Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Pastoral Studies

Spiritual Direction Certificate

Now Available Online

Curriculum Planning Worksheet for

IPS also offers an 18-credit hour Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction. This certificate is suited to applicants holding a Master’s degree or above in theological or ministerial studies, psychology or counseling, psychiatric social work, or health care.

The certificate comprises the following courses:

  • IPS 545 Foundations of Christian Spirituality
  • IPS 501 Advanced Human Relations Skills
  • IPS 428 Introduction to Spirituality Praxis
  • IPS 429 Essentials of Spiritual Direction (required prerequisite: IPS 428)
  • IPS 572 Ignatian Spirituality
  • IPS 578 Contextual Education Preparation (0 credit)
  • IPS 579 Contextual Education Introduction (0 credit)
  • IPS 580 Contextual Education

Students must also complete 4 semesters of spiritual direction. The 30-day or 30-week version of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola will count for 2 semesters of personal spiritual direction Spiritual_Direction_Confirmation_Form

Students in the Certificate in Spiritual Direction willing to learn how to direct the Spiritual Exercises must have completed the 30-day or the 30-week 19th Annotation format of the Exercises prior to beginning the Contextual Education component of their program. This requirement will be waived for those who have taken the complete Spiritual Exercises within 5 years of commencing their studies at IPS.

The Contextual Education requirement is adapted to enable students of the Certificate in Spiritual Direction to acquire the practical skills for and experience of spiritual direction in learning interaction with their peers and under the supervision of an experienced spiritual director. Students have the unique opportunity to learn to direct and use the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola in and for spiritual direction. They also have the possibility of learning to practice spiritual direction in a spiritual tradition other than Ignatian (e.g., Carmelite, Benedictine, Franciscan, etc.) under the guidance of a trained coach/mentor. Suitable field learning settings may be found in the Chicago area, elsewhere in the United States or in other countries, upon approval by Prof. Dan Rhodes, Faculty Coordinator of Contextual Education.

Applicants holding a Master’s degree in psychology, counseling, or psychiatric social work must provide evidence of having completed prerequisite graduate level courses in biblical and foundational theology, typically a 3-credit hour course in Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) or New Testament, and a 3-credit hour course in systematic theology.  Applicants from the psychology or counseling fields who have not completed courses in biblical and theological foundations can do so at the IPS by taking courses such as:

  • IPS 416 Christian Origins (New Testament)
  • IPS 417 Literature of Ancient Israel (Old Testament)
  • IPS 531 Christian Doctrine

To learn more about the Certificate in Spiritual Direction, please visit our request for information form or attend an online information session.