Called To Be A Spiritual Director

The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might speak
a word that will rouse them.
- Isaiah 50:4

If you are called to guide others on their spiritual journeys, as well as wanting to nurture and deepen your own relationship with God, we invite you to explore Dominican Center’s three-year education and formation program to become a spiritual director. The Spiritual Director Formation Program at Dominican Center for Spirituality is designed to enhance your skills and deepen your contemplative practices for tending your own inner journey as well as to the journey of others. Through our program, you will focus on prayer, study, companioning with others, and practice. You will also have connection to mentors, resources, and the works of holy people who have gone before you. Classes are rooted in prayer, scripture, theology, history, and tradition, and include Foundations in Spirituality and the Spiritual Director Practicum.


Explore Becoming a Spiritual Director

Spiritual directors guide others by listening to a person’s life story with an ear for the movement of the Holy Spirit and offering prayerful response. An important component of listening is discernment of patterns and relationships that lead toward God or away from God. A spiritual director is a co-listener or co-discerner who sits before the Word as it stirs in the heart of the person seeking direction.

Spiritual Director Preparation

To become a spiritual director, you need the following:

  • Successful completion of Foundations in Spirituality and Spiritual Director Practicum.
  • Be rooted in a faith tradition.
  • Possess experience in spiritual companioning or basic foundation in spirituality, theology, scripture, psychology, and/or bachelor degree in one of these areas, or the equivalent.
  • Experience in receiving individual or group spiritual direction for 1-2 years.
  • Recommendations by others for the spiritual director ministry.

Credit Hours

Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, gives credit hours to participants completing the Spiritual Director Program at Dominican Center at Marywood. The Graduate Theological Foundation in South Bend, Indiana, also accepts credits from Dominican Center’s Spiritual Director Program.



Foundations in Spirituality

Your [Christ] embrace imprints yourself upon my body like soft clay.
– Beatrijs of Nazareth, 13th century mystic

Dominican Center’s Foundations in Spirituality course is a serious reflective study of the saints and great spiritual teachers of the Christian tradition, the practice of contemplative prayer, and the writing and living of a personal rule of life.


  • Grow in understanding and appreciation of the diverse ways God has been present to and involved in the lives of the great spiritual teachers and guides throughout history.
  • Encourage awareness, commitment to, and integration of the spiritual journey in daily life through writing and living a personal rule of life.
  • Develop an understanding of contemplative attitudes and presence as basic to living a spiritual life.
  • Provide opportunity for an introductory study of writings from the spiritual classics for the purpose of reflection, discussion, and personal appropriation.
  • Foster respect for the diversity of theologies and spiritualities past and present.
  • Present basic principles and tools for discernment that are useful for personal, prayerful decision making.


  • Attendance at all class sessions.
  • Participation in individual or group spiritual direction.
  • Attendance at a directed 4-6 day retreat during the program year.
  • Preparation of readings and reflections for each session.
  • Final written paper exploring your relationship with God through our ancestors in faith.

Foundations in Spirituality Dates and Times (2020-2021)

Class meets Saturdays, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, on the following dates:

  • September 21, 2020
  • October 5, 2020
  • October 19,2020
  • November 2, 2020
  • November 16, 2020
  • December 7, 2020
  • December 21, 2020
  • January 4, 2021
  • January 18, 2021
  • February 1, 2021
  • February 15, 2021
  • March 1, 2021
  • March 15, 2021
  • April 12, 2021
  • April 26, 2021
  • May 10, 2021
  • May 24, 2021


  • Program cost is $600.00
  • Balance may be paid in quarterly installments.

Register for Foundations in Spirituality


Dominican Center at Marywood, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Spiritual Director Practicum

Spiritual direction is like panning for gold. A directee comes, and together we dip into the stream of their life … hoping to find a fleck or a nugget of pure gold.
– Janet Ruffing, RSM

Spiritual direction is the art of contemplative listening carried out in a one-to-one trusting relationship or within a group of your peers. It is when one guide journeys with another person or group, listening to life stories with an ear for the movement of the Holy Spirit and offering prayerful response.

Spiritual Director Practicum Requirements

  • Be approved for admission into Spiritual Director Practicum through applications, letters of recommendation, and interview process with Coordinator for Dominican Center for Spirituality.
  • Successful completion of Foundations in Spirituality.
  • Active participation in the practicum.
  • Completion of three modules each year focused on Spiritual Direction, Christian Discernment, and Adult Development.
  • Required readings and a written integration paper for each module.
  • Meeting directees for spiritual direction sessions outside practicum meeting times (six to eight directee sessions over the two-year practicum).
  • One-hour meeting with an individual spiritual director mentor once a month outside practicum class time for a total of nine meetings each year.
  • Continued development of a life of prayer and contemplation, and on-going review of a personal rule of life.
  • Extensive study of the Spiritual Exercises and Guidelines for Discernment of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
  • Attendance at annual four- or six-day directed retreat.

2020 - 2021 Dates and Times – Spiritual Director Practicum, Year I

Until it is possible to gather on our campus in person this program will gather in ZOOM. Help is available for those new to this technology.

Practicum 1 sessions will be held Friday night, 6:30 – 9:00 pm and Saturday, 9:00 am – noon and 2:00 – 3:30 pm

  • September 18-19, 2020
  • October 9-10, 2020
  • November 13-14, 2020
  • December 4-5, 2020
  • January 15-16, 2021
  • February 12-13, 2021
  • March 12-13, 2021
  • April 16-17, 2021
  • May 14-15, 2021

2020 - 2021 Dates and Times – Spiritual Director Practicum, Year II

Until it is possible to gather on our campus in person this program will gather in ZOOM. Help is available for those new to this technology.

Practicum 2 sessions will be held  Friday, 9:00 am – noon and 2:00 – 3:00 pm

  • September 11 and 25, 2020
  • October 2 and 16, 2020
  • November 6 and 20, 2020
  • December 4 and 18, 2020
  • January 8 and 22, 2021
  • February 5 and 19, 2021
  • March 5 and 19, 2021
  • April 9 and 30, 2021
  • May 7 and 21, 2021

* Year I and Year II alternate dates and times each year.

Until it is possible to gather on the Marywood campus in person, the Spiritual Director Practicum will meet via Zoom. Help is available for those new to this technology. You will receive details regarding Zoom prior to our first meeting in September.

Practicum Fees

  • Practicum fee is $2,000.00 for each year.
  • An application fee of $25.00 is required in addition to program fee of $2,000.00.
  • Practicum fee covers cost of tuition and materials.
  • Fees do not cover cost of required textbooks. Books are available at Dominican Center Bookstore.
  • Practicum fee covers meals and snacks.
  • Fee includes monthly individual mentoring/supervision sessions.

Practicum Overview, Applications, and Recommendation Forms for Downloading

Please download, review, and complete the following documents:

Register for Spiritual Director Practicums


Dominican Center at Marywood, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Questions and Information

If you have questions or need more information on how to become a spiritual director, please contact: