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HELPING PEOPLE DISCOVER AND GROW A RELATIONSHIP WITH
THE SPIRITUAL ASPECT OF BEING HUMAN

INTERFAITH SPIRITUAL DIRECTION
CERTIFICATE PROGRAM

This program is designed for those who feel called to a private practice in personal, one-on-one
spiritual direction, and who anticipate working with clients from a variety of faith traditions.

Applications for the 2023 Spiritual Direction Cohort due February 1st 2023.

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Classes are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Limited spots are available.

2023 Spiritual Direction Cohort

What is Spiritual Direction?

Our Interfaith Spiritual Direction Certificate Program teaches a non-directive Interfaith approach. We do not believe in telling people how to think, what to believe, how they are supposed to feel, or what to do in any specific circumstances. We believe that the person who comes for direction is the expert to their own spiritual life, and given time and prayerful or meditative reflection, can discern what is best. Thus, we teach skills to help people discern their own deep inner wisdom and to live with a deeper sense of connection and alignment with Spirit.

Program Orientation & Our Approach

The techniques and concepts taught in this program rely on there being a Divine reality or a larger Self. How you may experiences and names this sacred presence will be quite diverse. You will call it “God,” or “Brahman,” “Buddha Nature,” or many other names. However it is conceived of, some acknowledgement and engagement with this Divine reality is essential. We welcome all who share a transcendent concept of Life seeking wholeness and harmony in all things.

Program Structure

Core Curriculum

  • Definitions, varieties and history of SD
  • Directive and non-directive SD
  • SD with the ill, Dying & Bereaved
  • Relationship, Generational, and Sexual Issues
  • Dreamwork for Guiding Non-Religious People
  • Cultivating Holy Listening
  • Methods of Spiritual Discernment
  • Guiding Non-Religious People
  • Relationship, Generational, and Sexual Issues
  • Group SD and Group Supervision
  • God’s presence in daily life
  • Spiritual Life Stories
  • Images of the Divine & their impact upon the spiritual life
  • Faith Styles & their impact on the SD process
  • Dark Night of the Soul
  • Varieties of prayer and devotional disciplines
  • Addiction and the Longing for Transcendence
  • Spiritual Life Stories
  • Native Traditions
  • Taoism
  • Buddhism
  • Hinduism
  • Islam
  • Judaism
  • Christianity
  • Discerning one’s call
  • Rules & Ethics: Boundaries, confidentiality, and self-care
  • Generational Issues in SD
  • Sexual Issues in SD
  • Establishing a business practice of SD

Core Curriculum

  • Definitions, varieties and history of SD
  • Directive and non-directive SD
  • SD with the ill, Dying & Bereaved
  • Relationship, Generational, and Sexual Issues
  • Dreamwork for Guiding Non-Religious People
  • Cultivating Holy Listening
  • Methods of Spiritual Discernment
  • Guiding Non-Religious People
  • Relationship, Generational, and Sexual Issues
  • Group SD and Group Supervision
  • God’s presence in daily life
  • Spiritual Life Stories
  • Images of the Divine & their impact upon the spiritual life
  • Faith Styles & their impact on the SD process
  • Dark Night of the Soul
  • Varieties of prayer and devotional disciplines
  • Addiction and the Longing for Transcendence
  • Spiritual Life Stories
  • Native Traditions
  • Taoism
  • Buddhism
  • Hinduism
  • Islam
  • Judaism
  • Christianity
  • Discerning one’s call
  • Rules & Ethics: Boundaries, confidentiality, and self-care
  • Generational Issues in SD
  • Sexual Issues in SD
  • Establishing a business practice of SD

Testimonial

“ChI offers you an opportunity to become more fully connected with your spiritual sense and whatever you may call your higher power, and you leave the program with tools that you can use to help you on your way. And because it is interfaith, it gives you a sense of confidence and a sense of know-how and knowledge about the direction to go, and it just connects you with a platform from where to start. It gives you a sense of home, a place to belong, because you develop new relationships with people that you can call upon that you didn’t have before, and it doesn’t matter what they may call their higher power because the language is universal. I just love everybody at ChI . It is an amazing experience.”

Willie Ruth Harris
ChI Interfaith Spiritual Direction student, Tallahassee, Florida

Course Completion Requirements

Seven weekend intensive learning modules for 3 days, from 9am to 4:30pm each day. Although each module is different, each offers opportunities to practice deep listening, spiritual discernment and essential spiritual direction skills. Attendance is required on all days.

Each student is required to have had a minimum of 3 spiritual direction sessions prior to beginning the program. In addition, during the course of studies, students are required to complete 30 sessions with an approved spiritual director. Spiritual directors must be approved by the program director. Spiritual Directors are hired independently of the school and are compensated for their services directly by the student.
Students provide spiritual direction sessions to real-world clients to develop and hone their spiritual direction skills. This contextual learning gives students the opportunity to integrate learned concepts and techniques into the flow of lived experience. This is where students can test their wings and begin to grow their skills within the supportive structure of our learning community.
Students meet 12 times with a qualified Spiritual Direction Supervisor to review and reflect on their practicum hours. Supervisors must be approved by the Program Director.
Each student is required to have a personal spiritual practice to which one is committed. The options for a personal spiritual practice are multiple and flexible. Examples include attendance at a weekly worship service, daily meditation or prayer based on a primary faith tradition, yoga, art, journaling, and so on.
Each module has between 300 to 700 pages of reading material assigned. Reading includes some sacred texts from faith tradition such as Islam’s Qur’an, Judaism’s Tanach, Christianity’s Bible, Buddhism’s Dhammapada, and Hinduism’s Bhagavad Gita as well as many other readings on spiritual direction.

Course Completion Requirements

Seven weekend intensive learning modules for 3 days, from 9am to 4:30pm each day. Although each module is different, each offers opportunities to practice deep listening, spiritual discernment and essential spiritual direction skills. Attendance is required on all days.

Each student is required to have had a minimum of 3 spiritual direction sessions prior to beginning the program. In addition, during the course of studies, students are required to complete 30 sessions with an approved spiritual director. Spiritual directors must be approved by the program director. Spiritual Directors are hired independently of the school and are compensated for their services directly by the student.
Students provide spiritual direction sessions to real-world clients to develop and hone their spiritual direction skills. This contextual learning gives students the opportunity to integrate learned concepts and techniques into the flow of lived experience. This is where students can test their wings and begin to grow their skills within the supportive structure of our learning community.
Students meet 12 times with a qualified Spiritual Direction Supervisor to review and reflect on their practicum hours. Supervisors must be approved by the Program Director.
Each student is required to have a personal spiritual practice to which one is committed. The options for a personal spiritual practice are multiple and flexible. Examples include attendance at a weekly worship service, daily meditation or prayer based on a primary faith tradition, yoga, art, journaling, and so on.
Each module has between 300 to 700 pages of reading material assigned. Reading includes some sacred texts from faith tradition such as Islam’s Qur’an, Judaism’s Tanach, Christianity’s Bible, Buddhism’s Dhammapada, and Hinduism’s Bhagavad Gita as well as many other readings on spiritual direction.

Program Leadership

The Rev. Dr. John Mabry holds a PhD in Philosophy and Religion, with special concentrations in Hinduism and Taoism. He has served as editor for such publications as Creation Spirituality magazine and Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction. For the past 18 years, John has directed the interfaith spiritual direction certificate program at the Chaplaincy Institute in Berkeley, California, and has taught world religions, comparative theology, and spiritual guidance at a variety of Bay Area universities.

How Enrollment Works

1 Application

Once you fill out the form, our admissions team will contacts you with information about the application process.

2 Admissions Interview

Once we receive your application, we schedule a live interview in a virtual format.

3 Acceptance

You receive an acceptance letter and all that is necessary to get started. Plan on 2 months time to prepare for the first course (administrative forms, student handbook, class reading and homework assignments).

How Enrollment Works

1 Application

Once you fill out the form, our admissions team will contacts you with information about the application process.

2 Admissions Interview

Once we receive your application, we schedule a live interview in a virtual format.

3 Acceptance

You receive an acceptance letter and all that is necessary to get started. Plan on 2 months time to prepare for the first course (administrative forms, student handbook, class reading and homework assignments).

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, and at least half our graduates move right into paid work while the other half may choose further education or other paths.

Most of our curriculum is held online through Moodle and Zoom but two in-person learning retreats are held at a retreat center in Northern California.

Absolutely! Please request a course catalog to see our upcoming Open Enrollment courses.
Our Chaplaincy Program operates on semi-rolling admissions, with four months of the year offering a required first foundational course. In some cases, students begin at another time of year with an elective or two. In most cases, you can begin as soon as eight weeks after we receive all of your application materials, including letters of reference.
Costs may be reduced by financial aid as well as waivers received but without any reductions the total cost for all expenses excluding books is $6,250.

A Bachelor’s degree. If you do not have a Bachelor’s degree, you can apply for an Education Prerequisite Waiver.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, and at least half our graduates move right into paid work while the other half may choose further education or other paths.

Most of our curriculum is held online through Moodle and Zoom but two in-person learning retreats are held at a retreat center in Northern California.

Absolutely! Please request a course catalog to see our upcoming Open Enrollment courses.

Our Chaplaincy Program operates on semi-rolling admissions, with four months of the year offering a required first foundational course. In some cases, students begin at another time of year with an elective or two. In most cases, you can begin as soon as eight weeks after we receive all of your application materials, including letters of reference.
Costs may be reduced by financial aid as well as waivers received but without any reductions the total cost for all expenses excluding books is $6,250.
A Bachelor’s degree. If you do not have a Bachelor’s degree, you can apply for an Education Prerequisite Waiver.