School of Spiritual Direction

Program Distinctives

  • One-Year Focused/Concentrated Program
  • Cohort Model (Hybrid: Online/Residency)
  • Facilitated by Seasoned Practitioners
  • Ecumenically Broad
  • Global in Reach
  • Contemplative in Focus
  • Communal in Emphasis
  • Group Spiritual Direction Component
  • Mentor-Guided (One-on-one/Group)
  • Highly Experiential and Praxis-Driven

Program Overview

Basic Application Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)
  • Three recommendations: ministerial, academic, personal
  • Basic computer/online literacy
  • Clear sense of calling to be a spiritual director
  • Application paperwork (with $150 nonrefundable/nontransferable application fee)
  • Personal interview (conducted via Zoom web call)


1. Basic familiarity with most, if not all, of the following subject matter (formal or informal):

  • Introduction to Christian spirituality or spiritual formation
  • History of the church or Christian spirituality
  • Introduction to spiritual disciplines or spiritual direction

2. A history of being in spiritual direction and currently seeing a spiritual director

3. Satisfactory completion of SC – Soul Companioning: Intro to SD (4-week online course)

Program Components:

  • Four quarters of online study: 8 weeks total each quarter
  • Fourteen course offerings: 8 online courses (2 per quarter with a 2-week break in between courses and a 3-week break in between quarters) and 6 residency courses (equivalent to 3 courses per residency)
  • Two one-week residencies: The opening residency typically runs from Sunday afternoon to Friday noon in a retreat center setting in Southern California. The Closing Residency typically runs from Sunday afternoon to Sunday noon with a whole-day silent retreat incorporated into the schedule. (Click here to view our lineup of online/residency instructors and prospective guest residency speakers.)
  • Cohort system: 15 maximum participants per cohort section

Participant Cost:

  • Total Program Fee: $ 6,700 (inclusive of all tuition/technology fees and residency expenses like board and lodging).
  • Additional Costs: Books/Course materials, Practicum (SD/Supervision fees) and residency travel expenses are the participant’s responsibility.

2018-2019 Program Flow and Course Topics (Cohort 4)

Pre-requisite Online Course (for accepted applicants):

  • Soul Companioning: Intro to SD (TBD) – via Moodle (This course is offered at least 4 times/year)

First Quarter 2018/19

  • Orientation to Online Learning (Oct. 8-10) – via Moodle
  • Opening Residency (Oct. 21-26)
    • Overview of CQ SSD
    • The Art and Ministry of Spiritual Direction
    • Presence Module (3-part series)
  • Three-Week Break (Oct. 27-Nov. 18)
  • Online Course #1 (Nov. 19-Dec. 15)
    • Contemplative Prayer I: Seeing
  • Two-Week Break (Dec. 16-30)
  • Online Course #2 (Dec. 31, 2018-Jan. 26, 2019)
    • Contemplative Prayer II: Listening
  • Quarter Break (Jan. 27-Feb. 17)

Second Quarter 2019

  • Online Course #3 (Feb. 18-Mar. 16)
    • Prayerful Discernment I: Foundations
  • Two-Week Break (Mar. 17-30)
  • Online Course #4 (Apr. 1-27)
    • Prayerful Discernment II: Practices
  • Quarter Break (Apr. 28-May 26) – This break includes a weeklong Practicum Intro (see Practicum doc)

Third Quarter 2019

  • Online Course #5 (May 27-July 6)
    • Group Spiritual Direction
  • Two-Week Break (July 7-21)
  • Online Course #6 (July 22-Aug. 17)
    • Spiritual Direction Supervision
  • Quarter Break (Aug. 18-Sept. 8)

Fourth Quarter 2019

  • Online Course #7 (Sept. 9-Oct. 5)
    • Theological Reflection
  • Two-Week Break (Oct. 6-20)
  • Online Course #8 (Oct. 21-Nov. 16)
    • Critical Life-Stages 
  • Quarter Break (Nov. 17-Dec. 7)
  • Closing Residency (Dec. 8-15, 2019)
    • Transformation Module (3-part series)
    • Practicum I: Group Spiritual Direction 
    • Practicum II: Facilitated Group Supervision 
    • Final Integration

    NOTE: For a more updated and detailed information on the Curriculum (Course Descriptions, Online Instructors, Required/Highly Recommended Texts), click HERE.

General Overview Information

Program Preparation:

  • Prior to the start of the Opening Residency, participants are to devote adequate time to prepare themselves before launching into the yearlong program. This will involve accessing key info in the SSD Cohort Commons (via Moodle) at least two months before the residency (including info on textbooks, Moodle orientation, residency prep, travel survey, reference resources, etc.).

Retreat Residency:

  • The opening residency in the fall of 2018 is scheduled to take place at the Serra Retreat Center in Malibu, California while the closing residency venue in the winter of 2019 is at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center in Sierra Madre, California. The Closing Residency incorporates a whole-day silent retreat at the beginning. Much preparation is involved prior to the Closing Residency as this will be the culmination of the yearlong program. Full attendance and participation in both residencies are required to complete the program.

Individual and Group Mentoring:

  • Each participant is assigned to be part of a small group (5 people maximum) under a mentor.
  • Mentors are present during the opening and closing residencies.
  • Mentors check in with each participant assigned to them during every other month (via email, phone, and/or Zoom web call).
  • Mentors conduct a quarterly shared reflection via Zoom with their mentoring group based on each participant’s self-assessment/discernment utilizing the Appreciative Inventory (AI) tool.
  • Mentors have access to all the online courses and will monitor the progress of each participant in coordination with online instructors.

Spiritual Direction/Supervision Experience:

  • Each participant is expected to have a monthly session with a spiritual director throughout the entire program.
  • Each participant is expected to have at least two directees by the end of 2nd quarter.
  • Each participant is required to see a supervisor once a month from June 2018-November 2019 (six months).
  • Each small group is involved in group spiritual direction practice during the online module and during the closing residency (both as participants and facilitators) and in-between each quarter (via the AI sessions).
  • Each participant is expected to bring a supervision case and experience facilitated group supervision during the closing residency (to be facilitated by well-trained spiritual direction supervisors).

NOTE: For more details on the SSD Practicum Requirements, click HERE.