Frequently Asked Questions
How can I find a spiritual director?
Current ACSD-accredited NZ Spiritual Directors are listed in a PDF file accessible from the 'Find a Director' page.
Alternatively, you may Contact ACSD if you would like to chat with a trained NZ Christian Spiritual Director who is not on one of the regional lists. They are located throughout Aotearoa-NZ.
What happens during a typical spiritual direction session?
Naturally this will vary depending on the people involved. The norm is for a session of about one hour during which the director actively listens and responds to the directee's conversation. The focus of each session will be the directee's relationship with God.
Doesn't the term Spiritual Director sound old fashion and a bit scary?
You are right. Many of our members prefer to be known in their role by other titles like: spiritual or Christian companion, spiritual friend or spiritual mentor. However others, both directors and directees, remain comfortable with the traditional terminology.
Do I have to be an active and worshipping Christian to benefit from spiritual direction?
No. Many directors will be comfortable working with directees who have not made an active commitment to Christ or the Church. Such directors accept that we are all on a journey spiritually and they will seek to meet people wherever they are along the way.
Who can be a spiritual director?
Anyone can call themselves a spiritual director. However, the Association in Aotearoa-New Zealand requires members to meet minimum training and practising standards. Check our Membership Covenant to learn more about these standards.
Definitions of Spiritual Direction
"Spiritual direction is not psychotherapy nor is it an inexpensive substitute, although the disciplines are compatible and frequently share raw material. Spiritual direction is not pastoral counselling, nor is it to be confused with the mutuality of deep friendships, for it is unashamedly hierarchical. Not because the director is somehow "better" or "holier" than the directee, but because, in this covenant relationship the director has agreed to put him/her self aside so that his/her total attention can be focused on the person sitting in the other chair. What a gift to bring to another, the gift of disinterested, loving attention."
- Margaret Guenther
"For us ... religious experience is to spiritual direction what foodstuff is to cooking. Without religious experience there can be no spiritual direction."
- Barry and Connolly
Christian spiritual direction is based on God’s covenantal relationship with men and women in Jesus Christ. Covenant speaks of mutual respect, trust and faithfulness and has a sacred character.
Therefore Christian spiritual direction requires a commitment to minister to a person with a Christ-like love and respect for his or her dignity, value and destiny.