The Deepwardly School of Spiritual Direction offers a two-year process of certification in the ministry of spiritual direction, open to people of all faiths, that teaches the evocative-contemplative method of direction based on Ignatian spirituality in the Christian tradition.
Spiritual direction is a unique companioning wherein a trained director provides his or her directees with the safe, sacred, and expansive space necessary for them to name and savor the nuances of their relationship with God, themselves, others, and creation in ways that bear the fruit of authenticity, freedom, and love.
The primary focus of the first year is formation. Students receive a comprehensive education in the foundational components of spiritual direction ministry, including personal prayer, personal growth, self-care, Scripture, theology, Ignatian spirituality, the Spiritual Exercises, and the evocative-contemplative method. Students attend classes once a month, in-person, in central Arkansas. Classes are held on the Friday after the first Sunday of each month from 8am to 4pm. The syllabus for the first year includes--
Our spiritual direction certification program is the best choice for people who can drive to central Arkansas once a month for in-person classes. The program offers a number of unique features, including an integrated approach to training, which means that each class is taught by a certified spiritual director and will be presented from the perspective of spiritual direction ministry.
Our school is committed to offering 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 kept small to ensure that learning is personalized and that you have ample access to the instructors.
Each month, you will be invited to prepare for class by spending time in prayer and journaling with specific meditations and reflection questions.
The primary focus of Year Two is proficiency. Through the use of case studies, verbatims, dyads, and supervision, students become familiar with the evocative-contemplative method and grow in their skillfulness as spiritual directors. Students begin their practicum the summer after the first year of study, and in-person classes happen once every other month during Year Two, from 8am-4pm on the Friday after the first Sunday, including --
Classes are held in-person. In the event that a student is ill, the class will be recorded and all of the materials will be provided. Students who drop out of the program, or are asked to leave, are not eligible for a refund. Not participating in classes and not completing assignments are two of the grounds for dismissal from the program. Students must complete the entire program to be certified. For more information about requirements and expectations, please contact us.
The application fee is payable at the time of applying online. The cost for the opening retreat is payable when booking it. Classes for Year One and Year Two are invoiced at the beginning of each month's class. Additional expenses that students are responsible for include transportation, monthly spiritual direction, supervision, food, and books.
Before applying for our spiritual direction training program, please be sure that you have a regular prayer life and have the time and resources to participate in the program.
Click the Online Application button below to pay the $50 non-refundable application fee and begin the online application process for spiritual direction certification.
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 interview as the next stage in the discernment process.
Applicants who have been accepted into the program are required to make a 4-day retreat at Cedar Ridge to begin their training in spiritual direction.
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 holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Saint Meinrad College, a Masters of Divinity 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 twenty-five years and is the best-selling author of two published books on Ignatian spirituality, The Intimacy You Desire and Becoming Wholehearted. He currently serves as a spiritual director and supervisor to about seventy men and women throughout the United States.
In addition to the Deepwardly School of Spiritual Direction and writing, Tom regularly offers retreats and presentations. He and his wife, Carmel, also operate Cedar Ridge, a retreat suite in central Arkansas.
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 traini
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. Cindy now lives in Springdale, AR where she offers spiritual direction and supervision full-time, as well as facilitates numerous spiritual formation programs. Cindy has four grown children and eighteen grandchildren.
Tracy completed her training in spiritual direction at SMU Perkins School of Theology in 2020. Her ministry, InsideOut Spiritual Living, seeks to guide others into a deeper connection with God, self, others, and creation through storytelling, book studies, spiritual direction, and Internal Family Systems. Tracy also offers online courses
Tracy completed her training in spiritual direction at SMU Perkins School of Theology in 2020. Her ministry, InsideOut Spiritual Living, seeks to guide others into a deeper connection with God, self, others, and creation through storytelling, book studies, spiritual direction, and Internal Family Systems. Tracy also offers online courses on self-care and vocal restoration. Before her full-time ministry at InsideOut Spiritual Living, Tracy served as a full-time Minister of Music for 30 years.
Tongua is the director and founder of Soul Care Sanctuary located in Little Rock, AR. She received her certificate in Ignatian spiritual direction through St. Scholastica Monastery in Fort Smith, AR and is a retreat facilitator of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Through Soul Care Sanctuary she offers spiritual direction, individ
Tongua is the director and founder of Soul Care Sanctuary located in Little Rock, AR. She received her certificate in Ignatian spiritual direction through St. Scholastica Monastery in Fort Smith, AR and is a retreat facilitator of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Through Soul Care Sanctuary she offers spiritual direction, individual and group directed retreats, guided quiet days, and retreats exploring spirituality, prayer, and expressive and creative arts. Tongua has received training in trauma-informed care and polyvagal theory for spiritual directors, as well as training in spiritual direction supervision. She holds a BSE and has ten years of experience as a vocational church ministry leader. She has four grown children, including two adopted from foster care.