Frequently Asked Questions
Renaissance 2021 Attendees:
Scroll down to view answers to frequently asked questions. Don’t find what you’re looking for? E-mail your question to or telephone 01-425-455-1565.
Why is this conference virtual-only?
Because of the uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic, we determined that hosting this conference virtually was the best way to guarantee health and safety for all our conference participants and presenters. Though we look forward to the time when we can be together in person again, we believe going virtual in 2021 also presents us with some unique opportunities. These opportunities include:
- Being able to make the conference uniquely affordable, by lowering the cost of attending, and eliminating the need for travel, meals, and lodging expenses.
- A virtual conference means more people than ever before can attend from all over the world. We hope this conference will truly represent our international community of spiritual companions!
- You know that feeling at a live conference, where you’re exhausted but don’t want to miss that really interesting speaker? All our keynote speakers will be recorded so you can watch later. And for the first time, you can register for the live workshops you really want to attend, and watch the other workshops later on-demand and at your convenience (conference recordings will be available for three months). Every single workshop will be available! There is no additional cost for this – it’s all included with your registration.
- Through our virtual conference app Whova, there will be multiple opportunities for connection, including group discussion boards and chats, virtual coffee gatherings, 1 on 1 video dialog, creating your own meeting rooms, icebreakers, perusing books and other offerings through the virtual Exhibition Hall, and more!
- Attend an entire SDI Conference from the comfort of your own home. Theoretically, you could attend the entire conference in your pajamas!
How will this all work?
Everything related to our conference, including keynote presentations, workshops, coffee hours, meditations, and other gatherings will all be available via the Whova Conference App. It will serve as our Conference Portal, with an easy-to-use interface, access to a Calendar where each event will be listed. For each keynote and workshop, the event will utilize Zoom calls and Whova’s own chat and Q&A technology for easy interaction.
We are working hard to provide everything you expect from an SDI Conference through these virtual tools.
The Whova Conference App is available as a website which can be accessed on any desktop PC, laptop, or tablet, or you can download the Whova App on your mobile device via the Apple App Store or Google Play. You can participate however you choose, from wherever you have internet access.
Here’s a tutorial on using the Whova App, if you want to see what it looks like.
Read some of the Reviews from Attendees of other conferences who used the Whova App.
What if I need assistance with technology?
SDI Staff will be available throughout the virtual conference to help you navigate the conference offerings. As well, Whova provides multi-tier technical support to assist with any issues.
What is the cancellation policy for this conference?
Refunds (less the $50 non-refundable registration fee) will be provided with written notice prior to March 22, 2021.
After March 22, 2021 SDI will issue 50% refunds (less the $50 non-refundable registration fee).
Refunds will not be issued after April 5, 2021.
Do I need to be a member of SDI to attend this conference?
You do not need to be a member to attend! Everyone curious about spiritual care and compassionate listening is encouraged to participate. However, SDI members receive a discount on event registration. Click here to become a member.
Conference Participants include:
Spiritual directors, companions, and guides
Theology faculty and students
Campus ministers from all spiritual traditions
Pastoral and spiritual care providers
Retreat center directors and retreat leaders
Hospice and health care providers (nurses, doctors,
physician assistants, physical therapists, pharmacologists, etc.)
Holistic body-mind-spirit health care providers
Lay and ordained clergy
Mental health care providers
Life coaches and mindfulness trainers
Mindful lawyers, social justice workers, peacemakers
Contemplatives in the first half of life
Contemplatives in the second half of life
Contemplatives who work in academic settings
Centering prayer facilitators
Courage and Renewal facilitators
Work-life balance human resource personnel
If you’d like to hear more on what to expect at an SDI Conference, listen to this recent SDI Encounters Podcast episode with Executive Director Rev. Seifu Anil Singh-Molares.
Are continuing education units (CEUs) available?
Yes! Continuing education units are available for those who participate in SDI’s educational events. If you are seeking credits for a self-reporting agency, you can request a certificate of participation in the evaluation following the educational events. Those who participate in the full conference and 8 workshops may ask for a certificate for 51 hours of continuing education.
If I only want to participate in one workshop or one day of the conference, may I register for just one day?
Sorry, no. For thirty years, SDI has been offering contemplative, educational programming. We take into consideration past evaluations, and they indicate that going gradually deeper with one topic as one body works best for building community and best reflects the needs of the contemplative, global learning community. SDI’s design intentionally creates a multi-day experience during which new friendships and collegial relationships may form and old ones may be nourished. And since this is a virtual conference, with all the keynotes and workshops being available on-demand, we hope you will find the content helpful for weeks and months to come.
Can I sign up for only an Institute?
Yes! You can register for these without registering for the overall conference. You’ll have the option on our online store to purchase an Institute without purchasing the entire conference. If you need assistance with this please call the SDI Office: 425-455-1565.
Will worship services such as Shabbat and Catholic Mass be part of the educational events?
No. SDI is an increasingly diverse contemplative learning community. Individual participants may feel called to go offsite to local houses of worship. Arranging worship is the responsibility of individual participants. During the scheduled educational events, we share sacred time together and participate in contemplative practices specifically designed to celebrate our diverse learning community and model contemplative practices that might be helpful in spiritual direction. A peaceful onsite meditation space will be available during the conference. On Sunday we close with an inter-Mysical service.
How can I contribute to the scholarship fund?
Thank you for making donations to the scholarship fund. You can make donations online or mail your check to:
SDI Educational Events Scholarship Fund
PO Box 3584
Bellevue, WA, 98009 USA
For many people, especially students, interns, and people on fixed incomes, participating in the educational events is not possible for financial reasons. Your generosity helps others in need. Thank you.
May I share brochures or business cards about my program or organization?
Yes. All participants are invited to bring brochures and program materials to share with everyone. You may use your Profile in Whova to display a website, resume, and a description of your work as a spiritual companion. If you have more information you want to share or you are interested in selling artwork or books, check out the exhibitor page for details.
Will I be photographed or videotaped during the conference?
This Event is a widely-attended conference. SDI and third parties may photograph and/or audio/video record activities at the Event for many purposes, including but not limited to, reporting, advertising and documentation purposes. This includes recording Zoom workshops and other sessions. By attending the Event, you consent to your image and voice being captured and used.
The small print:
You grant us a license to use, edit, reproduce, record, modify, enhance, encode, translate, distribute, play, perform, make available to other users, prepare derivative works of and to display your image and/or likeness (your -Likeness-), and/or an audio recording of your voice, by any media or methods whether now known or later developed. This license may be exercised in our sole discretion throughout the world at any time. You agree that this license is perpetual, royalty-free and transferable. You agree that we can sub-license this license to third parties. You irrevocably and unconditionally waive, with respect to your Likeness and voice, all moral rights to which you may be entitled and any broadly equivalent rights in any territory of the world. This waiver is made in favor of SDI but will also extend to our sub-licensees, assignees and successors in title.