Center for Congregational Spirituality

Congregation-Based Spiritual Direction

Religion and spirituality in the America has been in the midst of a radical change—even before the COVID-19 pandemic. As more and more people identify as “spiritual but not religious” or “none,” traditional communities of faith are finding it harder and harder to attract new people. At the same time, innovative forms of religious communities are exploring new and exciting ways to reach out into the world. In spite of the differences between the two approaches—traditional or innovative—both kinds of communities strive to offer the same thing: spiritually deepening connections to the self, others, creation, and the Holy.

The work of leading a spiritual community is rich and rewarding…and it isn’t always easy. Which is why nurturing your own spiritual life is a top priority.

This three-session (fall, winter, spring) online certificate program—designed for clergy, religious professionals, and lay leaders—will give you the chance to do just that. Together, we will explore how the art and practice of spiritual direction can help you faithfully attend to the spiritual lives of others in your religious community while staying grounded in your own relationship to the source of your being.

The program is open to clergy, religious professionals (religious educators, music directors, membership professionals, youth advisors, and directors of congregational life), congregational lay leaders, and individuals engaged in innovative ministries beyond congregational walls. Denominational and middle judicatory officials and spiritual directors who share their ministry of presence with a congregation are welcome as well.

Built on the foundation of spiritual direction/guidance/companioning, the program emphasizes bringing the benefits of the practice into three spheres: your personal spiritual life, the life of your faith community, and the wider world. Throughout the program, you’ll learn to integrate the art and practice of spiritual direction into your life and ministry through asynchronous modules, virtual group spiritual direction sessions, and virtual retreats.

Over the course of the program, we will pay special attention to four main areas:

What is spiritual direction/guidance/companioning?
Small group spiritual direction
The training and supervision of leaders in your community, and
Justice as a spiritual path.

Congregation-Based Spiritual Direction: An Online Certificate Program begins with an introductory module on October 18, 2022, and ends with a closing virtual retreat on May 13, 2023. Each session will be built around an intentional pattern of theory, practice, and reflection. The dates for the three sessions are:

Fall Session: October 22–November 12, 2022
Winter Session: February 4–25, 2023
Spring Session: April 22–May 13, 2023

The program is limited to 18 persons. In order to achieve a balance of roles, registration will be capped at 6 clergy, 6 religious professionals, and 6 lay leaders. The cost all three sessions is $1500. Scholarships are available. We will attempt to make certain that persons who are called to this program are able to afford it. Payment schedules can be arranged.

Congregation-Based Spiritual Direction: An Online Certificate Program is co-sponsored by the Center for Congregational Spirituality and the MidAmerica Region of the UUA.