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School of Theology and Ministry

Post-Master's 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.

Features of the Post-Master's Certificate

  • 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

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 July during Summer at STM.  For 2018 the dates are July 16-27. Applications for Summer 2018 are being accepted through July 6, 2018. 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).

Registration for each summer is 2 credits, so the total program includes 6 credits.

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 B for 2018).  Completion of all three units is required to earn the certificate.

Applying to the Post-Master's Certificate

We look forward to your application.  A complete application to the Post-Master's Certificate consists of:

  • Application Form (submitted online)
  • Application Fee of $75
  • Personal Statement (uploaded with the application form)
  • Resume (uploaded with the application form)
  • Transcripts from previous bachelor's and master's programs (can be emailed or mailed)
    *For STM graduates, previous transcripts can be used from your master's application but please send new BC transcripts
  • 1 Letter of Recommendation

More details about the application components