Spiritual Direction Preparation Program

Do you wish to help others discover a personal, intimate relationship with God? Are you interested in preparing for retreat ministry or training to become a spiritual director? Are you looking to hone your deep, compassionate, nonjudgmental listening skills? 

We invite you to consider our Spiritual Direction Preparation Program (SDPP). Our next cohort will start in September 2024. Applications will be accepted until June 1, 2024, or until the program fills. 

Click here for an application (Word document).
Click here for an application (PDF).

Click here to watch our video about SDPP.

Click here to download a brochure.

Innovative, three-year training program.

Since 1985, we have trained more than 600 people in the practice of spiritual direction. This innovative training program provides a mix of workshops and real-life experiences to prepare individuals to share their compassionate listening skills as trained spiritual directors in their communities.

Spiritual directors are compassionate, nonjudgmental listeners who accompany people on their spiritual journeys. Spiritual directors come from all walks of life and do not offer counseling, advice or problem-solving but rather serve as trusted guides to help others discover their inner wisdom.

The Spiritual Direction Preparation Program extends over three years, giving participants an opportunity to integrate theory and practice. While SDPP prepares the participant to direct others regardless of their religious affiliation or background, this program has been developed within a tradition that is best described as Christian-Catholic-Franciscan. SDPP is designed to form and train candidates through practical workshops, verbatims, reflections, readings, quarterly meetings and one-on-one supervision. 

To provide personal flexibility while encouraging deep experiences of connection and community, SDPP includes a four-day in-person gathering every year with multiple weekends each year that can be attended on-site or by Zoom.

Program fees: $3,150 per year 
$150 discount if the tuition is paid in full by September 1 of each year

Fees include tuition for all in-person workshops, Zoom workshops, practicum in Year 3, quarterly meetings, annual review with supervisor and all administrative fees, meals and snacks. Fees are payable in installments. 

Please speak to program director Steve Spilde about individual plans. Limited scholarships are available.


SDPP is designed for:

  • Those who are older than 30 and drawn to a deeper understanding of spiritual direction.
  • Those who have not had formal training in spiritual direction.
  • Those preparing for a ministry of spiritual or retreat direction and/or the practice of redemptive listening.
  • Those who would like to deepen their spiritual and personal development.
  • Those who have at least one year of experience receiving regular spiritual direction.

SDPP participants learn by:

  • Attending required in-person and virtual workshops.
  • Processing experiences with fellow participants.
  • Practicing direction skills using monthly verbatims.
  • Meeting quarterly with a supervisor who is an experienced spiritual director.
  • Writing reflection papers on required books and articles.
  • Participating in annual reviews. 

Expected outcomes:

  • Lifelong compassionate listening skills. 
  • Strong community development with a cohort of between 25-35 participants.
  • Personal transformation and deeper spiritual understanding.
  • Increased self-awareness and deeper interpersonal relationships.
  • Certificate of completion as a trained spiritual director.