What’s spiritual mentoring?

Spiritual mentoring (aka spiritual direction) is a tool for becoming aware of God’s loving presence and guidance throughout your daily life. It offers clarity and direction. Discernment. It helps remove the lines that blur what we call spiritual with what’s secular so you can live as a whole person: mind, body, and spirit.

The true director is God as you and your mentor meet to look back over the last few weeks of your life to understand how the Creator is inviting you toward deeper love and joy.

A session may also include recommendations on books or other readings to inspire your spiritual growth.

How is it Offered?

Spiritual mentoring can be done one-on-one with a trained mentor through face-to-face, phone or Zoom or Facetime meetings. It can also be experienced in a group through what I call Inner Compass Groups where 5-6 people come together monthly to focus on the movement of God’s Spirit in their lives.

Do I Need a Spiritual Mentor?

We all need to surround ourselves with teachers, people who are one step further on the journey than us—people who inspire us to become the best version of ourselves.

Most people try it out for 2-3 sessions to see if it’s a good fit for them and then discern whether to continue meeting monthly.

I stumbled into spiritual direction 25 years ago at my spouse’s suggestion and have been meeting with my director monthly since then. I find it provides balance and order to my life and helps me see myself and the world through the eyes of God.

After being trained as a spiritual director through the Dominican Center at Marywood twenty years ago, I’ve been meeting with individual spiritual direction clients and groups as they discover the depth of God in them.

Studio Nunzi Painting

What do others say about spiritual mentoring?


Spiritual direction is the contemplative practice of helping another person or group to awaken to the mystery called God in all of life, and to respond to that discovery in a growing relationship of freedom and commitment.

James Keegan

SJ, Roman Catholic, USA, on behalf of the 2005 Coordinating Council of Spiritual Directors International


Spiritual direction is a time-honored term for a conversation, ordinarily between two persons, in which one person consults another, more spiritually experienced person about the ways in which God may be touching her or his life, directly or indirectly.

In our postmodern age, many people dislike the term ‘spiritual direction’ because it sounds like one person giving directions, or orders, to another. They prefer ‘spiritual companionship,’ ‘tending the holy,’ or some other nomenclature.

What we call it doesn’t make any real difference. The reality remains conversations about life in the light of faith.

Although spiritual direction has had a burst of new life, it is really quite ancient. Across both the Hebrew and the Christian Scriptures, we find people seeking spiritual counsel.

The Queen of Sheba sought out the Wisdom of Solomon. Jesus gave us examples in his conversations with Nicodemus, with the woman at the well, in the ongoing formation of Peter and the other disciples.

In the early church, people flocked to hermits in the desert for spiritual counsel. Across the centuries we find striking examples in some Irish monks, in some German Benedictine nuns, in Charles de Foucault, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Francis de Sales, and others.

Today, spiritual directors come from many traditions …

Marian Cowan


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