The Studion School for Spiritual Direction seeks to train people in the skill and art of being with others as they live their life with God.
A classic text in the field of spiritual direction is The Practice of Spiritual Direction by William A. Barry and William J. Connolly. In this text Barry and Connolly define spiritual direction as “helping a person directly with his or her relationship with God.” Spiritual direction is the art and skill of accompanying people as they sort through the questions "Who is God for me?" and "Who am I for God?" (Henri Nouwen)
The training in spiritual direction is concerned with three basic questions: 1) what kind of people do spiritual directors need to be? 2) What kind of skills do they need to have and develop? And 3) what kind of knowledge ought they to have?
Spiritual direction as a practice is historically rooted in the Eastern and Catholic Christian traditions; only in recent years (along with a growing interest in other spiritual disciplines and practices from the past) has spiritual direction found an interest in the Protestant tradition. It may be helpful, as James Olthuis suggests in The Beautiful Risk, to think of pastoral counselling as the Protestant parallel to Eastern and Catholic forms of spiritual direction. Not all would want to make spiritual direction and pastoral counselling synonymous, but the two definitely fit within the larger historical Christian concern for the care and nurture of souls.