Spiritual direction is an ancient practice, manifested throughout history and across cultures in many ways. At its essence, spiritual direction is the ministry of listening, discernment, and prayer in a confidential setting of encouragement and compassion. An individual offering spiritual direction is a spiritual companion, helping to discern the movement of God in another’s life. Like you, a spiritual director is a spiritual seeker, someone who can walk with you on a journey of discovery and growth, enabling you to pay attention to God’s personal communication with you, to respond to this personally communicating God, and to grow in intimacy with God.
In spiritual direction, the focus is on the inner life, the “heart”. It includes the “head,” but points to more than reason and knowledge. It also reminds us that another Spirit, the spirit of the Lord, is intimately involved. The spiritual direction relationship is grounded in the art of listening: the director being a careful and supportive listener to your heart and longings, as well as you both listening for the voice of God in your life. Ultimately, your real spiritual director is the Holy One, who has walked with you from the beginning and is always quietly prompting you.
Note: this description was adapted from What to Expect in Christian Spiritual Direction; SDI;
Candlelight by Susan S. Phillips; and The Practice of Spiritual Direction by Barry and Connolly.
How to find a Spiritual Director
- Talk with your pastor or email the Alaska Conference Office to receive contact information for spiritual directors.
- Spend time in prayer around the referrals you received.
- Contact the spiritual directors, remaining in a spirit of prayer and discernment.
- Meet with each director, if possible, as you continue to discern.
Questions you can ask a Prospective Spiritual Director
- What type of training do you have for spiritual direction?
- What is your personal experience tending your own prayer, meditation and contemplative life?
- What is your experience as a spiritual director? In what environments?
- What are you most interested in spiritually?
C. John Weborg Center for Spiritual Direction
- The Center is grounded in the heritage of the Evangelical Covenant Church and offers one of the leading spiritual direction certificate programs in the Evangelical tradition.
- Each year applications are due March 31 for the July cohort.
- Here is a link to the North Park Theological Seminary website
As you go on your way, Jesus goes with you;
Before you to show you the way, Behind you to encourage you, Above you to watch over you,
Below you to uphold you, Within you to give you God’s peace, And beside you to be your friend.
~ A Celtic Blessing