Making a Living as a Spiritual Director
Growing Your Practice
You found a calling.
Now make it sustainable.
Dr. Bruce Tallman
Welcome to the third edition of the most popular webinar in SDI history.
Most spiritual directors and companions have already discerned that the art of deep listening is their true vocation. But many face a big challenge. They’re not sure how to make their calling sustainable.
In the first two editions of this webinar, an array of spiritual directors and companions taught us how they built their practices.
In Part 3, we go one step further — asking 4 successful spiritual directors to show us how they grew their practices into full-time work. All these presenters have found creative ways to follow a deep, heart-felt calling y pay the rent. Some blend services. Some have found particular niches that have brought them a steady stream of directees. Some focus on creating content as marketing. Some rely more on word-of-mouth. All of them make their full-time livings from spiritual direction. During our webinar, our presenters will share their recipes, including PDF guides, for turning spiritual companionship into a financially sustainable career.
We grant you that it’s not easy to make a living as a spiritual director, companion or guide. But our presenters show that it’s definitely possible.
If you are a student of spiritual direction – or you already work in a listening care profession – this webinar series is for you.
The purpose of this webinar series is to help you make your calling sustainable:
Session 1: Starting and/or Growing a Spiritual Direction Practice in 2022: A Step-By-Step Guide
As a new spiritual director with a certificate, or an experienced spiritual director who longs to grow your practice, you may be wondering: “Now What? How am I being called to put my deep listening skills to use? Who can help me figure out what to do next?” While your training program likely gave you an excellent foundation and introduction to many useful tools as a spiritual director, you may need more guidance in how to start and/or grow your spiritual direction business. In this session, led by full-time spiritual director Laura Lies, we will provide a full rundown of setting up and growing a new spiritual direction practice. There will be small group break-out sessions and contemplative exercises, and you will receive a detailed handbook with live links to answers for common, small business questions. In addition, we will discern on this question: How can the bold step of starting a spiritual direction business in itself be a spiritual practice?
Session 2: Growing Your Practice Through Mentoring
You’ve been a spiritual director companioning people for a while, and you want to take your practice to a new level. Teresa Blythe will show you how to offer your services as a one-on-one or tiny cohort mentor/trainer. Using principles she discovered when she began the Phoenix Center for Spiritual Direction’s Apprentice Training Program, Teresa is encouraging people in the spiritual guidance world to branch out and offer themselves—for a fee—as a mentor. In this session Teresa will: 1) Explain how to develop a mentoring service; 2) Discuss ways to market it; 3) Offer all participants a PDF booklet on mentoring. In addition, she will discuss how she got two colleagues to take her on as an apprentice for specialized training—and how you can do it, too.
Session 3: Serve More People by Limiting Your Audience – Niche Marketing
Led by Hailey Mitsui, this session will demonstrate that learning your own gifts can be the gateway to a sustainable spiritual direction or companionship practice. Hailey now supports herself through her own practice – in her early 30s and only one year after earning her certificate in spiritual direction. The fascinating part is that success has come after discernment over her own gifts and consciousness of her own challenges. This process led her to create a clear and compelling website (with help from a friend) that focuses not only what she offers (spiritual direction and embodiment coaching) but who she offers her services to (women, non-binary and trans folks). Come listen to her story and learn that you don’t have to work a lifetime to create a living.
Session 4: Key Tips on How to Develop a Spiritual Direction Practice
Dr. Bruce Tallman has been a full-time spiritual director since 2002. His book Finding Seekers has won the respect of his peers. In this session, he will explore the fundamentals to put in place in order to develop your spiritual direction or companionship practice. Bruce has a knack for making ideas and strategy accessible and memorable. He has written 100s of articles. And his advice comes from 20 years of experience on what works and what doesn’t when sustaining and growing a spiritual direction practice.
The webinar series will run 4 consecutive Tuesdays: August 23, 30, September 6, 13, 2022 – 1 PM Seattle/Los Angeles, 3 PM Chicago, 4 PM New York, 9 PM London; August 24, September 1, 7, 14: 4 AM Hong Kong, 6 AM Melbourne, Australia.
But if that timing doesn’t work, you can enjoy the webinar any time you like.
Each session is recorded so you can watch at your convenience.
Laura Lies launched a new Spiritual Direction practice 5 years ago. She now supports a full-time practice of nearly 40 clients. She’s published more than 70 blog posts and has welcomed nearly 29,000 unique visitors to her website. Laura is from Chicago, with a Certificate in Spiritual Direction and is based in the greater Naperville area. Laura also has an M.S. degree in Human Resource Management and Digital Marketing training through Hubspot Academy. Learn more at https://streamsgrace.com/spiritual-direction-business-consulting/
has been working in spiritual direction and discernment coaching with individuals, groups and organizations since 1997. She founded the Phoenix Center for Spiritual Direction at First Church Phoenix UCC in 2015 and spent 14 years as the director of the Hesychia School of Spiritual Direction in Tucson. She is currently training spiritual directors in the Apprentice Training Program—a self-paced, one-on-one learning experience she founded for select individuals with natural gifts for spiritual direction. Teresa wrote Spiritual Direction 101: The Basics of Spiritual Guidance, 50 Ways to Pray and has co-authored a new book with Rev. Chad Abbott on congregational spirituality, Incline Your Ear: Cultivating Spiritual Awakening in Congregations. Teresa received her Master of Divinity and Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction from San Francisco Theological Seminary in 2000 and is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ (UCC). Learn more: https://teresablythe.net/
is a spiritual director, trained at Hesychia School, who is supporting herself offering spiritual companionship and embodiment coaching after only 1 year of practice. She is 33. She works with individuals, groups and communities at the intersection of spirituality, identity, justice and healing. She participated in CAC’s Living School, serves as a board member of Mystic Soul and has done apprenticeship training with Resmaa Menakem and Rev. angel Kyodo williams. One of her distinctive approaches is to focus on women, non-binary and trans people as her directees. She says: “As a mixed race, Japanese American, I grew up with my feet in two words but never felt at home anywhere. As the grandchild of survivors of the Japanese American concentration camps, I am acutely aware of social and economic injustice and how life-threatening it can be to live in America with the ‘wrong’ color of skin or the ‘wrong’ shape of eyes.” This deep compassion has led her to be very clear – and very honest – in her invitation to new directees. And the approach is working! Learn more: https://www.haileymitsui.com/
Dr. Bruce Tallman
has been in private practice as a full-time spiritual director since 2002. He works mainly with clergy from every Christian denomination. He has published two books for spiritual directors: Archetypes for Spiritual Direction: Discovering the Heroes Within (Paulist Press, 2005) and Finding Seekers: How to Develop a Spiritual Direction Practice from Beginning to Full-Time Employment. His most recent book is God’s Ecstatic Love: Transform Your Life with a Spiritual Masterpiece (Apocryphile Press). From 1988 to 2002 Bruce was the director of two adult religious education centers for the Roman Catholic Diocese of London, Ontario. Bruce has a Doctor of Ministry degree in Spiritual Direction from the Graduate Theological Foundation. He is also an adjunct faculty member of the Haden Institute of Spiritual Directors.