Spiritual Directors International

The Home of Spiritual Companionship

New Contemplatives Initiative

Applications Now Open for 2019

(See the 2018 New Contemplatives below)

The New Contemplatives Initiative seeks to encourage, understand and engage with spiritual directors in the first half of their lives (age 40 or under), and other young persons influenced by and called to the ministry of spiritual companionship. Those chosen to join the New Contemplatives will receive full tuition for the 2019 conference in Bellevue, plus a full day of New Contemplatives programming, hotel accommodation and a travel stipend. 

SDI seeks candidates that reflect the human diversity on our planet. Some people have asked us what we mean by "diversity." To us, it includes - but is not limited to - a range of spiritual traditions and practices, ethnicity and culture, and sexual/gender orientations. SDI welcomes all people to what we call the Public Square of Spiritual Direction. We want our New Contemplatives to be just as inclusive. We also want to encourage people we see as future leaders in spiritual direction, people inspired to help us grow our global movement.

Please note: Those applying for this scholarship should have at least 1-year of experience (or the equivalent) offering spiritual companionship to others -  or in an analogous role.

At this year’s conference, Seeking Connections Across Generations, the New Contemplatives will play a uniquely important role in the conversation around building intergenerational spiritual community.  We at SDI are committed to supporting the dialogue between generations, and the New Contemplatives program is one way to do this. We are excited to welcome a new cohort of emerging leaders in the field of spiritual companionship.

The application process is now open. Deadline for receiving applications is Wednesday, September 12th, 2018. Acceptances will be sent out on or by Friday, September 28th, 2018.  Please use this form to tell us why you would be an excellent candidate and how you plan to contribute to the growing community of spiritual directors around the world.  See this post for a list of defining characteristics for an authentic spiritual director: http://www.sdiworld.org/blog/what-makes-good-spiritual-director

Apply Now




Spiritual Directors International is delighted to introduce the New Contemplatives for 2018. We see this group as future leaders in spiritual companionship - people who can help us grow our global movement. We congratulate them and welcome them to our community.

The New Contemplatives Initiative seeks to encourage, understand and engage with spiritual directors in the first half of their lives (aged 40-ish or under). Each New Contemplative receives full tuition for the 2018 Seeking Connection conference as well as hotel accommodation and a travel stipend.

Please click here to get acquainted with these 10 remarkable deep listeners who have answered the call to change the world from within.

For more than 25 years, Spiritual Directors International has gathered people from around the world and across traditions at annual educational events. The New Contemplatives Initiative, which began in 2012, was created to better understand and engage with emerging spiritual directors.

The initiative gives spiritual directors in the first half of their lives the opportunity for continued education and community through a scholarship and bursary to the annual conference. Cohort members continue to build relationships with one another and share their wisdom with SDI long past the conclusion of the conference. New Contemplatives write articles for the SDI Blog, Connections, and Presence; offer webinars; lead workshops; and grow this evolving program through their ideas and creativity.

Donors help create the capacity for providing bursary and scholarships for New Contemplatives. If you are inspired by the next generation of spiritual companions and would like to support them, please donate to the New Contemplative bursary and scholarship fund in the secure SDI Store.

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