The DeepWardly School of Spiritual Direction is a 2-year certification process for people of all faiths that teaches the evocative-contemplative method of direction based on Ignatian spirituality in the Christian tradition.
The primary focus of the first year is formation. Students receive a comprehensive education in the key components of spiritual direction ministry including personal prayer, self-care, self-awareness, other-awareness, Scripture, theology, Ignatian spirituality, the Spiritual Exercises, and the evocative-contemplative method. Students attend classes once a month, in person, at Cedar Ridge in Sherwood, Arkansas, a suburb of Little Rock. Each month, classes begin Friday evening from 6-9pm and continue Saturday from 9am to 3pm. The syllabus includes--
September: Overview of Spiritual Direction and Personal Prayer
October: Self-Awareness and Other-Awareness
November: Sacred Scripture
December: Ignatian Spirituality
January: Theology in Spiritual Direction
February: The Spiritual Exercises
March: The Evocative-Contemplative Method Part 1
April: The Evocative-Contemplative Method Part 2
May: The Process of Spiritual Direction
There are a number of unique features to our spiritual director training program. For example, DeepWardly offers an integrated approach to training, which means that each class you attend will be taught by a certified spiritual director and will be presented from the perspective of spiritual direction ministry.
Our school is also committed to offering you everything you need in order to become a part-time or full-time director, including lessons on the financial, legal, ethical, technological, and growth aspects of your future ministry.
Class sizes are intentionally limited to only six students each year so that learning is personalized and you have ample access to the instructors.
You are invited to prepare for class by spending time in prayer and journaling with specific meditations and reflection questions.
Your monthly reading and writing assignments are tailored to your unique needs.
The primary focus of Year Two is proficiency. Through the use of verbatims, supervision, dyads, and case studies, students become familiar with the evocative-contemplative method and grow in their skillfulness as spiritual directors. In-person meetings happen once every other month during Year Two, on a Friday evening and Saturday, as the schedule below indicates.
September: An Introduction to Supervision
November: The Ministry of Spiritual Direction Part 1
January: The Ministry of Spiritual Direction Part 2
March: The Ministry of Spiritual Direction Part 3
May: Conclusion and Certification
The application fee and retreat fee are payable at the time of starting them. The costs for Year One and Year Two are divided into 10 monthly payments of $240. Possible additional expenses that students are responsible for include lodging, transportation, food, spiritual direction, supervision, and books.
Before applying, please be sure that you have a regular prayer life, have been in spiritual direction with a certified director for at least two years, and have the time and resources to participate in the retreat and program.
Click the Online Application button below to pay the $75 non-refundable application fee and begin the online application process.
Please share the link below with your spiritual director and one other person and have them complete the online recommendation form.
If your application is approved, you will be contacted to set up an online or in-person interview as the next stage in the discernment process.
Applicants who have been approved will be required to attend a 6-day silent discernment retreat to finalize and confirm their desire to become a spiritual director.
Once your retreat is finished, you will be sent a detailed schedule of the upcoming classes and course work.
Tom is the owner of DeepWardly, LLC and has a M. Div. from Notre Dame Seminary and certification in spiritual direction from the Institute for Priestly Formation at Creighton University. His supervision training is from the Sophia Institute. He has been a spiritual director for more than twenty years and is the author of two published books on Ignatian spirituality. He currently serves as a spiritual director and supervisor to about seventy men and women throughout the United States.
Cindy holds both a Masters Certification in Spiritual Direction and Masters in Ministry from Creighton University, where she also completed a specialized course in Supervision for spiritual directors. Cindy has been in spiritual direction ministry for sixteen years and has supervised students from many different spiritual direction training programs. She recently served as the co-director of the Emmaus House ministry in the Diocese of Des Moines and now offers spiritual direction full-time.