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 part requires a total of six days on the AMBS campus, divided into three visits over the course of six months. The rest of the seminar can be done from your home, assuming you have high-speed internet, a reliable computer with a webcam, and either a microphone and speakers or a headset.

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 on the AMBS campus 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. 
  • Make one 75-minute presentation to the rest of the class on a topic of your choice.
  • Benner, David G. Spirituality and the Awakening Self: The Sacred Journey of Transformation. Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2012. 
  • Hoare, Liz. Using the Bible in Spiritual Direction. New York: Morehouse, 2015. 
  • Reiser, William. Seeking God In All Things: Theology and Spiritual Direction. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2004. Ruffing, 
  • Janet K. Spiritual Direction: Beyond the Beginnings. New York: Paulist, 2000.

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 22 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 28 years.

Green plant rolled within itself

Spiritual Direction: Mystery will be offered 2019-2020.

Final registration ends Sept. 30, 2019.

Spiritual Direction: Wisdom will be offered 2020-2021.

The cost of Spiritual Direction: Mystery is $750 USD after Sept. 5. Course price has been reduced for this year only to $650 USD.

A non-refundable deposit of $325 USD is due upon acceptance. The remaining payment is due the first day of the seminar, Oct. 7.

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

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

Participants in Spiritual Direction: Mystery will meet on the AMBS campus 9:00 am - 4:00 pm on each of the following days: 

  • Oct 7-8, 2019
  • Feb 17-18, 2020
  • May 4-5, 2020


Email us or call 574.296.6269.