Boston Spiritual Direction Training 2023/2024
Learn the life-giving craft of spiritual direction through a two year intensive training cohort.
Time & Location
Sep 09, 2023, 12:30 PM – May 21, 2024, 9:00 PM
Online and In-person, Boston
This spiritual direction modality of ministry is the art and craft of skilled sojourning. Spiritual direction finds itself in a unique place among helping professions. It is richly rooted in the history of the church, steeped in contemplative tradition, and was in its pre-modern time, the quintessential discipline for attending to matters of the interior life. Modernity replaced this practice with the field of psychology. While in some ways, psychological research, Freud and beyond, served the modality of spiritual direction well, the contemporary discipline of psychology has provided an ill equipped substitute for the spiritually discerning, attuned accompaniment of spiritual direction. This course seeks to harness both, the richness of the tradition of spiritual direction as well as the contributions of object relations psychology and even more recently, interpersonal neurobiology. For this reason, the content spans the spectrum of graduate level and popular level reading, personal prayer and reflection assignments, as well as rigorous clinical practicum (second year).
What makes this program distinct from other offerings is its over indexing in cross-disciplinary study and an overview approach to other relevant (but less relevant) topics. Our points of focus are curated to ministry with Christian professionals living and working in a post Christian context.
• 2 year training program resulting in all requirements met for membership into Spiritual Directors International and Evangelical Spiritual Directors Association. You do not have to join these organizations, but you will need to join at least one if you want to secure insurance for your spiritual direction practice.
• In the 1st year:
- Nine monthly 3 hour online meetings for Group Supervision (1.5 hours) followed by Book Discussion & Instruction (1.5 hours) with a brief break in between (dates and times listed below).
- Nine monthly 1.5 hour in-person Prayer Project Reivew meetings (dates and times TBD).
- One day cohort retreat (date and time listed below).
- Approximately one book per month of reading due.
• In the 2nd year:
- Nine monthly 1.5 hour online meetings for Group Supervision
- Nine monthly 1.5 hour video presentations to watch prior to discussion
- Nine monthly 1.5 hour online prayer and presentation reflection
- You will pick a spiritual direction topic of research and create and record a 45 minute presentation of the topic
- At least two meetings with directees per month for 10 months.
- You must be in personal spiritual direction.
Meeting Dates for 2023/2024 Boston Cohort
In-Person Cohort Retreat
Saturday, January 20, 2024 from 9:30am-5:30pm ET
Location: Jamaica Plain (address will be provided)
Saturdays (Group Supervision, Book Discussion & Instruction Zoom call from 12:30am-3:30pm ET)
January 20 (In Person Retreat from 9:30am-5:30pm PT)
Tuesdays (Prayer Project Reivew In Person from 7:30-9:30pm ET- address will be shared upon registration)
January (no meeting)
February 20 (Meeting possibly on Zoom due to weather)
March 19 (Meeting possiby on Zoom due to weather)
Dates for 2024/2025 TBD by May 2024
If you have questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org or are ready to apply, send the following application materials by August 1st to email@example.com
From there we will schedule an interview. We would like to keep the cohort to 8 participants.
Spiritual Autobiography (no more than 5 pages double spaced)
Answers to the following questions (approximately 100 word answers)
• What makes you interested in spiritual direction training?
• What is your understanding of what spiritual direction is?
• What is your relationship to Scripture?
• What are some books that have influenced your spiritual growth?
• What have you been saying to God lately?
Letters of Reference
• One from a pastor or mentor
• One from someone who has benefited from your spiritual care
$2600 for each year
Total of $5200 for entire Spiritual Direction Certificate Program
Provides adequate clinical hours for membership with spiritual director professional organizations.
This can be paid each year or split into semester payments.
Books: Approximately $200/year
Make up days $150/session
Personal spiritual direction $50-$160/month
About the Instructors
Julie Barrios has over 15 years experience as a spiritual director, supervisor and trainer of spiritual directors. She holds an MA in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care from the Institute for Spiritual Formation at Talbot School of Theology and an additional certificate in Ignation Spiritual Formation from Loyola Institute. Julie has found great joy in helping people grow in the craft of spiritual direction. With interests in art, technology, embodied spiritual practice and thoughtful ideas of all kinds, Julie weaves her interests to serve her passion of forming directors for a rapidly changing and dynamic world.
Shelton Oakley Hersey
Shelton Oakley Hersey has 9 years of experience in the realm of spiritual formation, first in the Christian non-profit sector in South Africa, then with seminary students from all over the world, and currently as a retreat leader, dialogue facilitator, and spiritual director here in the U.S. She holds a MA in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary and loves how the diversity of this world reveals so much about the colorful God who loves us. As a spiritual director and mother of two little ones, her desire and joy is to help individuals, communities, and families become more attuned to how God is weaving in and through life.
Aly Wilson is a spiritual director and transformational coach whose passion is holding space for people to deeply listen to themselves and God. She loves helping people come to know themselves more fully, connect with God more personally, and step into unprecedented transformation and impact. Aly currently serves alongside her husband at The Table, a multiracial church plant in Dorchester, MA and is the founder of Space to Thrive, a private spiritual direction and coaching practice. Aly and her husband, Josh, live in Dorchester with their two-year-old daughter, Ava Jubilee.