How To Be A Spiritual Director

For the Education portion of the certification process, the CCPC has established the following requirements.

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Formal classroom education in the field of spiritual direction is described as the required education. The foundation of information and skills connected with the basic functions must be addressed through education. Every aspect of your schooling must be documented.

A master's degree from a recognized accredited university with an emphasis in biblical, theological studies and a minimum of six courses in spirituality is required for accreditation. Individuals holding a baccalaureate degree in spirituality may be eligible in exceptional situations if they meet all other qualifications.

What does a spiritual director do?

Spiritual direction has its origins in the early Christian church. According to the gospels, Jesus acted as a mentor to his disciples. In addition, Ananias is described in Acts of the Apostles Chapter 9 as assisting Paul of Tarsus in growing in his newfound faith. Similarly, Paul is described as mentoring Timothy and Titus, among others, in various Pauline epistles. Polycarp, the 2nd-century bishop of Smyrna, is said to have been instructed by John the Evangelist.

John Cassian, a fourth-century theologian, wrote some of the first known principles on the Christian practice of spiritual direction.

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In the monasteries, he established mentoring. Each novice was assigned to an elder monk for supervision. Cassian's precepts were incorporated into what is now known as the Rule of Saint Benedict by Benedict of Nursia.

Spiritual direction is common in the Catholic tradition: a wise and spiritually discerned person, generally but not always a priest or a consecrated person in general, counsels a person who aspires to embark on a journey of faith and discover God's will in his life. The spiritual guide's goal is to identify and grasp what the Holy Spirit is telling the person accompanied via life events, spiritual insights gained through prayer, reading, and meditation on the Bible. The spiritual father or spiritual director may give advise, give life and prayer hints, and resolve doubts in areas of faith and morals without taking the place of the accompanying person's choices and judgments.

Can you make a living as a spiritual director?

Teresa Blythe is one of the presenters in the Making a Living as a Spiritual Director webinar series, which is now available in online recordings. The Making a Living as a Spiritual Companion 2 webinar series from this year is also available online. Take a peek at these new additions as well: Spiritual directors and spiritual companions will benefit from the books Follow Your Calling Without Quitting Your Job and Consciously Change Your Money Relationship.

“Can you make a living as a spiritual director?” I'm frequently asked. The answer is complicated since it relies on the individual, the market, and the philosophy. Spiritual Directors International has two webinars on the subject (one of which I participated to), and if you watch both of them, which I hope you do, you will receive the long answer to your question.

Can it be done?

Yes. However, developing a spiritual direction practice to the point where you can earn a middle-class wage may take years. You may receive a few inquiries after you start promoting, but your practice will really take off once people who have come to you for advice start referring their friends. Your most effective marketing weapon will always be word of mouth, and it will take time.

But I heard about this one person who is making good money at it!

Contact him or her immediately to learn how they achieved it and how long it took them to reach to the point where they could support themselves only through spiritual direction.

The majority of spiritual directors I know who make a living at it do one of three things:

  • Working a second or third job to supplement your income. (And, full transparency, I have a working spouse and we are a two-income family with no children.) As a result, I'm not going into this without a safety net.) In addition to seeing roughly 25 people in one-on-one spiritual direction, I also manage the Hesychia School, a spiritual direction training program, and I take on contract work from churches that ask me to assist them with discernment. A full-time spiritual director friend of mine formerly rented a big multi-room space and sublet it to other spiritual directors and healing arts practitioners for sessions, retreats, and workshops. (Her name is Amanda Petersen, and she appears in part 2 of SDI's webinar series on the topic.) You'll like hearing about her adventures!)
  • Session fees are being charged at a higher rate than usual. There will be no condemnation here! However, if you want to make a living seeing individuals once a month (the standard frequency), you'll need a large number of directees or charge them upwards of $150 per session. Spiritual direction sessions in Phoenix, where I live, cost $60-80 per session. I've decided to charge the market rate. Even with a sliding scale, I believe that if I went for the upper end, I would price myself out of the medium and lower middle-class market.
  • Individuals are being seen more frequently than once a month. To put it another way, we spiritual directors build a practice in the same manner that a therapist or life coach does. They see folks on a more regular basis than once a month. As a result, if you start meeting them every two weeks, you'll be able to earn more money. Unless the directee insists on visiting more frequently, I've decided to keep appointments at around once a month (which is not usual in my case). Most directees need around 30 days of living and completing their spiritual practices before they are ready to spend one hour in direction, according to my experience. This is not the case for all filmmakers. You might try to reach out to some spiritual directors who visit individuals more frequently than once a month and ask them why they do it and how it's going for them.

It's a matter of discernment

Spend a lot of time in prayer, thought, and discernment before quitting your day job and starting a spiritual direction practice.

Spend time with the Divine, asking questions and listening for responses from the depths of your being.

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  • How many clients do I need at my target price point to pay my bills and live a life that is sustainable?
  • What is the pricing range that I am looking for? What are the advantages and disadvantages of pricing my product lower or higher than the market rate?
  • What kind of employment will afford me the independence and provide me with enough energy to see customers if I take on a job to anchor and support this practice?

Pay attention to your gut instincts. “Why am I seeking spiritual direction in this manner?” you might wonder.

Make a test run. Let's see what happens if you start marketing yourself. It's a good indication if you're inundated with people seeking spiritual guidance. It's not only fine if it takes a while; it's the standard. The majority of spiritual directors I know had to wait for the practice to mature.

Is it possible to make a living as a spiritual advisor? I hope you are able to do so. One of the reasons I do what I do is to show people that spiritual direction can be a significant component of what you do professionally. It doesn't have to be a second job any more!

What is Franciscan spiritual direction?

Spiritual direction is a time-honored ministry of listening that is deep, sympathetic, and nonjudgmental. Anyone seeking spiritual growth, healing, or a closer relationship with God and others may find it useful. In the one-on-one dialogue reflecting on God's presence in the actions and experiences of your life, your spiritual director will be a trusted guide. Spiritual directors do not provide therapy, advise, or solutions to problems. Rather, they accompany you on your path to find your inner wisdom and discover your spiritual requirements.

How much should I pay my spiritual director?

What is the expense of spiritual direction? An hour of spiritual direction costs roughly 50-70 dollars on average. If the expense is onerous, many spiritual directors may make exceptions.

Can spiritual directors help?

For those who cannot afford to pay, some directors provide pro gratis services. The relationship between companion and seeker is personal, and spiritual directors must establish proper limits, just as they would in any other type of counseling.

What questions does a spiritual director ask?

People frequently find it easy to answer the first few questions. They do not make people nervous or perplexed. These questions provide a foundation for the spiritual director to learn about the person and his or her spirituality. Leading questions aren't the same as starting questions. When someone wants a certain answer, they ask leading questions. On the other hand, there are no correct solutions to these questions. A person can reply in any way they want without fear of being judged.

What makes a good spiritual director?

When we think about spiritual directors, we could picture a person or people who have accomplished a great deal. We can imagine a fearless commander directing us through dangerous terrain or a warrior slaying our foes in front of our eyes. A superb analyzer and teacher of the spirit or a drill sergeant of the soul come to mind.

Spiritual directors, on the other hand, are just like you in terms of being human and susceptible. They are humble, prayerful people who accompany us on our journey to improving our spiritual lives and become even more committed followers of Jesus. They are there to accompany us on our path, offering their presence, a listening ear, and practical insight to aid in our spiritual development.

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These are all excellent attributes to look for in a spiritual director, but you probably didn't think about the fact that the spiritual director you connect with should also be following your lead in terms of spiritual guidance.

A good spiritual director has their own spiritual director.

A good spiritual director must have his own guide in order to help someone along the spiritual path. The purpose of seeking spiritual guidance is to give oneself with a neutral viewpoint.

A good spiritual director will be known by his pastor.

You may have assumed that your parish priest would be the finest spiritual director candidate based solely on his vocation. While most priests and even religious have some spiritual counseling training, being a well-trained spiritual director may require additional preparation.

Before a spiritual director begins mentoring others, it is recommended practice for him to have permission from his pastor. This allows the pastor to attest to the spiritual director's qualifications while also providing the church with a resource for parishioners seeking spiritual guidance.

A good spiritual director is not there to make decisions for you.

A competent spiritual director isn't the person who makes all of your decisions for you. Look for someone who can advise you rather than impose so you can make an informed decision. The purpose of the spiritual director is not to tell you what to do, but to assist you in discerning the Holy Spirit's promptings and hearing God's voice. In the end, the relationship is between you and God.

A good spiritual director has suffered.

Finding someone who is familiar with suffering is extremely beneficial and virtually necessary, as pain is unavoidable in the life of a Christian who wishes to follow in Christ's footsteps. Someone who has been converted into Christ's image through suffering is a wonderful spiritual director.

Someone who has been shaped by the pain God has allowed in life is qualified to be a competent spiritual director. A person who has come to understand that suffering is not a sign of God's rejection of them, but rather a grace and a demonstration of Christ's faith in them.

A good spiritual director is a person of prayer

Finally, ensure that your spiritual director is a prayerful person with a strong spiritual life. Nobody can share something they don't have.

What does a deep spiritual life entail? Visiting Jesus in devotion and regularly attending mass (perhaps even daily). A good spiritual director makes time for personal prayer or meditation every day. They have studied spiritual masters such as Therese of Lisieux, Teresa of Avila, and John of the Cross. They may also have a close relationship with the Blessed Mother, who is our most powerful intercessor, and may pray the rosary or other Marian devotions frequently. Feel free to inquire about a potential spiritual director's spirituality.

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What are the quality of a spiritual leader?

Spiritual leaders are not often found in religious organizations. This is more of a distinction than a criticism. People can be liberated from unreasonable expectations of some leaders by distinguishing spiritual leadership from other forms of leadership.

At the same time, making this distinction might aid in identifying who your organization's spiritual leaders are. The following are six characteristics that most spiritual leaders share:

  • They inspire others to have their own spiritual encounters with God. One of the most powerful aspects of Jesus' conduct was that He did not shift gears to introduce His disciples to the reality of God.

Interacting with the Father was so natural that people around Him couldn't help but do the same, whether they were standing in the synagogue or gathering wheat along the route. Whether a spiritual leader is onboarding a new employee or working through a difficult issue, his followers will grow closer to God as a result of the experience.

  • They help others find their own sense of purpose and identity. Spiritual leadership is marked by a high level of charity. A spiritual leader truly desires for others to fully realize who they were created to be.

Workplace challenges and strategic development become tools for followers to uncover their own identity and overcome roadblocks. People who work in areas where they have developed their own identity and strength will always be more productive than those who are merely striving to fill a position or duty.

  • Not only do they lead others into transformation, but they also lead others into output. Production will always be a natural outcome when the goal is spiritual growth and wellbeing. When people operate from a place of identity, they perform at their best.

Assisting your followers in realizing that their own transformation is possible on the job can increase loyalty and morale. Spiritual leadership inspires followers to be passionate about what they do. The component that transforms people and organizations from production to transformational effect is passion.

  • They have an effect on their surroundings. While words alone cannot stop a storm, spiritual leaders realize that they may alter the “temperature” of a room, encounter, or relationship.

Changing the atmosphere is similar to casting vision, only it is instantaneous. When there is tension, anxiety, or indifference, a spiritual leader may restore vision, vigor, and hope by transforming the immediate force of these storms. Even when saying difficult things, a spiritual leader may fill a room with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and gentleness.

  • They assist individuals in seeing old things in new light. Many people are caught in their viewpoints and mindsets, not in their situations. “To think differently, or to think in a different way” is what the term “repent” means. Jesus urged people to reconsider old truths with fresh eyes. Meaningful change is always preceded by a shift in mindset.
  • They achieve popularity as a result of who they are rather than a job they have. Secular organizations can have spiritual leaders, just as religious organizations can have managers and organizational leaders.

Spiritual leaders inspire rather than instruct, and they influence rather than direct. They have an innate understanding that they are serving something—and Someone—far greater than themselves and their personal goals.

Question: In your life, who has served as a spiritual leader? What distinguishes this individual from other leaders? By clicking here, you can leave a remark.