Two Year Training Program in Spiritual Direction

The training program is a two-year certificate program in individual Spiritual Direction. Upon completion, students will be ready to serve others as a Spiritual Director in a variety of settings. Over the course of the two year training, participants can expect to:

  • develop a personal rhythm of spiritual practice.
  • cultivate an understanding of the stages of adult faith development.
  • learn about major themes and people in Christian spirituality.
  • gain understanding of multi-cultural influences on spirituality.
  • practice essential skills for spiritual direction, including holy listening, ethical boundaries, and meaningful questions.
  • distinguish differences between spiritual direction, therapy, and pastoral counseling.
  • choose and apply specific approaches to spiritual direction.
  • develop one’s personal working definition of spiritual direction.

Interested in applying? Read this page carefully and click the link below. 

Year One Curriculum Topics

  • Movement in the Spiritual Life
  • Formative Spirituality
  • Listening To God
  • Contemplative Listening
  • Images of God
  • Spiritual Practices
  • Enneagram
  • Enneagram thru a Multi-cultural Lens
  • Dreamwork
  • Cultural Humility/Implicit Bias
  • Intro. To Internal Family Systems
  • Listening to other Faith Traditions
  • Grief, Loss, and Trauma in SD
  • Sexuality and the Bible
  • Religious and Sexual Trauma in SD
  • Ignation Spirituality
  • Wesleyan Spirituality

Year Two Curriculum Topics

  • Practicum
  • Supervision 
  • Ethics in SD
  • Discernment
  • Dark Night of the Soul
  • Christian Mystics
  • Images, metaphors, and symbols in SD
  • Projection, Transference, etc.
  • Black Church Contemplation
  • Emotional Activation in SD
  • Self-care for the SD
  • Establishing a SD Practice
  • Transitions and terminations in SD

Students are mentored by a member of the Institute Leadership Team, meeting with this person three times per year.  Students will have required reading for each semester as well as projects related to the curriculum. Further, students are expected to meet monthly with a spiritual director throughout the entire two-years they are enrolled this program.

In the second year, students receive hands on practice in two ways. First, students participate in triads. Triads comprise three students who take turns in various roles: director, directee, and observer. Second, students begin seeing at least two directees once a month (a total of nine sessions per directee over the course of the year). Students write verbatims on specific sessions and meet monthly with a trained supervisor to reflect on one’s experience as a spiritual director.

  • Semester Dates: Classes begin Fall 2024 and conclude Spring 2026. (August through May each year).
  • Format: One weekend per month (6:30pm – 9:00pm Fri and  9:00am – 4:00pm Sat) and two online evening class sessions per month via Zoom (2.5 hours each).  Attendance at all sessions is required. 
  • Total Hours: Approximately 200 contact hours (not including homework, practicum hours, or optional third year).
  • Location: Saint Andrews UMC in Raleigh (Garner area), NC area and online
  • Cost: The total cost for the two year training program is $6000. This can be paid over several installments or all at once. 

Program Requirements

  • Applicants must be at least 30 years of age (age exceptions on a case by case basis.) 
  • In the context of a spiritual direction or a spiritual companion relationship, applicants need to have had experience in a process of discerning what is God’s prompting and what is not, have come to recognize the charisms of a spiritual director in themselves, and have experienced a call to the ministry of spiritual direction. (See the Who is Called? page)Thus, applicants must have been a participant in a minimum of 6 monthly spiritual direction sessions and continue this rhythm throughout participation in this training program. Further if not in a formal spiritual direction relationship at the time of application, the applicant will be asked to begin with a trained director immediately and participate in a “pre-application” interview with a Director of Spiritual Direction Institute to talk about your experience in an informal spiritual companionship. Please email the director to initiate the scheduling of this interview:
  • Students are expected to meet monthly with a Spiritual Director for the duration of this program. 
  • three letters of reference (at least one must be from a clergy member or ministry leader)
  • confirmation from your spiritual director (confirmation of direction relationship and length of time in direction)
  • interview with members of the Institute Leadership Team after application is processed
  • read Sacred Companions by David Brenner and write a 2-3 page summary focused on what in the reading was most meaningful to you at this point in your spiritual journey and how this might impact your ministry as a spiritual director
  • $100 non-refundable application fee     
  • The tuition for this two year program is $6,000.  This may be paid in several installments or all at once.  
  • Class size is limited and the application process will be closed once we reach full capacity.  The application process for the 2024 Cohort is currently open.   Students will be notified on or before July 1, 2024 of their acceptance. 

Interested in applying for the 2024 Two-Year Spiritual Direction Cohort? 
Click here for the full Application Process and to apply.