|SFTS an international hub for the training of spiritual directors, supervisors
The Program in Christian Spirituality at San Francisco Theological Seminary continues to serve as a vital training ground for spiritual directors, drawing men and women for three weeks of intensive training every year.
The 2012 winter session runs Jan. 7-28 on the SFTS campus in San Anselmo as part of the Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction program. According to Rev. Dr. Sam Hamilton-Poore, director of the PCS, there are 33 students from New York to Hawaii and international students from New Zealand, Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore.
Hamilton-Poore also notes that the DASD program is continuing its initiative, begun in 2010, to increase leadership and enrollment among African-American spiritual directors. There are seven African American students currently enrolled in the DASD.
“Our African-American students are having a profound effect on the shape and perspective of our curriculum and teaching,” Hamilton-Poore said.
The DASD program combines solid academic work with time for retreat, worship, celebration, prayer, contemplation of God's presence and focused practice of, and reflection on, the art of spiritual direction. This allows for intense learning, self-exploration and attention to God's re-creative presence.
According to Rev. Dr. Rebecca Bradburn Langer, who has been part of the DASD staff for 16 years, SFTS offers the ideal combination of practical experience with academics. Diploma courses are often admitted as part of the work of the Doctor of Ministry, the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Theological Studies, Master of Sacred Theology or the Master of Arts. It may also serve as part of the academic requirement of other degrees at SFTS such as M.Div., D.Min. or MATS.
“It’s a signature program for the seminary,” Langer said. “There are a number of spiritual direction programs, but few are attached to an academic institution. This program offers academic credit and practical experience.”
Several SFTS full-time students who are pursing M.Div. degrees are taking advantage of the DASD winter session to earn credits toward a spirituality concentration. Langer believes the spirituality concentration has become one of the reasons seminarians are drawn to SFTS.
In addition to the Bay Area’s mild winters, DASD students are renewed by chapel services twice a day. Worship takes place Monday through Friday in Montgomery Chapel from 8-8:30 a.m. and 5:15-6 p.m. The evening service includes the Eucharist. The SFTS and greater Marin communities are invited to join us for worship.
SFTS is pleased to welcome the return of regular DASD musicians, Stephen Iverson and Michael McCarty. The text for this year’s worship services is Exodus 3:1-15.
Through their work at SFTS, Langer and fellow DASD staff member Dr. Maria Tattu Bowen realized that there was also a need for more qualified spiritual director supervisors. The Spiritual Directors International code of ethics requires that every spiritual director be supervised. In order to meet this need, Langer and Bowen, who coordinate the DASD supervision program at SFTS, co-founded Together in the Mystery.
Since it was founded in 2008, Together in the Mystery has graduated 20 spiritual director supervisors. Among the supervisor training offered in 2012, there will be a session at SFTS July 20-22.
“This is a continuing education opportunity for seasoned spiritual directors,” said Bowen, who has been part of the DASD staff for 18 years. “We place our students under supervisors. We noticed a need for more top-notch supervisors to place our students under so this supervisor training program actually benefits everyone who earns a Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction.”
To learn more about Together in the Mystery, go to https://togetherinthemystery.org/.
To apply for the 2013 DASD program, contact the SFTS Program in Christian Spirituality at email@example.com or call 415-451-2838. The deadline for applying is August 1, 2012, for early consideration.