Diploma or Certificate in the Art of Spiritual Direction

Spiritual direction has played a role in Christian formation since Jesus sat at Martha and Mary’s kitchen table. People find themselves called to this path from many directions and many stages of life – young people still engaged in their M.Div. studies, retiring pastors, lay counselors, chaplains, retreat leaders, people called to serve LGBTQ+ people, interfaith leaders, those who identify as transreligious, evangelical, black church, Catholic laity – and more. Whatever path you have walked to get here, we welcome you as friends on a shared spiritual journey.

No program can certify another person as a spiritual guide. This program grants a certificate or diploma that indicates that you have undertaken serious study and practical training as a spiritual director or as a guide for individuals and communities seeking spiritual formation.

Our program emphasizes that spiritual guidance is founded in your personal commitment to your own spiritual formation and spiritual direction during and after your participation in our programs. Our courses offer sustained training in deep listening, theories of spiritual direction, professional issues, the art of discernment, and exploration of a variety of spiritual practices.

Certificate vs. Diploma?

SFTS offers both a certificate and a diploma in spiritual direction and formation, with the difference being the number of classes and academic credits.

Certificate requirements

  • Four classes, each including readings, reflection papers, classroom learning, and small group practice
  • Students are expected to write reflections on assigned readings
  • Course requirements can be completed in 13 months, but classes can be taken at one’s own pace
  • Two years of supervised practice of one-on-one spiritual direction
  • Ongoing work with a spiritual director

Diploma requirements

  • Five classes which carry 1.5 academic credit hours each. Classes will include readings, reflection papers, classroom learning, small group practice, and an academic style paper.
  • Course work can be completed through three January terms, but classes may be taken at one’s own pace
  • Two years of supervised practice of one-on-one spiritual direction
  • Ongoing work with a spiritual director