Spiritual Direction: Foundations

(Formerly Spiritual Guidance Seminar)

Spiritual Direction: Foundations is the first level of our supervised program for those who want to become spiritual directors or to make spiritual guidance a part of their ministry. It’s offered each year, alternating between an on-campus format one year and a hybrid format the following year (in which instruction takes place both online and on-campus).

Graduates of Spiritual Direction: Foundations have gone on to become professional spiritual directors, or to strengthen their work in:

  • Pastoral ministry
  • Chaplaincy
  • Counseling
  • Denominational leadership
  • Neighborhood development
  • Local and international mission

Spiritual Direction: Foundations is open to anyone who has:

  • Completed at least one seminary course in biblical studies and one in theology.
  • Completed at least one year of monthly spiritual direction.
  • Been actively involved in a local congregation.
  • Received the permission of the instructor.

If you have questions about these requirements or can’t meet any of them, please contact us. Each class is limited to 12 participants.

You’ll grow in confidence and competence as a spiritual director as you learn from scripture, theology, Christian tradition, ethics, psychology, human development, and of course, practice! Specific topics include:

  • Taking the first steps as a spiritual director
  • Building up your toolkit
  • Discerning the presence of God
  • Guiding as part of God’s mission
  • Guiding in different church, social, economic, ethnic, and gendered contexts
  • Guiding across the adult lifespan

You’ll immerse yourself in both the theory and practice of spiritual guidance through:

  • Studying the literature of spiritual guidance
  • Experiencing spiritual guidance (both as director and directee)
  • Participating in supervision
  • Reflecting on and discussing your readings and personal experience

The amount of work required is equivalent to a 4-credit hour graduate course.

  • Practice spiritual disciplines and meet at least monthly with a spiritual director.
  • Read three books prior to the first session of the seminar:
    • Sue Pickering, Spiritual Direction: A Practical Introduction (Canterbury Press, 2011)
    • Susan S. Philips, Candlelight: Illuminating the Art of Spiritual Direction (Morehouse Publishing, 2008)
    • Beth and David Booram, When Faith Becomes Sight: Opening Your Eyes to God’s Presence All Around You (IVP Books, 2019)
  • Read two additional textbooks after the seminar begins.
  • Participate in all seminar sessions and complete all the readings.
  • Provide spiritual direction for two to five different persons, for a minimum of fifteen sessions in total, with a goal of providing at least seven sessions with one person. 
  • Participate in individual and peer group supervision, which includes preparing a contemplative reflection form and a dialogue form.

You won't receive academic credit, but 5.8 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) are available for completing this seminar.

Dan Schrock, D. Min., Sessional Faculty, has 24 years of experience as a spiritual director. He is a co-editor (with Marlene Kropf) of An Open Place: The Ministry of Group Spiritual Direction (Morehouse, 2012) and author of The Dark Night: A Gift of God (Herald, 2009).  He received a Doctor of Ministry degree with an emphasis in Christian Spirituality from Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Ga., and has completed a year-long practicum in supervising spiritual directors from Together in the Mystery. He has also worked as a pastor for 30 years.

Please have two references, one from your pastor or area conference minister and another from your spiritual director, complete the reference request form.


Spiritual Direction: Foundations will meet weekly in an on-campus format in 2020–2021. Classes will meet on Tuesdays from 8:30 - 11:30 a.m. during semester 1 and on Thursdays from 8:30 - 11:30 a.m. during semester 2. 

Semester 1 dates: Sept.1 - Dec. 11, 2020.

Semester 2 dates: Jan. 5 - April 30, 2021.

Early registration deadline: July 22. Early registration cost: $1,200 USD

Final registration deadline: August 19. Regular registration cost: $1,400 USD

A non-refundable deposit of $600 USD is due upon acceptance. The remaining payment is due the first day of class, September 1.

Course cancellations after the first week of class will not be refunded.


Lodging may be available for a fee, upon request, at the seminary guest house. Contact the AMBS receptionist, 574.295.3726 ext. 0, to check availability. Please bring your own sack lunch or eat at a local restaurant.  A list of restaurants will be provided on the first day.

Spiritual Direction: Foundations will meet weekly in an on-campus format in 2020–2021. Classes will meet on Tuesdays from 8:30 - 11:30 a.m. during semester 1 and on Thursdays from 8:30 - 11:30 a.m. during semester 2.

Semester 1 dates: Sept.1 - Dec. 11, 2020.

Semester 2 dates: Jan. 5 - April 30, 2021.


Email us or call 574.296.6269.