The Spiritual Care Department may incorporate elements of spiritual direction but is not confined to them. Spiritual direction discerns our unfolding relationship with God. It is a relationship through which a guide helps a seeker perceives how the Source of Life might be calling the seeker to greater meaning and growth, to help the seeker appreciate the divine that underlies and transcends the everyday. It is about asking questions like these:
- Where is God in your longing? Your success? Your pain?
- What new realms of spiritual insight are being revealed through your relationships? Your work?
- Where might you sense the presence of the One inherent within multiple roles and conflicting demands of your life?
- Who are you now, and who are you being called to become?
After reflection, the seeker might see God’s presence in someone who reached out or in the experience of renewed fortitude. A low time might even become a springboard to further growth or greater empathy. The shattering of our circumstances, our self-image, or even our understanding of God may actually be part of a sacred process. The guide’s role is to help seekers discern their lives’ spiritual direction through prayer, meditation, study of sacred texts, and reflection on the unfolding patterns of their everyday existence. A guide might be ordained or might have completed a training program in spiritual direction. However, the guide’s main qualification is to be receptive and to help nurture intimacy between the seeker and God.
The Spiritual Care Department may incorporate elements of spiritual direction, however, it is not confined to them. Furthermore, chaplains engaged in Spiritual Care must be trained in Clinical Pastoral Education and Board Certified as well as licensed through the College of Registered Psychotherapists.