Certificates

CERTIFICATES OF SPIRITUAL DIRECTION OR IGNATIAN SPIRITUALITY

New Cohort Begins: Fall 2022

Certificate of Spiritual Direction (CSD): designed for clergy, religious and lay persons who seek a deeper grounding in the ministry of spiritual direction, as well as personal formation in Ignatian spirituality. It is ordinarily taken at the graduate level, but also available for undergraduate credit, with appropriate adjustments in course expectations. For students who wish to earn a degree, the CSD may be incorporated into the Master of Pastoral Studies.  The CSD follows a cohort system, with the same class taking the same courses over a two or three-year period. All courses are offered in a blended format, combining online and onsite sessions. For distance learning, the onsite sessions can also be joined by Zoom video conferencing. Onsite courses are available in Mobile, AL (at our home campus) and Columbia, SC (in partnership with the Diocese of Charleston). Admission is limited to 20 applicants for each two-year cohort. A new cohort is formed every other year.  Because effective preparation for this ministry requires both professional training and distinctive personal qualities, the CSD has selective admission requirements, including a minimum age of 30, extensive theological and spiritual prerequisites and ongoing discernment and evaluation of each candidate's aptitude during the two years of coursework. For details on prerequisites and application, download the CSD Application Portfolio and the Prerequisite Guide.

Certificate of Ignatian Spirituality (CIS): an alternative to the CSD, designed for clergy, religious and lay persons who seek a deeper personal formation in Ignatian spirituality, but do not intend to prepare for the ministry of spiritual direction. It may be pursued on the graduate or undergraduate level. For distance learning, the onsite sessions can also be joined by Zoom video conferencing. Onsite courses are available in Mobile, AL (at our home campus) and Columbia, SC (in partnership with the Diocese of Charleston). Admission is limited to 20 applicants for each two-year cohort. A new cohort is formed every other year.  For those who wish, the CIS may also be incorporated into the Master of Pastoral Studies degree.   Because of the nature of spiritual formation, the CIS expects distinctive personal qualities, as well as mature life experience, ordinarily requiring a minimum age of 30 and completion of an individually directed Ignatian retreat (of at least 5 days or 19th Annotation Retreat in Daily Life)  before admission and another during the course of the program. For  details on prerequisites and application, download the CIS Application Portfolio.

Students in the CIS program complete their first year as part of the CSD cohort, taking the same seminar courses for the first two semesters, as well as three summers in the Spirituality Institute. After completion of the first year, CIS students who wish to pursue the ministry of spiritual direction have the option of transferring to the CSD program, which requires the Practicum during the second year, and only two summers in the Spirituality Institute.

The Curriculum

CSD Curriculum (18 credit hours)

  • Prayer & Discernment I & II - (2 credit hours) Summer Institute 1
  • The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius I & II - (2 credit hours) Summer Institute 1
  • Spiritual Direction Seminar - (3 credit hours) Year 1/Fall
  • Spirituality & Psychology Seminar - (3 credit hours) Year 1/Spring
  • Spiritual Direction Practicum I & II - (4 credit hours) Year 2/Fall-Spring
  • Spirituality Electives - (4 credit hours) Summer Institute 2

CIS Curriculum (18 credit hours)

  • Prayer & Discernment I & II - (2 credit hours) Summer Institute 1
  • The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius I & II - (2 credit hours) Summer Institute 1
  • Spiritual Direction Seminar - (3 credit hours) Year 1/Fall
  • Spirituality & Psychology Seminar - (3 credit hours) Year 1/Spring
  • Spirituality Electives - (8 credit hours) Summer Institute 2/3 (2 summers)

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the program ecumenical? Yes, very much so. While rooted in the Catholic tradition of theology and of church, spirituality is also the area of theology in which the common ground of Christian faith is most clearly discovered.

Is the CSD available for distant learning? Yes,courses include both online and onsite classes, (at Mobile or Charleston, SC), but distance learning students can join the onsite classes through Zoom video conference, including classes in the Summer Institute.

How long will it take to complete the certificate? A minimum of two academic years and two summers.

Is financial assistance available?  The major form of assistance is the significantly reduced tuition offered for all students in the theology programs, comparable to 50% or more reduction of the standard tuition for these programs nationwide. In some cases, the diocese, parish, school or employer offer further assistance. Very limited assistance may be granted through Spring Hill College graduate theology scholarship funds, depending on availability in a given year.