Supervisor Spotlight: Tim Ralphs

What year were you ordained? 2013

What services do you provide? I offer one-to-one Supervision, predominantly online. These sessions might focus on the specific challenges of a supervisee’s relationship with their clients, as is conventional for supervision, but I find when supervising Ministers it’s often helpful to frame our intention somewhat differently: We come into the sacred space of supervision to help the Minister heed more clearly and answer more fully their own personal call to Ministry, in whatever form that might take. I also facilitate Group Supervision, offer spiritual counselling services, provide creative mentoring, work as a celebrant, and facilitate the “Story, Self and Spirit” course –

What inspired you to pursue training with OneSpirit? I would say that there were two big motivations that led me to undertake the OneSpirit training. All my life I’ve been fascinated by religion – not so much in terms of dogma or history, but in terms of how it makes people feel; the human experience, the practice of faith and what it means to be in a relationship with the Sacred.

Perhaps more than that, I’ve been fortunate that during some of my tougher life experiences, I’ve witnessed astounding acts of ministry. Times of grief and disruption that were met by people of incredible skill and fortitude. Individuals who taught me, through their actions, that “minister” is a verb first and a noun second. I can remember thinking, by my late twenties, that if these skills could be learned and put into practice then I wanted to do exactly that.

But I was also aware that I had not found, in my encounters with mainstream religion, a place where it felt like I belonged. I did not have that supportive pillar that came from a connection with a religious tradition. The training the seminary offered met both of these impulses head-on. It offered me a chance to deepen into the ground of my own spirituality through experiential enquiry. It helped me find soil where I could sink my roots. It gifted me with the space to learn and practice skills, some of which I didn’t even realise I needed. And it provided me with a cohort of comrades, a community, with whom I could travel on the journey of awakening and service.

What motivated you to expand your ministry by becoming a Supervisor? I have personally experienced the profound difference that high-quality supervision can make when I’ve felt stuck, conflicted, and pushed to my limits. These experiences of supervision as sacred work have allowed me to be more present with my clients, in deeper relationships with my co-workers and more alive to the world. They led me to want to explore including supervision among the services I offer.

During lockdown, as my caring responsibilities increased, I found myself looking for possibilities to expand my online work. I was lucky to have the opportunity to train with Jane Wilmot and Robin Shohet, who are elders in the field of the helping professions and whose work on the Seven-Eyed Model of Supervision represents, for me, the core of supervisory practice. As a creative practitioner, I also bring a variety of narrative and expressive art practices into supervision sessions, drawing on techniques devised by Mooli Lahad. It is a real honour to be part of the OneSpirit Supervisors Group. I feel connected to both the history of the seminary and to OneSpirit’s ongoing endeavour to foster an ever more diverse, expansive, inclusive and far-reaching Ministry.

How can clients get in touch with you? I am best reached via email. You can reach me at my website – where you can also subscribe to my mailing list. Or learn more about me from my OneSpirit Minister profile.

Interested in working with Tim? Get in contact with him at the button below: