Those drawn to Sufism Reoriented recognize a natural affinity with its spiritual director, who occupies the office of murshida (murshid when a man), a term adopted from traditional sufism meaning "teacher" or "guide". Always chosen for this office by his or her predecessor, the murshid or murshida supervises all the activities of Sufism Reoriented, offering spiritual guidance based on the timeless principles of higher love, truth, purity, and selfless service to God's world, as integrated in her own experience in living. This guidance is given directly through interviews, correspondence, and conversation. It is also offered through formal lessons and meetings, through shared work, worship, and silently through example.
The current murshida of Sufism Reoriented, Dr. Carol Weyland Conner, was born in 1942. Dr. Conner grew up in central California's San Joaquin Valley. She studied English literature at UC Berkeley, French literature at the Sorbonne in Paris, and medieval studies at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore before receiving her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Catholic University in Washington, D.C., in 1976. After teaching for several years in the George Washington University School of Medicine, she went into private practice as a therapist, practicing for twenty-five years in Walnut Creek, California.
Dr. Conner was appointed the murshida of Sufism Reoriented by both her predecessors, Murshida Ivy O. Duce and Murshid James Mackie, and assumed office in 2001.