The Certificate in Spiritual Direction and Social Transformation is a joint offering of the Center for Prophetic Imagination and the Minnesota Institute of Contemplation and Healing.
Our program builds upon existing spiritual direction practice and training, but particularly emphasizes spiritual direction as a social practice.
Most programs present spiritual direction primarily as a one-on-one discipline in which a practitioner works with one spiritual directee at a time or, perhaps, with a small group of spiritual directees. While this program prepares participants for that work, our aim is to go beyond the one-on-one framework to include training for work in organizations, activist spaces, and from within larger social systems.
God cares about social justice and transformation; therefore, we hope to train spiritual directors and guides whose desire and calling is to discern and give attention to how the Spirit is moving in the larger world.
With every module, we invite you to increase your self-awareness, broaden your analysis, deepen your listening skills, expand your experience of spiritual practices, and integrate your spirituality with radical action.
Our program includes online learning modules and facilitated supervision. When pandemic conditions are under control, we will offer elective in-person intensives and retreats.
Our program is for someone with some theological education or someone willing to do some theological self-study as part of the program.
This program assumes some experience within helping/healing professions. That could be ministry, non-profit work, social work, or a healing arts profession.
These expectations are important for several reasons. First, this is a fairly short course of study; we cannot cover the amount of material required for someone who has no background in a related field. Second, to teach clinical skills in a fairly short amount of time, we need students with some working experience with people and within organizations designed to help people.
This course of study includes seven core modules. We will also offer additional elective modules. You must complete all core modules to graduate from the program. In addition, each student must be in supervision for most of their time in the program.
We also urge participants to see a spiritual director for themselves as part of their own training in becoming a spiritual director.
In order to graduate the full program, we require participants to take all seven core modules and at least two electives.
We’ve designed the program so that a participant may graduate in 2 to 3 years. We structure Fall and Spring semester modules as 2 hour online class sessions over 10 weeks with additional reading and projects. Summer and January term electives are usually 2.5 hour sessions over 5 weeks.
Many programs offer supervision at the end of the learning process. However, we offer supervision beginning in the second semester until completion. This gives participants the opportunity for group processing and mentorship as they integrate what they’re learning directly into their lives and work.
Students will spend 5-10 hours per week on work outside of class. One and a half hour supervision meetings happen twice a month on average. This load allows most participants to keep up with coursework while working full time. Nevertheless, it is a substantial time commitment.