Spiritual Direction: Mystery

Spiritual Direction: Mystery and Spiritual Direction: Wisdom 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. 

Wisdom and Mystery are offered on alternating years. You can take one or both parts in any order. They are offered in a blended format, with students participating either in person or online.

Who can sign up for Spiritual Direction: Mystery?

Spiritual Direction: Foundations is a prerequisite for taking Spiritual Direction: Mystery. A spiritual direction training program similar to Foundations may be substituted for the prerequisite with approval from the instructor.

What will I learn in Spiritual Direction: Mystery?

The Mystery seminar 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

Will I come to campus or work from home?

The Mystery seminar requires a total of eight days of class plus reading, supervision, and several short assignments. The seminar is offered in-person and online. Students may choose which format they prefer.

What kind of work will we be doing?

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

What will be expected of me as a participant?

  • 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. 

Which textbooks will we use for Spiritual Direction: Mystery?

  • 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

Will I receive academic credit?

You won’t receive academic credit, but 3.2 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) are available for completing this seminar.

Who will be teaching the class?

Dan Schrock, DMin, has over 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.

Sounds great, I’m ready to register!

Spiritual Direction: Mystery and Spiritual Direction: Wisdom are offered on alternating years.


  • Early registration deadline: Sept. 2, 2022. Early registration cost: $800 USD
  • Final registration deadline: Sept. 20, 2022. Regular registration cost: $900 USD

A non-refundable deposit of $400 USD is due upon acceptance. The remaining payment is due the first day of the seminar.

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


Participants in Spiritual Direction: Mystery meet from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET on the following eight days: 

  • Oct. 3–4, 2022
  • Jan. 9–10, 2023
  • March 6–7, 2023
  • May 8–9, 2023 

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. 


Email us or call 574.296.6269.

Seeking more training to enhance your practice of spiritual direction?

Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction (GCSD)

The Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction (GCSD) blends an interdisciplinary encounter with theological education with a significant experiential component

Learn more