Spiritual Direction Certificate Program Overview

Spiritual Direction Certificate Program Overview


Students are admitted into a cohort, with a minimum size of six persons. The program takes place over 24 months, includes live online meetings with lectures, discussion, and guest speakers, and covers the following content:

Time Commitment

6 hours per month for online discussions and assignments for submission.
5 hours per month for face-to-face meetings with the whole cohort/small groups/a study-buddy
1 hour per month for your spiritual director
3 hours per month for reviewing material
Budget time throughout each core for interviews, one retreat per core, a book per core, an elective, an ethics course ( then during year two, seeing seekers and a supervisor.)

*The first Tuesday of the month from 5:00-6:00 PM ET will be our regular class time. (We will agree as a cohort on when to hold the other monthly meeting. At this time we are looking at Tuesday or Friday at 5:00 PM ET.)

Your application must be received by  Mar 1.
Notification of admission will take place by Mar 15.
Billing for online payment will begin April 1. Payment is due upon receipt of your invoice.
Program cohort begins in early April each year.

Six themes will be woven through every month:

FormationKnow Thyself
SkillsLearn and Practice (practical)
Ancestors/SibsBe aware of the diversity of practice and faith, forbears and sibs who do SpiDir work
PracticesExperience this (spiritual)
ToolsBe able to make use of this (resources)
ArtsExpand beyond talking and have fun

Focus for Core I

  • Begin to develop personal formation through theological and spiritual growth.
  • Learn and practice basic spiritual listening skills.
  • Begin to review ancestors/siblings of Spiritual Direction work: contemplative spirituality, the mystics, theology and practice.
  • Begin to engage with contemplative and devotional spiritual practices, such as those in Celtic, Desert, Natural, and Creation spiritualities.
  • Begin to evaluate and apply tools for discernment, self-discovery and transformation such as Myers–Briggs Type Indicator, the Enneagram, clearness committee, Tarot, and Ignatian discernment.
  • Begin to explore the arts in spirituality, e.g. poetry, fairy tales, myth, dance, visual arts.

Focus for Core II

  • Continue to develop personal formation and identity through theological and spiritual growth.
  • Continue to learn and practice spiritual listening skills and the structure of the companioning relationship.
  • Review ancestors/siblings of Spiritual Direction work: contemplative spirituality, the mystics, theology and practice.
  • Engage with contemplative and devotional spiritual practices, such as those in  Wiccan, reconstructed Pagan, and indigenous spiritualities.
  • Evaluate and apply more tools and arts, including exploring scriptures (defined broadly) for spiritual direction.
  • Put Spiritual Direction into contemporary social contexts through discerned action for social transformation: spiritual life and practice as a call to service and justice in our world.

Focus for Core III

  • Exploration of your traditions theology and its relevance to the practice of Spiritual direction and developing an identity as a Spiritual Director.
  • Gifts from and distinctions from psychology skills: transference and counter-transference, shadow and complex identification, depth psychology, family systems, and brief therapy. (Spiritual Direction is NOT therapy.)
  • Practicum in guiding retreats and groups and intro to working in Organizations.
  • Connecting with ancestors/siblings: a deep dive with a selected mystic
  • Tools such as Dream work, including the function of dreams, and how to use dream work with both individuals and groups; Parts of self work, inner landscape, teachings from Murshida Rani Kathleen McLaughlin, Starhawk and Ken Wilber.

Focus for Core IV

  • Articulating an identity and planning a future in Spiritual Direction work.
  • Spiritual direction with particular populations. (bereavement, addictions, aging, illness, disability/difference, etc.)
  • Integrating ancestors/siblings, modalities, skills, practices, tools, arts, and personal theologies with the practice of Spiritual Direction.
  • Developing a heart-centered business.
  • Ethics, collegiality, supervision and consultation.


ALL work is “graded” Pass/Fail/Incomplete. If you complete the work for each requirement and Cherry Hill Faculty discern no red flags regarding your fitness for Spiritual Companioning work, you will pass. (see program overview for learning objectives.)

$100 tuition per month for 24 months. You will be billed on the 1st of each month.
The cost of the “second course of your own choosing.”
The cost of the spiritual companion/supervisor you meet with (outside of CHS).

2022 Applications are now closed. Please consider applying later this year for Cohort 3 beginning April 1, 2023.

Apply Now