Programme Overview and Dates
Click here for a summary of areas covered in the course 

As its name indicates, our Resident Spiritual Direction Training (RSDT) programme implies a commitment on the part of the participants to spend ten weeks in Canterbury on the campus of the Franciscan International Study Centre.  During these ten weeks the Staff present the theory and practice of spiritual direction.  As spiritual direction is primarily relational, the programme also supplies nourishment for the spiritual life of the participants and taps the potential inherent in a group of people developing their skills in accompaniment.

The RSDT programme is designed for all Christians:  lay, religious and clerical who:

desire a deeper understanding of the spiritual journey 

feel called to a greater understanding of spiritual direction

wish to be trained as a spiritual director

desire to deepen their spiritual life and development

are involved in faith development

may be involved in the ministry of formation within a religious community (Franciscan or other)

The participants in the RSDT programme learn through:

lectures, presentations and discussions

peer groups and prayer partners

reading, study and reflection

keeping a journal

weekly one-to-one feedback from a mentor

receiving spiritual direction

a short retreat at the start and near the end of the course

work in triads.  A key feature of this programme is the emphasis that it places on the practice of spiritual direction.  We learn through doing.  This happens in the triads in which participants alternate in the roles of director, directee and observer in spiritual direction sessions that are supervised by a tutor.  At the start of the course the sessions are short, and over time they progress in length and complexity.  Supportive feedback is given to further develop personal skills and foster the attitudes of a good spiritual guide.  

The aims of the RSDT programme are:

to gain a deeper understanding of the purpose and practice of spiritual direction

to develop the skills necessary for the ministry of spiritual direction

to gain confidence in the practice of spiritual direction

to develop a compassionate presence as a spiritual director

to value more highly the uniqueness of each one's spiritual journey

to explore new skills and modes of spiritual direction

to grow in self-awareness along one's spiritual journey

to experience the grace of conversion and transformation

to be a well trained and competent spiritual director  (At the end of the programme participants are awarded a certificate.  The certificate of completion indicates that the participants have attained a satisfactory understanding of the principles of spiritual direction and that they have exhibited a competency in the skills and attitudes needed to be a spiritual director.  The Staff assess the participants' understanding to be satisfactory by reviewing participation and performance in lectures, presentations and discussions.  The assessment of competency in skills is primarily based on performance in the triads in which both skills and attitudes become evident.  Although it is very unusual, a participant may come to learn that he or she is not being called to serve as a spiritual guide for others.  In this case, a certificate of attendance is given at the end of the programme.)

Programme Dates

Arrival and Settling in:  Monday and Tuesday morning, 24-25 April

Orientation Session:  Tuesday 25 April 15.00

Mini-Retreat:  26-27 April

Opening Input Session:  28 April 

Extended Midterm Weekend:  26-29 May

Last Input Session:  26 June

Mini-Retreat:  27-28 June

Final Assessment and Programme Evaluation

Graduation:  Friday 30 June

Departure:  Saturday 1 July (participants are welcome to remain additional time to accord with their travel arrangements)