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To become a spiritual coach, a person must combine training and experience with good business and personal skills. There is no set path of education or training required to become a spiritual coach, though many coaches do attend certification programs or create a self-guided education to help start their businesses. In some cases, it is possible to become a spiritual coach for an organization, such as a church, but many coaches prefer to do freelance work.
The training needed for spiritual coaching is often a deeply personal experience. Some spiritual coaches specialize in the teachings and practices of a certain religion, and may have formal degrees in theology, divinity, or even be ordained ministers. Other coaches prefer to work on a non-denominational basis and may need a broad and comprehensive understanding of world religions, spiritual and moral philosophy, and alternative spiritual practices. For those interested in pursuing a formal degree in order to become a spiritual coach, majoring in philosophy, religion, or psychology may be useful.
Professional training to become a spiritual coach is sometimes offered by coaching organizations and specific religious groups. These training courses may last weeks, months, or years, and may be conducted in a classroom setting, through self-guided study, or over the Internet. While these programs do not provide a formal degree, they can result in a certification from the training organization. One benefit to professional training courses is that they often include classes on business management, customer relations, and starting a coaching business. This type of training can be very useful for anyone who plans to make a living by choosing to become a spiritual coach.
Certain types of work experience may be very useful to a person who wants to become a spiritual coach. Working with a parish or religious group, becoming a therapist, or even training as a health and fitness counselor may all be useful in this type of career. Although spiritual coaching primarily involves helping clients deepen their spiritual understanding of the world, any jobs that involve communication, active listening, or wellness can help provide valuable experience that may be useful while coaching.
Once training is completed, a new coach must try to establish a career in coaching. Some coaches look for work within their spiritual community; a Christian spiritual coach might find a job coaching engaged couples on spiritual preparation for marriage in the church, while a non-denominational coach might be hired by a wellness center. Many coaches prefer to work freelance, offering private sessions similar to a therapist. To establish clientele, it may help to advertise or offer services through a church, religious group, or like-minded spiritual center.