Religion Versus Spirituality: How Can a Spiritual Coach Help You?

by USC Spirituality Coach, Ralonda Simmons

As a spiritual coach, I often run into potential clients who express misgivings about working with me.

Sometimes, they express concerns about how their beliefs will be accommodated; in discovery conversations, they express fear that I will push my beliefs on them.

However, that’s far from the case.

Each of us has a background that informs our view of spirituality, and it’s easy to mistake it for endorsement (or disavowal) of any specific religion. Because of this baggage, this brings up confusion and complicated feelings for a lot of people.

After all, religion is one of the topics we’re often told to avoid on first dates and job interviews. It’s no wonder that potential clients are sometimes wary of learning more about who I am and what I do as a spiritual coach.

To allay their fears, I begin by helping them to understand the different between religion and spirituality. A religion is a specific doctrine, set of beliefs, habits, and behaviors to connect with the divine, however defined. On the other hand, spirituality is much bigger. Religion can be a part of a spiritual life; in fact, it often is.

Spirituality focuses on the human soul, of worth, connection to something bigger than us, and the search for meaning. In in a world fraught with division between differing doctrines, spirituality can be a way to connect with the divine without as much baggage. Adhering to any specific religion is but one way to participate in spirituality.

Spirituality can involve many aspects including presence, patience, kindness, community service, entrepreneurship, doing chores, taking walks, self-care, fellowship, developing a sense of purpose, and much more.

I find that when I take the time to explain the difference between religion and spirituality to potential clients, a light comes into their eyes. Their understanding dawns; as a coach, I am not here to force them to believe as I believe (outside of my belief that they too deserve to live up to their inborn potential).

I’m not here to judge them for their pasts or paths, which allows me to help them to become more secure in becoming their best selves on a holistic level. Helping others to self-actualize is a part of my spiritual purpose; in doing this, I hope to raise consciousness and stimulate healing for many people.

Why is this important? Because spiritual health can lead to emotional health, which can lead to a longer and happier life.

If any of this resonates with you, feel free to schedule a free coaching session with me at

Thank you for reading. - R.S.