Tag Archives: Ignatius of Loyola

Spiritual direction: What it is, where it came from, and how to learn more


Interested in spiritual direction? Here’s a piece I put together with editorial right-hand man Steve Gertz back in the Christian History days. Links are old so no doubt some will not work:

Got Your ‘Spiritual Director’ Yet?
The roots of a resurgent practice, plus 14 books for further study
Chris Armstrong and Steven Gertz

Christian counselor and popular author Larry Crabb took the trouble to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. But now he believes that in today’s church, therapy should be replaced by another, more ancient practice—”spiritual direction.”

This is one of the classical Christian spiritual disciplines Crabb and others from a wide variety of Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox backgrounds are examining and recommending anew in a biannual journal, Conversations: A Forum for Authentic Transformation, just launched this Spring.

Crabb is not the only modern Protestant digging into this historical mode of spiritual growth. Jeannette Bakke, author of Holy Invitations: Exploring Spiritual Direction (Baker, 2000) said in a Christianity Today interview, “Evangelicals are listening for God in ways that are different from our usual understanding of discipleship. We are looking at many Christian disciplines, including prayer, silence and solitude, discernment, journaling, and others. … Spiritual direction is one of these disciplines many evangelical Christians are learning about and exploring.” Continue reading