Spiritual Direction Course Content

Home » Courses » Spiritual Direction Course 2024 – 2026 » Spiritual Direction Course Content

Year One: Foundations in Spiritual Direction

Aims

  • To examine the nature and purpose of spiritual direction
  • To deepen understanding of the core skills and qualities of an effective spiritual director and to develop these through practice

Learning Outcomes

Developing knowledge and understanding:

  • The nature and purpose of spiritual direction
  • Relationship of spiritual direction to Christian discipleship
  • Core skills and qualities for spiritual direction ministry
  • Impact of personal story and personal context on spiritual development
  • Development in self-awareness
  • Awareness of different ways of prayer

Developing skills in:

  • Listening
  • Discernment
  • Adapting one’s approach to meet the needs of individual directees

Learning methods

The course will combine input, individual and group exercises, personal study and reflection and practice in spiritual direction through work in triads. 

Contact time

10 study days running from 10.30 am to 3.30 pm approx. and one 50 hour residential

Expectations of course members

Attendance at all sessions:  If personal circumstances mean missing a session, arrangements must be made to ensure the content of the day is adequately covered. If more than two days are missed the course will not be considered completed. 

Student study hours: 90 hours, beyond direct contact time. This is equivalent of one working day a month. 

Completion of any assignments within the required timeframe: These will involve some reading and some reflective exercises. Course members will be asked to keep a learning journal.  

Progression on to Year Two

[Spiritual Direction in Practice]:

Acceptance on to this first year and its completion is not by itself a guarantee of progression on to the second year. Those wishing to progress must have demonstrated that they have the necessary skills, qualities and attitudes to become an effective spiritual director. This will be assessed through observation of practice, commitment to the requirements of the course and an end of year review.

Year Two: Spiritual Direction in Practice

Aims

  • To deepen understanding of the skills, attitudes and practices that enable effective spiritual direction ministry.
  • To develop the practice of spiritual direction through the use of review and supervision
  • To broaden awareness of the insights of different spiritual traditions and the relevance of their insights for spiritual direction

Learning Outcomes

Developing knowledge and understanding:

  • Insights of different Christian spiritual traditions in relation to spiritual direction ministry
  • The wider use of spiritual direction within retreats and other contexts
  • Safeguarding within the context of spiritual direction
  • Discernment of Spirits as understood within Ignatian and other frameworks.
  • Awareness of the roots of one’s own responses through review and supervision

Developing skills in:

  • Listening and responding
  • Discernment
  • Reviewing the spiritual direction relationship
  • Making effective use of supervision

Learning methods

The course will combine input, individual and group exercises, personal study and reflection and practice in spiritual direction through work in triads. Individual and group supervision will also be used to develop skills and practice.

Contact time

10 study days running from 10.30 am to 3.30 pm approx. and one 48 hour residential

Expectations of course members

Attendance at all sessions:  If personal circumstances mean missing a session, arrangements must be made to ensure the content of the day is adequately covered. If more than two days are missed the course will not be considered completed. 

Student study hours: 90 hours, beyond direct contact time. This is equivalent of one working day a month. 

Completion of any assignments within the required timeframe: These will involve some reading and some reflective exercises. Course members will be asked to keep a learning journal.  

Spiritual direction:  Course members will be asked to provide 4 sessions of spiritual direction to at least two people. Directees should be non-course members and ordinarily will not be from the individual’s home church. Help will be given in finding appropriate directees where this is needed. 

Assessment:  Assessment will take place through observation of practice, completion of course assignments, supervision sessions and an end of year review. Those judged to have successfully completed the course will be added [if wished] to the SPIDIR network of spiritual directors for referral purposes. 

Find a Spiritual Director

Click the button to request a referral.

Scroll to Top