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Certificate in Spiritual Direction
Diploma in Christian Analysis

These programs are in the process of development. If you are interested please contact us and we will get back to you to discuss your interest and qualifications.




Philosophy of the Program


There is a Celtic Christian proverb attributed to St. Brigid: Anyone without a soul-friend is a body without a head. All of us need another person to walk with us as we seek to deepen our relationship to God.  We need that other for companionship, accountability, and guidance. St. Theophan the Recluse was clear on this point: “For the avoidance of error, have someone to advise you—a spiritual father or confessor, a brother of like mind; and make known to him all that happens to you in the work of prayer.”  Such a soul-friend is one who is just such a person who demonstrates the ability to listen with empathy, as well as with an understanding of the workings of the Spirit, and finally one that knows by experience the inner life of prayer. The philosophy of this program is to assist the student to develop the skills and knowledge to be that empathic listener; that knowledgeable guide; that co-seeker in prayer.



Designed primarily for psychotherapists and counselors who wish to incorporate spiritual direction and its principles into their practice, this program consists of nine prerequisite courses in Catholic theology and fourteen core courses specific to the art of spiritual direction, combined with the supervision of one extended case of spiritual direction.  Upon completion of the program the student will have attained a basic knowledge of the foundational topics necessary for providing spiritual direction. These areas include: an understanding of Holy Scripture; moral and sacramental theology; prayer and the inner life including dealing with dreams and visions; discernment as well as dealing with spiritual evil; and practical methods and tools for walking with another person deepening their life with God.


An integral part of a spiritual director’s life and training is self-knowledge. To facilitate such knowing, the student will participate in either individual or group direction of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Along with learning about oneself and God, the student will have the experience essential to working through these exercises with future directees.


The program is designed to be completed in two years. The didactic portion of the program is self-paced, beginning with the prerequisite courses, followed by the specific courses in order. There are twenty-three didactic courses and two experiential courses; the student on average completing one didactic course per month. At the conclusion of each course the student will meet with their mentor to discuss the integration of the given topic with the practice of spiritual direction.


Upon the completion of both the didactic and experiential portions of the program the student will participate in a final exit interview to appraise their progress and preparedness for independent practice prior to being awarded the Certificate in Spiritual Direction.




I.   Pre-requisite Courses

  1.  The Story of the Old Testament

  2.  Jesus and the Gospels

  3.  The Letters of Paul

  4.  The Manger and the Cross

  5.  God

  6.  Our Life in Christ

  7.  The New Evangelization

  8.  The Church and the Sacraments

  9.  Prayer and Catholic Spirituality

II.  Core Courses in Spiritual Direction


Prayer and the Inner Life

  1. Praying with St. Teresa

  2. The Lord’s Prayer

  3. Dealing with Dreams and Visions

  4. Tools for Inner Work

  5. Dealing with Evil


Holy Scripture

  1. The Catholic Epistles

  2. The Acts of the Apostles

  3. The Major Prophets


Moral and Sacramental Life

  1. The Seven Deadly Sins

  2. The Four Cardinal Virtues

  3. Discipleship in the Gospels

  4. Catholic Social Teaching

  5. The Theology of the Body


Providing in Spiritual Direction

  1. Introduction to Spiritual Direction

  2. Supervision of a case of spiritual direction

  3. The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius

Diploma in Christian Analysis

This program (also in development) is for those individuals who wish to go further beyond training in spiritual direction, and further beyond the addition of spiritual direction skills to a psychotherapy practice.  The program offers advanced classes and seminars delving deeper into many of the topics we have addressed so far, as well as skills in the analytical method.  

You may ask: what is Christian Analysis?  To answer that we start with understanding that there are many manners of guiding individuals, paths we arbitrarily divide into categories such as spiritual direction, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, and lastly with what we call Christian analysis.  These are not distinct practices but tend to overlap one another with fuzzy grey areas at their borders. They cannot be distinct because they are all, in one manner or another, dealing with the same material: the human soul.  However, for ease of discussion we differentiate them along the following lines. 

We may say that spiritual direction focuses on the whole person and his and her encounter with God.  Its purpose is to assist the other to experience true life with God, as well as a full life within creation.


Psychotherapy is principally about well-being. The soul is out-of-sorts. It is anxious, depressed, traumatized, addicted or in some manner disturbed and out-of-balance. Psychotherapy’s focus is on restoring the balance, relieving the pain, and releasing the person back into typical societal functioning.


From whatever theoretical basis it originates (whether Freudian or Jungian) psychoanalysis concentrates on an individual knowing themselves deeply. It is focused on a person understanding and embracing the more profound aspects of themselves beyond their consciously created identities and personas. It may begin as a psychotherapeutic endeavor, but then digs deeper with the ultimate purpose self-knowledge. Its goal is to make the unconscious conscious and in so doing learn to live a truer life.


Finally, there is Christian analysis. As with psychoanalysis its purpose is a deep knowledge of the self, and as with psychoanalysis it may involve a psychotherapeutic component. But where psychoanalysis ends with self-knowledge, Christian analysis moves forward embracing once again the focus of the spiritual director. Self-knowledge is gained so that the full Self may give itself to God.

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