"The Holy Spirit is our harpist,
And all strings
Which are touched in Love
—Mechthild of Magdeburg
At San Francisco Theological Seminary, we are rooted in the Christian tradition but celebrate the depth and beauty of the human spirit in its many cultural and religious expressions. We understand spiritual direction as a way to participate in the mending of hearts and society. Our spirituality programs rest on the belief that we are called to awaken our hearts to others through practice, study, and community.
These sessions are designed for both diploma and certificate programs. All classes are Credit/No Credit. Diploma students acquire 1.5 academic credits per course. Certificate acquire 0 credit. Learn more about the requirements for and differences between the Diploma and Certificate.
All classroom instruction will be online. Students opting for a residential experience will take classes online but willparticipate in small group work and worship in person. They will also have opportunities for shared meals and to meet withcolleagues informally between classes.
We encourage students to come to our serene campus for at least two classes during their program. Students are able to have a moreretreat-like experience and learn from face-to-face relationships in small groups, meals, and worship.
Upon acceptance into the program, students will be sent reading material for orientation and for their classes, a more detailed outline of the schedule, and information how to register for classes.
Students will participate in online orientation to spiritual practice as the foundation of spiritual direction, as well as the richness of multi-cultural dimensions in spiritual direction. Led by Dr. Wendy Farley, Director of the Programs in the Art of Spiritual Direction and Rice Chair of Christian Spirituality.
Contemplative Listening is a meditative discipline that connects our listening to one another in our ability to listen to the divine. This kind of sacred listening begins by attention to your own heart and then deepen your listening to the heart of another. We will practice listening by working in groups, dyads, and triads. This session is offered as the pre-requisite for further work in our programs in the Art of Spiritual Direction.
This session is the continuation of the Contemplative Listening course and is required of new Certificate and Diploma students. It provides basic theory and practice for the work of spiritual direction. In addition to daily supervised practice sessions each afternoon, there will be a panel on multi-cultural and multi-racial issues in spiritual direction. Participation in this session is a prerequisite before spiritual direction students can begin to practice spiritual direction.
Returning students will receive information about registration and material to prepare for their classes in September. Please reserve October 12 and 19 4-5:30 PT for orientation to the January intensives.
In this course we focus on studying the theory and practice of discernment. Students will be able to deepen the practice of discernment in their own lives and also use these practices in their work with directees. This class is designed for second and third year Diploma and Certificate students.
Spiritual Practices for Spiritual Direction
January 16-20, 2024
Dr. Wendy Farley
A leading theologian, Wendy Farley has written extensively on women theologians and mystics, religious dialogue, classical texts, contemporary ethical issues, and contemplative practices.
Professor Farley received her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1988. Her teaching and research interests include women theologians, Buddhist-Christian dialogue, spirituality and social justice, classical texts, and contemplative practices. Her first book, Tragic Vision and Divine Compassion: A Contemporary Theodicy (Westminster John Knox, 1990) considers the problem of evil by focusing on suffering rather than sin and abandons the forensic model of God in favor of one emphasizing compassion as a dominant metaphor for the divine. A second work, Eros for the Other: Retaining Truth in a Pluralistic World (Penn State: 1996), also takes up the relationships between ethical and philosophical issues in religion. In 2005, she published The Wounding and Healing of Desire: Weaving Heaven and Earth (Westminster John Knox), which combines attention to contemplative practices, folk traditions, and inter-religious dialogue to reflect on suffering and transformation. Gathering Those Driven Away: a Theology of Incarnation (Westminster John Knox, 2011), reflects on the meaning of Christian faith and tradition for women, queers, and others that the church has had difficulty recognizing as part of the body of Christ. She also recently edited (with Emily Holmes) a collection of essays called Women, Writing, Theology: Transforming a Tradition of Exclusion.
Her latest book, “The Thirst of God: Contemplating God’s Love with Three Women Mystics” (Westminster John Knox, 2015), explores the spirituality of medieval mystics Marguerite Porete, Mechthild of Magdeburg, and Julian of Norwich. In Farley’s words, “These women have important things to tell us about our faith, the same as contemporary contemplatives, with the emphasis on divine love.”
Rev. Scott Quinn is an ordained Lutheran minister and interfaith minister, having served as an associate pastor in Dallas, Texas. He also served as an educator and spiritual director at an interfaith spirituality center in Austin, Texas and then as Director for Community at The Chaplaincy Institute, which is an interfaith seminary and community in Berkeley. He is currently the Executive Director of the Marin Interfaith Council.
Scott has been trained as a spiritual director and supervisor of spiritual directors and is part of the faculty and supervisory staff for the Chaplaincy Institute’s Spiritual Direction program, as well as for San Francisco Theological Seminary’s Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction program. He sees directees and supervisees virtually as well as in person at his home in San Rafael, California, where he and his partner tend a large garden and many animals. His website is:
Daeseop Daniel Yi, faculty advisor for Korean students at San Francisco Theological Seminary, is dedicated to understanding how humans can be their authentic selves and live their lives fully through various contemplative practices. This wholistic transformation and growth is interconnected with communal and social change. His main desire is to help people who are hungry for spirituality to find themselves and their vocations through spiritual direction (individual and group), supervision, various spiritual classes, and retreats.
Yi earned a Ph.D. in Christian Spirituality at Graduate Theological Union. He has been on the staff of SFTS’s Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction program since 2008. He has also worked for many years as a pastor and chief of staff at a local church and in a campus ministry for young adults. His pursuit to integrate the discipline of psychology and other traditions (Buddhist mindfulness and body movement) with Christianity has helped others to be whole and to live their lives in an integral way.
Aside from giving spiritual direction and supervising spiritual directors, Yi has been teaching classes in lectio divina, centering prayer, spiritually informed pastoral care, spiritual formation, clearness committee, discernment and prayer, Spiritual Exercises, and other subjects at SFTS, Oikos University, New College Berkeley, and Journey Groups. He is interested in living ‘in between’ so that he can be a bridge between America and Korea and be creative in both cultures.