Certificate in Spiritual Direction

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Our primary motive for becoming a spiritual companion should be the love of others and desire to help them grow into the full measure of holiness and wholeness that is their eternal destiny. David G. Benner, Sacred Companions: The Gift of Spiritual Friendship

The Certificate in Spiritual Direction (CSD) program is designed for individuals who discern a call to the ministry of Spiritual Direction

Grounded in the tradition of Christian Spirituality, the curriculum includes four one-week long residencies on campus, online components, individual reading and written reflections, and a supervised practicum in the art of spiritual direction. Organized on the cohort model, the certificate is intended to be completed in two and half years.

Areas of focus that weave through the formation program include contemplation and deep listening, awareness of self and the holy spirit, discernment, somatic integration, spiritual practices and self-reflection, supervision and ethics.

Certificate in Spiritual Direction Leadership

A team of leaders provide content and feedback in plenary sessions, model spiritual practices and spiritual direction, facilitate afternoon learning labs, mentor participants, and share unique gifts throughout the program. The leadership team includes:

Jane Vennard

Jim Dant

Julie Johnson

Mary Anona Stoops

Deedra Rich

Liz Forney

Debra Weir

Admission Requirements and Application Information

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Applicants to the Certificate in Spiritual Direction (CSD) program should have completed a minimum of one year receiving spiritual direction with a trained spiritual director and agree to continue in spiritual direction during CSD studies.

Applicants should be able: to articulate an understanding of spiritual guidance and discernment of call to the ministry of spiritual direction; narrate their faith journey and current spiritual practices; exhibit maturity and relationship to a faith community. Two letters of reference are required.

Computer and internet access are needed to use the seminary’s online learning platform and complete the distance components of the course work. Participants will not be required to be online at a specific time.  Online segments are self-paced.


Course of Study

2018-2020 CSD Cohort

Spiritual Direction in Context

October 21-26, 2018

Leader Jane Vennard/Leadership Team


Incarnation: Theology, Tradition and Practice of Spiritual Direction

March 24-29, 2019

Leader: Jim Dant/Leadership Team


Discernment in Spiritual Direction

Fall, 2019

Leader: Julie Johnson/Leadership Team


Spiritual Direction, Discerned Action and Social Transformation

Spring, 2020

Leader: Jim Dant/Leadership Team

Supervised Practice in the Art of Spiritual Direction

Supervision is a spiritual practice as well as an ethical commitment on the part of all spiritual directors. We offer a well-developed supervision process to facilitate formation and learning.

This process is learned during the residencies through practical training in afternoon learning labs facilitated by members of the leadership team. The framework is then utilized at home for monthly meetings with a trained field supervisor. Eighteen supervision sessions are required for completion of the CSD. Fees for individual supervision are the responsibility of the student. Feels generally range from $50-100 per hour-long session. A list of supervisors will be provided.

Certificate of Completion

Upon completion of the requirements of this program a certificate of completion will be awarded.

The certificate will attest to completion of this formation and training program to develop the gifts and sensibilities of spiritual directors and support their callings to this ministry.

Program Fees

The cost of each residency is $1400, which includes several meals and residency-related course components.  Housing is available for an additional fee.  Fees may be adjusted on an annual basis.

Fees for field supervision ($50-100 per hour-long session) are the responsibility of the student.


For more information, please email Debra Weir (mail to: weir.debra@ctsnet.edu), Associate Director, Spirituality and Lifelong Learning, or call her at 404-687-4557.