Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

School of Theology and Ministry

Post-Masters Certificate in Spiritual Formation

school of theology and ministry

An in-depth, intensive program of study to enhance one’s ability to mentor
the spiritual lives of individuals and Christian faith communities.


  • An introduction to the fundamentals of spiritual direction practice
  • An opportunity to fine-tune retreat skills
  • Convenient summer study – two weeks for three consecutive summers
  • Opportunity to participate in vibrant daily liturgy
  • Economical on-campus housing

Eligibility:  Lay and ordained persons experienced in ministry with a master’s degree in a theological discipline are invited to apply.  This program cultivates skills that are helpful for a wide range of ministerial positions, and can be applied in a variety of settings.

Schedule and Content:

This three-year program takes place in early July during Session II of the School of Theology and Ministry’s Summer Institute. For 2014 the dates are July 7-18. Applications for Summer 2014 are being accepted through May 15, 2014. Each summer the program meets for two weeks, Monday through Friday, with morning faculty presentations and discussion based on assigned readings and an afternoon practicum in spiritual guidance/spiritual direction.  At the end of years one and two, assignments are given to be completed in preparation for the next year’s session (i.e. reading, verbatim, prayer ritual, retreat presentation, and/or scriptural reflection). 

*Unit A: Ways of Prayer and Discernment
Morning Session Themes:
Historical developments in prayer, teaching forms of Christian prayer, comparative approaches to prayer, the significance of place and body in prayer, the art of discernment, and tools and resources in discernment.
Afternoon Session:  Interactive spiritual direction exercises, verbatims, role plays, and peer review of prayer rituals.

*Unit B: The Art of Spiritual Direction
Morning Session Themes:
Historical roots of spiritual guidance, contemporary understandings of spiritual guidance, developmental considerations for spiritual guides, ethical considerations in spiritual direction work, contemplative listening, and particular issues in spiritual direction.
Afternoon Session:  Interactive spiritual direction exercises, verbatims, role plays, and peer review of retreat presentations.

*Unit C: Fostering Creativity and Communal Spiritual Formation
Morning Session Themes:
Creative approaches to ritual, creative approaches to dreams in spirituality work, creative writing as a spiritual resource, multiple intelligences and diverse ways of knowing in spiritual formation work, extended senses of community, spirituality and one’s work community, group discernment, group spiritual direction, and spiritual issues arising in community.
Afternoon Session:  Interactive spiritual direction exercises, verbatims, role plays, and peer review of scriptural reflection.

*Please Note:  The order in which Units A, B, and C are offered will not necessarily coincide with year I, II, and III of participation in the program.  Students will begin with the unit being offered that year (Unit A for 2014).  Completion of all three units is required to earn the Certificate.

Click here to be directed to information about admissions and financial aid.

Click here for housing information.