Spiritual Direction is an ancient Church practice in which an experienced and trained person journeys with another who is seeking to grow in their Christian life of prayer and ministry.
What is Spiritual Direction?
To grow spiritually, the first thing to do is pray. It is also important to continue to learn and be supported in your Christian life. This can happen in a small group setting (prayer groups, Bible studies, etc.) or you may choose to journey with a spiritual director. Simply put, spiritual direction is a relationship with a gifted and trained spiritual companion who journeys with you as you come to better know, love and follow Christ in all aspects of our life. Whereas the Holy Spirit is the ultimate director of the human spirit, the human spiritual director listens for the conversation taking place between the Holy Spirit and the directee and helps that person listen and respond more fully to God’s loving action in their lives.
Spiritual direction is not psychotherapy or counselling. It is not about solving life’s difficulties but entering more fully into the mystery of life. There is a clear recognition that God is important and present in the relationship which unfolds against a background of prayer. Thomas Merton, a twentieth century monk and mystic put it this way: “Spiritual direction is, in reality, nothing more that a way of leading us to see and obey the real Director – the Holy Spirit – hidden in the depths of our souls.”
On the practical side, a person usually meets with a director monthly for about an hour. Most often this is done in person, but given the vast distances of our diocese, some direction sessions may happen via telephone or video conferencing. There is usually a fee for this ministry and the diocesan standard is set between $40.00 and 60.00 a session. For those of limited financial means, please discuss a fee that is reasonable for you with any potential director during the initial conversation.
Finding a Spiritual Director
You might find it helpful to spend a few minutes thinking about the type of person you would like as your guide.
What is your experience with working with a spiritual director? Is this a first experience of spiritual direction?
What brings you to spiritual direction at this time in your life?
Would you like to meet with a male or female?
Would you like to meet with a lay or ordained person?
What spiritual affiliation or denomination would be most helpful for you?
What time of day would best serve you for meetings?
When you speak with a potential Director, you may want to ask that person the following questions. It is often wise to speak with more than one person before choosing the right director for you.
What spiritual formation and theological education do you have in spiritual direction?
What is your personal experience tending your own prayer, meditation, and contemplative life?
What is your experience as a spiritual director? How many years? In what environments? What are you most interested in spiritually?
Do you have a Director and Supervisor?
What ethical guidelines do you abide by, such as those published by Spiritual Directors International?
Have you ever been accused or convicted of misconduct?
What type of engagement agreement will we establish to clarify roles and responsibilities, frequency of meetings, in our spiritual direction relationship?
What is your fee schedule?
Below is a link to a list of names and contact information for people who are spiritual directors (companions, guides) who are willing to see more people.
The Diocese of Kootenay does not endorse or recommend particular spiritual directors. We only list the potential spiritual directors that we are aware of. You may find another list by clicking the Spiritual Directors International web site, and follow the links to the Seek and Find guide book. SDI is an international, interfaith organization.
The people listed below have not been screened by the diocese, and therefore it is the responsibility of each person seeking a director to screen and select someone you are comfortable with.
Spiritual Directors List (revised Nov. 2021)
The links below provide the policy and the Code of Ethics for trained spiritual directors who wish to be licensed or recognized within this Diocese:
The Licensing of Spiritual Directors
The Code of Ethics for Spiritual Directors
Diocesan Spiritual Development Committee (coming soon)
Options for Retreats/Conferences:
Camp Owaissi-West Kelowna, BC
Deep Creek Retreat House- Enderby, BC. Rev. Brian Smith: firstname.lastname@example.org
Directions Hermitage- Vernon, BC. Rev. Garry Schmidt: 250-549-0568
(suitable for a day of prayer)
Fairhaven Ministries- Vernon, BC
Seton House of Prayer- Kelowna, BC
Sorrento Conference and Retreat Centre- Sorrento, BC