The Covenant School of Spiritual Direction

The Covenant School of Spiritual Direction offers a diocesan certification in spiritual direction. Approved by the Bishop of the Diocese of Rapid City, SD, this program is eligible for continuing education credit through the University of Mary.

Offered in compliment to the university's certificate in Prayer and Spiritual Direction, the two-year, three-session program will give you the intellectual knowledge, foundation in contemplative prayer, and the practical skills to serve as an effective spiritual director. The curriculum relies on the candidate’s active engagement in the lectures, private prayer exercises, and group work. The candidates must attend all three sessions within a six-year period in order to receive the diocesan certification. There are no tests to be passed or papers to be submitted.

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Get in touch with any questions or submit the simple application for admission.
We will assist you every step of the way toward acceptance so you can enroll and begin your classes!

$1,400 per session

Cost includes room, board, tuition, and books. Participants will be in shared accommodations unless otherwise specified. Cost subject to change.

All application materials should be submitted directly to the Sioux Spiritual Center at [email protected]

  • Submission of application for admission
  • Letter of recommendation from one's pastor or someone who has known them for at least five years and a letter of recommendation from their spiritual director, reflecting the suitability of the candidate.
  • Completion of several essays specified on the application form, including a spiritual autobiography describing one's spiritual journey to this point on their life.

Accepted participants will need to submit a $250 non-refundable deposit, made payable to the Sioux Spiritual Center.

Prayer: September 12-25, 2021

Healing: September 11-24, 2022

Growth: September 10-23, 2023

Continuing education units (CEU's) or general workshop credits (GWC's) for participation in each session can be requested. Participants can be awarded three CEU's or GWC's per session. The request for credit must be received by the University of Mary within one week of completing a session.

  • CEU cost per unit: $20
  • GWC cost per unit: $45

CEU and GWC credits are transcribed on a learner transcript through the University of Mary. Only GWC's are eligible for license renewal purposes. Professional development offerings are accepted by some state agencies in the United States toward teacher certifications and other endorsements, this may not be the case in all states.

Carole Brown Carole Brown Director of the Sioux Spiritual Center Catholic Retreat Lodge

Spiritual direction is a wonderful charism that can be developed and refined by good training. God is giving this charism in greater abundance to lay people, who are being raised up to serve the needs of the church in our times. Our hope is that the Covenant School of Spiritual Direction will serve to equip men and women to accompany others with confidence and sensitivity to God’s leading.

 

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Sessions

  • The candidate must acquire a personal spiritual director and be receiving regular spiritual direction (at least six meetings/year) before the completion of the second session.
  • Full attendance at all three two-week sessions, for a total of six weeks and completion of readings associated with each session.
  • The candidate must make an 8-day silent directed Ignatian Retreat, or complete the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius.
    • The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. The candidate will undertake the traditional “Spiritual Exercises” either in the 30-day silent retreat format or in what is called the 19th Annotation format. Proposed retreat arrangements must be submitted and approved prior to undertaking the retreat. It is the candidate’s responsibility to obtain a letter of verification of completion of the exercises by the spiritual director of those exercises, including the dates of the undertaking.
    • A directed, silent retreat for eight days completed in a formal retreat center. The candidate would be responsible to 1) find and schedule such a site; 2) to advise the school’s director(s) of when and where the retreat will be taken; 3) give the director(s) the name of the retreat director and get their approval; and 4) advise the director(s) when the retreat has been completed.
  • Complete a supervised practicum, normally accomplished between the second and third sessions. The candidate will find someone who is already practicing their faith and who desires to deepen their prayer life and their commitment to loving God. That person will be sent a contract by our office to sign, agreeing to the weekly prayer companionship and to fill out an evaluation of the experience upon completion. The candidate will meet with the prayer companion once a week over a four-month period. The candidate will be supervised during the course of the practicum, and evaluated after the 16-week practicum is completed. Forms and log sheets must be completed and submitted during the 16-week practicum.
  • The candidate must meet all formation expectations, and demonstrate satisfactorily to the director(s) their readiness for the role of spiritual direction.

The Call to Holiness and Spiritual Direction
This introductory course provides a theological basis for the universal call to holiness and intimacy with the Holy Trinity. It surveys various methods and approaches to discipleship and the rich tradition of spiritual direction in the Church.

First Week, Sunday night, 2 hours; Monday morning, 2 hours

An Introduction to Prayer
This course surveys various ways of approaching prayer from the mystical tradition of the church and how to teach those being directed to pray in truth and love, with the goal of intimacy with God.

First Week, 2 hours each evening, Monday-Friday

Living the Discerning Life and the Examen Prayer
This course will present discernment as both a way of living the Christian life and of reflection on that life. It will be based on Ignatius of Loyola’s Rules of Discernment and the Examen; and will discuss the use of both in spiritual direction.

Second Week, 2 hours each evening, Monday-Friday

Foundational Themes in Scripture for Prayer
Prayer exercises and group sharing based on eight Scriptural themes such as trust in God, discipleship, responding to God’s love. The student prays 2-3 hours daily and is encouraged to use a journal.

Both Weeks

Elements and Dynamics of Spiritual Direction and Practice
This is a foundational course presenting principles and goals of good spiritual direction. Presentations and practice sessions will focus on the methods and skills involved in the art of Spiritual Direction. Students will learn the basics of conducting interviews, interpersonal dynamics, and the use of Scripture in direction. Practice interviews and role playing are included.

Both Weeks, two hours each morning, Monday-Friday

The Connection of Healing and Deliverance to the Practice of Spiritual Direction
This introductory course focuses on how Jesus healed and how He taught his disciples to heal. It explains why healing and deliverance are necessary to the art of spiritual direction.

First Week, Sunday night, 2 hours

The Theory and Practice of Healing Prayer
The course provides information on various healing ministries in the Church today (such as Theophostic, Unbound). It explores the importance of past wounds as they affect us as spiritual directors as well as our directees.

First Week, 2 hours each evening, Monday-Friday

The Application of Spiritual Warfare and Deliverance in Spiritual Direction
This course explores spiritual warfare and deliverance using classics in the spiritual life, contemporary insights and practice and scriptural passages to study how Jesus addressed evil, and how to apply these tools in spiritual direction.

Second Week, 2 hours each evening, Monday-Friday

Foundational Themes in Scripture for Healing
Prayer exercises and group sharing based on healing themes in the Bible. The student prays 2-3 hours daily and is encouraged to use a journal.

Both Weeks

Elements and Dynamics of Spiritual Direction and Practice
This course will include practical exercises and teaching on reflective responses and labeling feelings. Self-disclosure, genuineness and compassioning are studied as important elements in the Spiritual Direction process and presented through lectures and role playing.

Both Weeks, two hours each morning, Monday-Friday

Life's Journey in Christ and "The Present Moment" in Spiritual Direction
This introductory course provides an explanation of why the present moment is God’s gift to every believer as their moment of grace, and how the past and the promises of God shape each person’s journey to the Father.

First Week, Sunday night, 2 hours

Christology
The course is about the Personhood of Jesus as God and as Man. Who is Jesus and what has He done for me and for the world? Conformity of the believer to the Person of Christ as the essential paradigm of “doing the will of the Father” as His sons and daughters.

First Week, 2 hours each evening, Monday-Friday

Maturity in Christ, Part One: Living in Faith, Hope, and Love
The course shows how the supernatural gifts of Faith, Hope and Love comprise the Christian's whole character and how a person can grow in holiness and the disciplined love of God and neighbor.

Second Week, 2 hours each evening, Monday-Wednesday

Maturity in Christ, Part Two: Exercising the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The course uses the lists of the Holy Spirit’s gifts in the Pauline Letters and explains how a spiritual director employs the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit in spiritual direction, as well as how to encourage the openness and use of these gifts in the daily life of the directee.

Second Week, 2 hours each evening, Thursday-Friday

Foundational Themes in Scripture for the Fruits of the Holy Spirit and Perfection in Holiness
Prayer exercises and group sharing based on the New Testament lists of the fruits of the Holy Spirit and the way of perfection outlined for the believer in the Bible. The student prays 2-3 hours daily, and is encouraged to use a journal.

Both Weeks

Elements and Dynamics of Spiritual Direction and Practice
Topics of consolation and desolation, dryness, contemplative listening, and blocks and obstacles to growth in prayer will be presented through lectures and role playing. Included will be teaching on issues that frequently arise in spiritual direction.

Both Weeks, two hours each morning, Monday-Friday

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