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 fully online or in hybrid format (in which instruction takes place both online and on-campus).
What do Spiritual Direction: Foundations graduates go on to do?
Graduates of Spiritual Direction: Foundations have gone on to become professional spiritual directors, or to strengthen their work in:
- Pastoral ministry
- Denominational leadership
- Neighborhood development
- Local and international mission
Who can sign up for Spiritual Direction: Foundations?
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.
References from your spiritual director and pastor (or conference minister) are required and will be reviewed by the instructor prior to acceptance into the course. If you have questions about these requirements or can’t meet any of them, please contact us. Each class is limited to 12 participants.
What will I learn in Spiritual Direction: Foundations?
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
What kind of work will we be doing?
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.
What will be expected of me as a participant?
- 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.
Will I receive academic credit?
You won’t receive academic credit, but 5.8 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) are available for completing this seminar.
Who will be teaching the class?
Dan Schrock, DMin, has 25 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. He is a member of Spiritual Directors International and has completed a year-long practicum in supervising spiritual directors from Together in the Mystery. For 30 years, he served as a pastor in three lively Mennonite congregations.
Spiritual Direction: Foundations meets weekly on campus or online (students may choose which they prefer).
Semester 1 dates: Aug. 2–Dec. 10, 2021.
Semester 2 dates: Jan. 11–April 29, 2022.
Aug. 2–16: Students work online asynchronously, at their own pace within deadlines.
Aug. 16–20: Students meet synchronously (student chooses whether to join in person or on Zoom), Monday, 1:30–4:30 pm EDT; Tuesday–Friday, 8:30 am–4:30 pm EDT.
Aug. 21–Dec. 10: Students meet online asynchronously.
Jan. 11–Apr. 29, 2022: Students meet each Thursday afternoon, by Zoom, 1:30–4:30 pm EDT, with additional work done online asynchronously.
I want to know more! What are the next steps?
Please have two references, one from your pastor or area conference minister and another from your spiritual director, complete the reference request form.
Apply by July 2 to save $200!
Early registration deadline: July 2. Early registration cost: $1,400 USD
Final registration deadline: July 16. Regular registration cost: $1,600 USD
A non-refundable deposit of $700 USD is due upon acceptance. The remaining payment is due the first day of class, Aug. 2.
Course cancellations after the first week of class will not be refunded.
Lodging and Meals
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.
Email us or call 574.296.6269.