Path to UUSDN Membership
What Makes a Spiritual Director?
For millennia people have turned to one another for spiritual guidance, direction, and companionship. Spiritual companions, guides, or directors come from a variety of backgrounds and types of spiritual formation. Seekers (directees) ultimately determine who is right for them. The process of becoming a spiritual director is a particular kind of spiritual formation, and is ongoing for as long as one serves in that role.
We UUSDN members agree that spiritual directors:
are good listeners
accompany the directee, rather than imposing their own agendas
are comfortable with a variety of spiritual experiences, paths, and language
attend to and are grounded in their own relationship with spirit
attend to their own ongoing formation as spiritual directors and in their own spiritual lives
act ethically (UUSDN members agree to follow the SDI Guidelines for Ethical Conduct) https://www.sdicompanions.org/media/guidelines-for-ethical-conduct/
Who are members of UUSDN?
We are Unitarian Universalist religious professionals and lay people who take many different paths into spiritual direction. We want to assure those looking for directors within our network that our directors have been formed as spiritual directors, continue to grow, and are accountable both to their directees and to one another.
How to become a member of UUSDN?
We know there are many paths through formation to become a spiritual director, so we want to be in conversation with you about your formation. We expect our UUSDN spiritual companions to have completed training, be engaged in an ongoing formation process, and have a level of readiness needed for ethical and skillful professionalism. We expect our UUSDN members to be grounded in UU communities and literate in the breadth and diversity of our UU theologies and practices, recognizing we cannot be proficient in all of them. The profession does not yet have an accrediting body, so UUSDN has established the following path toward membership.
Path to membership:
Express interest in being a UUSDN member by contacting UUSDNMembershipTeam@gmail.com or Complete the membership form, (you may ask your membership guide at UUSDNMembershipTeam@gmail.com to assist you in filling out the form) to describe your training and experience.
We will connect you with a membership guide to talk about your preparation and readiness.
The membership guide will have a conversation with the membership committee offering a recommendation, and after consultation will reply to you about your path forward into UUSDN, which could include a recommendation for additional training, formation, or supervised praxis.
Once you have been welcomed into membership, participate in a “Welcome to UUSDN Membership” orientation.
We think that essential components of formation paths are training, formation and supervised praxis, yet are aware that there are many forms of solid preparation. Here is a path many of our members have taken, equivalent paths are also welcome:
(Very partial list of Training programs our members have found worthwhile. If your program is not on the list, we will look at the program description on their website, or you can ask a program representative to send your membership guide a description of your program.)
At least 180 classroom hours (in a program or with a program plus continuing education)
Some interactive training (e.g., not entirely asynchronous.)
Training includes two or more leaders/teachers, who have several years of experience as professionals in spiritual direction and/or supervision training.
We recommend that the program be accountable to a religious organization, spiritual community, or academic institution and/or have ongoing oversight from a board of directors (where that board contains professional spiritual directors.)
Training in a spiritual direction program and/or continuing education over a period of at least 18 months (or equivalent*)
At least 2 years participation in individual spiritual direction
Commitment to continue receiving spiritual direction
At least 18 supervised directee-hours working with at least 2 different directees over at least 6 months (or equivalent*)
Commitment to continue in supervision (supervision can be individual, a facilitated peer group, or a cooperative peer group)
*Your membership team will help you discern what might be equivalent.
Be in direction (tending to our own spiritual lives)
Be in supervision (tending to our role as directors) (supervision can be individual, a facilitated peer group, or a cooperative peer group)
Be in a collegial group accountable to ethical standards and right relations according ot UU values [currently UU Ministers Association (UUMA), Liberal Religious Educator’s Association (LREDA), UU Society for Community Ministers (UUSCM), or another equivalent group - please inquire]
Follow the SDI Guidelines for Ethical Conduct
To suggest changes or corrections, please email us at: UUSDNMembershipTeam@gmail.com