Spiritual Directors International

The Home of Spiritual Companionship

Remote Spiritual Companionship -Deep Listening, Distance & the Pandemic

Online Video - Watch at Your Convenience

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Imagine turning social distancing into deep connection.

Do you offer spiritual companionship by Zoom or Skype, phone or email?...  Would like to start offering this service? ... Abundant anecdotal evidence suggests that many spiritual directors offer such long-distance companionship.

How do they do it?  What works well? What doesn't?

What are the strengths of remote spiritual companionship? What are the drawbacks?

And how do you handle all the practicalities like payment or scheduling?

If these questions make you curious, you've come to the right place. This webinar will look closely at this growing trend in spiritual companionship. Led by spiritual directors with deep experience in online companionship, it will offer foundational advice to those who are new to this approach and insightful tips to those who already offer distance-based companionship. In this time of growing isolation, as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts humans around the world, this distance ministry is an opportunity that couldn't be more timely.

Please note: this webinar is designed not only for spiritual directors and companions, but for all those who offer deep listening spiritual care - including chaplains and clergy. People from all traditions - and those who claim no tradition at all - are welcome.

What to Expect:


  • An overview of the platforms used for remote spiritual companionship - from Zoom and Skype ...to email and the telephone... to even the most ancient means of distance-based spiritual directions, letters through the post.
  • How to prepare to offer online companionship - including privacy issues, how to rehearse so you are familiar with the technology and how to take payment
  • Taking time and space to prepare yourself before a digital sesssion
  • Creating a "flow" or "shape" to the session - beginning, middle and ending.
  • Use of silence online.
  • What the experience can be like from the perspective of the person being companioned. (We'll have an interview with a directee with experience receiving remote companionship.)



You can enjoy the webinar any time you like. It is recorded and available on-line so you can watch at your convenience.


Who We Are

SDI is an educational nonprofit, serving 7,000 members in 42 countries around the world. We are committed to supporting and growing access to spiritual companionship and the deep listening, open questions and compassion our healing modality offers. Presence is central to spiritual companionship. And wholeness and peace are benefits that come with contemplative living.


Course Description

Holding Space Over Distance - In this time of pandemic, we face isolation and anxiety as well as the threat of a new coronavirus. Spiritual companionship offers solace, encouragement and contemplative relationship as we try to cope with uncertainty and loss. Together, we will look at how to offer spiritual direction/companionship remotely via email, phone or Zoom or Skype. Those new to remote practice will learn the basics. Those who are doing it already will get new insights into how to embrace Presence even when we are distant from those we companion. Led by long-time spiritual directors Kristen Hobby and Ravi Verma.





Dr. Kristen Hobby is the SDI Asia Pacific Co-ordinator and former chair of the SDI Co-ordinating Council. She is also a spiritual director, supervisor, retreat leader and meditation teacher. She serves all those she companions via Zoom, email and phone.


Ravi Verma is a spiritual director based in Los Angeles, and served on SDI’s Coordinating Council for six years, with the past two years serving as the Chair. He’s been a leader and steady presence at SDI for almost 20 years. Born in India, his life has been one of bridge building between the East and the West, Hindu and Christian. Ravi has dedicated his life to the work of spiritual companionship and has given much of himself to SDI, living out his belief that the life-changing modality of spiritual companionship can transform us, and can change the world. He has years of experience companioning people remotely.





Additional Information

This session runs 95 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)

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 :

SDI Member Rate USD$19.00

Non-Member Rate USD$29.00

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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