Kairos Spiritual Direction Training
A two-year certificate program based on the Ignatian model that teaches the art and practice of spiritual kinship and companioning
Kairos Spiritual Direction Training
Kairos Spiritual Direction Training (SDT) is a contemplative program that teaches the art and practice of spiritual direction – deep listening, walking alongside others, and recognizing God in your own life and the lives around you.
SDT is designed not only for spiritual directors, but for all those who offer spiritual care and companionship. Training in spiritual companionship provides effective tools for interpersonal relationships, especially when working with those different than yourself. Develop your personal and professional skills of deep listening and learn to incorporate spirituality into your understanding of yourself and those around you. SDT is rooted in the life and teachings of Jesus and informed by Ignatian spirituality and the wisdom tradition. Contemplative spirituality is compatible with a spectrum of denominational and theological positions including those who claim no tradition.
Through this course, students will learn and develop skills in deep listening and noticing the presence of God as they practice being spiritual companions. Monthly practicums and supervision give students ample opportunity to implement their learning, receive feedback, and hone their skills. Students are encouraged to practice spiritual kinship with those on the margins who may not normally have the opportunity or means to participate. Students will nurture a contemplative life through times of reflection and as they work with their own Spiritual Director.
“As a chaplain, I am finding the skills learned through Kairos SDT informing and transforming the ways I engage others and reflect on my own work. [SDT] has provided me a sacred space for deepening my own spiritual journey and noticing the possibilities when we create space for God to show up.”
“If we, like Henry Nouwen in his book The Way of the Heart, are focused on practicing a desert spirituality in contemporary society, then it must be forged in the fire, and I think this program is better suited than ever to prepare people to develop an inner quietness in the midst of a noisy world.”
Broaden the application of spiritual direction by meeting with and offering spiritual kinship to someone on the margins, through PRC’s work in the Community Meal Program in Lancaster City and/or with immigrants at York Detention Center.
Students receive a certificate at completion of their two-year program to certify their advanced training in Spiritual Direction and accompanying skills. SDT includes desirable professional and skill development for many career paths.
Participants come from a wide variety of backgrounds and bring a range of expertise to contribute to your unique cohort. Each cohort of students remains together through both years, encouraging deep connections to form between peers on this shared journey.
Students begin by observing Faculty give Spiritual Direction in the Fishbowl sessions each month before engaging in real-world practice with directees of their own. In small supervision groups, students reflect on their sessions as student directors and receive feedback and guidance by the faculty. This intensive, hands-on learning process increases each student’s skills and confidence.
Students receive input from Spiritual Direction faculty, Contemplative faculty, and Guest Experts. Spiritual Direction faculty bring years of SD experience to synthesize teachings to apply specifically to SD as well as supervising students as they put new skills into practice. The Contemplative faculty member curates a varied and cohesive course of contemplative practices and learning. These four faculty members form the consistent core of the SDT program. Guest Experts, from a variety of religious, educational, and professional backgrounds, are invited to bring their own unique voice and experience to each month’s topic.
The monthly topics offer a comprehensive course of study while allowing for students to pursue particular interests. Topics include: Attending to the God-Person Relationship, Director-Directee Relationship, Ethical Considerations & Boundaries, Discernment in Spiritual Direction, Contemplative & Religious Diversity, Spiritual Practices, Dark Night Experiences, Self-care & Professional Resilience, and Contemplative Practices in Community.
What is Spiritual Direction?
Spiritual direction or companioning is the practice of accompanying someone one-on-one along their spiritual journey. A trained spiritual companion will help you discover and explore where God is working in your life, and what God is asking of you. Spiritual directors listen deeply and help notice the mystery of God’s presence in your life.
While it may be appropriate to discuss personal and/or relational struggles, a spiritual director is not a therapist. Spiritual kinship is not about fixing problems. Instead, it’s about working with the Spirit to discover, surface, name, and engage in what God is doing on your unique spiritual journey.