Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

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Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction

Graduate Certificate 
in Spiritual Direction

Spiritual Direction Certificate Worksheet

This program is specifically focused on the ministry of spiritual direction and is an 18 credit program, half of the master’s degree in Spirituality and Spiritual Direction.
The program views spiritual direction as a specialized pastoral relationship in which a competent guide helps another person grow in the spiritual life by attending to the directee’s concrete religious experience and its implications in the life of the directee. In the longstanding tradition of the Christian churches, spiritual direction is essentially a charism. The spiritual direction sequence is designed to identify the participant’s potential for becoming a spiritual director, to assist the participant in discerning a call to this ministry, to formulate a model of spiritual direction, and to develop the specific skills required to serve as a spiritual director.

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Admissions Requirements: An MA in theology, ministry, or a related field, nine credits in Fundamental theology and scripture (which may be taken during coursework), evidence of one year’s experience in ministry and/or one year under spiritual direction, a letter of recommendation from their superior or spiritual director, and an essay explaining why the student wishes to pursue a spiritual direction certificate at Fordham. Candidates for this program must participate in an interview with a member of the spirituality area before being admitted to the program and an interview with the Jesuit Collaborative before being approved to enter the practicum. Ordinarily, students take the practicum courses after completing the Theology of Spiritual Direction, Pastoral Counseling Skills, and the Discernment of Spirits through Selected Mystics.
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The minimal core pastoral competencies and underlying theological foundations are covered in the 15 credit required core: Theology of Spiritual Direction, Pastoral Counseling Skills, Discernment of Spirits and the Supervised Practicum in Spiritual Direction(6 credits). Students then choose one elective course from: History of Christian Spirituality 1 or 2, or Methods in Christian Spirituality. The decision to continue with the practicum is based on the student’s performance in the initial courses and interviews with the Practicum Directors during the application process for the Practicum Sequence. If a student is not admitted to the practicum, he or she may decide to resign from the program or ask to be considered for another certificate program. At the end of the supervised practicum, the supervisor with the student assesses any particular needs for developing the necessary knowledge base in theology, psychology, or scripture based on the intern director’s experience working with directees.


In addition to this required 12 credit sequence, participants select one additional course from among the following: History of Christian Spirituality 1, History of Christian Spirituality 2, or Methods in Christian Spirituality.

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