Spiritual Direction Training and Support

ESDA is pleased to offer the following organizations as helpful resources in the area of spiritual direction and spiritual formation.

You can filter this list by Training ProgramsDirection Organizations, or Formation Ministries

b

b exists to assist pastors, church staffs, seminarians, professors, missionaries and ministry leaders who hunger and thirst for growth in intimacy with God by offering contemplative retreats, spiritual direction, staff development, uniquely designed spiritual formation opportunities and numerous online resources.

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Biola University’s Institute for Spiritual Formation

A Christian, evangelical, academic community within Biola University and Talbot School of Theology. Located in Southern California they offer an MA in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care, an MA and an MDiv with an emphasis in Spiritual Formation, and a Certificate in Spiritual Formation, and are dedicated to deepening the life of prayer and openness of the heart to God.

Visit The Institute for Spiritual Formation Online

Christos Center for Spiritual Formation

Located near St. Paul, Minnesota, Christos is an ecumenical program that trains students of all Christian denominations though their two-year program: Tending the Holy: Preparation for the Ministry of Spiritual Direction. They also train in Chicago, IL, as well as through a distance program. Currently, a third of their spiritual direction students come from evangelical denominations. For more information about Christos, contact Coordinator and ESDA member Vicki Howard at Vicki@christoscenter.org.

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The Contemplative Center of Silicon Valley

A retreat and spiritual direction ministry located near San Jose, California offers traditional practices of prayer, retreats, spiritual direction and contemplative worship, as well as through art, movement and music, which seek to provide a place that allows people to slow down, find rest for their souls and be renewed for their work in the world. 

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Denver Seminary

For more than a decade, Denver Seminary has provided training in spiritual direction that is evangelical in theology, classical in approach, and contemplative in spirit. Currently they offer a Certificate, an M.Div Concentration, and an M.A. in Christian Formation and Soul Care.

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Emmaus Formation Centre

Located in southern Ontario, Canada, the goal of the Emmaus Centre is to enable the evangelical mission of the church by providing a sacred space where people can respond to God's desire for a transformed people.They provide a supportive community and learning opportunities. The Emmaus two-year part-time certificate is offered to those called by God into the ministry of spiritual direction, as well as those seeking personal spiritual growth.

Visit the Emmaus Formation Centre Online

Evangelical Spiritual Directors Network

A regional network of spiritual directors who hold an evangelical theological perspective, located in the New England area.

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Fall Creek Abbey's School of Spiritual Direction

Located in Indianapolis, IN,  each learning cohort (8 to 12 participants) is trained in a classical approach to spiritual direction. Participants gather at the Abbey for five (two-day) intensives per year for two years. 

Year One provides a strong introduction to spiritual direction and is a year of discerning one’s calling to spiritual direction. 

Year Two is for those who feel called to offer spiritual direction (formally or informally) and provides more in-depth knowledge and skill-based training in the art of spiritual direction. 

Every intensive in Year One and Two is a combination of process and praxis. In addition, throughout this program strong focus is given to the deepening of each participant’s spiritual life and contemplative practice. A bonus are the lifelong friendships often forged through this small cohort experience!  

For more information or to request a syllabus, please contact Beth Booram at beth.booram@fallcreekabbey.org

Visit Fall Creek Abbey Online

Evangelical Theological Seminary

Evangelical Seminary, located in South Central Pennsylvania, offers three programs in Spiritual Direction, all rooted in scripture, inspired by history, rich in practice, and passionately committed to Christ:

The Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction prepares women and men both to serve as spiritual directors and to bring spiritual formation and direction skills to other ministry contexts. 

The Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Direction equips men and women to walk with others on their spiritual journeys… with deep wisdom and great grace.  Students also complete a three-semester practicum in spiritual direction, graduating with both a Master’s degree and the Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction.


The Graduate Certificate in Directing the Spiritual Exercises is designed to equip trained and experienced spiritual directors with the specialized knowledge and skills necessary to guide others through the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, in evangelical contexts and beyond.

These programs are delivered in a hybrid online format which includes residency components.

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Holy Conversation: A Course in Spiritual Direction in the Anglican Tradition

This two year course out of the Anglican Diocese in New England seeks to equip mature and skilled spiritual directors grounded in Anglican sacramental theology and the Catholic contemplative tradition. It is led by ESDA member Susan Skillen.

Visit Holy Conversation Online