PEER GROUP

Total Hours: 25 hours

Years 1 & 2: 11 hours

Mode: Lectures, seminars, group discussions, interactive presentations, workshops, demonstrations, role plays, supervised practicum

In years 1 & 2 this unit integrates insights from the tradition and ministry of spiritual direction with the experience of companioning a directee as well as examining specific issues that can arise in a direction session. Presentations will provide specific input on practical skillls that are practised during the peer group session and can then be used in the quad experience.

Topics will be selected from the following:

Listening Skills I, II, III
Feedback
Role of Director, Directee and Observer
Movement in a Direction Session
Working with a Dream in a Direction Session
Wirking with an Image in a Direction Session
Code of Ethics
Recognising Resistance

Self Care
Self Reflection
Using Focusing in a Direction Session
Hospitality in Spiritual Direction
Boundary Issues
Recognising when to refer
Transference and Counter-transference in a Direction Session
Movement and Countermovement in a Direction Session

Years 3 & 4: 14 hours (plus minimum of 32 hours outside the weekends)

Mode: Work with an outside directee and presentation of verbatim, supervision log, lectures, seminars, group discussions, interactive presentations.

In years 3 & 4 participants are required to have an outside directee and to prepare verbatim of each session with their directee. These verbatim are used as the basis for individual and peer group supervision in the final two years of the program.

Participants are required to meet with the outside directee a minimum of eight times per year for two years and keep a supervision log of their meetings.

During the Peer Group sessions, participants are introduced to and practice different peer supervision models as well as short lectures on aspects of supervision.


Program Objectives

This training program is designed to assist both lay and ordained people in their spiritual lives and to train them in the important work of being soul-friends to others in their journey into the mystery and the justice of God.

The elements of the program seek to foster a contemplative attitude in the participants as well as training in specific skills of spiritual direction.

By the end of the program, participants will have

> Deepened their own faith journey through lectures, worship and sharing in community

> Integrated theological and spiritual insights with listening skills in relation to the task of spiritual direction

> Learnt specific skills in spiritual direction and practised these skills in a supervised setting

> Become aware of their own strengths and growing edges as they engage in the ministry of spiritual direction

> Further developed gifts and experience already gained to create increasing levels of expertise in spiritual direction

> Discerned whether they are called to the ministry of spiritual direction

> Become critically aware of the influences of cultural identity and contexts on the expression of the spiritual quest for meaning

> An awareness of the ethical issues in spiritual direction

 

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CORE UNIT

Hours: 96 hours

Mode: Lectures, seminars, group discussions, interactive presentations, workshops

Over the four years, this unit will examine the theological foundations that influence the ministry of spiritual direction, as well as draw on the range of human sciences that inform an understanding of the human person and the human search for meaning.

Participants will be enabled to acquire skills that assist them in developing their own theology and ministry of spiritual direction. Using an action/reflection model, participants will be invited to notice and reflect on their response to the material presented and thus deepen their own spiritual journey.

Topics will be selected from the following:

Spiritual Direction - Introduction & Overview
Storytelling - hearing God in Narrative
Models of Direction - function & insight
Sexuality and Spirituality
Physicality and Spirituality
The place of liturgy in direction
Australian Spirituality
Conversion of Life
Contemplative Attitude
Aboriginal Spirituality
Dreams and Dreaming
Scripture and Spiritual Direction
Art in Spiritual Direction
Praying with Icons
Focusing - A Way of Growth
Moving Images - the spirituality of Cinema
Prayer - the heart of Direction
Ignatian Direction - insight & function
Place of Silence in direction
Psychology and Direction
Myers Briggs Type Indicator
Enneagram - insights for direction
Spiritual Direction and the Elderly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY

Hours: 24 hours (notionally)

Mode: email lectures, group discussions, worship presentations, "lectio divina" reflection papers and review

The History of Christian Spirituality unit will examine traditions of spiritual guidance, spiritual direction and spiritual companioning within Christianity. The study will include inquiry into models of spiritual discernment from biblical to contemporary times with special emphasis on each model's theology, focus and process. A variety of traditions and types of prayer will be explored. Students will develop skills that assist them to evaluate critically these traditions and to understand how these foundations inform the ministry of spiritual direction.

Notes and readings will be prepared and emailed to participants. Participants will be required to do the reading and write a reflection on one of the readings like a lectio divina repsonse to the selected text.

During the weekend, Saturday morning worship will be based on the History of Spirituality unit that has preceded the weekend. A group discussion of topic will take place.

Topics will be selected from the following:

Definitions of Spirituality
Overview of Christian Spirituality
The Desert Fathers and Mothers
Eastern Orthodox Spirituality - Jesus Prayer, Icons
Celtic Spirituality
John Cassian, St Benedict & Monasticism
St Francis and St Clare
English Mystics - Julian of Norwich, The Cloud of Unknowing
St Teresa of Avila & St John of the Cross
Spirituality of Protestant Reformation
St Ignatius of Loyola and St Teresa of Avila
Feminist Spirituality
Spirituality of 19th Century
Spirituality of Pilgrimage
Quaker/Mennonite/Puritan Spirituality
Merton: Images of C20th spirituality
Towards a Contemporary Spirituality
Josephite Spirituality - Mary MacKillop

Spirituality and Social Justice

 

 

 

 

ASSESSMENT

In order to satisfactorily complete the program, it is required that students submit to their assigned Program Supervisor the following course work each year:

Assessment Component One:

Response Papers (4 per year)

The written response to each Residential should not be a way of giving a mark to the experience so much as an attempt to discover what God has been doing with you during the community gathering. Many students may find the Residential Course challenges, confirms and occasionally irritates them. Even the irritation is important when the reasons for that disturbance become known. Often a false image of God or the self is beginning to move painfully aside in favour of something deeper.

Preparation:
The following questions may be helpful as background to the preparation of a response paper:

These questions are not prescriptive. They are offered as a way to guide your praying, thinking and personal reflection as you prepare the response paper.

Content of Response Paper
The response paper must cover some reflection on the following points but does not need to be restricted to them.

  1. How has your own faith journey been deepened by participation in this weekend? (Give consideration to lectures, quads, worship and/or sharing in community).
  2. What particular theological and/or spiritual insights did you gain from the input? Were you able to apply any of these during the quadrads?
  3. What specific skills in spiritual direction have you learnt this weekend?
  4. Reflect on your experience in the quads. Identify your own emerging strengths and/or growing edges in spiritual direction that you became aware of this weekend.
  5. In what ways has this weekend assisted you in discerning if you are called to the ministry of spiritual direction?

You may find that a poem, drawing, some other art form or symbol has emerged as a result of the weekend. Consider using this as a reference point when preparing your response paper.

Submission Date:
It is advisable to complete the response within a month of the Residential Course weekend while your experience is still fresh. However, it MUST be completed TWO WEEKS prior to the next weekend.

Length
The suggested length of the paper is between 1,000 and 1,500 words (roughly 2-3 pages)

Assessment Component Two:

Book Reviews (2 per year)

The suggested approach for the book reviews is that of "Lectio Divina" (Holy Reading). This form of prayerful reading and meditation has always been part of the Christian tradition in spirituality - principally the sustained attention to Scripture, but also the reading of texts that illumine and prompt our journey at various stages of its development.

The purpose of a book review in this context is to explore the deepening of the participant's own spiritual journey and more specifically their understanding of the movement of the Spirit within them. Therefore "book" may include novels, poems, plays and films that have given new insights into the mystery of God as well as those texts we normally associate with "spiritual reading".

The books reviewed can be classics of western or eastern spirituality or popular current writings. The participant's spiritual director will be able to suggest some texts if the choice is found to be difficult.

One book each year must be taken from a supplied list of books related specifically to spiritual direction.

Content of Book Review

Submission Date:
Book reviews for the current year must be submitted by the final residential weekend of that year.

Length
The suggested length of the review is between 1,000 and 1,500 words (roughly 2-3 pages)

Assessment Evaluation

Each reflection paper and book review is submitted to the participant's assigned program supervisor. These then become the basis for a conversation with the participant either at the next weekend or over the phone between weekends. This conversation provides an opportunity to discuss any issues that are being raised in the participant as well as checking their progress and offering invitations for further growth in the participant's spiritual journey and their skills in spiritual direction.

Assessment Component Three:

HISTORY REFLECTIONS (3 per year)

Notes and readings for each History Unit will be prepared and emailed to participants between weekends. Participants will be required to do the reading between the weekends and then submit a written reflection on one of the readings two weeks prior to the next weekend.

The reflection will be like a lectio divina response to the selected text. It is meant to be a short personal and reflective response to the text. You may like to use these questions as a starting point for your reflection:

Submission Date:
History reflections must be submitted two weeks prior to the next weekend.

Length
The suggested length of the reflection is between 500 and 750 words (roughly 1 page)

Evaluation
Participants are required to submit their history reflections as evidence of having read the emailed texts.Short verbal or emailed feedback may be given.

Assessment Component Four:

FINAL PAPER

Final reflection paper for Graduating Participants

In preparation for the completion of the Residential Program in Spiritual Direction, a final reflection paper is required. This is in place of the reflection paper for the November weekend.

The final paper is to be a reflection on the entire program and the journey you have made during the four years of participation in the program. Remember where you were when you started the program and where you are now.

The paper must cover some reflection on the following points but does not need to be restricted to them.

Submission Date:
The Final Paper is to be submitted to the Program Director no later than ONE MONTH before the final weekend of the year.

Length
The suggested length of the paper is between 2,500 and 3,000 words (4-6 pages)

Final Paper Evaluation

The Program Director will assess the final paper and prepare a report that will be presented to the student with their Certificate.

The report will include a recommendation from the Program Director and Team as to the suitability of the participant for the minsitry of spiritual direction and suggestions for continued development such as on-going supervision.

The comments in this report should not come as a surprise but as a culmination of the supervisory conversation that has been going on for the four years of the program.

Accreditation

Participants receive a Certificate of Completion.

In order to receive this certificate, participants must:

Upon request, participants can receive a transcript detailing their attendance and assessment submissions for the entire program.

 

Key Program Elements

There are five key elements to the program:

  1. Core Unit
  2. Peer Group
  3. Practicum
  4. History of Christian Spirituality
  5. Worship

WORSHIP / LITURGY

Hours: 40 hours

Mode: Participative worship

Each weekend participants are involved in morning and evening prayer and the Eucharist. Diverse forms of worship are experienced over the four years.

Participants are invited to prepare worship sessions reflecting their particular tradition. This offers a rich tapestry of experience and provides participants with the opportunity to prepare, lead, participate and reflect on worship both within and beyond their own tradition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRACTICUM

Hours: 48 hours

Mode: Supervised Quadrad

The practical experience of direction is done through quadrads. A quadrad is a group with a program team supervisor and three participants functioning as director, directee and observer. Quadrads provide the experience of spiritual companioning with another participant and of developing supervisory skills in the observer.

Every session involves a practical exercise in the art and skills of direction followed by reflection and feedback on the experience by the members of the quadrad. A supervisor is present in every quadrad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUPERVISION

Participants have on-going supervision during the program in a number of ways;

  1. Personal Supervisor
    (16 hours)
    Each participant has a personal supervisor who accompanies them over the four years of the program. This supervisor, who is a member of the Program Team, receives the participant's reflection papers after each weekend, responds to this before or during the next weekend and has a supervisory meeting with the participant during each weekend.


  2. Quad Supervisor
    (16 hours supervision and 32 hrs supervisory learning)

    Each quad experience is supervised by one of the program team so over the course of the four years participants receive feedback from all the supervisors. This provides the participant with varying perspectives and experience.

  3. Peer Group Supervisor
    (4 hrs supervision and 10 hrs supervisory learning)
    During years 3 & 4 participants will be part of a peer group, consisting of 4 people and a supervisor. Here the supervisor will be focusing on the participant's work with the outside directee.