Spiritual Directors International

The Home of Spiritual Companionship

Spiritual Companionship 101

It can be challenging to know where to begin on your spiritual journey. The first step is determining if spiritual direction is the right fit! With a wide variety of helping relationships available, use this helpful chart to compare which modality is right for you. Meeting with a spiritual director can be a meaningful step to help you connect with the Divine. Below are some resources to help you discern if meeting with a spiritual director is the right next step in your life.

Spiritual companionship dictionary

Contemplative: an attitude of noticing and openness to the presence of a God, Goddess or Ultimate Reality and others.
Contemplative practice: a stance or behavior that helps foster a contemplative attitude in a seeker. Incorporated into daily life, they act as a reminder to connect to what we find most meaningful. Some examples of contemplative practice include: prayer, meditation, chanting, silence, lectio divina, yoga, creative expression, walking in the woods, and meeting regularly with a spiritual director.
Engagement agreement: a written document that clarifies roles and responsibilities between a spiritual director and spiritual directee. (See sample.)
Formation and training program: an institution or cohort that educates and equips spiritual directors to discern their gift of offering spiritual guidance. (See programs in the seek and find guide.)
Spiritual direction: an encounter that explores a deeper relationship with the spiritual aspect of being human. Spiritual direction helps people tell their sacred stories every day. Spiritual direction describes the ancient process of accompanying people in their spiritual journey toward freedom and peace. Meeting regularly in spiritual direction supports spiritual formation. Spiritual direction is available to people of all faiths and people who are spiritual but have no religion, commonly known as “none.”
Spiritual directee (also known as seeker, disciple, and spiritual student): a person who chooses personalized support for the spiritual journey of growing in relationship with a God, Goddess or Ultimate Reality and others.
Spiritual director: a trusted companion who supports spiritual formation and transformation. For thousands of years, many names have described the role including spiritual guide, spiritual companion, spiritual accompanier, mashpiah in Hebrew, anam cara in Gaelic, and spiritual teacher in Buddhism. Spiritual director is a historic umbrella term that describes a role of accompanying a spiritual directee who listens for the true spiritual director in the relationship: typically a God, a Goddess or other Ultimate Reality. (Find a spiritual director near you.)
Spiritual formation: a process of building a relationship with a God, a Goddess, a Higher Power, or Ultimate Reality that leads to peace, justice, and living in right relationship with all creation.

What does a spiritual director do?


What are the benefits of spiritual direction?


What makes a spiritual director passionate about spiritual direction?


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