One of my greatest privileges is to train spiritual directors. There is nothing better! The training draws together a group of people who are called to the ministry of walking alongside others in their spiritual journey. A requirement of acceptance into our program is that God has given them this gift; as evidenced by people seeking them out for this purpose. We then invite them into a fifteen-month training in being more intentional with their charism. We draw on the ancient church tradition of spiritual direction–primarily through the contemplative traditions.
There is pre-residency reading–a list of seven books–then the first residency in Nashville. We spend the week reveling in the community of like-hearted people. They often experience a feeling of being alone in their contexts as not many are on the same in-depth spiritual journey. Thus, there is an instant camaraderie that happens within the group. The conversations are comfortable and deep! The content of the week is both didactic and experiential and is divided between deepening of our own contemplative journey as well as the practical aspects of spiritual direction. At the heart of the week is eighteen hours of silence–time to process with God.
The individuals who started this journey last month are now back in their home contexts. They are beginning their year of supervised directing. They will direct at least two individuals once a month and talk with their mentor once a month. They’ll read another group of books–exploring the contemplative journey at a deeper level and being introduced to other spiritual direction traditions; such as orthodox, celtic, and ignatian. The reunion a year from now will be sweet as we come together to share what God has done and continue the intentional training in spiritual direction. Come join us in the spring as we begin our tenth cohort. If God has called you to this ministry, you will relish the experience of training. SD program