Spiritual Direction: Mystery and Spiritual Direction: Wisdom

(Formerly Advanced Spiritual Guidance Seminars)

Spiritual Direction: Mystery and Spiritual Direction: Wisdom (formerly Advanced Spiritual Guidance Seminar) are the next level of our supervised program for those who want to become spiritual directors or to make spiritual guidance a part of their ministry. Spiritual Direction: Mystery and Spiritual Direction: Wisdom are offered on alternating years. You can take one or both parts in any order.

Spiritual Direction: Mystery and Spiritual Direction: Wisdom are open to anyone who has received at least one year of initial training in spiritual guidance. They are each limited to 12 participants.

Spiritual Direction: Mystery focuses primarily (although not exclusively) on the ineffable presence and activity of God as experienced in the lives of directees. Topics may include:

  • God's salvation in darkness
  • Desert and apophatic spiritualities
  • Working with rather than against sexuality
  • Recognizing and collaborating with the Holy Spirit
  • Sabbath as a context for living with God in time
  • Reframing and recontextualizing contexts
  • Identifying healthy and unhealthy spiritualities
  • Using ritual actions
  • Honing visual perception
  • Learning the language of the body
  • Helping directees move from loneliness to solitude
  • Working with people in brief, short-term ways

Spiritual Direction: Wisdom focuses primarily (although not exclusively) on the perceptive insights and concrete skills that we spiritual directors bring to our work. Topics may include:

  • Using the Bible in direction
  • Creation spiritualities
  • The prayer practice of beholding
  • The nature of transformation
  • Developing rules of life
  • Understanding the stages of spiritual practice
  • Using the arts
  • Applying theological insights in direction
  • Long-term direction relationships
  • Working with highly sensitive persons
  • Navigating boundary crossings and violations

Each seminar requires a total of six days of class plus reading, supervision, and several short assignments. Because of Covid, in 2020-21 the seminar will be taught through live video which you can participate in from your home, as long as you have high-speed internet, a reliable computer with a webcam, a microphone, and speakers. If health conditions improve in 2021, later installments of the seminar may allow participants to travel to Elkhart. However, those who cannot or do not want to travel to Elkhart will be able to continue participating by video throughout the year.

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

  • Interactive classroom presentations
  • Mentoring and supervision from instructor Dan Schrock
  • Group prayer
  • Practical, directed reading and writing assignments
  • Regular meetings with directees of your own
  • Attend all sessions and keep up with all assignments.
  • Offer regular spiritual direction to at least two people during the year, preferably three.
  • Receive regular spiritual direction from your own director.
  • Present three cases for supervision. 
  • Choose a spiritual practice that you want to maintain for the duration of the seminar. 
  • Bidwell, Duane. Short-Term Spiritual Guidance. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2004.
  • Guyon, Madame Jeanne. Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ. Please buy this edition
  • Reed, Angela H., Richard R. Osmer, and Marcus G. Smucker. Spiritual Companioning: A Guide to Protestant Theology and Practice. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2015

You won't receive academic credit, but 3.2 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.

Sounds great, I'm ready to register!

For more information, email us or call (574) 296-6269.

Green plant rolled within itself

Spiritual Direction: Mystery will be offered 2020-2021. The class will meet on Oct. 5-6, 2020; Jan. 25-26, 2021; and May 3-4, 2021. See more details under the Will I come to campus or work from home? section of this webpage.

Early registration ends Sept. 2, 2020.

Final registration ends Sept. 30, 2020.

Spiritual Direction: Wisdom will be offered 2021-2022.

Early registration deadline: September 2. Early registration cost: $650 USD

Final registration deadline: September 30. Regular registration cost: $750 USD

A non-refundable deposit of $325 USD is due upon acceptance. The remaining payment is due the first day of the seminar, Oct. 5.

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.  

Participants in Spiritual Direction: Mystery will meet from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm on each of the following days: 

  • Oct. 5-6, 2020
  • Jan. 25-26, 2021
  • May 3-4, 2021


Email us or call 574.296.6269.