Christian Mystics and Spiritual Companionship – Wisdom Teaching for Those Who Hold Space

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This webinar is also included in the bundle "Accompanied by the Mystics"

How did the great Christian mystics offer spiritual companionship?

How can we learn from them?

Join us on a journey

Of mystery, mutuality, discovery and deep connection.

Designed especially for spiritual directors and spiritual companions.

Mysticism has been described as “the flight of the alone to the Alone” — but there is a long tradition of mentoring, guidance and soul-friendship among the mystics. This four-part SDI webinar explores the companioning relationships between various Christian mystics and how their wisdom and insights can shape the work of spiritual directors and spiritual companions today. All sessions will be led by respected author and experienced spiritual director Carl McColman, who has written The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, An Invitation to Celtic Wisdom and Befriending Silence.

Mystics to be discussed:

  • Evelyn Underhill
  • Howard Thurman
  • Julian of Norwich
  • Teresa of Ávila
  • St. Ignatius of Loyola
  • St. Brigid
  • And others

Participants from all spiritual traditions and orientations are welcome as are those with all levels of spiritual experience.

Each session runs 75 minutes.

Goals for Participants

  • Discover tools and insights from Christian mystics that can help your spiritual companioning
  • Explore how great contemplative thinkers acted as mentors, guides, soul friends and companions
  • Experience stories from the lives of these mystics that allow you to “walk in their shoes” as they sought to create contemplative community
  • Learn what makes these inspiring mystics distinctive – both from a Christian perspective and as part of worldwide mystic practice.
  • Welcome moments of serenity, renewal, and engagement during contemplative practice at the beginning and end of each session



The webinar series will run 4 consecutive Thursdays September 9, 16, 23, 30, 2021, 1 PM Seattle/Los Angeles, 3 PM Chicago, 4 PM New York, 9 PM London; Fridays September 10-October 1: 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.

Course Description

  • Session 1 – September 9, 1 PM Seattle time – Christian mysticism as a wisdom tradition – We begin our journey by exploring what is unique and distinctive about Christian mysticism — both as an expression of Christian spirituality and as a dimension of world mysticism.  Led by spiritual director and author Carl McColman.
  • Session 2 – September 16, 1 PM Seattle time – Christian mystics as mentors and guides –Drawing on the wisdom of figures like Evelyn Underhill, Howard Thurman, and Julian of Norwich, we’ll consider how the mystics have applied their understanding to their role as spiritual directors. Led by spiritual director and author Carl McColman.
  • Session 3 – September 23, 1 PM Seattle time – Christian mystics as soul friends and companions – From the Celtic saints to Teresa of Ávila to St. Ignatius of Loyola, there is a long tradition of friendship and mutual companionship among Christian mystics. We’ll explore the unique gifts of these guides.  Led by spiritual director and author Carl McColman.
  • Session 4 – September 30, 1 PM – The Mystics of the Future –What do the great mystics of the past offer us today as insight for the future? This is the question we’ll examine as we bring our journey to completion.  Led by spiritual director and author Carl McColman.


Our Approach

Life learning, not book learning. Experiential, contemplative, spiritual. We want to open a gateway to understanding and connection.  We’d rather companion you to an insight than impress you with a list of facts. Because most of our audience are spiritual directors and companions – including chaplains, life coaches and others who offer spiritual care -, we focus on the practical and care-giving side of the equation. Of course, since we all are spiritual beings, this webinar series can benefit anyone.

Terms of Reverence

Spiritual companions may name the deepest of truths in diverse ways. They also honor the names that others revere. Here are some of those terms of reverence: Universe, God, Lord, Allah, YHWH, Great Spirit, Higher Power, Mystery, Sunyata, Brahman, Tao, Divine, Sacred, Holy, Almighty, Ultimate, the Beyond, Intimate, Abba, Nirvana, Wisdom, Source, Vishnu, Creator, Enlightenment, Interconnection, Holy One, All.


Carl McColman (he, his) is the author of books like The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call and An Invitation to Celtic Wisdom. He also writes a blog on contemplation and mysticism at In addition to his work as a writer, blogger and podcaster, Carl leads retreats and maintains a busy spiritual direction practice.

Who We Are

SDI is an educational nonprofit, serving 6,100 members in 42 countries around the world. We are committed to supporting and growing access to spiritual companionship and the deep listening, open questions and compassion our healing modality offers.

Additional Information

Each session will run 75 minutes. We understand that the timing of the seminar will not be convenient in every time zone on the planet. For those who have trouble making this time, a recorded copy of each session will be made available to all those who sign up. CEU credits are available for all those who participate. (See below)

Who may join the webinar?

Everyone is invited to participate in SDI Webinars.

Are CEUs available?

SDI will provide a certificate of completion for self-reporting to agencies. More information can be found here:  continuing education units (CEUs).


Scholarships are available for those facing financial hardship. Please apply here.


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