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

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.

Visit Christos Online

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.

Visit Denver Seminary Online

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

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.

Visit Evangelical Seminary Online

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

HCM International's Spiritual Formation

Certificate Program in Spiritual Formation & the Art of Spiritual Direction

This certificate program in Spiritual Formation and the Art of Spiritual Direction provides participants with the contemplative experiences, knowledge, and wisdom necessary to deepen their awareness of God, self, and others. A series of four residencies and two praxes form the core of this two-year training experience with faculty guidance and peer interaction between residencies using virtual formats.

Visit HCI Online

The Leadership Institute's School of Spiritual Direction

By learning the lifestyle rhythms of Jesus first through our Journey process, our spiritual direction training process is unique and deeply transformative. Our formal spiritual direction training is enhanced by the student bringing into the training a lifestyle already deeply rooted in the rhythms of Jesus. In addition to training spiritual directors in a cognitive learning style, our prayerful goal is to also provide opportunities for lifestyle transformation that result in an abiding life with Jesus that flows into and empowers the ministry of the spiritual director.

Visit The Leadership Institute's School of Spiritual Direction

Moody Spiritual Formation Program

This cohort-style program integrates emotional and spiritual development to assist individuals to radically and holistically deepen their relationship with Christ and be inwardly conformed to His image. They offer a one-year Spiritual Formation Certificate, which can be followed by a second year Advanced Spiritual Formation Certificate or a Certificate in Spiritual Direction. Each year is comprised of 4 weekend retreats, located in Mundelein, IL.

Visit Moody's Spiritual Formation Page