Residential Spiritual Direction Programme 2017 

A summary of areas covered within the course

The nature and purpose of spiritual direction

Key skills, qualities and attitudes for an effective spiritual director

Spiritual direction and other therapeutic relationships

Relationship of spiritual direction to Christian discipleship

The Retreat Association guidelines on spiritual direction

  Discerning the Spirit

Where is the Spirit leading us? The shape of the spiritual journey

Developing a contemplative awareness to daily life

Supporting people in exploring and deepening their prayer experience

Discernment within life choices

Listening to the Spirit through dreams and the imagination

  Supporting people through spiritual conflict and struggle

Spiritual direction in a time of loss or change

When prayer no longer seems to ‘work’

Supporting those outside formal religious structures

Understanding resistance

  Spirituality and psychology: 

Models of emotional and spiritual development

The Enneagram and spiritual direction

The power of illusion: the false and true self 

  Resources for spiritual direction

Use of scripture within spiritual direction

Use of poetry, art and other media within spiritual direction

Tools for listening to the Spirit: Examen, Lectio Divina and Journalling

 Managing a spiritual direction relationship

Clarifying the nature of the relationship

Boundaries within spiritual direction

Reviewing the spiritual direction relationship

Understanding transference

Making creative use of supervision

 Franciscan perspectives on spiritual direction

The Castle – an image of the spiritual path

Conversions in the life of Francis and Clare

Who is God? Prayers of Francis and Clare

Word of God, Eternal, Incarnate and Inspired

Bonaventure and Scotus on the human person

Incarnation and the Cross

Relationality: God, humanity and creation

 Insights from the wider spiritual tradition:

The Desert Fathers and Mothers

Julian of Norwich

Ignatius of Loyola and the Spiritual Exercises

The Carmelite tradition: John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila

George Herbert

Etty Hillesum

Spiritual seekers: contemporary plurality of paths

  Spiritual direction and retreats

Planning a silent, directed retreat

Quiet days, residential individually guided retreats, weeks of guided prayer

Helping people befriend silence

Development through practice:

Attentive listening exercises

Weekly spiritual direction triads

Case studies

Attentiveness to one’s own spiritual journey and development