Inner Sharing: Spiritual Direction and Pastoral Care

Richard E. Lamontagne, George Fox University


Spiritual direction is a way of assisting people in their growth toward spiritual maturity. Yet, spiritual direction remains a relatively unknown and undervalued link to the life of the spirit despite people's need for guidance. Often, ministers who are normally expected to offer spiritual direction are reluctant to engage in it. This dissertation proposes to reassure clergy and encourage them to risk engagement in spiritual direction. The first section seeks to clarify spiritual direction by providing definitions and distinguishing it from similar disciplines. The second section situates spiritual direction in the history, tradition, and present conversation of the Church. The third section discusses the necessary elements of sound spiritual direction and profiles the spiritual director and directee. The concluding proposition is that spiritual direction, being complimentary to pastoral ministry, clergy can confidently engage in it to the benefit of the individual and the Church.