The Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction that provides formation for the ministry of spiritual direction. Students explore the dynamics of Christian spirituality through reflection on their personal experience and integration of this with insights from the literature. Graduates are equipped for the ministry of spiritual direction in the particular tradition.
Spiritual direction is the process by which a skilled person helps another grow in intimacy with God. It has a long and revered history in the Christian tradition. We understand spiritual direction as a ministry within the church open to properly trained lay people, religious and ordained ministers. The Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction (GDSD) provides formation for those who feel called to the ministry of spiritual direction and who wish to practise it as a major part of their ministry with a sense of recognised professional competence.
Why study the Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction?
Much contemporary research points to the central role of the interpersonal relationship as a core element in the helping process. A spiritual director needs to be able to enter into a relationship with a directee in a facilitative way and not have major blocks to relationship development. A spiritual director also needs to have had the experience of being directed. Each candidate is therefore required to have regular spiritual direction throughout the program. There is a strong emphasis on the personal development of the candidate in the program because we view the personal experience and growth of the spiritual director as the most important source of knowledge for one engaged in the ministry of spiritual direction.
There are two possible ‘streams’ in the practicum component of the program. One stream is offered at Jesuit College of Spirituality Parkville Campus and the other is offered at WellSpring Spirituality Centre.
Course Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction:
- have knowledge of the history, theory, content and dynamics of the Christian spirituality;
- have knowledge of the art of spiritual direction, including the necessary dispositions of the spiritual director and key skills required;
- apply skills of spiritual direction under supervision;
- apply skills of spiritual direction within a range of contexts including retreats.
What is involved to complete the Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction?
As this course involved a high level of practice of spiritual direction under supervision, there is no provision for distance learning in this program.
The Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction consists of 90 points comprised of one of the following programs:
Program 1: Wellspring
Candidates must complete the units:
- DS8201F Art of Contemplative Practice
- DD8202F Art of Spiritual Direction I
- DD8203F Art of Spiritual Direction II
- A further 15 points of elective study.
Program 2: Arrupe (JCS)
Candidates must complete the units:
- DS9101F My Experience of the Spiritual Exercises
- DD8981F and DD8982F Spiritual Exercises: Theory
- DD8991F and DD8992F or DD8993F and DD8994F Spiritual Exercises: Practice
- A further 15 points of elective study
Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction is open to any applicant who:
- has successfully completed an undergraduate degree, or an approved equivalent;
- has demonstrated a gift in the area of spiritual guidance. This could be evidenced by an ability to listen empathetically and enter sensitively into spiritual conversation with others.