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Year One

Becoming a spiritual director is first and foremost about the formation of the director.

The ministry of spiritual direction requires both formation and training; it involves transformation and education. Participants in this program will acquire the skills of asking good questions, listening attentively, and fostering stillness as they facilitate deep and meaningful conversations. Participants will also read and discuss many of the best books about this focused type of pastoral care. Yet, at the heart of this experience is tending to one’s own spiritual formation.

Our design for renewing the ministry of spiritual direction reflects this primary need for formation. Over the course of eight months, participants will participate in five two-day intensives which will meet from 8:00 a.m–5:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. These intensives will meet in idyllic homes, providing an atmosphere for deep personal reflection, discussion and growth. Our gatherings will be a place for experimentation with various contemplative exercises and practice in the skills of spiritual direction.

To receive the certificate of completion, there are seven requirements:

  1. Participate in all five modules
  2. Experiment with and engage in chosen spiritual disciplines
  3. Receive regular spiritual direction
  4. Offer spiritual direction (five sessions to two directees, totaling ten sessions)
  5. Submit a recording/verbatim for feedback
  6. Read the required books
  7. Submit seven monthly general reports via email

The intensives will also prepare participants for where the best training in the ministry of spiritual direction will occur: in offering spiritual direction to a few others in their own contexts. Hence, the intensives are like laboratories along the way as you learn to provide direction for others. Between the intensives, participants will also receive spiritual direction.

Fall 2023- 2024 Year One cohorts

Apply Now!

The cost of this experience in formation and training is $2,950. Payment in full is due before Module One. Payment plans are available upon request and must be approved by the Director of the Institute for Christian Spirituality. 

This price covers your training as well as breakfast and lunch during each of the modules. You will be responsible for the cost of your travel, lodging, books, and any other meals.

Pay in Full Make a Partial Payment

The deadline to apply for our fall cohorts is July 1st. All applications received after this deadline are automatically archived and a new application is required to be considered for the following year.

If you have any questions about our spiritual direction cohorts or anything pertaining to the Institute for Christian Spirituality, please email us at

Fall Year One Cohorts

2023- 2024 Fall Locations, Facilitators & Dates

Deborah Jackson headshot

Bristol, TN: Deborah Jackson

Deborah is a spiritual director in the Nashville, TN area. Her formation includes training through Lipscomb University’s Institute of Christian Spirituality 2-year training program and serving an apprenticeship as a spiritual direction cohort facilitator with four cohorts in the Lipscomb program. The Ignatian Spirituality training included in Year 2 of the Lipscomb program led her to take an additional year of training through the School of Ignatian Spirituality program of Sustainable Faith to be certified to lead others through the Ignatian Exercises. In addition to offering spiritual direction, Deborah is the Operations Pastor of Christ is Love Church in Hendersonville, TN. She holds an M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from Nova Southeastern University; her undergrad work was done at Southwestern Assemblies of God University.

September 22-23, 2023
November 17-18, 2023
January 19-20, 2024
March 8-9, 2024
April 26-27, 2024

Nashville, TN: Lance Bolay

Lance and his family live in Tyler, TX, where, after serving in pastoral ministry for 20 years, he is now the Director of Mission Impact for the Mosaic Counseling Centers of East Texas. His formation includes two years of formal training in spiritual direction and an apprenticeship as a spiritual direction cohort facilitator through the Institute for Christian Spirituality at Lipscomb University. He also received formal training in leading contemplative prayer groups and retreats from the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. He is a certified teacher in the Enneagram Spectrum Method and is experienced in inner healing prayer and Ignatian spiritual formation. He completed his Doctor of Ministry degree in Missional and Spiritual Formation, with an emphasis in spiritual direction, from Lipscomb University. Lance has been offering spiritual direction since 2010.

August 25-26, 2023
October 13-14, 2023
December 8-9, 2023
January 26-27, 2024
March 22-23, 2024

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