San Francisco Spiritual Direction Training 2022/2023

Learn the life-giving craft of spiritual direction through a two year intensive training cohort.

San Francisco Spiritual Direction Training 2022/2023

Time & Location

Sep 10, 2022, 9:30 AM PDT – May 15, 2023, 8:30 PM PDT

Assisi House and Online, San Francisco, CA


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 listed below).

   - 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 online prayer and reflection assignment presentations

   - At least two meetings with directees per month for 10 months.

   - You must be in personal spiritual direction 

   - Discernment period between first and second year where instructors will help you determine your calling into the next year.

Meeting Dates for 2022/2023 Cohort

In-Person Cohort Retreat

Saturday, January 7, 2023 from 9:30am-5:30pm PT

Location: Assisi House, San Francisco (address will be provided)

Saturdays (Group Supervision, Book Discussion & Instruction Zoom call from 9:30am-12:30pm)


September 10

October 1

November 5

December 3


January 7(Full Day 9:30am-5:30pm)

February 4

March 4

April 1 

May 6

Mondays (Prayer Project Review In Person from 7-8:30pm)


September 19

October 17

November 14

December 12


January (no meeting)

February 13

March 20

April 17

May 15

Individual Discernment Meetings regarding second year will take place in May and June 2023

Dates for 2023/2024 TBD by May 2023


If you have questions please email or are ready to apply, send the following application materials by July 1 to  

From there we will schedule an interview.  I would like to keep the cohort to 8 participants.  

Application Materials

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

This can be paid each year or split into semester payments.  

Additional Costs:

Books: Approximately $200/year

Make up days $150/session

Personal spiritual direction $50-$160/month

• Comparable programs are generally about $1000 more.  There are less expensive programs that do not provide adequate clinical hours for membership with spiritual director professional organizations.   

About the Instructors

Julie Barrios

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.

Courtney Towery

I was focused on missions, serving in Mexico, when God called me to be a spiritual director before I even knew what spiritual direction was. I am so grateful He did. This call brought me to the Institute for Spiritual Formation at Talbot School of Theology for my MA in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care. While in school I started giving spiritual direction in 2006, became a teacher's assistant for Advanced Listening Skills, taught as an adjunct professor for Talbot's Spiritual Formation Focus, and served as a supervisor to spiritual directors. In 2009, I married my husband, Nathan, and eventually landed in the California bay area for his job in 2011. Since then, I have continued to give some spiritual direction, but mostly have been at home with my 3 young kids learning a new kind of spiritual direction through parenting. Spiritual direction holds such a special place in my heart. I count it a privilege to be a part of this program and God's work in people's lives.