Ministry of Spiritual Direction

The Ministry of Spiritual Direction Program

The Center for Spiritual Formation offers the Ministry of Spiritual Direction (MSD) training. This two year program offers monthly gatherings to learn, to expand and nurture the art of spiritual direction/companioning for those discerning a charism of holy listening.

The model of training is pastoral in its approach rather than academic and is designed to encourage life long learning and integrity within a community of care and encouragement. Graduates receive a recognition of completion at the end of the training.

The Ministry of Spiritual Direction will …

  • Provide basic instruction in sensitivity toward and insight into the workings of the Holy Spirit;
  • Advocate the need for a greater connectedness between the inner life of the spirit and the outer life of faithfulness to the Spirit’s direction;
  • Facilitate a deepening prayer life and greater contentment with silence and solitude;
  • Equip trainees to deal with strong emotions and maintain relationships over time;
  • Require trainees to undergo Spiritual Direction and aid them in accepting personal weaknesses as the basis for compassion. 
Thomas Merton quote: "Spiritual Direction is, in reality, nothing more than a way of leading us to see and obey the real Director - the Holy Spirit hidden in the depths of our soul."

Often Asked Questions

What is the Commitment?

  • One weekend per month (usually the weekend with the second Saturday).  Friday evening from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, and Saturday from 8:15 am to 3:30 pm.
  • Required readings prior to class. A yearly Reading List is provided at the beginning of each year.
  • Optional opportunities are available during the month to connect with other students for discussion and/or role-play.

What is the Cost?

  • $50 Non-refundable application fee.
  • $1600 per year, payable in quarterly payments.
  • If needed, scholarships are available. Please contact the Center Director for more information.
  • 12 CEUs are available per year.

What are the Expectations?

  • Have a computer with the capability to support the Zoom internet platform.
  • Submit all payments to The Center when invoiced.
  • Participate in monthly sessions that consist of both a Friday evening and Saturday gatherings.
  • Students must devote additional time to study and prayer.
  • Receive Spiritual Direction at least once a month.
  • Year Two students should offer Spiritual Direction to one person, once a month.

What does it Cover?

  • Year One focuses on the history, traditions & models, Biblical roots and theological foundations of Spiritual Direction. It stresses the differences between psychological counseling and Spiritual Direction, and demonstrating a contemplative approach to God.
  • Year Two focuses on the actual practice of Spiritual Direction: developing listening and assessment skills; becoming familiar with displacement and projection; transference and counter-transference; acquiring a working knowledge of the life-stages of faith development; cultivating an increased awareness of the power of prayer and healing; and learning the importance of supervision. 

How does it Operate?

  • Our MSD program is a fully online program using the Zoom platform.
  • The Orchard Hill Retreat Center in Millerstown, PA was the original home of the MSD program, and is available to students for private retreats.
  • St Michael’s Episcopal Church in Orlando, FL, is a co-hort of the MSD program and is the site of local gatherings for students in Florida.


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