Frequently Asked Questions
- What is spiritual direction?
- I am looking for a spiritual director. Can Spiritual Directors International help me?
- I'm seeking a spiritual director. What are good questions to consider in my search?
- Where will I meet with my spiritual director? How much does it cost?
- How do I become a member of SDI?
- Does SDI endorse and certify its members?
- How much does it cost to become a member of SDI?
- What are the benefits of membership with SDI?
- I've recently moved. How do I notify SDI of my address change?
- I've recently moved. How do I become connected with other spiritual directors in my geographic area?
- Does SDI offer liability insurance?
- What are the legal ramifications around mandatory reporting and confidentiality?
- I feel called to become a spiritual director. Where can I pursue spiritual director education?
- How do I reach the members of SDI to tell them about my program, publication, etc.?
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:
- 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?
- What ethical guidelines do you abide by, such as those published by Spiritual Directors International?
- 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:
- 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.
- Spiritual direction is paid for as a fee for service or by a donation directly to the spiritual director.
- 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. How do I become a member of SDI?
There are three ways to activate your membership with SDI:
- Activate or renew membership using SDI's secure online store.
- Download a membership order form and send in a check by mail.
- Call +1-425-455-1565 and the SDI office staff will happily assist you.
6. 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.
7. How much does it cost to become a member of SDI?
Read more about membership rates and benefits.
If it is difficult for you to afford membership dues (for example, in case of illness, unemployment, retirement with limited resources, or other crisis), please let us know that you would like to apply for a scholarship for the coming year. We value your participation in our community and want to make it possible for you to stay actively involved with SDI through your changing circumstances.
8. What are the benefits of membership with SDI?
Benefits of SDI membership include:
- Listing in Seek and Find Guide: A Worldwide Resource of Available Spiritual Directors
- Being part of a worldwide contemplative movement
- Global and local networking
- Subscription to Presence, Listen, and Connections
- Discounted liability insurance
- Discounts on educational events and gatherings
Read more about member benefits on the Benefits of Membership page.
Become a member of SDI and join the global movement of spiritual direction!
9. I've recently moved. How do I notify SDI of my address change?
To update your address or contact information, you can fill out the Profile Update Form in the Membership section.
If you don't have access to e-mail, you can print the profile update form and mail it to:
10. 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.
11. Does SDI offer liability insurance?
SDI does not provide or underwrite liability insurance, nor does SDI have an opinion as to whether liability insurance is needed or appropriate for individual members. As an educational not-for-profit that supports the global ministry of spiritual direction, SDI provides information about liability insurance for those members. Each spiritual companion needs to determine with the guidance of his or her own legal and insurance advisors whether liability insurance is advisable.
12. What are the legal ramifications around mandatory reporting and confidentiality?
Spiritual Directors International's Guidelines for Ethical Conduct discusses the importance of maintaining the confidentiality and privacy of the directee. Purchase a copy of the Guidelines for Ethical Conduct on the online store. There may be times when spiritual directors are legally and ethically called upon to breach confidentiality and refer spiritual directees to other appropriately qualified persons.
SDI does not provide specific information about mandatory reporting and confidentiality regulations because laws vary from country to country and state to state. The best course of action is to consult a local attorney if you are concerned about the legal ramifications around mandatory reporting and confidentiality.
It is prudent to assume, and wise to inform spiritual directees, that all information shared in a spiritual direction relationship is subject to subpoena in the United States.
13. 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.
14. How do I reach the members of Spiritual Directors International to tell them about my program, publication, etc.?
There are many ways you can share your message with the global learning community of SDI:
- Place an ad in Presence. Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction is read by more than five thousand people interested in spiritual guidance, including members of SDI.
- Place an ad in Connections Connections, the official newsletter of SDI, is written by and for the members of SDI and published three times a year.
- Place an ad in Listen. In Listen: A Seeker's Resource for Spiritual Direction, you can place a display ad or a line listing in the "Global Resources" section. Listen is published quarterly and distributed to more than ten thousand seekers, caplains, campus ministers, and spiritual directors, including members of SDI.
- Place a classified ad in Membership Moments. Membership Moments is the monthy e-mail communcation sent to all members of SDI.
View all advertising options on the How to Advertise page of the SDI website.