Discerning a Call to be Spiritual Companion


  • feel led to nurture your skills as a spiritual companion?
  • feel curious about the calling of spiritual companioning and want to learn more?
  • find that people seek you out for conversations of significance to them?
  • want to learn more about Wayfaring Companions?
If these are the types of questions you are asking, then we hope this page will be helpful to you. We (the Wayfaring Companions Team) want to offer these thoughts and resources to help you find greater clarity around the calling and work of spiritual companioning. Our goal here is not to convince you to do our program. Consider this page to be a short class that introduces some of the basics of spiritual direction, as well as a few tools for discernment.

To begin, here is a brief video introducing our faculty and our understanding of spiritual direction:

Next, is a brief video describing our 2-year program:
Wayfaring Companions

As part of the discernment process, Matt Johnson (matt@neighboringmovement.org) will have a conversation with you about whether Wayfaring Companions is a good fit for you. If you have not already, please contact Matt to schedule this conversation.
Note: EVERYTHING listed below is totally optional. It is listed here so you have some things to think about and can explore more of who and what we’re about.


  • Holy Listening by Margaret Guenther. We recommend this book as a beautiful entry point to the work of spiritual direction. Guenther is practically wise, and compassionately compelling. Enjoy!

  • Sleeping With Bread; Holding What Gives You Life by Dennis Linn, Sheila Fabricant Linn and Matthew Linn. If you have not discovered this simple treasure, now is your chance. This beautifully illustrated book offers accessible insight to the discernment practice of the Daily Examen from the Ignatian tradition.

Want to go deeper? Here are a few other books we would recommend:

  • Discernment; A Path to Spiritual Awakening by Rose Mary Dougherty

  • Enter by the Gate; Jesus’ 7 Guidelines When Making Hard Choices by Flora Slosson Wuellner

  • Illuminating the Way by Christine Valters Paintner – the mystics as archetypes; art meditation in preparation for contemplative prayer with images, symbols, and lectio and visio divina.


  • Neighboring, Companioning, and Asset-based community development. Cultivate a missional mindset toward your neighbors as you prepare to walk with people in their spiritual journey

  • Listen to The Neighbor Next Door’s two part podcast episode with Mike Mather.

    • Part 1 (Links to an external site.) -In the first episode, Mike shares how his church’s shift from an environment of scarcity led to a sense of abundance that moved them away from creating programs so they could meet neighbors.

    • Part 2 (Links to an external site.) – In the second episode, Mike re-frames the idea of Christian discipleship and details what discipleship looks like for both him and his church.

  • Do this Finding My Role in Social Change worksheet


Wayfaring Companions is built upon the synergistic relationship between contemplation and action.


  • Contemplative prayer practice: Continue to develop your own contemplative prayer practice

  • Take a self-paced online course on Contemplative Prayer, Finding God in Culture (through paintings, music, poetry, etc). Contact Wendi (wb1171@gmail.com) to learn more about these online courses.

  • Sit with your life story by doing a River of Life exercise.

Think About

Questions to consider as you prepare for your discernment interview with Matt:

  • Describe the journey that has brought you to this particular season.

  • What attracted you to the work of spiritual direction?

  • Is there anything about Wayfaring Companions that especially attracted you? If so, what was it?

  • Do you have a vision for how you will offer spiritual direction?

    • If not, that is ok. Some paths are discovered one step at a time.

    • If so, please describe it.

Key Dates

Program details are outlined on the Wayfaring Companions page.
All retreats are held online.

Dates for the 2021 cohort of Wayfaring Companions:
Inquiry Deadline: July 20
Tuition Deadline: August 20

Year 1 – Teal:
September 30- October 2, 2021 (retreat 1)
January 27-28, 2022 (retreat 2)
April 28-30, 2022 (retreat 3)
Annual Gathering of Companions: June 23-24, 2022

Year 2 – Yellow:
September 29- Oct 1, 2022 (retreat 1)
January 26-28, 2023 (retreat 2)
April 20-22, 2023 (retreat 3)
Annual Gathering – Companionfest: June 2023 (dates TBD)

Contact Matthew

To continue the discernment process, we encourage you to reach out to Matthew Johnson by completing this form. Completing the form and contacting Matt puts you under no obligation.

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