Spiritual Directors International

The Home of Spiritual Companionship

Making a Living as a Spiritual Companion 2

Watch Anytime

4-part Webinar Series 

(Online video recordings - available 24/7)

This is more than a webinar.

This is an investment in your calling ... and your life.

Last year, the first edition of this webinar series struck a chord that resonated with spiritual companions across the world. That series became the most popular webinar in SDI history.

This year we have 9 new presenters who have all found creative ways to follow a deep, heart-felt calling and pay the rent. Some offer spiritual companionship part-time, some blend services, and some are spiritual entrepreneurs - not only working full-time, but offering other spiritual companions work in their centers of spiritual care.

All of them have made their vocation a part of their lives and their livelihoods.

We'll grant you that it's not easy to make a living as a spiritual companion. But our presenters show that it’s definitely possible. And during our webinar, all our presenters will share their recipes for turning spiritual companionship into a financially sustainable career.

If you are a student of spiritual direction - or you already work in a listening profession - this webinar series is for you.

The series runs over 4 consecutive weeks -- with live sessions each Tuesday from February 12 - March 5. All sessions run 75 minutes each.

 But even if that doesn't fit your schedule, please remember: each session is recorded so you can watch at your convenience.



Course Description

Session 1  – A Tale of Two Questions - Moving from "Can I be a spiritual companion?" to "How can I be a spiritual companion?"  Debbi Horton and Genjo Marinello Roshi. Sustainable businesses and working lives don't start with marketing. They start with intention. And intention depends on discernment - the same thing that plays such a vital role in spiritual companionship. The key is asking "how" with an open heart. Genjo Marinello found his "how" through combining spiritual direction with psychotherapy and being a Zen priest. He now has a full slate of people he companions. Debbi Horton used her affinity for the Enneagram (she's the Board President of the Minnesota Chapter of the International Enneagram Association) to help build her spiritual direction practice. Both will explain the practical role intention has played in their working lives.

Session 2  – Building Community Can Build a Livelihood - Jamal Rahman & Amanda Petersen. Spiritual entrepreneurs know genuine community is the key to attracting clients and referrals. Jamal is a Muslim Sufi imam whose spiritual direction practice grew as he helped build an interfaith community in Seattle. Amanda is a spiritual director and soul-centered life coach, as well as an entrepreneur. She launched a healing center in Phoenix which now hosts 11 other listening care professionals. Both Jamal and Amanda speak eloquently about how you can build community by using the same skill you use in spiritual companionship – listening.

Session 3  – Becoming a Soul Entrepreneur Hiro Boga and Taya Shere. Both Hiro and Taya built their livelihoods by creating innovative ways to serve others spiritually. Born in Bombay, and now settled in British Columbia, Hiro has offered "soul-infused" mentoring to thousands of people over 35 years, companioning those people as they create and develop purpose-based businesses.  Taya  spent 10 years as a rabbi in Washington DC before creating a unique blend of ways to companion people -- using embodiment, music, ancestral healing, somatic experience and multi-religious ritual. They both see service as a creative act and say that spiritual business thrives when it springs from our truest selves.

Session 4 – Doing That Which Makes Your Heart Sing - Karen Erlichman and Langston KahnThis final session focuses on your best asset when it comes to making a living as a spiritual companion - your heart. Two experienced companions at different stages in their careers offer wisdom on how they have found personal fulfillment - and paychecks - by offering spiritual companionship. In the SF Bay area, Karen Erlichman combines spiritual direction with supervision, teaching and psychotherapy to create a thriving practice. In New York City, Langston Kahn, one of SDI New Contemplatives for 2019, offers emotional clearing and shamanic healing in a form of companioning that is at once ancient and contemporary.





"Making a Living" Bonuses

SDI wants to help you build a business network that will last long after this webinar ends. We want to help you find kindred spiritual directors so that you may receive and offer peer support and share advice. We also want to provide ways keep you and your practice visible to potential directees. So, we have decided to offer these ongoing opportunities:

  • SDI will host a special Facebook group just for people who have registered for this webinar series or the initial one last year. Composed of spiritual companions interested in following their calling and willing to share tips and offer support, this group will be founded on mutual respect and the same values of welcome that inform SDI's Public Square of Spiritual Direction. Soon after you register, if you have a Facebook account, you will be invited to join this group. We understand not everyone has a Facebook account, but they are free and easy to create. And we think this will be the easiest way for people to form digital community around this topic.
  • All those participating in the webinar will be invited to write for Connections, SDI's quarterly newsletter written by spiritual companions. The editor, Steven Crandell, will assess each submission for suitability. but every webinar participant who submits a piece will get a personal response and editorial advice whether or not the piece is accepted for publication. In addition, all participants will be invited to write for the SDI blog.
  • A Free Book in PDF format- Due to the kindness and generosity of one of our presenters, Hiro Boga, we be able to offer all participants in this webinar series a pdf copy of Hiro's new book, The World of Your Business Playbook - How to Create a World of Welcome & Belonging for You and Your Customers. This is a resource for all who want to start/run an enlightened business that cares for the souls of the people it serves.




Webinar Presenters 

Week 1 - A Tale of Two Questions - "Can I?" vs. "How Can I?"


Debbi Horton is a certified Enneagram teacher, coach and spiritual director. Board President of the Minnesota Chapter of the International Enneagram Association, she has built her spiritual direction practice in part through her affinity with and her training in the Enneagram. She also runs retreats and facilitates groups and is a certified teacher of the Embodied Present Process (TEPP). Her website refreshingly and openly refers to the personal qualities or "gifts" she feels characterize her approach to companionship: warmth, humor, creativity and open-heartedness. Quote: "The heart of my work ... is about uncovering what keeps us from God's Love and Wholeness."

Genjo Marinello Roshi is a Zen priest, spiritual director and mental health counselor. He sits with adults, couples and sometimes adolescents, specializing in working with people who are aware of their own journey of awakening. He does traditional talk psychotherapy in line with the thinking of Adler, Jung, Winnicott and Maslow. Quote: "Spiritual directors invite people to do their own exploration and deep inquiry and invite people to experience a dimension of unity or something beyond themselves ... As a spiritual director, I'm asking questions such as, "Where do you feel most creative?"


Week 2 - Building Community Can Build a Livelihood


Imam Jamal Rahman is co-founder and Muslim Sufi minister at the Interfaith Community Sanctuary in Seattle. He is also adjunct faculty at Seattle University. He specializes in what he calls "spiritual direction in a circle" with groups. A popular speaker on Islam, Sufi spirituality, and interfaith relations, he has authored or co-authored seven books. Along with his Interfaith Amigos, he has been featured in the New York Times, CBS News, BBC and various NPR programs. Quote: "To remove the veils between us and our Creator, the Prophet Muhammad says, 'Know thyself and you will know thy Lord.'... He also explains the role of a spiritual teacher and companion: 'The teacher kindles the light; the oil is already in the lamp.' "

Amanda Petersen, MDiv, is the founder of Pathways of Grace, a healing center in Phoenix, Arizona that offers spiritual direction, soul-centered coaching and other modalities to help people find balance and wellness. She is co-director of Explore and Connect with God spiritual direction training and Living From Your Heart training and Director of the Supervision of Spiritual Directors training at Pathways of Grace. Amanda has been practicing spiritual direction for over 22 years. With individuals, she walks through the transitions in one's life using spiritual direction and feng shui to allow each person their own unique way to pay attention to the gift of God/Divine in the midst of all circumstances. Quote: "I have found being an entrepreneur the most spiritual practice of my whole life, encompassing faith, trust, fear, gratitude and a fair amount of experimenting."


Week 3 - Becoming a Soul Entrepreneur

Hiro Boga uses spiritual companionship to encourage conscious businesses to evolve from inspired individuals. Thousands of people have benefited from her “soul-infused” mentorship. Born in India and resident in Canada, she has meditated every day for the last 60 years, offered training in energy alchemy and practical mysticism and founded a teaching and research facility for spiritual seekers of every faith and perspective. A former publishing executive, she has authored three books, including the one all webinar participants will receive as part of the course. Quote: “Stay rooted in your soul, in the strength of your true purposes ... [so that you may] deepen your relationship with the soul of your business, so that you and your business grow together.”

Taya Shere (Taya Ma) offers spiritual companionship through transformative ritural, embodied vocalization and Jewish ancestral healing. Taya is on the faculty at Starr King School for the Ministry, where she trains emergent clergy across faith traditions. A practitioner of both Ancestral Lineage Healing and Somatic Experiencing, she facilitates three-day Ancestral Lineage Healing Intensives across the U.S. and sits regularly in individual sessions with clients around the world. Taya is the co-founder of Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute, an ordination program for spiritual leaders reclaiming and innovating embodied, earth-honoring, feminist Jewish practices. Taya is an author, a musician, a composer and a devotional chant leader. She is the Spiritual Leader Emeritus of a Washington DC area Jewish congregation and completed her graduate studies in the Folklore of Religion at the University of Pennsylvania. Quote: "I'm smiling bright at the possibility of connecting with you in reverent ritual play."


Week 4 - Doing That Which Makes Your Heart Sing

Karen Erlichman, DMin, LCSW provides psychotherapy, spiritual direction, soul coaching, supervision and consultation in San Francisco and has done so for more than 20 years. Karen is co-director of Practistry, an advanced mentoring and training program. She's also serves as a Professor of Jewish Spirituality at the Graduate Theological Foundation and an adjunct faculty member in the Interfaith Spiritual Direction Training Program at the Chaplaincy Institute in Berkeley. She is inspired by the work and mentorship of Quaker educator and activist Parker J. Palmer and has trained as a Courage and Renewal® facilitator with the Center for Courage and Renewal. Quote: "It takes courage for someone to allow their vulnerability to be witnessed.  That is where we find our strength, and in those moments there is a felt sense of hope, grace and transformation." 

Langston Kahn is a New York City based spiritual companion and shamanic practitioner specializing in emotional clearing and radical transformation. His practice is informed by the western modality of Inner Relationship Focusing, initiations into traditions of the African Diaspora, the contemporary shamanic tradition of The Last Mask Center and the guidance of his helping spirits and ancestors weaving it all together. He joyfully endeavors to bring spirituality out of the dark dusty recesses of the esoteric and into our daily existence, where it can aid us in re-aligning with our soul's purpose and opening our hearts to create real lasting change. He firmly believes that no emotional wound or trauma is beyond healing. Quote: "I would love to meet more courageous human beings working to create change within themselves, their communities and the world through deep engagement with spirituality and the numinous, especially (but not limited to) people of color ... As a person of a German Jewish and Swiss father and an African-American mother, I bring a very nuanced understanding and ability to speak to and navigate issues around race compassionately."



Additional Information

The first three sessions will run 75 minutes each. The last session will run 90 minutes. We understand that the timing of the seminar will not be convenient in every time zone on the planet. For those who have trouble making this time, a recorded copy of each session will be made available to all those who sign up. CEU credits are available for all those who participate. (See below)

Learning Objectives

The aim of this series of webinars is to give spiritual companions insight into how they can make their calling part of their lives and  their livelihoods. We seek to support each participant as they strive to make a living as a spiritual direction. We will outline key steps and practical considerations such as - discernment, finding a niche, building a practice and the community to support that practice and developing strategies for networking and marketing. As in all our webinars, there will be space for contemplation. We also hope to encourage all participants to participate in our special Facebook Group "Making a Living as a Spiritual Companion" to build their networks within our SDI community.

Who may join the webinar?

Everyone is invited to participate in SDI Webinars. 

Are CEUs available?

SDI will provide a certificate of completion for self-reporting to agencies. More information can be found here:  continuing education units (CEUs).

Tuition (4-part webinar package):

SDI Member Rate USD$59.00

Non-Member Rate USD$79.00

Tuition for webinar participation is non-refundable. All registered participants will receive access to the online recording of the SDI Webinar following the event.

A limited number of scholarships are available for those facing financial hardship. Please apply here.




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