By Rosemary Hagan
Spiritual direction is one of the classic spiritual disciplines Christians have used since the early days of the church. Spiritual direction is often described as a focused time with God that leads to spiritual transformation and renewal. Across time, a deeper understanding of how the Holy Spirit is working within your life will begin to emerge. Obstacles or resistance to greater knowledge of your true self in God will begin to fall away, and you will grow in peace and greater Love of God, self, and others. There may be laughter, sometimes tears, but always present is God’s Love and Grace.
To be in spiritual direction is to learn about yourself in relation to God, and to discover what God is uniquely desiring for you. You will move forward with God in spiritual direction from wherever you are in your faith journey. God loves and meets you exactly as you are, always!
How do people become Spiritual Directors?
Spiritual direction is considered a vocation, a call, or a charism. In the US, training is usually a certificate program, requiring three years of study; a time of extensive training and deep personal formation. Pre-requisites often include a Masters in a related field. The program covers the scope of Christian history, spiritual formation, psychological, social, and spiritual development, as well as the reflection upon the practice of direction with others. Anyone desiring to become a spiritual director must have a heart for companioning others on the spiritual journey and there must be evidence that people seek out the individual for spiritual direction. Some directors go on to acquire advanced degrees, such as the Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Direction. For more information, please contact one of the spiritual directors below.
Rosemary holds a Doctorate in Ministry in Spiritual Direction and Spiritual Formation, and has been a Spiritual Director since 2003. She has also been employed as a Spiritual Care Counselor with Hospice of Michigan,since 2009. Rosemary has also trained other Spiritual Directors through a program offered at Grace Church. Her life in ministry has included time as Executive Director of The Father Fred Foundation, where she remains on its Board of Directors. Prior to her work in professional ministry, she retired from a career with The Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District. Rosemary and her husband Greg have been members of Grace since 1987, and they have three daughters and three grandchildren. Contact Rosemary Hagan, for more information at email@example.com or 231-313-9915.
Ellen Schrader has been attending Grace since 1995, and has served in a variety of ministries over the years. In 2010 she entered a three year study program for spiritual formation and spiritual direction offered by GraceSprings Center for Christian Education, and earned a certificate in Spiritual Direction in 2013. She holds a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration and has worked professionally as a registered nurse and in hospital administration. She offers individual spiritual direction through Grace Episcopal Church. Contact Ellen at firstname.lastname@example.org or (231) 933-4006.