three men travelling to Emmaus Painting of Emmaus road

Spiritual Direction: Becoming a Spiritual Companion

Is God calling you to share in the Ministry of Spiritual Companionship?

Do people seem to turn to you as a person who will give them time and listen to them?

Are you open to new discoveries about faith in your Christian journey?

Are you someone who is seeking to deepen your own ‘walk with God’ through prayer and worship and pondering on the Scriptures?

If your answer to any of these is ‘Yes’ then perhaps God is calling you to be a spiritual companion to others.

Spiritual companions are called to walk beside a fellow disciple as a life servant not a life fixer! They are there to journey with the other person helping them to listen, to see and to name what God is doing in their life, to celebrate their relationship with God and to discern the way forward on their faith journey.

If you sense God may be calling you to this ministry and you want to find out more then perhaps the Diocesan Course in Spiritual Companionship is for you. Take a look at the information below.

If you have questions or need to know more, contact:

The Revd Ann Coleman: Tel - 01277 821366 or Send an email

 

  • The Diocesan Course in Spiritual Companionship

    The underlying Scriptural model for the Course is the story of the Emmaus Road. Two disciples walk together on a journey. It becomes a journey of discovery and transformation because Jesus comes and walks alongside them as their spiritual companion.

    So, as a spiritual companion, or spiritual director as it is sometimes called, you are there to hold the space so that the person can be still and know that Christ is present with them. Spiritual companions are called to walk beside a fellow disciple as a life servant not a life fixer! They are there to journey with the other person helping them to listen, to see and to name what God is doing in their life, to celebrate their relationship with God and to discern the way forward on their faith journey.

    It is often said that spiritual companions need ‘two ears’- one to listen prayerfully to God and the other to listen in depth to the person they are accompanying and only ‘one mouth’ – that is, to use words carefully, sparingly and helpfully.

  • The course aims to help participants:
    • To grow in integrity of life through prayer
    • To learn discernment through listening and the modelling of good practice
    • To grow in being with God in prayer in order to accompany others in their faith journey
    • To develop godly wisdom (sapientia)
    • To integrate spiritual companionship within the ministry and mission of the Church
  • We hope that participants will develop:
    • Deep and attentive listening
    • Discernment and godly wisdom
    • Humility
    • Hospitality
    • Confidentiality: the ability to keep one’s own counsel (within the Diocesan Safeguarding regulations)
  • We hope that by the end of the course participants will have been:
    • Empowered as Christian disciples to ‘walk alongside others in their faith journey’
    • Liberated as Christian disciples to discover their gifts of spiritual companionship through the grace of God and the guiding of the Holy Spirit
    • Empowered as spiritual companions in a ‘prophetic’ ministry which will seek to transform society
    • Engaged in a process of ongoing formation in order to be alert to God’s call
    • For those already engaged in ministry as clergy and LLM’s, it will be an integral part of their calling
  • Hermeneutical Tools:

    The course uses the Hermeneutic of Juxtaposition in the way it draws on the Scriptures, Christian tradition and the contemporary context to develop inherent values, embedded knowledge, skills and transformational outcomes.

  • Modules:

    There are four core modules:

    • Spiritual Companionship and the Big Life questions
    • Spiritual Companionship and the Scriptures
    • Spiritual Companionship and the Christian Tradition
    • Spiritual Companionship: Relationships-Becoming Hospitality

    Each session of these five or six week modules includes some input, some reflective group exercises, and some personal work within the context of prayer.

  • Outcomes:

    The Bishop’s Certificate is awarded to those who satisfactorily complete all four modules.

    At that point, those who sense a call to this ministry in a one-to-one context, go through discernment of this calling with the tutor team and may then be invited to join the network of spiritual companions.

    Other participants use the course to enhance present ministry, or for retreat work, or in their workplace context.

    Formation is a lifelong journey and spiritual companions are encouraged to undertake some CPD modules offered during the year. They are supported in finding appropriate supervision and, of course, their own spiritual companions.

    The tutor team are all spiritual companions with a range of academic interests. They all have experience in adult education.

  • Who is the course open to?

    The course is open access.

    Participants are exploring a calling to the ministry of Spiritual Comopnaionship, either as a stand-alone ministry, or to enhance an existing ministry.

    In addition to enabling participants to exercise a ministry of spiritual companionship within a variety of settings, individual modules can be undertaken to enhance the call to Christian discipleship, or used as CPD for clergy, LLM’s or lay disciples already offering spiritual companionship/direction.

    Tutors are spiritual companions with a range of academic interests. They all have experience in adult education.

  • Next Modules:

    Choice of three centres:

     

    Chelmsford Diocesan Office, 53 New St Chelmsford, CM1 1AT

    on Tuesday evenings - 6pm-8pm

    6 sessions (£30) - Spiritual Companionship and the Scriptures - 6th February 2024 - 12th March 2024

     

    St John's, Stratford, E15 1NG

    on Wednesday evenings - 6pm-8pm

    6 sessions ( £30) - Spiritual Companionship and the Scriptures - 24th January 2024 - 28th February 2024

     

    St Andrew, South Shoebury, SS3 9EU

    on Thursday lunchtimes - 12noon -2.15pm (5 mins lunch break)

    6 sessions (£30) - Spiritual Companionship and the Scriptures - 15th February 2024 - 21st March 2024


For more information or to report anything wrong with this page please contact Sarah Wilson