Spiritual Direction is the art and practice of accompanying another person on that person's spiritual journey. It is focused on attentive listening and is practiced without judgments or assumptions. Spiritual Direction is affirming of where the person is in his or her spiritual life and is given as an encouragement in the lens of seeing where God (hope) may be found in life narratives, in the moment, in the question that circumstances bring. It is a process of discernment both for the Director and for the one being guided. It is respectful of the reality that some are open to and welcoming of spiritual companionship, while others are not. Spiritual Directors are highly educated and trained individuals, having either a Master's or a Doctorate degree in spirituality or pastoral ministry. Spiritual Direction is not, in itself, a pastoral profession; rather, it serves as an enhancement to the ministries the student may already be in or pursuing.
Levels of Spiritual Direction
- Level I
This course offers an educational focus on an understanding of the art and practice of spiritual direction. Didactics on such topics as contemplative prayer and listening, the enneagram, healing touch, centering prayer, transformation of consciousness, guided imagery and dream work are provided.
Students are given a binder inclusive of articles by current spiritual writers along with two texts pertinent to the subject. Students meet twice a week in small and large groups to discuss and mutually explore the meanings and applications of these assigned readings. Book reports on the two texts are required.
- Level II
This course offers experiential awareness and growth in the practice of the ancient spiritual discipline of discernment. Course materials are taken from the writings of various classical spiritual writers as well as from articles exploring the practical exercises of discerning.
Students in this course will be focusing contemplatively on matters they are personally discerning as well as on the question of the calling to become a spiritual director.
- Level III
At this level, serious students are provided an educational opportunity to pursue their interest and self-identification as a spiritual director seeking a theological and/or theorist development of the practice of spiritual direction. Students will be asked to select a theologian, spiritual writer or theorist, and will then read and study this selected person with the intent to integrate the writer's thoughts into the student's understanding of her role and experience in spiritual direction.
The purpose of this study is to provide a means of assisting the individual student to name, define and claim his or her own faith perspective and to ground ownership of spiritually directing in a traditional and philosophical background.
- Level IV
This playful, yet seriously focused course allows students to engage with each other both in practicums and in group sessions. It is a course centered more in creativity and relies on the invitation to the student to explore possibilities and dreams which enhance the advanced students' strengths in reaching toward more of what spiritual directing can offer.
In Level IV, innovative students may experience supervision in group settings by providing a practicum in group systems, peer reviews and group supervising.
Contact: Bryna Bozart-Barnes
Charlotte Spiritual Center
Spiritual Direction Program