Perhaps you have been reading Spiritual Direction 101 and have been wondering if you are—or could be—a spiritual director. You’ve read that training is important, advisable and enriching but since the profession is not “professionalized” (no standardized certification) training is not mandatory. You’ve read that some people fall into this work by nature of their other ministries—clergy, nuns and chaplains, for example. Others develop a sense of call over many years.
Part of discerning your call to spiritual direction gets worked out as you search for a formation and training program. And, yes, I am going to emphasize again the importance of spending the energy, time and money it takes to be formed and trained as a spiritual director. Even if you have all the natural gifts in the universe for spiritual direction, you will benefit from the discipline and practice you get in a training program.
You may be ready to train as a spiritual director if:
- You’ve noticed that people are comfortable talking to you about matters of the Spirit.
- You have a deep desire to accompany others as they explore their spiritual path.
- You’ve taken a new position that would benefit from enhanced listening and responding skills.
- You want to deepen in your own spiritual path as well as learn ways to assist others to do the same.
- You are less interested in changing people as you are in watching God transform their lives.
- You spend time in prayer and contemplation and want that to become more a part of your life and work.
- You can give up on “fixing” people and instead be patient as they find their own wisdom through discernment.
- Most importantly, you feel a leading from God in the direction of spiritual direction!
Please understand that you do not have to check off everything on the above list in order to consider spiritual direction training. Plenty of people take the training as part of their discernment around what they are called to do. Even if they decide later that they are not suited for the traditional one-on-one spiritual direction, they still leave programs with a more profound sense of the Holy and numerous skills for deep and meaningful listening.
Think about it. If holy listening is your passion…..you may be a spiritual director.
For more about spiritual direction as I practice it, check out my website. If you have questions or comments about the content of Spiritual Direction 101, please let me hear from you in the reply section below.