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Online Wisdom-based Certificate in Spiritual Direction

For those who desire to become Spiritual Directors, companioning others with compassion and wisdom on their spiritual journeys.  

Rooted in the contemplative Christian tradition of inner experience of God's healing, guiding love,
cultivated through silence and solitude, listening and discernment. 
Grown and enriched by collective wisdom arising through all of Creation--
​at all times, in all places, through all people and traditions.


***Currently Accepting Applications for 2022 Fall Cohort until August 1st!***
2-Hour Orientation on Zoom: September 20th, 9am-11am Central Time
2-Hour Zoom Gathering: Every 3rd Tuesday from 9am-11am CT, beginning October 18th 

Course Information
Spiritual Direction Application
Certificate in Spiritual Direction:
2-Year Process 
-1st year Formation of Spiritual Director & Introduction (didactic learning, reading, writing, experiential)
-2nd year Supervision of Spiritual Director & Concentration (experiential, research and integration)

Program Objectives: 
  • Personal healing & growth as you live with program material and contemplative practices over time so as to invite a deeper discovery of the Divine Presence and your Authentic Self
  • Deepening your ability to listen for and discern Wisdom as it manifests within and around you
  • Offering you skills and tools to assist you in becoming a compassionate, wise companion & guide for others

Year One Program Rhythm:
Developing or deepening one's rhythm of spiritual practice by entering into a flexible rhythm of program material.
Each month-
  • Week 1: Reading & start 1-page responsive papers
  • Week 2: Watching pre-recorded class teaching & engaging practices
  • Week 3: Zoom session with group to discuss reading, teaching & experience of practices
  • Week 4: Interacting with cohort through online gathering space
    Year One Requirements:
    • 12 Classes: 11 with pre-recorded teachings + 2-hour Zoom gatherings and 1 online or in-person seminar/retreat of choice
    • 6 Half Hour Sessions with Spiritual Direction Mentor
    • 12 Spiritual Direction sessions with a Spiritual Director of your choice*
    • 12+ Opportunities for Sharing & Support through an Online Gathering Space with Cohort
    Year Two Program Rhythm:
    Developing or deepening one's rhythm of spiritual practice by entering into a flexible rhythm of program material.

Each month-

  • Week 1: Focus research, reading, writing &/or planning.
  • Week 2: Offering Spiritual Direction
  • Week 3: Individual or Group Supervision
  • Week 4: Interacting with cohort through online gathering space
    Year Two Requirements:
  • Go deeper into a chosen Concentration/Focus through an Integrative Paper or Integrative Project
  • 10-12 sessions of Spiritual Direction each for 2 Directees (in-person, phone, or online)                                      
  • 12 Sessions of Supervision (3 One-Hour Individual, 6 90-minute Group Supervision Sessions, and 3 90-minute Peer-based Group Supervision)
  • 1 video/Zoom recording of a Spiritual Direction session (to be viewed by Supervisor and discussed in an individual session)
  • 12 Individual or Group Spiritual Direction sessions*
  • 6 One-page updates on focus
  • 10-page Integrative Paper or 5-page Review of Integrative Project
  • 1-hour pre-recorded teaching on Professional Ethics for Spiritual Directors                                              
  • Online Gathering Space for Sharing & Support
  • Optional: 1-hour pre-recorded seminar: Earning a Living as a Spiritual Director  

Year One Classes & Fees: 
Recognizing & Healing Our Image(s) of God
    Course Objectives:

  • Awareness of the impact of image(s) and language of God on one’s inner and outer world
  • Study of names & images of the Unnamable within and beyond one’s particular religious context and/or familiarity
  • Experience of soul-shaping conversations & spiritual practices offering healing of our stories associated with images of God

Contemplative Prayer & Meditation (through Time & Across Traditions)
     Course Objectives: 

  • Awareness of the ancient roots, present growth, purpose, and fruit of contemplative prayer & meditation
  • Study of different ways of contemplative prayer & meditation integrating mind, body, spirit, imagination, community, & Creation
  • Experience of ancient and present day contemplative prayer & meditation practices from a variety of traditions

Stages of Spiritual Growth & Development
    Course Objectives:

  • Awareness of stages and phases of spiritual growth & development in individuals and communities
  • Study of the benefits & limitations of, as well as insights offered by, different paradigms of spiritual growth & development
  • Experience of the intersection of spiritual growth & development and spiritual practices

Discovering Our True Self and Tools for Self-Discovery
    Course Objectives:

  • Awareness of and language around True/Authentic Self
  • Study of the inner work of transformation, including Dark Night of the Soul, and ways of discovery and recognition of True/Authentic Self 
  • Experience of practices and tools for Self-Discovery, including guided prayer, poetry, journaling, Sacred Naming, Awareness Examen, Internal Family Systems Therapy, and the Enneagram

The Art of Spiritual Direction I (Soul Companioning)
    Course Objectives:

  • Awareness of the history and distinguishing characteristics of Spiritual Direction and Spiritual Directors
  • Study of directive and non-directive ways to enter into shared silence & soul companionship  
  • Experience of hospitality for the soul and listening deeply with one’s whole being  

Ways of Wisdom: Spiritual Seeing, Listening, & Discerning (as individuals and in community)
    Course Objectives:

  • Awareness of the collective and perennial nature of Wisdom and the meaning of Discernment
  • Study of ways Wisdom/Divine Presence manifests and ways of Discernment   
  • Experience of personal and communal ways of discernment of Wisdom/Divine Presence

Soul Wounds: Views of Suffering, Sin, Trauma, Grief & Forgiveness
    Course Objectives:

  • Awareness of soul wounds impacting individuals, interpersonal relationships, and communities
  • Study of personal and cultural cycles of violence that wound and ways to companion others on their healing journey, stepping out of cycles of violence into greater wholeness  
  • Experience of one's own wounds and vulnerabilities leading to compassionate, humble, and wise Soul Companionship and case studies of witnessing and companioning others through times of suffering

The Art of Spiritual Direction II (Soul Companioning in Context)
    Course Objectives:

  • Awareness of contexts and systems at work in the lives of director and directee (individual and communities) impacting the Spiritual Direction relationship
  • Study of different contextual perspectives of Spiritual Direction leading to compassionate, wise Soul Companionship  
  • Experience of Spiritual Direction through the eyes of marginalized Spiritual Directors & Directees

The Art of Dreamwork (Listening to the Symbolic Language of the Soul) 
    Course Objectives:

  • Awareness of the symbolic language of the Soul as experienced in nighttime dreams and daytime visions
  • Study of various ways of working with dreams and visions to unlock their Wisdom for waking life
  • Experience of working with one’s own dreams and facilitating formal Dreamwork with a directee or informal Dreamwork with a friend or family member

Dynamics of Group Spiritual Direction & Dreamwork
    Course Objectives:

  • Awareness of group dynamics as one facilitates Spiritual Direction or Dreamwork
  • Study of different paradigms of Group Spiritual Direction and Group Dreamwork
  • Experience of the power of communal, collective Wisdom in Group Spiritual Direction and Group Dreamwork

Facilitating Contemplative Retreats (whether In-person or Online)
    Course Objectives:

  • Awareness of the need for and transforming nature of contemplative retreats in our contemporary society
  • Study of types and elements of contemplative retreats—creating space to befriend Silence & Solitude and allow for heart-opening opportunities through rest, play, beauty, awe, and delight
  • Experience of an online retreat utilizing mindful relaxation, the imagination, and Silence

Choose (1) Seminar* or Retreat* (In-Person or Online).  Find retreats and classes here.
    Course Objectives:

  • Awareness of an area of the spiritual life or soul-tending that you are drawn to on behalf of yourself (and others!)
  • Study of subject matter beyond the seminar or retreat for the purpose of integration into own life and Spiritual Direction
  • Experience of a chosen seminar or retreat to deepen your own awareness, spiritual practice, and Soul Companionship

September Reading List To Prepare for Program:
“We Are Cells of the Living Planet: An Interview with Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi,” Presence, Vol. 20, No. 3, p. 6
Foundations in Spiritual Direction: Sharing the Sacred Across Traditions by Beverly Lanzetta 
Unteachable Lessons: Why Wisdom Can’t Be Taught (And Why That’s Okay) by Carl McColman
Pick 1 (Optional):
The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham. 
The Way of the Heart: Connecting with God through Prayer, Wisdom, and Silence by Henri Nouwen
Thoughts in Solitude by Thomas Merton
Waking Up to This Day: Seeing the Beauty Right Before Us by Paula D'Arcy
The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence (also free online)

Program Fees for Year One: $1665 ​
    $880 for 11 2-hour classes at $80/each
    $440 for 11 pre-recorded teachings at $40/each,
    $105 (retreat price) for 1 seminar or retreat of your choice
    $240 for 6 sessions with Spiritual Direction mentor at $40/session

*additional fees for personal Spiritual Direction, books, supplies, seminar/retreat ​

Year Two Focus & Fees:

  1. ​Integrative Paper- study and writing a 10-page paper on integration into Spiritual Direction  -or-
  2. Integrative Project- experiential opportunity development and implementation & 5-page review paper                                                                                                                                            
Examples of concentrations:
Creation Spirituality, Ignatian Spirituality, Native American Spirituality, Celtic Spirituality, Benedictine Spirituality, Rabbinic Wisdom,  Taoism, Buddhism, Desert Fathers & Mothers, Divine Feminine, The Beatitudes, Nonviolent Communication, Vocation/Calling, The Writings & Theology of a Mystic, Reiki, Yoga, Qigong, Breathwork, Walking/Movement, Dance, Pilgrimage, Play, Sacred Icons & Artwork, Music, Forgiveness Work, Dreamwork, Poetry, Journaling, Twelve Step/Recovery, Internal Family Systems Therapy, Anger and Women, The Second Half of Life, Spiritually Companioning Men, Tending the Souls of Teenagers, Parenting, Sexuality, Chronic Pain,  Hospice, Dementia, Healthcare Workers,  LGBTQ+, Socio-economic Disadvantaged, Social Justice, Church Context, Clergy & Church Staff, Spiritual but Not Religious, Interfaith, Tending the Soul in the Workplace, Soul-Tending at Home...what or who is your heart drawn to? 

Research and study can include reading, listening to podcasts, attending a retreat on the subject, being mentored in the subject, working toward certification in another area (ex. Reiki, Level 1), creating an experience for others (which can include an offering through Wisdom Tree Collective!), etc.
​Program Fees for Year Two: $935
​    $720 for 9 Sessions of Supervision
    $40 for 1 pre-recorded Teaching
    $175 for Reading/Feedback 

*additional fees for personal Spiritual Direction, books, and supplies ​ 

Payment plans and Scholarships available.     
How to apply:
-Fill out online application.
-2-3 letters of recommendation from those who notice and/or have benefitted from your gifts of listening, wisdom, and discernment.  Click for online recommendation link.
Apply Now