Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Who can apply to this program?

Answer: Anyone who exhibits the following may apply:

  1. Deep appreciation for the Catholic-Christian spiritual tradition;

  2. Desire to help others on the path of spiritual development, in their relationship with God;

  3. Ability to undertake a systematic course of education;

  4. Availability to dedicate 6-9 hours weekly to the online courses, and 5 days (including travel) twice during the program for the residencies.

Question: What do I need to do to apply?

Answer: The application process has a few steps:

  1. Fill out your application, found under the Apply Now tab

  2. Pay the application fee, found at the bottom of the application. Choose "SDC Application Fee" on the payment page.

  3. Request your recommendation letters: 1 from your current Spiritual Director and 2 personal recommendations, making sure 1 of those is from your pastor or minister.

  4. Once all paperwork is received, you will be contacted for an interview.

Question: I don't live in the United States, can I still take this program?

Answer: Yes! The program is open for qualified applicants regardless of residence. (That is one of the advantages of an online program.) But, it is important to keep in mind that essential to the certificate program are the two, on-site residencies. In these residencies, students come together with one another and with faculty to develop critical interaction skills. There are important opportunities to take advantage of the learning community.



Question: Can I take the program if I’m not really interested or not sure about becoming a spiritual director?

Answer: A person may feel unsure about becoming a spiritual director.  A select number of students may go through the program on an academic track (they would take part in the content and skills portion of the program, but they would not take part in the practicum). They would not receive a certificate of completion of the Spiritual Direction Program, but a certificate of completion of the particular courses they took.


Question: Do I need to purchase any materials for the courses?

Answer: The cost of the courses and residencies covers all learning materials. Book extracts and articles are included in the online classroom, though one occasion reprinting rights may necessitate students to buy a particular text. These books are easily found online at low cost, on average.  *Also, if a student finds a particular book helpful, he or she may elect to purchase their own printed copy. 

Question: What time are classes held?

Answer: The courses of this program are held in an asynchronous format- meaning that you do the coursework on your time around your schedule. There are weekly and sometimes bi-weekly deadlines to submit coursework. 

Question: How many hours a week should I set aside for coursework?

Answer: Students should expect to spend, on average, between 6-9 hours a week to complete coursework. This includes watching videos, readings, writing discussion posts and completing assignments. 

Other information:

  1. All courses are fully online, in eight-week modules, and asynchronous (i.e. students complete weekly coursework at a time of their own choosing). 

  2. Each course requires on average about 6 - 9 hours of work per week.

  3. The skills-related courses (SDC 300 and SDC 500) involve some group work via video conferencing and include a required four-day residency.

  4. None of the SDC Program courses carry transferable credit to the degree programs of Divine Mercy University.