Spiritual Direction Certification Program
State: South Carolina
Personalized Affiliation: Christianity
Spiritual Spheres: Christianity
Category: Formation/Training School
Phone: (803) 461-3237
Profile: Welcome to the Spiritual Direction Certification Program (SDCP) at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS) page! We are glad the Holy Spirit brought you here! Here, you can learn about spiritual direction, and our training program. WHAT IS SPIRITUAL DIRECTION? Holy Listening - This is at the core of spiritual direction. Spiritual direction is listening to the nudging of the Holy Spirit in someone’s life, in companionship with another human being. The real and most genuine spiritual director is always the Holy Spirit. Discernment - This is the practice of prayerfully seeking how God is guiding us in life. As Saint Benedict states, it’s “listening with the ear of the heart to God’s purpose for our lives.” It is a practice that is cultivated through spiritual direction. Spiritual Direction lets us know if we are walking in the way that leads us more deeply into God’s love. In a world of so much suffering, along with so many possibilities, discernment is ever more important. It is knowing what is the next right step to take, that leads a person to God. To have a sense of clarity around “What is God calling in my life in this situation/question?” Community - This relationship takes place between the Holy Spirit, the directee, and director. It fosters an experience of holy community. Those receiving direction (directees) receive the grace of being held by another’s listening presence, and the presence of God. HOW DOES ONE BECOME A SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR? Contemplative Life - In one sense, a person can become a Spiritual Director by nurturing a contemplative life. It is a practice of contemplation, in which one cultivates comfort with sitting in silence with God, and listening. Certification - In another sense, a person can complete a certification program like the one offered at LTSS. WHAT KIND OF PROGRAM IS OFFERED AT LTSS? Spiritual direction training in the Christian tradition is based in the work of the Holy Spirit. It has been practiced throughout church history, from the time of Jesus with his disciples until now. Our program offers an experience grounded in the Trinitarian faith. However, we recognize that there is deep spiritual wisdom in other faith traditions. We draw upon those traditions, and integrate them into a Christian perspective. WHAT DOES LTSS’S PROGRAM ENTAIL? Participating in four residential intensives, each January and June, for two years. The intensives always begin on a Wednesday at noon, and end on the following Saturday at noon. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the January 2021 intensive will be held completely online. We hope to return to residential intensives in June 2021, but that decision has not been made official. Each cycle consists of a cohort of 16 persons. Each cohort is split into two groups, and each group has its own mentor. WHAT IS REQUIRED OF PARTICIPANTS BETWEEN INTENSIVES? Discerning and meeting regularly with a spiritual director, if you do not already have one Discerning a willing person to be your spiritual directee Worshipping experiences during the four intensives Learning from expert instructors in the spiritual life Reading key books and short reaction papers CYCLE 5 (2021-2022) INTENSIVE DATES: January 13-16, 2021 June TBD, 2021 January 5-8, 2022 June TBD, 2022 CYCLE 5 GROUP MENTORS: Angela Ford Nelson Herman Yoos CYCLE 5 INSTRUCTORS TBD CYCLE 5 COSTS: The total cost for the two-year cycle is $3,000, which includes tuition and meals during residential intensives. Most participants in the past have made four payments of $750. They would typically bring their payment to campus when they arrived for each residential intensive. Since the January 2021 intensive will be held completely online, we are unable to include meals. As a result, we are reducing the tuition cost by $88, which would bring the January ’21 payment down to just $662, and the total tuition cost would be $2,911. PROGRAM LOCATION The Spiritual Direction Certification Program is housed at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, which is located near downtown Columbia, South Carolina. INTENSIVE LODGING: Participants typically find their own lodging. A limited number of accommodations are available on the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary campus for $25/night. As January 2021’s intensive will be held online, housing arrangements are not necessary. SHOULD I APPLY TO THE PROGRAM AT LTSS? Everyone is Welcome to Apply - The primary purpose of this certification program is to train people who feel called to be a spiritual companion; however, those who have already been on the contemplative journey and who wish to deepen their own spiritual practices are also welcome. With spiritual discernment questions, contact the Spiritual Direction Certification Program Director, Dr. Melanie Dobson, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (919) 724-3557. With administrative/application completion questions, or to email application materials, contact the Academy for Faith and Leadership Registrar, Mrs. Ellen Girardeau, at (803) 461-3237 or email@example.com.