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The Spiritual Direction Certificate Program prepares students with a transformational experience that will enable them to be spiritual directors with the heart and mind of Jesus Christ and in the tradition of the Church’s tried experience.


"As she has always done, today the Church continues to recommend the practice of spiritual direction not only to those who desire to follow the Lord closely but to every Christian who wishes to live responsibly his or her Baptism, that is, new life in Christ. Everyone, in fact, especially those who have heeded the divine call to follow Christ closely, needs to be accompanied personally by a guide reliable in doctrine and expert in the things of God, this guide can help people to watch out for facile forms of subjectivism, making available their own knowledge and experience lived in the following of Jesus."


Address of Pope Benedict XVI to the Pontifical Theological Faculty “Teresianum”, Rome,  19 May 2011

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The Spiritual Direction Certificate (SDC) Program is designed to provide the knowledge, skills, and supervision for future spiritual directors. The Program seeks to respond to the ongoing need for the followers of Jesus Christ to assist one another on their path of becoming every day, more faithful disciples of the Lord. Speak to a Spiritual Direction Admissions Specialist Christopher Garofalo.



The SDC program is made up of six online classes which include two four-day onsite residences, and practicum. The online classes are offered three times a year, in eight-week segments. The pillars of the program include: integration of theological and human sciences as they relate to spiritual development; learning the art and skills of human interactions; and the fruitful experience of supervision.

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Experience a strong professional spiritual director identity with the foundational knowledge and skills of the ministry.



Demonstrate profound self-awareness, including one’s own internal movements and patterns of reacting to others and to circumstances.



Demonstrate adequate knowledge of human nature, including the findings of the human and behavioral sciences regarding attachment styles, personality differences, developmental stages, psychological obstacles to flourishing, and of the spiritual life and workings of supernatural grace in the human person.



Exhibit a pastoral approach to encouraging gradual moral and spiritual development, respecting both the truths of the moral and spiritual life and the unique dignity and goodness of each person.


Applicants must provide the following for admission to the certificate in spiritual direction program:


1. Completed application form submitted online and payment of application fee.


2. Letter from one’s own spiritual director, using form provided.

3. Two recommendations using the form provided by the program: one from the applicant’s pastor or minister, and one from a person who has known the applicant for at least 3 of the last 5 years.


After the review of these requirements, the admissions committee will contact the applicant to schedule a video-conference interview. Interviews generally take place during the term prior to the course start.





1. Successful completion of the six courses and residencies with a course grade average of no less than 3.0 while in the program.


2. Successful completion of practicum (60 hours of supervised practicum over a minimum of 6 months)


3. Spiritual exercises of at least three full days in duration, or the equivalent subject to review and approval by the program director, before the completion of the third course.







SDC 100: Ongoing Conversion, Deepening Discipleship, and the Foundations of Spiritual Direction 

SDC 200: Human Development for Spiritual Direction

SDC 300: Relating Skills for Spiritual Direction (with Residency in week 7)

SDC 400: Discernment and Spiritual Growth: Theory and Practice

SDC 500: Advanced Spiritual Direction Skills and Practicum: Putting Out into the Deep (with Residency in week 2)

SDC 600: Advanced Prayer and Situations


Year One

1st Semester

SDC 100

Ongoing Conversion, Deepening Discipleship, and the Foundations of Spiritual Direction

2nd Semester SDC 200

Human Development for Spiritual Direction

3rd Semester

SDC 300

Relating Skills for

Spiritual Direction

3rd Semester

300 Residency

On-site Residency of 4 days held during Week 7 of SDC 300

Year Two

1st Semester

SDC 400

Discernment and

Spiritual Growth:

Theory and Practice 

2nd Semester

500 Residency

On-site Residency of 4 days held during Week 2 of SDC 500

2nd Semester

SDC 500

Advanced Spiritual Direction Skills and Practicum

3rd Semester

SDC 600

Advanced Prayer

and Situations


Upcoming Course Dates


Spring              Summer               Fall

           Jan 6- March 2        May 19- July 13        August 18- Oct 13


Spring          Summer             Fall 

             Jan 5- March 1      May 25- July 19     Aug 17- Oct 11              

The Spiritual Direction Certificate Program follows the same Academic Calendar as DMU's Online programs, with courses offered in Term 1

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