Spiritual Directors


#1

Does anyone know if there is training or certification involved in becoming a Catholic spiritual director? Can a person earn a living as a spiritual director? Would it be a good Catholic career?


#2

[quote="Annemariels, post:1, topic:230449"]
Does anyone know if there is training or certification involved in becoming a Catholic spiritual director? Can a person earn a living as a spiritual director? Would it be a good Catholic career?

[/quote]

Yes there are training courses that offer certificates. There are those who charge for such a service but I do not know if they actually "earn a living" by it rather than having this as a ministry along with other things.


#3

Good heavens, they charge people?


#4

There is often a stipend, yes. But make a living? Not really.
Yes there is training involved


#5

Thank you for your answers.

Do you know if the training is through the diocese or through universities? Can it be obtained through online classes?


#6

Also, how about training to become a hospital chaplain? Does the hospital pay for the training? Do you know what's involved in that? And can a person earn a living as a chaplain or is that also more of a ministry with stipends?


#7

[quote="Annemariels, post:5, topic:230449"]
Thank you for your answer.

Do you know if the training is through the diocese or through universities? Can it be obtained through online classes?

[/quote]

I know my theologate (seminary for religious) offers a certificate. I also know of at least three other programs that are offered by retreat centers. Most of them are a two year process, one is an intense month long program.

I am not aware of any online program.


#8

[quote="Annemariels, post:1, topic:230449"]
Does anyone know if there is training or certification involved in becoming a Catholic spiritual director? Can a person earn a living as a spiritual director? Would it be a good Catholic career?

[/quote]

Yes there are programs that offer certification as a spiritual director. If you Google it you will find various programs.

Earn a living? I don't think so. I have a certificate from a spiritual direction program. The people I was in class with took all sorts of approaches to offering direction. There was a priest and several sisters who offer spiritual direction as part of their ministries. Among the lay people there were some who charged for their services and some who didn't.

I don't charge, in part because I've never been charged for spiritual direction. It's been a wonderful gift that I've received and in turn it's a gift I want to offer to others. But I only see a few people and I make my living elsewhere.


#9

Thank you again for your responses. Someone dear to me is leaving her life in a monestery after 25 years and needs to find a way to support herself. She is a very gentle, holy,and inspiring woman who loves our faith and would make an excellent spiritual director. It doesn't sound like this would be a good option as far as earning a living goes. Please pray for her during this difficult time of transition.


#10

I am sorry to hear that she is leaving the monastery. If she is going to, though, she could do something like obtain a degree in counseling or education and become licensed (as a counselor or schoolteacher) and also offer spiritual direction in her spare time.


#11

Yes, the counseling idea is a good suggestion. However, I'm not so sure education is a good match. She is coming from a cloistered environment and I don't know how comfortable she would be doing that, at least right now. One-on-one would probably be a better way to go, or a job where she isn't the center of attention. Please keep her in your prayers.


#12

[quote="Annemariels, post:11, topic:230449"]
Yes, the counseling idea is a good suggestion. However, I'm not so sure education is a good match. She is coming from a cloistered environment and I don't know how comfortable she would be doing that, at least right now. One-on-one would probably be a better way to go, or a job where she isn't the center of attention. Please keep her in your prayers.

[/quote]

All right. I hope that she finds the right path.


#13

Where I am from there is no "charge" for spiritual direction, however, it is customary to give a donation. It is usually small: I give $35 each time I visit. I particpate in spiritual direction once a month.

Some religious orders depend on these small donations, so it is nice to make some type of small contribution.


#14

[quote="Annemariels, post:6, topic:230449"]
Also, how about training to become a hospital chaplain? Does the hospital pay for the training? Do you know what's involved in that? And can a person earn a living as a chaplain or is that also more of a ministry with stipends?

[/quote]

My husband is a hospital chaplain. He is also a deacon. He had to pay for his training on his own, although he did get a stipend when interning. You have to take four units of Pastoral Clinical Education, do an internship, and write a paper before you can apply for certification. Certification is achieved after an intense interview with a board. He had to travel 5 hours away for the interview. The course work is intense and really cannot be done online since it involved interaction with peers and patients. Also, to be certified you have to have a Master's degree in Theology or Pastoral Studies.

Yes you can earn a living off it, but the pay isn't that great. My husband has a pension from his first job so this is in addition to that.


#15

[quote="Annemariels, post:11, topic:230449"]
Yes, the counseling idea is a good suggestion. However, I'm not so sure education is a good match. She is coming from a cloistered environment and I don't know how comfortable she would be doing that, at least right now. One-on-one would probably be a better way to go, or a job where she isn't the center of attention. Please keep her in your prayers.

[/quote]

Seeing as she is in a cloistered environment - Loyola offers a completely online Masters in Pastoral studies that also may be acceptable to your friend. I started it this past semester - I am probably going to be finishing it on campus as I am trying to add a second masters and my VA Benefits will give me more money if I go on campus.


#16

On the Spiritual Directors International website, www.sdiworld.org, in the Resource tab, your colleague will find a list of programs that form and train spiritual directors. Graduate school university programs, diocesan programs, retreat center-based programs, and a small number of online programs are included in the google map, which locates the programs geographically.

Because each person is called to the ministry of spiritual direction differently, there are many ways to form the charism, and to discern the charism of spiritual director. Hence many different formation and training programs.

Throughout history, spiritual directors have participated in other ways of serving the community in addition to offering spiritual direction. Spiritual directors usually work in another field or a related field to earn a living wage.

Some spiritual directors are on staff at a parish and would not charge a fee while others would request a fee, usually in the $35 to $60 range. Many religious sisters and brothers are in this category; they depend on small stipends to support their ministry. Other spiritual directors find it not necessary to charge a fee and offer spiritual direction gratis.

I hope this information is helpful.

Peace be with you,
Liz Ellmann, MDiv
Executive Director
Spiritual Directors International
www.sdiworld.org


#17

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