Certificate in Spiritual Direction

The longing for wisdom is primal and we intuitively sense our need for mentors in the Christian life. There is a way to find wisdom and share it. The formal name for that process is spiritual direction and those who consciously prepare for the task are called spiritual directors.

Sometimes referred to as “spiritual friends,” spiritual directors are trained to listen, pray, and ask questions in a fashion that encourages directees to look for the movement of the Holy Spirit in their lives. They ask the kind of questions that nurture the growth of wisdom, using the tools and values that have been sharpened over two millennia of prayerful observation.

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Is this Program for You?

Do people seek you for compassionate listening? Do you find yourself helping others tend to their souls? Do you desire more training in the art of companioned discernment? If you’ve asked yourself these questions then this program may be for you. Designed for graduate students, lay people, and clergy, the program is offered in a user-friendly, non-traditional format designed to accommodate the busy lives of people who wish to train during the weekend. We encourage CSD participants to read Susan S. Phillips' book, Candlelight: Illuminating the Art of Spiritual Direction as part of their discernment process.

Program Structure
CSD is a non-credit, continuing education program that seeks to train participants in the art of accompaniment and guidance of others in their spiritual journey. Training courses are offered through a cohort model, in eight weekend sessions held in January, May, and September over a period of three years. (New cohorts begin in May and September only). Participants will receive a certificate of completion after all required courses and training have been successfully fulfilled.

CSD Applicants and Spiritual Direction
In addition to enhancing your own personal growth, the experience of receiving spiritual direction is beneficial to and grounds your own training for directing others. It is thus required that applicants to the Certificate in Spiritual Direction (CSD) program at Perkins School of Theology meet with a spiritual director at least six months prior to beginning the program. Upon acceptance CSD students are required to meet monthly with a spiritual director throughout the duration of the program.

Tuition includes the registration fee, three meals, and parking each weekend. You are responsible for your own travel and lodging. Continuing education units are an additional $15 and are issued digitally through Credly. Tuition is designed to “pay as you go” to allow students to budget and plan ahead. We accept checks (payable to SMU-Perkins) and credit cards.

Registration begins at $450.00 and increases as the weekend draws closer. Registering early saves money!

Admission Requirements
Complete online application with essay questions (follow link below)
$100.00 application fee (credit card preferred)
Three letters of reference

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Application Due Dates

May Session – applications are due February 28, 2024
September Session – applications are due July 15, 2024

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