, publications, and contemplative practices.


6. I've recently moved. How do I become connected with other spiritual directors in my geographic area?

When moving to a new area, we certainly encourage you to browse the Seek and Find Guide to find other spiritual directors in your new area.


7. I feel called to become a spiritual director. Where can I pursue spiritual director education?

Find spiritual direction formation and training (FT) programs on the FT online map.


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