Spiritual Direction & Psychological Services

Spiritual direction is a key discipline for pastors and Christian leaders because it offers a safe place for attending to one's ongoing process of transformation and surrender to God outside the public view and without any other agenda. As Merton goes on to say, "The whole purpose of spiritual direction is to penetrate beneath the surface of a man's life, to get behind the façade of conventional gestures and attitudes which he presents to the world, and to bring out his inner spiritual freedom, his inmost truth, which is what we call the likeness of Christ in his soul." (Spiritual Direction and Meditation, p. 16)

The Transforming Center seeks to meet the spiritual direction needs of pastors and Christian leaders in the following ways:

What is spiritual direction?

The phrase "spiritual direction" is a misnomer in a way, because it is not so much about being directive as it is about being open, receptive, aware of and responsive to the movement of the Spirit in the directee's life. It is understood that the Holy Spirit is the true director, Advocate, or Counselor given to lead us into truth as we are able to bear it (John 15, 16). The director is present to assist the directee in paying attention to the invitations of the Holy Spirit and to support the directee in making a faithful response.

What should I look for in a spiritual director?

An effective spiritual director is someone who is:

How does spiritual direction differ from other spiritual relationships?

Spiritual direction is not the same thing as mentoring or disciple-ing in that these relationships usually focus more on moral, educational and vocational guidance in a particular faith tradition. Although there will be dimensions of spiritual direction in these relationships, a true spiritual director is someone who can listen and provide spiritual guidance beyond any personal need to defend or uphold any particular tradition or religious institution. It is also not the same thing as spiritual friendship in that spiritual friendship is usually a peer relationship that includes some level of mutuality. Spiritual direction, on the other hand, is "one-way" in that the director is there solely to attend to the directee and does not look to that relationship in order to have any of their personal needs met. There is a willingness on the part of the directee to submit to the guidance of the director because of the inner authority they possess, not positional authority bestowed within organizational or religious hierarchies.

What does it cost?

Typically, fees for spiritual direction are determined on a case-by-case basis between the director and the directee. At Transforming Community retreats, we offer spiritual direction for an additional fee of $60.

What if I'd like to serve as a spiritual director?

If you are interested in serving as a spiritual director in the Transforming Center, you will need to have completed a Transforming Community AND a substantive (at least two years) spiritual direction training program. For more information and an application to serve as a spiritual director with the Transforming Center, click here or email.