Spiritual direction is taking a long, loving look at what is real, seeking freedom from bondage, celebrating and savoring with God, and seeking a deeper meaning and purpose in life.”

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith

Asbury United Methodist Church is pleased to offer in-person or virtual spiritual direction sessions for members, clergy and anyone in the community seeking to deepen his or her relationship with God.

What Is Spiritual Direction?

Spiritual direction is an opportunity to explore your spiritual journey with a trained listener or guide, and to discern God’s movements and presence in your life. It is a safe, confidential, and nonjudgmental place to tell your sacred stories, grow in your understanding of God, and sift through life’s experiences to find a place of healing, hope, freedom, and transformation. Spiritual direction does not try to fix or solve problems but explores where God is in the midst of your life.

Who Comes to Spiritual Direction?

Individuals come to spiritual direction for a variety of reasons. If you find yourself:

  •  searching for God in your life
  • questioning your faith
  • seeking to go deeper in your understanding and friendship of God
  • discerning important choices
  • experiencing a transition
  • longing for something more
  • feeling stuck in your prayer life

then spiritual direction might be helpful for you.

What Can I Expect at a Spiritual Direction Session?

As a listening and supportive companion, a spiritual director opens a space for you to hold a sacred conversation about your personal encounters with God. There is no set agenda, so each session is unique to you and your spiritual care. The role of the director is to help point to the work of the Holy Spirit, the true spiritual director in your life.

The sessions last one hour and people typically meet once a month, but the frequency is flexible. You can seek spiritual direction for as long as you would like. For some, spiritual direction is helpful during a time of discernment or for a season of life. For others, it becomes part of on-going soul work and self-care.

How Is It Different from Counseling or Pastoral Care?

Often times, conversations with counselors and pastors revolve around specific life events, questions, or issues where someone is seeking advice or help with a problem that needs to be solved. Spiritual direction, by contrast, focuses on the movement of the Spirit in your daily life and offers help in noticing God’s guidance throughout your situation, season of life, or time of discernment. It is not a “quick fix” but rather a subtle and gentle understanding of and encounter with the presence of God.

How Much Does Spiritual Direction Cost?

The cost of spiritual direction varies from director to director. The rates for spiritual direction sessions at Asbury UMC with Spiritual Director Robyn White are as follows:

  • Standard rate: $50
  • Asbury UMC Member: Optional donation to the Asbury UMC Spiritual Direction Fund
  • Clergy rate: $40
  • Student rate: $25

If this is more than you are able to afford, please contact Robyn to work something out. Finances should not prevent you from exploring spiritual direction if you are interested.

How Do I Sign Up for Spiritual Direction?

If you would like to find out more about spiritual direction or schedule a session, please contact Robyn White, Director of Adult Ministry and trained spiritual director at rwhite@asburyonline.org. Sessions with Robyn are held in-person at Asbury UMC or online via Zoom.

For an additional list of trained spiritual directors in the Birmingham area, visit Spiritual Directors International (SDI).

Prayer Resources for Going Deeper

If you are seeking to go deeper with God, consider using the following meditations in your prayer time:

Spiritual Director Robyn White received her certification in spiritual direction from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in December 2020. As a trained spiritual director, Robyn is passionate about creating safe spaces that offer room for exploring one’s faith, asking the hard questions, navigating spiritual discernment, and growing in the love of oneself and the Divine. Through her own life experiences, Robyn believes that we are the beloved children of God and we have been given the gift of seeking God together. 

Through her role as Director of Adult Ministry, Robyn leads Bible studies, walks with adults of all ages through life’s journeys, and hosts Silent Retreats. She welcomes one-on-one conversation and never passes up a good cup of coffee!