Unit 1: Introduction to the Art of Spiritual Direction (UD code DD8202W)

This unit introduces the Ministry of Spiritual Direction in theory and in practice and provides a context in which to test a sense of call to this ministry. The seminars include teaching on the history of the tradition, characteristics of the ministry, common misconceptions, issues of discernment, human experience of God, important psychological considerations, development of listening skills and growth in prayer and faith.

Students have regular practice in both giving and receiving spiritual direction and the opportunity to reflect on this experience. In addition, they participate regularly in personal and peer group supervision sessions. Two written assignments and a number of written verbatims are required.

The course involves five 2-day gatherings throughout the year, the first of which is residential (at Millgrove), with the others held at WellSpring. There are also monthly peer supervision group work and personal supervision sessions scheduled outside these times.

An important aspect of the formation program is the continuing mutual discernment of a student’s call to the ministry of spiritual direction, and therefore ongoing participation in the course.

Pre-requisites:

  • Students need to have been in spiritual direction themselves for at least six months prior to commencing the course.
  • In addition, students need to have some sense of call to this ministry.

Completion of the Art of Contemplative Practice is also strongly recommended.


Unit 2: The Art of Spiritual Direction (UD code DD8203W)

This unit extends the work done in the previous level. Teaching seminars cover stages of faith, sexuality, grief, anger and depression, patterns of prayer, theological issues, discernment, images of God, dreams and art work as ways of listening to God, the relevance of contextual issues, ethics and other practical matters.

The experience of giving and receiving spiritual direction is continued at a deeper level. Supervision – personal and in peer groups – remains a significant aspect of the training. Two written assignments and a number of written verbatims are required.

The course involves five 2-day gatherings throughout the year, the first of which is residential (at Millgrove), with the others held at WellSpring. There are also monthly peer supervision group work and personal supervision sessions scheduled outside these times.

An important aspect of the formation program is the continuing mutual discernment of a student’s call to the ministry of spiritual direction, and therefore ongoing participation in the course.

Pre-requisites:

  • Successful completion of Unit 1.
  • Recommendation from formation leaders of the course regarding proceeding to this level.
  • Receiving regular spiritual direction.
  • Minimum of two people coming for spiritual direction.

Unit 3: The Art of Spiritual Direction (UD code DD9204W)

The course involves five 2-day gatherings throughout the year, the first of which is residential (at Millgrove), with the others held at WellSpring. There are also monthly peer supervision group work and personal supervision sessions scheduled outside these times.

Each participant chooses an elective research project and studies it during the year. One 8,000 word essay (10,000 words for GradDip/MA) on the research topic is required, along with written verbatim reports.

At a final intensive workshop, students give a presentation of their papers to the group for reflection and discussion.

An important aspect of the formation program is the continuing mutual discernment of a student’s call to the ministry of spiritual direction, and therefore ongoing participation in the course.

Pre-requisites:

  • Successful completion of Unit 2.
  • Recommendation from formation leaders of the course regarding proceeding to this level.
  • Receiving regular spiritual direction.
  • Minimum of four people coming for spiritual direction.

Unit 4: The Art of Spiritual Direction (Post-Course Year)

This is a post-course year of personal and peer supervision and professional development seminars, and is an essential part of the program, although it is deliberately set within a post-graduate context. This provides generous support in the first year of ministry, aims to establish collegiality with peers and the wider community of WellSpring directors, and establishes ongoing personal and professional development. We encourage graduates to join one of the Australian Spiritual Direction Associations and thus become part of the wider community of Australian Directors.


Coordinator of Formation Studies: Peter Bentley

Peter works with an ecumenical formation team of teachers, supervisors and other professionals who are experienced spiritual directors. Together they bring a creative and balanced approach to this ministry. Numbers are limited at all levels to allow maximum participation. University of Divinity accreditation for these units is available to those doing post-graduate degrees in Ministry or Spiritual Direction.

For more information, please email Rosanne Arnott, or call Rosanne on 0439 389 829 or Peter Bentley on 0413 736 889.


Course for 2017

Dates:

  • Thursday 30 March 30 to Saturday 1 April 2017 (off-site retreat at Pallotti College, 80 McNamaras Road
    Millgrove 3799), AND
  • Friday 2 and Saturday 3 June 2017 at WellSpring Centre AND
  • Friday 28 and Saturday 29 July 2017 at WellSpring Centre AND
  • Friday 15 and Saturday 16 September 2017 at WellSpring Centre AND
  • Friday 27 and Saturday 28 October 2017 at WellSpring Centre (followed by Graduation Service for Level 3 graduates)

Process for application and enrolment

NB: Applications for 2017 are now closed. However, if you would like to be considered for a late application, please contact Rosanne Arnott by email.

Step 1:

Step now closed (see note above): Complete the WellSpring application form for The Art of Spiritual Direction.

Step 2:

This step has now closed (all applicants have been notified re outcome of applications). Following receipt of your application, we will make a time with you for an interview with two members of our Discernment Team in the second half of November or early December 2016. The Discernment Team will then gather together in early December to prayerfully consider all applications, and we will contact you by mid-December with the outcome of your application for 2017.

Step 3:

If you are invited to enter the Art of Spiritual Direction I in 2017, you can decide whether to enrol in the unit for academic credit, or to audit the unit.

Enrolment for academic credit:

This unit may count towards a post-graduate degree in Theology through Whitley College.

Students who enrol through University of Divinity may be eligible for FEE-Help to cover course fees (NB: cost of residential gathering is not covered by FEE-Help).

Costs are as per University of Divinity schedule (Units 1, 2 and 3 of Art of Spiritual Direction are each a 30-point/full-year post-graduate unit, with the three units completed over three consecutive years) + cost of residential gathering ($250).

If you already a student with the University of Divinity, contact the registrar at your own RTI (Recognised Teaching Institution) to arrange enrolment.

Contacts for New Students:
Gary Heard
Coursework Coordinator
Whitley College
Ph: (03) 9340 8000
Email: gheard@whitley.unimelb.edu.au
Dorothy Morgan
Registrar
Whitley College
Ph: (03) 9340 8000
Email: registrar@whitley.unimelb.edu.au
Auditing:

There is also the option of auditing this unit at a reduced cost.

Auditing costs for the full 30-point unit in 2017 ($2,200) + cost of residential gathering ($250)

Students who audit the course are encouraged to complete the written tasks to gain full benefit of the course, but they do not receive academic credit.

Contact:

Monique Lisbon
Administrator/Office Manager
WellSpring Centre
Ph: (03) 9885 0277
Email: monique.lisbon@wellspringcentre.org.au

Monique will send you an invoice for the auditing fees, payable directly to WellSpring prior to the start of the unit.

Alternative payment arrangements may be individually negotiated upon request.