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First, welcome! If you’re a spiritual director or interested in training to become one, I’m glad that you’ve joined me here. I hope that this page can serve as a jumping off point for you in your journey, and place where you regularly return for resources and encouragement.

Code of Ethics

Personally, I am a part of several spiritual direction associations. I believe that my membership in these places holds me to a standard that is verifiable and helpful to my directees. A code of ethics ensures that my practice provides care and protection to all of those with whom I’m graced to walk. If you’re interested in the various associations of which I’m a part, and I recommend to others, here’s the list:

Tyndale Association of Spiritual Directors – Their ethical guidelines can be found here.

Evangelical Spiritual Directors Association – The ESDA Code of Ethics can be found here.

Spiritual Directors International – The SDI Code of Ethics can be purchased for $5 here.

Training Programs

There are many excellent training programs for spiritual directors. This is such a great gift, as many of these programs did not exist 50 years ago. Here are just a few that I suggest.

Tyndale Seminary:  Tyndale has both an MDiv and MTS in Spiritual Formation, as well as a year-long practicum in spiritual direction. They offer a certificate in spiritual direction as well.

Biola University: Biola offers a Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care, as well as a certificate in spiritual formation. Their Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care is an excellent academic-style resource for directors.

Benet Hill Spiritual Formation Program: Benet Pines Monastery is based in Colorado Springs, and offers a Benedictine approach to spiritual formation and spiritual direction training. Theirs is a two-year program that meets once per week during the school year.

Shalem Institute: Shalem has been educating and equipping spiritual directors for more than 30 years. They offer a variety of residence and low residence programs.

Mercy Center: Mercy Center has done pioneering work in the area of spiritual direction education. Located in Burlingame, CA, their programs have educated and equipped spiritual directors across the globe for decades.

Do you know of other training programs that you would like to see on this page? Please send me an email.


I’m not sure I can articulate clearly enough how valuable supervision has been to me in my practice. While I was being educated as a director, supervision seemed to be part of the woodwork, something that happened in the process of learning and growing. Having been in private practice for a while now, supervision isn’t just part of the woodwork—it’s the frame of the house. Everything would fall down without it. Supervision allows me to process the things that I need to process as a director in order to keep my interior space free and hospitable for my directees. Personally, I have chosen to do both individual and peer supervision—each is unique in the gifts and graces that it brings to me and my practice. If you’re looking for a supervisor, here are a few resources:

Evangelical Spiritual Directors Association: If you become a member of the ESDA, you will have access to a list of supervisors in your area.


2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Tara, please check out Leadership Transformations’ Selah Certificate Program in Spiritual Direction…been in existence for several years and it’s a marvelous, two year retreat based program that’s Trinitarian, Biblical and Contemplative. Let me know if you have any questions!
    Steve Macchia, Founder and President of LTI

    July 4, 2014
  2. I highly recommend adding the program for spiritual direction at United Methodist-related Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill. Its director, the Rev. Dr. Frederick W. Schmidt, holds the Rueben P. Job Chair in Spiritual Formation and directs the Rueben Job Institute for Spiritual Formation. Rueben Job was World Editor of The Upper Room magazine and a United Methodist bishop, author of several books on prayer. Fred Schmidt founded the spiritual direction certification program at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University from which I graduated in 2012. He’s an Episcopal priest.

    FYI I am also a religion journalist and certified spiritual director. At the moment, I do more journalism, and only work with spiritual direction in group settings rather than with individual directees.

    November 3, 2015

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