The Spiritual Direction Training Program should be available to women and men who are discerning a call to spiritual direction ministry and who wish to explore that call, engage in personal spiritual growth, enhance the knowledge and skills needed for this ministry.
The Purpose of the Spiritual Direction Certificate Program
To enrich the spiritual life and theological awareness of the participants
To offer resources, experience, and support that can prepare participants to practice the art of spiritual direction sensitively and skillfully
To immerse the participant in the Franciscan way of being in the world, with its universal inclusivity as expressed in the presence of the Divine in all creation and the dignity of the human person.
To develop community, building a network of people who are prepared to serve in
diverse spiritual settings.
People Who Should Consider the Spiritual Direction Certificate
Have some theological background (previous formal training in College or Seminary)
Appreciate learning with others from diverse backgrounds
Have experienced and are willing to engage in continuing personal spiritual direction
Are seeking a deeper spiritual connection in their lives
Are well-grounded in faith and are willing to articulate that Catholic/Apostolic faith
Have an interest in and willingness to do readings between sessions, some personal reflection writing, and engage in a cohort of fellow seekers
Be able to effectively communicate through video conferencing
Lay leaders in your parish
Sub Deacons (Eastern Church)
Lay Eucharistic Minister (LEM)
Some Of The Best Places To Get A Deeper Background In Our Faith
There are currently few places outside of several graduate programs that offer this type of program currently.
However, there are many excellent places to obtain greater knowledge about the richness of our Church and the many aspects on how we can serve our Church. The best of these I discovered almost a decade ago myself. Three years later, I began taking courses through their Certificate in Catholic Studies Program (C.C.S.) program of Newman College in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. After meeting with the Program Director Sandra Talarico.
I was convinced that this program would be the best way for me to learn more about the Church, my faith, and complete a Deacon Discernment Program. Forty Five classes later, I completed my Deacon Training Program, Catholic School Trusteeship, Diaconate Discernment I, Diaconate Discernment II, Diaconate Discernment III, Foundations in Faith I, Foundations in Faith II, Liturgy, Pastoral Care, Scripture, Social Justice, Eastern Christian Traditions I, International Development, Lectors in the Eastern Christian Rite, Religious Education, and Diaconate Discernment IV certificates. I began my Deacon discernment before Newman officially had a Deacon Training Program. I believe I was moved by God to take these classes. I enrolled with the hope that sometime in the future, this program would be started. Brothers and sisters, it did not take long before my prayers were answered. Newman College began to offer classes for the Deacon Training Program online. I took a leap of faith and I was richly rewarded for this action. Not only did I get a wonderful educational opportunity and experience, it changed my life completely. You could say it sent me in a different direction spiritually.
I began that process seven years ago and I just had my third anniversary of being ordained a Deacon on Jan. 13, the date I am writing this article. Now, today I feel inspired to explain to all who read this article to share this message: you need Spiritual Direction in your life. We all need it. I contacted Sandra Talarico again yesterday to ask about my new concept- obtaining a certificate in Spiritual Direction. She replied that they were not currently doing that but they were thinking about it. Thinking about it? I became immediately excited and then emailed for more information. Just like seven years ago, I took a leap of faith and began taking courses, my prayers were answered and I was able to become a Deacon. Now I am going to go back and take courses to obtain a certificate in Spiritual Direction. I have been told that they will begin this certificate in Sept. of 2022.
Providence, coincidence, or luck- I really do not know what was going on or is going on here, but I can tell you that when it comes to spiritual direction- Newman College is not only on my radar- it is my spiritual guide all along my way. Amen