The Arrupe® Program for forming Spiritual Directors and Givers of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises
This document contains information about:
• The Origin of the Name ‘Arrupe’
• An Overview of the Program
• The Formation Process
• The Learning Outcomes
• Fees and Associated Costs
• The Relationship between the Arrupe® Program and Spiritual Direction Studies at ACU
• Selection Criteria
• The Application Process
Origin of the Name
Named after Pedro Arrupe, Father General of the Society of Jesus from 1965 to 1983, the Arrupe® Program forms participants as givers of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and spiritual directors in the Ignatian tradition. Known for his deep grasp of Ignatian spirituality and commitment to justice, Fr Arrupe helped lead the order in new directions following the Second Vatican Council (1962–65). In 1938 he went to Japan, where he spent 27 years as a missionary. In 1945 he used his medical training to treat many victims of the Hiroshima nuclear bomb when the city was devastated by an atomic bomb. He and the other Jesuits converted their novitiate into a makeshift hospital. He was deeply affected by the horror of what he witnessed and became a life-long pacifist.
Fr Arrupe was elected superior general of the Jesuits in 1965, and throughout his tenure he worked tirelessly to marry Ignatian spirituality with the ‘the preferential option for the poor’.
The Arrupe® Program is the approved national program of the Australian Province of the Society of Jesus for the formation of Givers of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises and Spiritual Directors in the Ignatian tradition. The Arrupe Program is concomitant with and adjunct to the Master of Spiritual Direction (MSD) degree offered by Australian Catholic University (ACU), yet distinct from it. Since retreat direction is an art rather than a science, and is learned by doing, a significant proportion of the hours of the Arrupe Program is devoted to the practice of giving spiritual direction under supervision.
The decision about whether to grant Arrupe accreditation to a candidate is made by a board appointed by the Jesuit Provincial in consultation with the Coordinator of the Arrupe Program and others involved in the candidate’s formation.
The Program Coordinator is Dr Micheál Loughnane, who works for the Australian Province and is responsible for recruiting suitable students into this supplementary program that offers accompaniment, enrichment and mentoring in their academic and personal formation towards becoming accredited givers of the Spiritual Exercises.
Forming Spiritual Directors in the Ignatian Tradition
The primary purpose of the Arrupe Program is to form people to be Givers of the Spiritual Exercises. Being a giver of the spiritual Exercises presumes that students will have themselves completed the Exercises, so if they have not completed the Spiritual Exercises before joining the program, they will be expected to complete them prior to engaging in the practice of giving spiritual direction. Students will also be expected to meet monthly with their spiritual director while completing the course. In most circumstances, to be admitted students must be enrolled in, or have completed, a spiritual direction course (Graduate Diploma or Master of Spiritual Direction).
Through the Graduate Diploma or Master of Spiritual Direction courses at ACU, students have the opportunity to receive some foundational training in systematic theology, biblical studies and Ignatian spirituality; through the Arrupe Program, students can build on this knowledge by learning the craft of spiritual direction under supervision, as well as by becoming apprentices to more experienced and accomplished directors. The extra practical inputs — by way of group supervision, guest practitioners and mentoring — will augment, in an experiential way, their theoretical knowledge and practical know-how.
The Giving of the Spiritual Exercises is completed by taking two exercitants, under supervision, through the full Spiritual Exercises (Annotation 19 or 20). Throughout the Arrupe Program, students are encouraged to gain additional hours of supervised spiritual direction practice. Students are required to be under supervision during any practicum work.
The Formation Experience
As we are following an apprenticeship model, in order to offer Arrupe students an excellent experience of formation to become Givers of the Spiritual Exercises, there will be three interrelated components of formation:
1. Workshops and mentoring through which students will receive input from experienced spiritual directors: The aim here is for students to benefit from the wisdom and knowledge of a range of people who are experienced in giving the Spiritual Exercises. Where possible, we will also endeavour to create opportunities for Arrupe students to participate in giving retreats to individuals and groups. This will include gaining experience in giving the First Spiritual Exercises.
2. Group Supervision: as they take exercitants through the Spiritual Exercises, students will have the opportunity to participate in a number of group supervision sessions where they can benefit from the wisdom of experienced directors. We will also assign each Arrupe candidate to a companion who will mentor them as they grow into becoming givers of the Spiritual Exercises.
3. Individual supervision: as they take two exercitants through the full Spiritual Exercises, students will be accompanied by a supervisor who is experienced in directing the Spiritual Exercises, but who also holds qualifications in Supervision. Students will be required to choose from a list of accredited supervisors provided by the Arrupe Coordinator.
There is ongoing discernment throughout all stages of the Arrupe program by both program leaders and the students themselves. Students are assessed on their demonstration of the attributes listed in the Annotations for Givers of the Exercises and the Code of Ethics for Companions in the Ministry of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises.
At the conclusion of Arrupe Program, students will be able to:
• give the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius as a 30-35 week or a 30-day retreat (19th & 20th Annotations of the Spiritual Exercises).
• adapt the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius and direct a retreat in accordance with the 18th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises.
• give spiritual direction in the Ignatian tradition.
Fees and Associated Costs
The Arrupe Program is subsidised by the Australian Province of the Society of Jesus. The student contribution in 2022 will be $250 per semester. However, students who are enrolled in the Supervised Giving of the Exercises will pay half this fee which is $250 for the year. There may also be opportunities for retreats and other formation opportunities; should students wish to participate in them, these offerings will incur an extra cost.
A major component of the Program is the Supervised Giving of the full Spiritual Exercises. Students will pay for their supervision while engaged in the Supervised Giving of the Exercises. The cost of this will be roughly $1,280 (16 sessions @ $80 per session), which they will pay directly to their supervisor. From 2023 the Supervised Giving of the Exercises will no longer be a unit in the MSD program.
In cases of hardship or financial difficulty, students will be able to apply to the O’Shea Fund to receive some financial assistance for supervision.
The Connection between Arrupe® and Spiritual Direction Studies at ACU
Those who are enrolled in a course of study in Spiritual Direction at ACU (and other recognised spiritual direction programs) will be eligible to apply for the Arrupe Program.
1. Students who choose to exit the MSD program with a Graduate Diploma after the equivalent of one year’s study may be eligible to join or continue with the Arrupe Program.
2. All communication and administration concerning the MSD will be dealt with by ACU, and all communication and administration concerning the Arrupe Program will be dealt with by the Arrupe Coordinator; though closely interrelated, they are separate entities.
Arrupe® Program in 2022 in Transition
Current students enrolled in the MSD will continue complete their Supervised Giving within the MSD.
We envisage that, once current students have completed their MSD, the Supervised Giving of the Exercises will no longer be offered through ACU, students will then complete this key formative experience entirely within the Arrupe Program.
The Arrupe® Program and qualifications other than the ACU Master of Spiritual Direction.
We acknowledge that prospective students may have completed spiritual direction programs in institutions other than ACU, either in Australia or overseas. Prospective students who hold professional qualifications in spiritual direction will be assessed on an individual basis. The amount of supplementary studies they will be required to complete will be determined by the extent and level of studies they have already completed in theology and Ignatian spirituality.
If an applicant has minimal qualifications and experience in Ignatian spirituality, they will be required to enrol in a Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies at ACU prior to admission into the Arrupe Program. They will be required to complete the following units:
• Spiritual Exercises Theory A & B (THSP504 & THSP505)
• Praxis A (THSP506) and Ignatian Discernment (THSP509).*
*Note: in circumstances where any of the above units are not available in a given year, another unit may be suggested as a replacement unit (for example, the double unit Praxis B – THSP507).
The Arrupe® Program is independent of the academic award.
In determining an applicant’s suitability for the Arrupe® Program, it is expected that he or she will:
• demonstrate a love of and a commitment to prayer;
• have a sense of being called to the ministry of spiritual direction in the Ignatian tradition and giving the full Spiritual Exercises and show evidence of their giftedness for this vocation;
• demonstrate a capacity to listen empathically and enter sensitively into spiritual conversation;
• have sufficient life experience to enable them to respond with wisdom to a wide range of people from many different walks of life;
• show an openness to learning from their own and others’ experience;
• give evidence of a committed and mature Christian faith, an openness to struggle, a preparedness to embrace paradox and mystery, a willingness to change in response to the call of God, and an openness to the whole community of faith;
• be committed to the process of ongoing spiritual direction as a directee;
• be ecumenical and embracing of other faith traditions while maintaining a strong commitment to one Christian tradition; and
• be able to build into his or her life the reflective time and space to integrate the learnings of the Arrupe Program.
All applicants will be required to complete an Arrupe® Program Application Form.
The application process for entry to the Arrupe Program entails:
• A detailed application form that requires a personal essay;
• The nomination of two referees who can be contacted for confidential conversation; and
• An interview, normally with the coordinator of the Arrupe Program and a member of the Arrupe Formation Team.