The Ministry of Spiritual Direction trains lay leaders and clergy to develop the listening and leadership skills needed to minister alongside others as a spiritual director. Spiritual direction is deeply rooted in Christian history, and is a simple, yet profound practice where a mature Christian helps a fellow Christian discern the movement of the Holy Spirit in their life. In a spiritual direction session, the director prayerfully listens and guides a person in hearing God’s voice speaking love and truth into the various aspects of what the directee chooses to share. The impact spiritual direction has on those who enter into this kind of discipline sets forth beautiful healing and transformation through the power of the Spirit.
As Equipping Lydia (EL) has sought to meet the overwhelming needs of those thirsting for more of God’s presence and discernment in the midst of their often busy, overwhelmed or wounded lives, we began seeking ways we could train more spiritual directors. In 2015, we began a partnership with The Center for Spiritual Formation, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  The rich curriculum they had developed resonated so closely with our vision for training spiritual directors, and EL is grateful for the opportunity to facilitate this program in Kentucky and online.

MSD Program Summary
MSD is a 2 year certificate program that meets once a month for training sessions in a contemplative retreat setting. In addition to the curriculum, times of prayer, meditation, discussion and worship are woven into the experience. Participants will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the program. In addition, EL offers those seeking to become spiritual directors a supervised setting through which to practice.
This program is for leaders who desire to develop their listening skills, spiritual gifts, and acquire the disciplines essential for the care of souls in a spiritual direction setting.
The Curriculum
- Focuses on the history, traditions, Biblical roots and theological foundations of Spiritual Direction. The difference between psychological counseling and Spiritual Direction are stressed.
- Teaches sensitivity toward the workings of the Holy Spirit within one’s inner being and in the context of one’s faith and relationships.
- Assists trainees in establishing and maintaining healthy and appropriate boundaries within the Spiritual Direction relationship.
- Cultivates an increased awareness of the power of prayer and healing, while developing practical skills for companionship as others share their stories, which often uncover deep emotions.
- Trainees undergo Spiritual Direction and find a place of acceptance of their own weaknesses as the basis for compassion.
​Topics Covered In this Two Year Program

 ●    History of Spiritual Direction    

●    Spiritual Disciplines

●    Reflective Listening

●    Scripture & Spiritual Direction

●    Personal Rule

●    Dark Night

●    Dreams

●    SD & Counseling

●    Discernment

●    Assessment: MBTI/Enneagram

●    Centering Prayer

●    Theology of Spiritual Direction

●    Healing

●    Soul & Sabbath

●    Age-Level Spirituality

●    Supervision & Verbatim

●    The Problem of Suffering

●    Human Dynamics

●    Socio-Prophetic

●    Ethics & Stress Management

●    What goes on in Spiritual Direction?

Calendar [Beginning in September 2017]

Each year consists of eleven monthly sessions, usually on the second weekend, excluding July. Sessions begin on Fridays, from 6:30pm– 9:30pm and continue on Saturday, from 9am – 4pm.

Trainees must devote additional time to study and prayer and receive Spiritual Direction at least once a month. During Year Two, each trainee should offer Spiritual Direction to one person, once a month.

Kentucky Cohort:  All sessions are held in the Lexington, KY area (the location will be conveyed to applicants soon) and connected to The Center for Spiritual Formation Retreat Center. Sessions will be guided on site with a Spiritual Director.

Online Cohort:  All sessions will be held via the Internet simultaneously with the Kentucky cohort and will also be connected to  The Center for Spiritual Formation Retreat Center.  Sessions will be guided online with  Spiritual Director, Laura Baber.  For the online cohort, participants will need a strong internet connection, a web camera and a pc or laptop in a space that can be quiet for the course gatherings.  

2017-2019 MSD SCHEDULE

September 8-9, 2017

October 6-7, 2017

November 10-11, 2017

December 8-9, 2017

January 12-13, 2018

February 9-10, 2018

March 9-10, 2018

April 6-7, 2018

May 11-12, 2018

June 8-9, 2018

August 10-11, 2018
2018-19 dates will occur September to August and specific monthly dates will be announced.    

2017-18  Kentucky and Online Cohort Tuition Costs 
Application Fee: $50 (due with application by September 1, 2017)
Year One:  $1,500 (Annual fee due by September 10, 2017)

Year Two: $1,500 (Annual fee due by September 1, 2018)
Total cost of 2 year program: $3,050


Please fill out the MSD application form and submit it no later than September 1, 2017.  In addition to your application, please have 2 recommendation forms filled out (preferably 1 layperson, 1 clergy) and returned by September 1, 2017.

Have questions? Email Erin Benjamin at 

Ministry of Spiritual Direction