Spiritual Direction (Adv Cert)

This program is offered on campus.


The advanced certificate in spiritual direction sequence is designed to identify the participant’s potential for becoming a spiritual director, to assist the participant in discerning a call to this ministry, to formulate a model of spiritual direction and chaplaincy, and to develop the specific skills required to serve as a spiritual director. Graduates of the program serve as high school and college campus ministers, retreat directors, and spiritual directors.

All those looking to apply must have or submit

  • a Master of Arts degree (M.A.) in theology, in ministry, or in a related field with nine graduate credits in fundamental theology and sacred scripture (which may be taken during coursework);
  • evidence of at least one year of experience in ministry or under spiritual direction;
  • a letter of recommendation from their superior or spiritual director.

Candidates for this program may be asked to participate in an interview with a member of the spirituality area before being admitted to the program.

Course Requirements

Course Title Credits
SPGR 7870Spiritual Direction: Theology and Practice3
PCGR 6440Pastoral Counseling Skills3
SPGR 6830Discernment in the Christian Tradition3
SPGR 7740
SPGR 7741
Spiritual Direction Practicum I
and Spiritual Direction Practicum II
6
One Spirituality elective course from the following:3
History of Christian Spirituality I
History of Christian Spirituality II
The Ignatian Way
Contemporary Christian Spirituality
Total Credits18

Spiritual Direction Practicum

The decision to continue with the practicum is based on the student’s performance in the initial courses and on interviews with the practicum directors during the application process for the practicum sequence. Students not admitted to the practicum may decide to resign from the program or ask to be considered for another certificate program. The practicum is a yearlong experience; students gather one Saturday per month from September to May and also complete field placements and phone/hybrid meetings between campus visits.

At the end of the supervised practicum, the supervisor works with the student to assess any particular needs for developing the necessary knowledge base in theology, psychology, or scripture based on the intern director's experience working with directees.

Participation in spiritual direction as a directee is normally a prerequisite for admission to this program in the study of spiritual direction and for admission into the practicum. Students are encouraged to continue in spiritual direction throughout their course of studies. Resources regarding spiritual direction can be found on Fordham’s Campus Ministry website. You might also wish to consult the resources offered by Spiritual Directors International, e.g., Questions to Ask a Prospective Spiritual Director.

Ordinarily, students should complete the following prerequisite courses before starting the yearlong practicum sequence that begins every fall semester only:

  • SPGR 7870 Spiritual Direction: Theology and Practice 
  • SPGR 6830 Discernment in the Christian Tradition 
  • PCGR 6440 Pastoral Counseling Skills 

Students should enroll as soon as registration opens, since these courses are in demand across multiple degree programs. 

As noted, admission to the practicum sequence will be based on a student's satisfactory completion of the prerequisite courses and successful interviews with the practicum directors. 

The practicum sequence includes the following courses:

(Admission to Practicum 2 is conditional upon the judgment of the Practicum 1 instructor.)

Ideally, students should apply for admission to Spiritual Direction Practicum 1 at least one semester prior to their intended start date. Students who are not admitted to the practicum sequence may either withdraw from the program or seek admission to another certificate program. Admission to Practicum 2 is conditional, based upon the decision of the Practicum 1 instructor.

Contact the assistant dean for any questions and further assistance regarding the application process.