If you have further questions or would like to know more about the DASD program, please contact the DASD office.
Program Director, Professor of Spiritual Life
105 Seminary Road
San Anselmo, CA 94960
||800-447-8820 ext. 880
|Rev. Ruth T. West
||800-447-8820 ext. 838
Frequently Asked Questions
- Tell me about spiritual direction within the Church.
Spiritual direction, an ancient ministry of the church, is a relationship in which one person
assists another, or others, in attending to God's presence and call. Spiritual direction has
been, and remains, particularly strong within Roman Catholic and Orthodox religious orders,
and over the past twenty years Anglican and Protestant traditions have begun to recover it
more fully. There is also growing interest in spiritual direction among other faith traditions,
such as Judaism and Buddhism. Throughout Christian history, spiritual direction has traditionally
been practiced by ordained clergy alone. In recent years, however, this practice has widened
to embrace the spiritual gifts of non-ordained persons as well. Today, spiritual direction
is regarded as a ministry open to all, not an order or office reserved for the few.
- Is spiritual direction practiced outside the Church?
While there is a growing movement to practice spiritual direction outside the Church, the
SFTS spiritual direction program encourages spiritual directors to stay connected to congregations
and other communities of faith.
- Do people practice spiritual direction as a fully self-supporting vocation?
If so, how?
Some spiritual directors do support themselves through their profession. Some retreat centers
and counseling centers, for instance, hire spiritual directors to supplement the spiritual
and psychological services they offer. There is, however, controversy around the question of
whether or not to charge those in need of spiritual assistance. Furthermore, those involved
in spiritual direction disagree about what role, if any, the Church should play in offsetting
- Is there a license or credential that one must obtain in order to practice
At the present time one need not obtain any licenses or credentials in order to practice spiritual
direction. However, the professional organization Spiritual
Directors International is currently discussing the need for such professional requirements.
Furthermore, different churches may have their own denominational requirements regarding the
oversight of this ministry.
- How will I notify others of my availability as a spiritual director?
Many spiritual directors become known through word-of-mouth or through referrals made by a
community of faith to which they are connected. One can also utilize Spiritual
Directors International, which publishes an international directory of spiritual directors.
- What is the best resource for information on spiritual direction programs?
We recommend Spiritual Directors International as
a comprehensive resource for such information. The Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction
program at SFTS may be completed alone or in combination with either the Doctor of Ministry,
the Master of Divinity or the Master of Arts in Theological Studies degrees.
- Do the charismatic or Pentecostal traditions offer spiritual direction
and/or spiritual direction training?
The School for Spiritual Directors at the Benedictine Monastery in Pecos, New Mexico, offers
such services and/or training.
- How do I find a spiritual director in my area?
Contact Spiritual Directors International,
P.O. Box 3584,
Bellevue, WA 98009-3584 USA.
Phone: 425-455-1565. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org