Find a Spiritual Companion

Find a spiritual companion, spiritual director, or life coach to help you on your journey.

Are you ready to take the steps to find a spiritual director? Locating and interviewing a spiritual director or spiritual companion is an important step in your spiritual journey. SDI’s desire is to provide an easy, inviting way for seekers to find a spiritual director or spiritual companion, to find a training program, and/or a retreat center. We also help existing spiritual directors and companions find supervisors and additional training resources.

To aid your process in finding a spiritual director or spiritual companion, SDI offers this resource to help you locate and reach out to one of the more than 6000 spiritual directors and companions listed in our free searchable database below.

Find a Spiritual Companion uses database software to provide a list of spiritual directors  and spiritual companions, retreat centers, and formation and training programs that are displayed according to your specific search criteria. It is updated constantly and available to you around the clock.

How This Works

Just click all the attributes you are looking for in a spiritual companion. Results will appear below in real-time as you define your search. But remember to wait until you have selected all your choices before you evaluate the results. Please be patient as it can take several seconds for the results to display.

Important: If you don’t get results that are useful to you, try selecting fewer search criteria to see how widening your search might produce promising alternatives.

Note to Members: If your profile is incomplete or missing from the Find a Spiritual Companion guide, you can update your information here.

Search Parameters

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Results will appear in the “Search Results” section below.

Search Results

Heart of Life Centre for Spiritual and Pastoral Formation
English, Korean
Christianity, Eco/Nature-based, Interfaith, Interspiritual, Native/Indigenous, Spiritual but Not Religious
Spiritual Companion/Director, Retreat Center, Supervisor, Formation/Training School, Offers Graduate School Credit, Has Internet Courses Available
Asian Cultures, Corporate/Workplace, Creative Arts, Divorced/Widowed, Dreamworker, Dying/Sick/Hospice, Ecospirituality/Nature-based, Education, Elderly/Mature, Enneagram, European Cultures, Grief and Loss, Group Spiritual Direction, Immigrants/Displaced, Latin American Cultures, LGBTQIA+, Men's Issues, Mental Health/Depression, Middle Eastern Cultures, Mindfulness/Meditation, Native/Indigenous Cultures, People with Disabilities, Women's Issues, Young Adults
Heart of Life is a centre for spiritual and pastoral formation offering: Siloam Program – full-time and part-time programs for the formation of spiritual directors Emmaus Supervision Program – part-time program for the formation of supervisors Spiritual Leaders Program – part-time program for the formation of spiritual leaders Let the Heart Listen – part-time formation program for people involved in listening to and supporting others in life’s journey Heart to Practice (H2P) – for our Alumni, a program for Heart of Life graduates to gather, support each other and receive professional development Spiritual direction Individual or group supervision Many faith-based reflection events, seminars and workshops throughout the year on different themes, ranging from a couple of hours to one day or multiple weeks Professional and personal development for spiritual directors Retreats, either in-house or as outreach, and sabbaticals A spirituality centre located beside St Joseph’s parish in the heart of Malvern
Stillpoint: The Center for Contemplative Spirituality
Not Yet Selected
Formation/Training School, Has Internet Courses Available
We are an open, inclusive community that exists to form deeply grounded spiritual directors, and to live together in a contemplative life of faith, spiritual practice, and action. We offer programs to form spiritual directors who are deeply grounded in contemplative practice and faithful action. We create spaces to learn and experience spiritual practices that integrate contemplation and action in everyday life. We cultivate connections and resources to help spiritual companions nurture their souls and sustain their practices. Our offerings and formational programs are offered in Southern California, Ghost Ranch in Northern New Mexico and Online. A few of our programs include: + An Introduction to Contemplative Community: The Spiritual Journey, Wisdom in Practice and Group Spiritual Direction + The Art of Spiritual Direction: Stillpoint’s Program to Become a Spiritual Companion + Graduate Programs for Spiritual Directors: The Art of Group Spiritual Direction, Eco-Spiritual Direction, The Art of Peer Group Supervision
Shonda Carter
Christianity, Spiritual but Not Religious
Spiritual Companion/Director, Formation/Training School
Creative Arts, Enneagram, Group Spiritual Direction, Women's Issues
Available for Spiritual Direction: Zoom, via phone, FaceTime and in person. A spiritual director, teacher, minister, and innovative leader, Shonda was trained at Sustainable Faith, holds a Master's degree in Christian Spirituality and Formation, and is currently working on her 2nd Masters in Theological Studies and her Doctorate in Spiritual Formation/Soul Care from Talbot School of Theology at Biola University. When completed with her studies, she hopes to provide Supervision and Spiritual Direction Training to the African American community. However, she absolutely loves helping women on their journey to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ for the glory of God and for the sake of others. She is married to her best friend, Kenneth, since 2003. Together they love and are loved by a blended family of five beautiful children and five amazing grandchildren. In her spare time, she uses her S.T.A.G.E (skills, talents, abilities, gifts, expertise) to create documentaries and perform her "Won" Woman Show.
Angela Freeman-Riley
English, German
Christianity, Eco/Nature-based, Interfaith, Interspiritual, Judaism, Quaker, Spiritual but Not Religious, Spiritual Independent, Unitarian Universalist
Spiritual Companion/Director, Retreat Center, Formation/Training School, Chaplain
Alcoholism, Children/Teens, Codependency, Couples/Families, Creative Arts, Divorced/Widowed, Dying/Sick/Hospice, Ecospirituality/Nature-based, Grief and Loss, Group Spiritual Direction, Homeless/Low Income, LGBTQIA+, Non-Traditional Healing, Women's Issues, Young Adults
Angela currently serves as lead pastor of Bethesda on the Bay Lutheran Church in Bay Village, Ohio. She completed her formal training in Missional Spiritual Formation n 2020. Previously, she served as intentional interim pastor at guiding congregations and leaders through times of transition and change. From 2012-2015, she was co-pastor at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. Before moving to Hawaii, she served seven years as pastor of First Lutheran Church in Malden, Massachusetts. She has a passion for formation of individuals and communities as well as a focus on cross cultural and intergenerational ministry. Pastor Angela received her master of divinity degree in parish ministry at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkley, CA.. She studied theology and German language at the University of Leipzig in Germany. She received bachelor of arts degrees in theology and German from Mount Mary College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has expertise accompanying those who are in worship leadership roles, youth and family ministry, and those focused on evangelism, mission, multicultural ministry. It is her passion to accompany those who are spiritually hungry and seek companionship in their personal formation. She is available for one on one spiritual direction, small group formation, retreat leadership, and other ventures.
Lauren Schwer
Christianity, Eco/Nature-based, Interfaith, Interspiritual, Spiritual but Not Religious, Spiritual Independent
Spiritual Companion/Director, Supervisor, Formation/Training School, Has Internet Courses Available, Chaplain
Children/Teens, Corporate/Workplace, Couples/Families, Ecospirituality/Nature-based, Education, Enneagram, Grief and Loss, Group Spiritual Direction, Mental Health/Depression, Mindfulness/Meditation, Physical or Sexual Abuse, Sports, Women's Issues, Young Adults
A trained educator, dedicated minister, and experienced spiritual director, Lauren Schwer has been involved with Ignatian formation in a variety of roles for the entirety of the 21st century. Having taught at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate level, Lauren’s passion for teaching led her to begin co-teaching an Introductory Internship in Spiritual Direction in 2017, and then later an Advanced Internship in directing the Spiritual Exercises in partnership with Fr. Bill Creed, S.J., Fr. Mark Andrews, S.J., and Loyola University Chicago’s Jesuit Community. For her full-time work, Lauren is the Associate Director of Campus Ministry at Loyola University Chicago, where she is responsible for developing and implementing a campus-wide retreat program, connecting students to Ignatian spirituality, coordinating the Spiritual Exercises program for students, faculty, and staff, and serving as the chaplain to the Men's Volleyball team. On the side, Lauren and a former colleague/dear friend created a modern translation of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Her passion for Ignatian Discernment, the Exercises, and all things Ignatian permeates all aspects of her professional life. Check out their website at: After living on the east coast for 11 years (Boston, New York, and DC), she returned to her Chicago roots in 2010. Prior to working at Loyola, she served as a high school teacher, campus minister, and coach for Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in the Washington, D.C. area. Lauren earned both her B.A. in Theology and M.A. in Pastoral Ministry from Boston College, and has certificates in Spiritual Direction (Loyola University Chicago) and Spiritual Entrepreneurship (Columbia Business School). Her interests include finding new physical challenges, going on adventures, storytelling, and visiting her loved ones around the country. Lauren is comfortable doing spiritual direction in person for those in the Chicagoland area, as well as on the phone, Zoom, Facetime, etc for those outside Chicago. She looks forward to connecting with you!
FIND - School for Spiritual Direction and Formation
Formation/Training School, Has Internet Courses Available
We teach the art of Christian formation and spiritual direction, offering a choice of in-person or online school in monthly Saturday classes for busy clergy and lay people. We are diverse and ecumenical without educational or age limits.
Beth G. Raps, PhD
Eagle Rock
English, French
Buddhism, Christianity, Eco/Nature-based, Hinduism, Interfaith, Interspiritual, Islam, Judaism, Spiritual but Not Religious, Spiritual Independent, Taoism, Wicca/Neopaganism
Spiritual Companion/Director, Life Coach, Formation/Training School, Has Internet Courses Available
(304) 410-2612
BIPOC, Creative Arts, Dreamworker, Ecospirituality/Nature-based, Education, Energy Work, European Cultures, LGBTQIA+, Middle Eastern Cultures, Mindfulness/Meditation, Non-Traditional Healing, Physical or Sexual Abuse, Psychic Phenomena, Women's Issues
I offer: Following your calling via inner listening + mastering time, money, focus, mindset, without sacrifice. Helping white people talk productively about race across our political differences.
The Studion School for Spiritual Direction
Formation/Training School
The Studion offers a two-year program for the training of Christian spiritual directors. Our teaching is experiential and occurs in community, with gatherings taking place (as COVID-19 restrictions allow) at the Star of the North Retreat Centre in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada. Our program consists of three courses which run concurrently over the two years: Knowing the Tradition, Knowing the Practice, and Knowing God and Self. Participants spend a significant amount of time being directed through silent retreats along the themes of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. The second year of the program includes a practicum in which participants offer 40 hours of spiritual direction under the supervision of our facilitators.
Dr. Abby Wells at the Inner Life Leadership Institute™
Silver Spring
Not Yet Selected
Bahai, Buddhism, Christianity, Eco/Nature-based, Hinduism, Interfaith, Interspiritual, Islam, Judaism, Native/Indigenous, Quaker, Sikhism, Spiritual but Not Religious, Spiritual Independent, Taoism, Unitarian Universalist
Spiritual Companion/Director, Formation/Training School, Has Internet Courses Available
Addiction, Alcoholism, BIPOC, Corporate/Workplace, Divorced/Widowed, Education, Elderly/Mature, Energy Work, Grief and Loss, LGBTQIA+, Men's Issues, Mental Health/Depression, Middle Eastern Cultures, Mindfulness/Meditation, Sports, Women's Issues, Young Adults
Leadership is a naturally healing system both in the social world and in the leader's private life. When healing does not occur leadership is not optimal. At the ILLI, we help leaders from a wide range of backgrounds work with the Force that is acting upon their lives. Likewise, we train spiritual directors, coaches, and human resources professionals in The Art of Companioning Leadership™. Our training workshops are capped at fifteen participants and, through our virtual campus, can be completed anywhere in the world. The Art of Companioning Leadership™ is taught as a weekend intensive course during the fall and spring terms. We offer a “Certificate of Completion” for the course as well as an opportunity for participants themselves to enter into a deeper process of leadership discernment. Learn more at
Sr. Ruth Nyalazi
Baguio City
English, French
Spiritual Companion/Director, Retreat Center, Life Coach, Formation/Training School
0919 920 5902
African Cultures, Group Spiritual Direction
An African Zambian born. Currently a missionary in the Philippines as Novice Directress. Partially trained Spiritual Directress, and Psychotherapist in model of global sexuality.
Rev. Heather D. Rogero, MA, PGC (DMin. content complete)
Mountain Home, AR
Christianity, Judaism
Spiritual Companion/Director, Life Coach, Formation/Training School, Has Internet Courses Available, Chaplain
Education, Group Spiritual Direction, Incarceration/Justice/Legal, Mindfulness/Meditation, People with Disabilities, Women's Issues, Young Adults
Rev. Heather D. Rogero is a spiritual companion, mentor, and spiritual director. Her faith tradition is ecumenical Christianity and formally educated and versed in Judaism and Judeo-Christian spiritual practices & Scripture. She is also a certified spiritual life coach and has two certifications in Christian spiritual transformation and an alumnus of The Transforming Center. She is the founder of The Beautiful Pathway Org., has finished with Doctor of Ministry coursework, certified in spiritual transformation (The Transforming Center & Northern Seminary, PGC), a certified spiritual life coach, and seasoned & certified women’s ministry leader, retreat leader, and mentor. She is the author of The Queens of King Ahasuerus in search of the historical Esther, culminating her MA Thesis in Biblical Literature (ORU, 2000), BS in Ministry & Business (SAGU, 1994) and currently writing resources on the spiritual life. Welcome! “Sometimes we need a guide, a director…who helps us to distinguish between the voice of God and all other voices coming from our own …” – Henri Nouwen As a spiritual director, I am concerned with the whole person, the mind, heart, and soul. I am dedicated to prayerfully listens and asks questions that require you to listen more deeply to your truest self and the still small voice of God as your companion & witness to discern the Divine where you may have overlooked it, and leaves space for you for reflection and deeper understanding – because finding God in silence is a process. My purpose as your spiritual director is to pray to God on your behalf and listen to you while being attentive the the Holy Spirit in our time. My philosophy is to puts myself aside in order that attention is focused on both you and where God may be working in your life as a gift of presence. I will ask you questions, often led by the Holy Spirit, and accompany you on your spiritual journey without trying to fix or give advice, but to integrate awareness of God into our sacred ordinary days for the purpose of walking back into the world in service for others. My niche is in accompanying women, and have been in ministry over 25 years in various teaching and pastoring roles, versed in special needs parenting. I look forward to meeting with you. My ancient faith is Christianity, and hold space for you, especially if harmed by leadership in a church tradition, or once was familiar with God and desire to know practices that cultivate intimacy with God. Rev. Heather Rogero
John F. Doherty
Buddhism, Christianity, Interfaith, Interspiritual, Spiritual but Not Religious, Spiritual Independent
Spiritual Companion/Director, Retreat Center, Supervisor, Formation/Training School, Has Internet Courses Available
Addiction, Children/Teens, Codependency, Corporate/Workplace, Couples/Families, Creative Arts, Dying/Sick/Hospice, Ecospirituality/Nature-based, Elderly/Mature, Energy Work, Group Spiritual Direction, Health Care, Men's Issues, Mental Health/Depression, Mindfulness/Meditation, Non-Traditional Healing, Psychic Phenomena
I am an ordained OneSpirit Minister based in Dublin, Ireland, the Costa Brava, Spain and available Internationally online. In my role as a minister, I offer ceremonies, Weddings, Funerals, Baby Blessings, Young men's Rites of Passage, and 1-1- spiritual counselling. I have been working in personal and spiritual development for 25 years. I am a full member of The OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation ( I am trained supervisor offering professional and work support to clients, ministers, and professionals for many years. My supervision work is cross-professional and offers a deeply reflective, reflexive and spiritual space to help clients explore, de-stress and grow in a professional capacity. I am a full member of The Supervisory Association of Ireland ( I am the Director of The Beehive School that offers Mindfulness Mysticism Teacher Training programs, Mindfulness retreats in Ireland and Spain and online courses and workshops. My wife and I have a Holistic centre near Alicante, Spain and offer 1-1 recovery retreats for people who need care, healing and recovery from illness or to recharge their energy.
Rev Dr Leslie Jenal
Christianity, Eco/Nature-based, Interfaith, Interspiritual, Spiritual but Not Religious, Spiritual Independent, Unitarian Universalist
Spiritual Companion/Director, Supervisor, Formation/Training School, Chaplain
(626) 484-2591
Addiction, Alcoholism, BIPOC, Codependency, Corporate/Workplace, Divorced/Widowed, Dreamworker, Dying/Sick/Hospice, Ecospirituality/Nature-based, Education, Elderly/Mature, Enneagram, Grief and Loss, Group Spiritual Direction, Health Care, Homeless/Low Income, Immigrants/Displaced, Incarceration/Justice/Legal, LGBTQIA+, Mental Health/Depression, Mindfulness/Meditation, Non-Traditional Healing, People with Disabilities, Physical or Sexual Abuse, Psychic Phenomena, Women's Issues, Young Adults

My name is Leslie Jenal. I am a priest, a spiritual director, and a spiritual companion. I am here, wherever here is, to show you your spiritual opportunities and to point out your own path. I am called to contemplation and mysticism. I view God as the Spirit of infinite possibilities, as a mysterious force, personal, but recognizable in holy darkness. However, I do not impose my spirituality on anyone. I use my own spiritual work and practice, my spiritual depth, to help you see where you are and where Love is leading you.

I work with people who pray, people who do not pray, people who pray with images and people who pray contemplatively, people who read scriptures and those who do not, people who identify as religious or not, people who are spiritual and not religious, people whose spiritual life is not defined, people who are interfaith or multi faith, people who recovering from religious abuse or substance abuse, and people who attend religious services or do not. I will begin the journey with you as you are. Where you are is where you need to be at this place and time.

You may call the Transcendent by many names or by no name. You may or may not believe in God, Allah, Yahweh, Source, Creator, Love, Goddess, Presence, the Great Am Who Am, Spirit, Being, Reality, the Divine, Love, Creator, Light, Father, Lord, Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, Brahman, Elohim, Mystery, Energy, Quantum Field, Person, or Trinity, or anything or nothing at all. You may “believe” or not believe, or your beliefs may be changing. You may have had a mystical experience, a vision, or a liminal dream and want to know what it means. I lean toward contemplation myself but if you pray with images, I connect with you. I connect with whoever you are and wherever you are.

Personally, I think of the Trancendent as having no name, a Being beyond names, but here I use the terms God, Presence, Being, and Love. I do not impose my beliefs on anyone and I don't evangelize or proselytize. Your name, or no name, for the Transcendent may be different from my heart conception of the Transcendent. But I believe that all names for the Transcendent are like pointing a finger at the moon. We tend to look at the finger and not what the finger points to. Whatever the name, image, or heart concept, whatever your soul is speaking to you, whoever is speaking to you, I connect with you.

Growing spirituality comes from recognizing your own path toward Peace, Presence, Love. I will help you see your own path, not mine. I have some gifts. First, I listen carefully. I hear what is said and not said. Everything I hear is confidential. Sometimes it is easier to share with a stranger who keeps secrets. Second, I have probably heard about every struggle in the last twenty years, and I doubt that you can surprise me. Religiously, I can provide the sacrament of confession and absolution. Third, I do not judge you or encroach on your vulnerability . I take you where you are because where you are is where you are supposed to be at this moment and in this place. I am peaceful and very kind and I hope that you can rest in holy silence with me.

I’m the flashlight, but you already have the map. If you meet an obstacle, gate, invitation, gift, or door in your spiritual progress, I am there. I respect who you and where you are. I’m not so egoistic and narcissistic to believe or even want to make you into someone you are not. We all have our own path to God, and I am just a companion along the way. I can point to your own Light, your own being within Being, where Union is present already.

My purpose as a spiritual director and soul companion is to support your own path to Union with God, a path glimmering through the holy darkness. No amount of pain or despair can alter the true, fundamental reality of our being. Our chaotic complexity – our desires, gifts, fears, anxieties, joys, pain, our level of spiritual maturity – is never broken because we are already in God.

Holy desire often leads to connection with me. There is holiness in the liminal space, the darkness of suffering. Healing is so very close, a shining, luminous light in the darkness. I think of if God as holy darkness, as the God of all possibilities, the light you see when you close your eyes. Negative self-talk ends and we are held as a child in the arms of the Presence, listening to the soft voice of God. God did not cause our wounds, but God is in the deep peace of our being, grounding us, both underneath and in, our wounds. Our wounds and brokenness are held in Love and our suffering is always transformed into Light. It may take looking hard, but the Light is there. Healing is there.

I work with persons of all religions and spiritual traditions, spiritual and not religious, interfaith, multifaith, or without belief. Persons of any or no gender, any sexual attraction, expression, or orientation, Trans and cisgender, seeking and questioning, however your being, gender, and sexuality express themselves, I believe that you are a holy child of God and perfect as you are. No one needs to be fixed. I am an alcoholic with decades of recovery, and I know that substance abuse is often a cry to God. Suffering is a trial by fire. Fire is both destructive and creative; it harms, tempers, and purifies our being. If you struggle with the use of any substance, I am here.

I was a hospice chaplain for ten years and a hospital chaplain for ten years before that. I help the person who is dying to live a full life. I also help loved ones. I have attended hundreds of deaths. I have observed that most deaths are not scary, although traumatic deaths or deaths by those who do not want to be alive can leave a different kind of pain in their wake. However, death appears to be an invitation from God into which we surrender. There are, of course, all sorts of deaths and all sorts of grief, and I’m familiar with them. But there also is peace, memory, sacredness, tenderness, and even joy in dying and death. I can help you see where the healing is to be found.

Whatever your race and ethnicity, mixed or not, your disability or able-bodiedness, whether you have documents or not, I own my white, cisgender, documented, and able-bodied privileges. I own my narrowness, my hypocrisy, and my bias. My blindness is deep down and not always conscious, but as a privileged person, I am at least evolved enough to know that I don’t experience your lived experience. We connect where we meet each other in God. God is in charge of the connection. Spiritual direction and soul companioning is really done by God. I’m only an instrument, a conduit for God’s love. I'm the flashlight. You already have the map. Whoever you are, I will love you.

Finally, I am a death doula, a midwife to the dying and to those who grieve. I engage in dreamwork. I provide Christian, sacramental Catholic, Twelve Step, Spiritual Nonreligious, and Humanist services including blessings, and anointing. Please note that I keep a light touch and provide services only with consent.

Utimately, I want to be a clear pane of glass for God’s light through which God’s light can illuminate your way. Welcome.

Nick Helm
Spiritual Companion/Director, Supervisor, Formation/Training School
I'm an anglican priest who has been involved in offering Spiritual Direction for over 20 years. I've been particularly helped in my own journey by the Ignatian approach and draw deeply upon this as I accompany people. This helps offer an open accepting space to explore life, faith, aspirations and struggles to seek the creative and life-giving choices that enable the ongoing journey of becoming. After 10 years in parish ministry in urban settings, I became more focussed in supporting people's spiritual journeys and worked in spiritual and ministerial development in diocesan contexts. I'm now freelance and available for those who would like to meet in Ludlow, on phone or via internet video connections.
Eden Spiritual Care
Lake Oswego
Spiritual Companion/Director, Formation/Training School, Has Internet Courses Available
Dying/Sick/Hospice, Education, Grief and Loss, Women's Issues, Young Adults
Eden Spiritual Care is a non-profit organization that believes Christ-centered spiritual formation and growth opportunities are not a luxury for a small segment of society, but are essential for everyone. We offer free online growth classes, and spiritual direction and retreats on a pay-what-you-can basis. Current spiritual directors are Sierra Neiman Westbrook, MDiv, and Samantha Gilbertson, MA. Visit us online at www.edenspiritualcare.og.
On the Third Day Renewal and Formation Center
Calamba City
English, Tagalog
Spiritual Companion/Director, Retreat Center, Supervisor, Formation/Training School, Has Internet Courses Available
Addiction, Codependency, Creative Arts, Elderly/Mature, Grief and Loss, Group Spiritual Direction, Immigrants/Displaced, Men's Issues, Women's Issues, Young Adults
On the Third Day (OTTD) - Renewal and Formation Center is an ecumenical ministry that provides spiritual accompaniment for those who want to seek God and desire to respond to His call. For almost a decade, OTTD has been offering spiritual direction and spiritual formation that have helped seekers in developing an intimate relationship with God. Our retreats are held at the Cherimoya Eco-Spirituality & Retreat Center in Calamba, Laguna. For more information about us and our programs, please visit
Spiritual Direction Certification Program at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary
South Carolina
Formation/Training School
(803) 461-3237
Welcome to the Spiritual Direction Certification Program (SDCP) at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS) page! We are glad the Holy Spirit brought you here! Here, you can learn about spiritual direction, and our training program. WHAT IS SPIRITUAL DIRECTION? Holy Listening - This is at the core of spiritual direction. Spiritual direction is listening to the nudging of the Holy Spirit in someone’s life, in companionship with another human being. The real and most genuine spiritual director is always the Holy Spirit. Discernment - This is the practice of prayerfully seeking how God is guiding us in life. As Saint Benedict states, it’s “listening with the ear of the heart to God’s purpose for our lives.” It is a practice that is cultivated through spiritual direction. Spiritual Direction lets us know if we are walking in the way that leads us more deeply into God’s love. In a world of so much suffering, along with so many possibilities, discernment is ever more important. It is knowing what is the next right step to take, that leads a person to God. To have a sense of clarity around “What is God calling in my life in this situation/question?” Community - This relationship takes place between the Holy Spirit, the directee, and director. It fosters an experience of holy community. Those receiving direction (directees) receive the grace of being held by another’s listening presence, and the presence of God. HOW DOES ONE BECOME A SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR? Contemplative Life - In one sense, a person can become a Spiritual Director by nurturing a contemplative life. It is a practice of contemplation, in which one cultivates comfort with sitting in silence with God, and listening. Certification - In another sense, a person can complete a certification program like the one offered at LTSS. WHAT KIND OF PROGRAM IS OFFERED AT LTSS? Spiritual direction training in the Christian tradition is based in the work of the Holy Spirit. It has been practiced throughout church history, from the time of Jesus with his disciples until now. Our program offers an experience grounded in the Trinitarian faith. However, we recognize that there is deep spiritual wisdom in other faith traditions. We draw upon those traditions, and integrate them into a Christian perspective. WHAT DOES LTSS’S PROGRAM ENTAIL? Participating in four residential intensives, each January and June, for two years. The intensives always begin on a Wednesday at noon, and end on the following Saturday at noon. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the January 2021 intensive will be held completely online. We hope to return to residential intensives in June 2021, but that decision has not been made official. Each cycle consists of a cohort of 16 persons. Each cohort is split into two groups, and each group has its own mentor. WHAT IS REQUIRED OF PARTICIPANTS BETWEEN INTENSIVES? Discerning and meeting regularly with a spiritual director, if you do not already have one Discerning a willing person to be your spiritual directee Worshipping experiences during the four intensives Learning from expert instructors in the spiritual life Reading key books and short reaction papers CYCLE 5 (2021-2022) INTENSIVE DATES: January 13-16, 2021 June TBD, 2021 January 5-8, 2022 June TBD, 2022 CYCLE 5 GROUP MENTORS: Angela Ford Nelson Herman Yoos CYCLE 5 INSTRUCTORS TBD CYCLE 5 COSTS: The total cost for the two-year cycle is $3,000, which includes tuition and meals during residential intensives. Most participants in the past have made four payments of $750. They would typically bring their payment to campus when they arrived for each residential intensive. Since the January 2021 intensive will be held completely online, we are unable to include meals. As a result, we are reducing the tuition cost by $88, which would bring the January ’21 payment down to just $662, and the total tuition cost would be $2,911. PROGRAM LOCATION The Spiritual Direction Certification Program is housed at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, which is located near downtown Columbia, South Carolina. INTENSIVE LODGING: Participants typically find their own lodging. A limited number of accommodations are available on the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary campus for $25/night. As January 2021’s intensive will be held online, housing arrangements are not necessary. SHOULD I APPLY TO THE PROGRAM AT LTSS? Everyone is Welcome to Apply - The primary purpose of this certification program is to train people who feel called to be a spiritual companion; however, those who have already been on the contemplative journey and who wish to deepen their own spiritual practices are also welcome. With spiritual discernment questions, contact the Spiritual Direction Certification Program Director, Dr. Melanie Dobson, at or (919) 724-3557. With administrative/application completion questions, or to email application materials, contact the Academy for Faith and Leadership Registrar, Mrs. Ellen Girardeau, at (803) 461-3237 or
David and Beth Booram - Fall Creek Abbey
Spiritual Companion/Director, Retreat Center, Supervisor, Formation/Training School
Located in Indianapolis, IN, each learning cohort (8 to 12 participants) is trained in a classical approach to spiritual direction. Participants gather at the Abbey for five (two-day) intensives per year for two years. Year One provides a strong introduction to spiritual direction and is a year of discerning one’s calling to spiritual direction. Year Two is for those who feel called to offer spiritual direction (formally or informally) and provides more in-depth knowledge and skill-based training in the art of spiritual direction. Every intensive in Year One and Two is a combination of process and praxis. In addition, throughout this program strong focus is given to the deepening of each participant’s spiritual life and contemplative practice. A bonus are the lifelong friendships often forged through this small cohort experience! For more information or to request a syllabus, please contact Beth Booram at or visit our website at
Sue DeFerrari
Spiritual Companion/Director, Retreat Center, Supervisor, Formation/Training School
Asian Cultures, Couples/Families, Creative Arts, Education, Grief and Loss
Spiritual Companion/Director, MorningStar Renewal Center – Retreat and Conference facilitator. Director of Spiritual Companionship Program, St. Thomas University – 3 year certificate program.
Lil Smith
Christianity, Interfaith, Interspiritual, Spiritual but Not Religious, Unitarian Universalist
Spiritual Companion/Director, Retreat Center, Supervisor, Formation/Training School
My definition of spiritual direction is to take a long, loving look at what is real (Presence), to seek freedom from bondage (tangles and knots), to savor and celebrate with the Holy, to discover a deeper meaning and purpose in life. Together we will listen, explore, and tend your relationship with the Holy. This spiritual work emerges from your image of God/Source/Breath as we encourage a developing language that is a natural expression of your relationship. Tending body, mind, and spirit, we will discover new life together. I work with individuals and groups in spiritual direction and in supervision of spiritual directors. Inviting the whole self to these sessions, I invite imagination and creativity with art, music, and written expression. My passion: accompanying individuals and groups in the spiritual walk. My training: MDIV and DMIN from SMU Perkins School of Theology, Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction from San Francisco Theological Seminary, Supervision Training with Together in the Mystery. I am a co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson (Dallas), TX. I meet with individuals and small groups here. I also meet via telephone and video conference. You may visit my website for fees and booking information: With a grateful heart, Lil