The Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction program consists of three
consecutive January terms, each three weeks in length. These three weeks
of intensive study and practice form the heart of the DASD program. During
each January term, students enroll in two graduate level courses of 3
credit hours each. Combined, the three January terms constitute 18 semester
hours of graduate level credit. Depending on individual need, students
may take these courses for a letter grade or on a pass/fail basis. In
the months between January intensives, students engage in spiritual direction
practice under the guidance of a competent and approved supervisor in
their own geographical area. Issues and case materials from the supervision
session are integrated into the January course work. Students receive
a total of 6 semester hours of graduate credit - 3 credits per year -
for their supervised work of spiritual direction. Supervision courses
may be taken only on a pass/fail basis. In sum, the DASD requires 24
graduate credits for completion.
Each of the DASD courses is designed to provide specific knowledge of
various aspects of spiritual direction and to enhance and develop particular
skills and sensibilities for this ministry. Students first explore and
develop sensibilities and skills in individual spiritual direction. They
then expand these into spiritual guidance ministries with groups and
congregations. Because of the highly integral nature of individual courses
as well as the curriculum as a whole, credits from other institutions
are not accepted for the completion of this Diploma. Thus the three January
terms constitute the residency requirement of the program.
In addition to the academic requirements of the program, each January
term begins and ends with time for retreat and prayerful reflection.
Each includes time for explorations in prayer, music, movement, and art.
The community also gathers daily for common prayers and for Holy Communion.
The development of a community of peers during the program provides opportunities
for companionship and mutual support that often continue well after students
graduate from the program.
candidates for the DASD program include those seeking to test a call
to the ministry of spiritual direction through a combination of academic
course work and on-site supervision and those wanting to enhance or expand
an already existing ministry. The DASD program recognizes the theological
and ecclesiastic situation of Protestant candidates and welcomes those of
any denomination who seek to understand and undertake a ministry of spiritual
direction in a Protestant context. Ordination is neither a prerequisite
nor an expected outcome of this program.
Participants may enter the DASD program in any year since courses are
offered on a revolving basis. Two courses are offered during each January
term according to the following groupings.
Second and third years in rotation:
- The Art of Christian Listening
- Fundamentals of Spiritual Direction
- The Art of Discernment
- History of Christian Spirituality
- Contemporary issues in Spiritual Direction
- Discernment: Systems and Nature
All courses carry 3 semester credit hours. These courses, then, constitute
18 hours of graduate credit. The 6 additional hours granted for the completion
of supervised spiritual direction complete the 24 credit hours required
for the Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction.
Students are required to do reading for courses well before the January
term starts. Reading lists are sent to second and third year students
during the summer months with the expectation that they will complete
these assignments before the January term begins. First year students
are invited to begin reading upon acceptance into the program. A sample
portion of the first year reading list might include such works as:
- Margaret Guenther: Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction
- Thomas Hart: The Art of Christian Listening
- Gerald May: The Awakened Heart
Occasionally, a course instructor may require an additional pre-course
assignment. In general, however, students write final papers for their
courses after they return home. These papers are due at a time specified
and announced by faculty at the end of the January term, though students
generally have a period of 6 to 8 weeks to complete their papers. While
papers vary according to the nature of the course, most papers involve
integrating selections from readings, class presentations, relevant student
experience, and the demonstration of skills developed during the intensive.
Thus, the January term is preceded by several months of work at home
and followed by a period of integration and writing.
Within the totality of the course work and supervision, the following
themes are emphasized, and they express the particular focus and commitment
of this program.
The costs per January Intensive are as follows:
- Biblical grounding
- Covenant theology
- Integration of head, heart, and body
- Individual and group (including congregational) spiritual guidance
- Transformation of social systems, structures, and institutions
- Ministry of spiritual companionship that is collaborative and non-hierarchical
- Multi-cultural dimensions of spiritual guidance and direction
- Integration of psychology and spirituality
||$2,900 (tuition rates may increase slightly each year)
|Meals & Materials:
||$295-$415 (depending on meal plan)
||$625-$1,300 (depending on shared or single room)
|Book & Reader Costs:
||varies each year