I'm so glad you are moving into the journey of finding your spiritual direction! And thrilled you want to work with me. This form will support us in our work together.
Please ALSO fill out the covenant. That is a PDF that you need to download and sign and return to me.
12 Questions to Ask at the Get-to-Know-You Appointment
It’s important to ask questions to get to know your prospective spiritual mentor. It can be hard to know where to start, so here’s a list of 11 questions that might be helpful to ask during your first session with a prospective spiritual director.
1. What kind of training did you undertake to become a credentialed spiritual director?
You may be more comfortable with a director who has gone through an accredited program, or a supervised practicum in spiritual direction. On the other hand, you may prefer to journey with someone who has been giving direction for a long time but may not have gone through a formal program.
2. How long have you been offering spiritual direction?
Some directors may have been giving direction for years, but have only had one or two directees during that time. Others may not have been giving direction for as long, but have a number of directees, meaning that they have a greater total hours of experience. While the numbers themselves may not be important to you, understanding the level of direct experience your mentor has in the practice of direction is helpful to know.
3. Do you have a spiritual director?
The answer to this question needs to be "yes".
4. Do you have a supervisor or a peer group?
This is an extremely important question to ask. One of the ways that a spiritual director cares for you and tends your soul is to actively seek accountability and supervision by peers or a credentialed supervisor. This process helps your mentor stay present and able to accompany you without distraction from their own journey.
5. Are you part of any professional spiritual direction associations? Do you hold to a formal code of ethics from any of these?
There are numerous spiritual direction associations that have a formal code of ethics for spiritual direction. Sometimes mentors who are part of a religious order have enough accountability within their order that they feel other associations are unnecessary.
6. What’s your guiding image of spiritual direction?
Each mentor holds one or more images of what the spiritual accompaniment relationship is to them. Whether this is as a companion, mentor, guide, friend or any other image, knowing what guides them in their practice of direction will help you know if this director fits well with your hopes for the spiritual mentoring relationship.
7. What has your journey with the divine/sacred been like?
Some people might feel that this is too personal a question to ask a spiritual director; however, this is someone with whom you’ll be sharing one of the most intimate areas of your life—your spiritual journey. This is what the Get-to-Know-You appointment is for! This question also helps you to understand the spiritual perspective that your director will be operating from. It may be important that you and your spiritual mentor share a spiritual vocabulary.
8. What is your experience tending your relationship with what you hold holy? What spiritual practices nourish you?
Again, this seems like a deeply personal question, but it’s one that your mentor will be asking you on a regular basis. Learning more about their practices will help you understand if this person is a good match for you.
9. What kind of on-going education or enrichment in spiritual direction are you undertaking?
The spiritual journey is never static—neither is the practice of spiritual direction. It’s important to know what your director is doing to continue learning and growing.
10. What kind of covenant or agreement will we establish between us?
While some directors prefer an informal, spoken covenant (including, necessarily, confidentiality), I personally prefer a written agreement in order to establish roles, responsibilities and appropriate boundaries. This can sometimes seem like “just paperwork” but a formal agreement help you to feel safe and protected.
11. How do you handle deciding how much to pay and how to pay?
Talking about money can be uncomfortable. This will be a good opportunity to practice self-trust and forthrightness, skills that we will nurture in spiritual mentoring.
12. How do you make this a place of growth, freedom and nurture for all people, especially those with marginalized identities or different ways of moving through and experiencing the world?
We are all unique and almost all of us have tender places and identities that have brought us both joy and sorrow in our lives. Whether your identities are deeply marginalized and a source of challenge in your life or you are beginning to explore how your spirituality calls you into relationships of mutuality, respect, love, and justice with others, it matters how your spiritual mentor will support you.