Spiritual Direction Certificate Program Overview

Decorative image of spider web with banner text announcing the spiritual direction certificateFormat

Students are admitted into a cohort, with a minimum size of six persons. The program takes place over 24 months, includes live online meetings with lectures, discussion, and guest speakers, and covers the following content:

Time Commitment

6 hours per month for online discussions and assignments for submission.
5 hours per month for face-to-face meetings with the whole cohort/small groups/a study-buddy
1 hour per month for your spiritual director
3 hours per month for reviewing material
Budget time throughout each core for interviews, one retreat per core, a book per core, an elective, an ethics course ( then during year two, seeing seekers and a supervisor.)

*Cohorts meet by Zoom twice per month, with one of those meetings on a weekday between 4 and 6PM Eastern Time (US).

Admissions are rolling (year-round) with new cohorts beginning in the fall or spring when a minimum enrollment is reached.

Six themes will be woven through every month:

Formation Know Thyself
Skills Learn and Practice (practical)
Ancestors/Sibs Be aware of the diversity of practice and faith, forbears and sibs who do SpiDir work
Practices Experience this (spiritual)
Tools Be able to make use of this (resources)
Arts Expand beyond talking and have fun

Focus for Core I

  • Begin to develop personal formation through theological and spiritual growth.
  • Learn and practice basic spiritual listening skills.
  • Begin to review ancestors/siblings of Spiritual Direction work: contemplative spirituality, the mystics, theology and practice.
  • Begin to engage with contemplative and devotional spiritual practices, such as those in Celtic, Desert, Natural, and Creation spiritualities.
  • Begin to evaluate and apply tools for discernment, self-discovery and transformation such as Myers–Briggs Type Indicator, the Enneagram, clearness committee, Tarot, and Ignatian discernment.
  • Begin to explore the arts in spirituality, e.g. poetry, fairy tales, myth, dance, visual arts.

Focus for Core II

  • Continue to develop personal formation and identity through theological and spiritual growth.
  • Continue to learn and practice spiritual listening skills and the structure of the companioning relationship.
  • Review ancestors/siblings of Spiritual Direction work: contemplative spirituality, the mystics, theology and practice.
  • Engage with contemplative and devotional spiritual practices, such as those in  Wiccan, reconstructed Pagan, and indigenous spiritualities.
  • Evaluate and apply more tools and arts, including exploring scriptures (defined broadly) for spiritual direction.
  • Put Spiritual Direction into contemporary social contexts through discerned action for social transformation: spiritual life and practice as a call to service and justice in our world.

Focus for Core III

  • Exploration of your traditions theology and its relevance to the practice of Spiritual direction and developing an identity as a Spiritual Director.
  • Gifts from and distinctions from psychology skills: transference and counter-transference, shadow and complex identification, depth psychology, family systems, and brief therapy. (Spiritual Direction is NOT therapy.)
  • Practicum in guiding retreats and groups and intro to working in Organizations.
  • Connecting with ancestors/siblings: a deep dive with a selected mystic
  • Tools such as Dream work, including the function of dreams, and how to use dream work with both individuals and groups; Parts of self work, inner landscape, teachings from Murshida Rani Kathleen McLaughlin, Starhawk and Ken Wilber.

Focus for Core IV

  • Articulating an identity and planning a future in Spiritual Direction work.
  • Spiritual direction with particular populations. (bereavement, addictions, aging, illness, disability/difference, etc.)
  • Integrating ancestors/siblings, modalities, skills, practices, tools, arts, and personal theologies with the practice of Spiritual Direction.
  • Developing a heart-centered business.
  • Ethics, collegiality, supervision and consultation.


ALL work is “graded” Pass/Fail/Incomplete. If you complete the work for each requirement and Cherry Hill Faculty discern no red flags regarding your fitness for Spiritual Companioning work, you will pass.

$100 tuition per month for 24 months. You will be billed on the 1st of each month.
The cost of the “second course of your own choosing.”
The cost of the spiritual companion/supervisor you meet with (outside of CHS).

Apply Now

Rev. Amy Beltaine, M.Div.

Our Spiritual Direction Certificate Program Chair and primary instructor is Rev. Amy Beltaine, M.Div. Amy is a graduate of Unitarian Universalist Meadville Lombard School for the Ministry, Amy is a professional Spiritual Director and Supervisor, serving on the coordinating committee of the UU Spiritual Direction Network, and recent President of the Covenant of UU Pagans. Click to learn more about her.

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