Frequently Asked Questions


How does ANSD “fit” with other Spiritual Direction networks in Australia?

The Australian Spiritual Direction landscape is rich, diverse and unique.

ANSD has a unique place in this landscape in that it is inclusive of all those interested in spiritual direction and companionship.

ANSD operates alongside several key national and regional organisations to continue to nourish this fertile environment. These organisations include:

   Australian Ecumenical Council for Spiritual Direction (AECSD), with  mission to foster the ministry of spiritual direction across all of Australia. AECSD has member organisations, not individual members. ANSD is represented on AECSD by Liz Palmer.

   Conference of Spiritual Directors Australia (CSD) is a national professional association, established in 1986, of spiritual directors committed to a contemplative approach in the ministry of spiritual direction.

   Companions in the Ministry of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises is a national professional association in Australasia of Givers of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius bound together through a commitment to Ignatian Spirituality.

   Ecumenical Spiritual Directors Association (ESDA) supports Christian spiritual directors in their work, particularly in South Australia and Northern Territory.

How can I be involved in ANSD?

There are plenty of opportunities to connect with our network. for general queries contact our secretary.  See the regional pages for upcoming meetings in your area.

In September 2020 the Coolamon journal team identified a need for more people to be involved details here.

Does ANSD provide training in Spiritual Direction or Supervision?

ANSD is a network for those interested in spiritual direction, and as such, offers the portal of resources for those people working as Spiritual Directors and Supervisors and those interested in Spiritual Direction.  For further information about formal training programs in Spiritual Direction and Formation, visit Australian Ecumenical Council for Spiritual Direction. 

Does ANSD set ethical standards for Spiritual Directors?

As a member of the Australian Ecumenical Council for Spiritual Direction ,  ANSD contributes to the setting of ethical standards for Spiritual Directors and Supervisors.

What does the ANSD logo symbolise?

The spiral in the ANSD logo symbolises:

  • Being all encompassing, reaching outwards and inviting all on the margins;
  • It is open ended, unlike a circle which is closed. This represents inclusiveness, the open embrace of hospitality;
  • It has an outward movement representing
    • reaching out toward our directees, our community, our neighbours and the world,
    • the flow of wisdom is outward from the centre;
  • It has an inward movement representing
    • the need for self care,
    • interior growth and reflection,
  • Overall there is a healthy rhythm of inward and outward movements of a balanced life;
  • It is not neat – representing
    • the natural messiness of life in all its beauty and pain;
    • that our ministry is not about the perfection or performance of ego, but the readiness to move with the Spirit;
  • Its outer edge it has three lines representing the Trinity;
  • Its open space in the middle represents the spacious sacred space being held in a spiritual direction session.

The colours in the ANSD logo symbolise:

  • YELLOW – similar to gold, symbolises divinity and the eternal uncreated light of God; it also represents Australia’s summers where “the sun pours down like warm honey” (Eric Bogle);
  • BLUE – symbolises the wide blue horizons of the Australian skies (and traditionally represents the heavens and the Kingdom of God on earth) and the deep waters that surround the continent of Australia: the water of life and living waters poured out in this ministry (the sea was biblically also a place of chaos into which God brought order);
  • GREEN – signs of new life, of hope, and growth.