Spirituality Program

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For 20 years the Center for Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary has been proud to offer courses in Christian Spirituality.

We now offer two certificate programs for  clergy or laypersons who wish to deepen their life with God and learn to assist others on their faith journeys.

Certificate in Spiritual Formation

The Certificate in Spiritual Formation offers people in the pulpit, in the pew, in all denominations and stages of life, an exploration of community-grounded Christian spirituality that is rooted in scripture, theology, a history of the tradition, reading in the spiritual classics, prayer and meditation, and in skills for assisting others on a spiritual journey.

Click to learn about upcoming classes.

Certificate in Spiritual Direction

Spiritual Direction, often called spiritual companioning or spiritual friendship, is an intentional relationship between a person seeking spiritual guidance and a trained individual (the spiritual director). The Certificate in Spiritual Direction is a 2 1/2 year training program for those seeking to discern and develop  their gifts and skills as spiritual directors.

Spiritual Director Supervisor Training

Spirituality Program partnered with Together in the Mystery to offer a one-year training program for spiritual director supervisors. The training program, for experienced spiritual directors who seek to serve as supervisors for practicing spiritual directors and spiritual directors in training, will be completed in May of 2017.


Upcoming Spirituality Program Events

Event Feed

Sep 11
Readings in Spiritual Classics


Certificate in Spiritual Formation/ Online Course

This four-week online course will invite reflection and dialogue based on excerpts from several spiritual classics. Weekly prompts are intended to encourage and challenge personal spiritual formation.


Oct 15
Texts of Terror


Certificate in Spiritual Formation

How do troubling texts inform your sense of God? This course will engage a ‘charitable’ interpretive approach to explore Biblical texts that challenge our theological and ethical understandings. With Ryan Bonfiglio. Montreat Conference Center.

Oct 19
Holy Wells and Thin Places: Exploring Celtic Spirituality


We will celebrate the wisdom of Celts from St. Patrick to C.S.Lewis, engaging contemporary themes such as hospitality, pilgrimage and the sacredness of nature. With Carl McColman. Montreat Conference Center.

Nov 06
Teaching Spiritual Formation in the Congregation


Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Jane Vennard leads this experiential class which will include prayer, small groups, individual reflection and silence as well as presentations and discussion.

Feb 01
Sacred Survival: Engaging African American Spirituality


Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Explore, engage and dialogue with the distinct and rich African American spiritual traditions. Open to all who wish to enrich their spiritual journey through stories, songs, and rituals as a source of hope and healing.

Feb 05
Prayer: Deepening Your Experience with God


Certificate in Spiritual Formation/ Online Course

Are you seeking something more? Are you restless in your spiritual life? Join Deedra Rich for this 5-week exploration of prayer and spiritual practices.


Feb 08
On Desire and Flourishing: A Study of Ancient Israelite Wisdom


Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Come and explore the ancient understanding of desire—its metaphors, objects, promises and perils—and consider how the sages’ insistence on the value and vitality of desire may inform our own searches for personal and communal wellbeing.

Feb 18
Holy Land Pilgrimage


Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Pilgrimage is one of the oldest and most important spiritual disciplines. It begins with the soul’s longing, a sacred seeking of new terrain and spiritual meaning. This journey is the capstone for the Certificate in...

Apr 19
“I have room for a second life”: Journeying by Heart with the Poet Rainer Maria Rilke


Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Mark Burrows invites us to explore Rilke’s prayers and poetry with our hearts. Image, gesture and memory guide our glance into the well of our deep experience of ‘self.’ Rilke and poets like him speak...

Apr 30
Beside Still Waters – A Contemplative Retreat


Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Renew and refresh! Join us for this Contemplative Retreat at Sacred Heart Monastery. Writings of the Psalmists, Saints and Desert Mothers and Fathers will inspire our contemplation. Led by Chris Glaser and Debra...

May 15
Certificate in Spiritual Direction Application Deadline


Certificate in Spiritual Direction

The program of study is designed for individuals who discern a call to the ministry of Spiritual Direction. Applications for the 2018-2020 cohort will be accepted until May 15, 2018.

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