The Difference between Supervision and Mentoring

Supervision and Mentoring are two distinct approaches that provide support and guidance to pastors, leaders in business, church staff, para-church workers, indeed anyone in the workforce. However they differ in their focus and methodology. Here's a breakdown of the differences between the two.


Supervision: The primary focus of supervision is on the supervisee’s professional practice and development. It aims to enhance their skills, self-awareness, and effectiveness in their role. The focus is on the supervisee’s workplace role and the specific challenges they face in their work

Mentoring: Mentoring, on the other hand, emphasises the personal and spiritual development of the mentee. It seeks to provide guidance, wisdom, and support to help them grow in their faith, character, and overall well-being. The focus is on the individual's personal growth including their journey of faith.


Supervision: It typically involves regular, structured meetings between the supervisee and a trained supervisor. The supervisor provides a safe space for reflection, exploration, and critical evaluation of the supervisee's work. They may use specific models or frameworks to facilitate the process and help the supervisee gain insights and make improvements in their workplace practice.

Mentoring: Mentoring often involves a more informal and long-term relationship between an experienced mentor and the mentee. The mentor serves as a guide and companion, sharing their own experiences, knowledge, and wisdom. The mentoring relationship is often characterized by trust, open dialogue, and a focus on the mentee's personal and spiritual growth.


Supervision: The goals of supervision include enhancing the supervisee's self-awareness, developing their skills and competence, exploring ethical and dilemmas, and supporting their overall professional growth. It aims to improve the quality and fruitfulness of their work and the well-being of both the supervisee and the stakeholders that they serve.

Mentoring: Mentoring aims to nurture the supervisee's personal and spiritual formation, providing guidance and support as they navigate various aspects of their lives and work. The goals may include strengthening their character, fostering emotional and relational well-being, deepening their faith, and helping them maintain a healthy work-life balance.
It's worth noting that these approaches are not mutually exclusive, and there can be overlap between supervision and mentoring. Some supervisors may also provide mentoring aspects, while mentors may offer guidance on professional matters. The specific implementation and emphasis can vary depending on the context, the needs of the deepening their faith,, and the approach to the program of both parties involved.