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One hour in our modern society contains more distraction than an entire day just a generation ago. In this environment even the most seasoned saints and ministry leaders can lose track of the voice of God.


Image by Artem Kovalev


Our certificate program in Spiritual Formation & The Art of Spiritual Direction is designed to help you develop the skills you need to thrive spiritually in this modern landscape. You will learn how to be present to others and help them notice God’s movements. We provide you with contemplative experiences, knowledge, and wisdom that will deepen your awareness of God, self, and others, encourage you to internalize what you learn and apply it to your own life as you help others explore matters of their soul, faith, and God. You will also engage your own spiritual journey in the company of an experienced spiritual director, in a journey group, in times of group spiritual direction, and in the rich discoveries of reading assignments that encourages a deeper understanding of Christian Spirituality. These experiences will position you to develop your own skills in prayerful reflection and conversation, spiritual listening, and spiritual discernment in the practice of spiritual direction.


yourself and others before the transforming presence of God.


yourself and others with God's unconditional love.


the essential practices of spiritual direction and incorporating them into all of life. 


As your awareness of God in all things deepens, your spiritual perspective can be transformed, empowering you to rest in God's presence, receive God's love,  respond to God's voice .


The Spiritual Formation and the Art of Spiritual Direction (SF-SD) program follows a cohort format which allows students to learn and grow together with each other over the course of their training. The program consists of two years:  Year one is done in a series of four residencies, and year two is a practicum year delivered in virtual format designed for deepening spiritual direction skills through supervision and feedback.


The Main Components of the SF-SD Program are:

  1. Pre-residency Requirements

  2. Year One Residency Requirements

  3. Year Two Practicum Requirements


The two-year Spiritual Direction training program is specifically geared to individuals who feel called to the ministry of spiritual direction. Those who pursue this training will learn to focus on the dynamics of personal formation while cultivating deeper intimacy with Christ in prayer and learning how to integrate spiritual formation as a vital part of everyday life and ministry. In the first year, each residency will offer skills development and practice-based assignments. Students will engage readings that are more in-depth and focused on the work of spiritual direction. As ongoing formation is important, students are required to be in personal direction as well as one-to-one work with directees. Students will practice experientials, spiritual disciplines and engage in a deeper level of group spiritual direction and skills development.


The second year of the program consists of two praxes which deepens the experience of classic spiritual direction training and integrating the ministry of formational (inner healing) prayer. Praxes experiences consists of peer supervision, dyad or triad experiences under faculty oversight, and spiritual mentoring. Year two culminates with an Enterprising experience. This is a period of learning, discerning, and preparing for how the student will engage the work of spiritual direction in the future. Under faculty supervision students will develop a plan for their ongoing ministry of spiritual direction in a church, parachurch, ministry staff support setting, or develop a plan for beginning their own spiritual direction practice. Additionally, students are required to complete a personal discernment retreat, lead a spiritual direction retreat, and conduct one spiritual direction group prior to the completion of the second year of the program. Students completing this program (including two, 2-day Continuing Education events sponsored by Healing Care Ministries) are eligible for endorsement through Healing Care Ministries** and for membership and recognition in the Evangelical Spiritual Directors Association (ESDA) and the Canadian Fellowship of Christian Spiritual Directors (CFCSD). (The cost for year two only is $2,800. There is an additional $400 fee for students who require skills remediation and are in year two only.)

**Endorsement will be maintained by earning ongoing CEUs. 

Cost: $7,200 (for full two-year program)

Cost includes residency instruction and group work, spiritual direction advising, residency room (double occupancy) and board, spiritual direction at residencies, two-part praxis program supervision, program residency and experiential materials, and more. Program cost is broken down into smaller increments that are paid in installments throughout the duration of the program.

Click here for a sample two year payment plan

Spiritual Direction



Participants will be encouraged to develop into:

Persons of knowledge who...

  • Articulate the ministry of spiritual direction from Biblical and theological perspectives

  • Are able to describe the basic process of being a spiritual director

  • Know the formational significance of spiritual direction

  • Are able to converse about the presence of God in everyday life

Persons in formation who...

  • Regularly practice a “rule of life”

  • Are aware of the immediacy of God in their own life

  • Integrate God’s presence in daily life

  • Grow in freedom in their relationship with Jesus

  • Experience spiritual direction in their own lives

Discerning communicators who are...

  • Effective in their interaction with directees

  • Able to encourage persons on their spiritual journey

  • Able to integrate Formational Prayer 

  • Free to address personal barriers to the spiritual journey

Transformational leaders who...

  • Pursue goals of personal growth to develop a healthy identity as a ministering person

  • Understand how personality and personal experience are intertwined with God, family and church

  • Grow in their ability to listen receptively to the life stories and experiences of others, and to serve as a mirror for others to see their own lives more fully

  • Continue to attend to their listening skills, and are able to pose meaningful questions, offer helpful feedback, affirm strengths and encourage others to attend to areas of their growth

  • Are able to promote and guide the practice of both individual and group spiritual guidance in their context of ministry 


Cohort I (2023-2024)

Residency Schedule

  • April 24 - July 17, 2023 (Pre-Residency) 

  • August 5 - 10, 2023 (Residency 1)

  • December 3 - 7, 2023 (Residency 2)

  • April 7 - 12, 2024 (Residency 3)

  • August 4 - 8, 2024 (Residency 4)

Cohort J (2024-2025)

Residency Schedule

  • April 22 - July 22, 2024 (Pre-Residency)

  • August 3 - 8, 2024 (Residency 1)

  • December 8 - 12, 2024 (Residency 2)

  • April 6 - 11, 2025 (Residency 3)

  • August 3 - 7, 2025 (Residency 4)

Cohort K (2025-2026)

Residency Schedule

  • April 21 - July 21, 2025 (Pre-Residency)

  • August 2 - 7, 2025 (Residency 1)

  • December 7 - 11, 2025 (Residency 2)

  • April 12 - 17, 2026 (Residency 3)

  • August 2 - 6, 2026 (Residency 4)

HCM CE Gatherings

  • August 9 - 11, 2024

  • August 8-10, 2025

Support Group
Image by John Schnobrich


Because of the nature of these training events, acceptance will be determined by personal interview. If you are interested in participating in this unique program, please complete the application packet and corresponding recommendation forms and submit them according to the instructions. If you have any questions prior to or while completing the packet, please contact us at




Dr. Neal Siler, Program Director

Neal is president and founder of The Healing Place Center for Counseling and Spiritual Formation. He has a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, a D.Min in Formational Counseling and additional training in Spiritual Direction Supervision through SDI Companions Supervision Training  with Lucy Abbot Tucker. He is director of HCM’s Spiritual Formation and the Art of Spiritual Direction Program, and HCM’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity (DEI) Initiative. 

Dr. Proctor N. Beard, SR

Proctor is Senior Pastor of First Shiloh Baptist Church, Mechanicsville, Virginia and Chairman of the Board of The Healing Place Center for Counseling and Spiritual Formation. He has a D.Min from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia, and is a graduate of the Institute of Formational Counseling and HCM’s Spiritual Formation and the Art of Spiritual Direction Program.


Summer Gross, MDiv

Summer is an Anglican priest. She, and her husband first experienced Dr. Wardle's teachings as parish priests on the coast of Lake Michigan. The founder of “The Presence Project,” a podcast teaching ministry of spiritual care that helps people find home-base in the heart of God through spiritual practices to overcome anxiety and heal attachment wounds. Summer is a graduate of HCM’s Spiritual Formation and the Art of Spiritual Direction Program.


Dr. Anne Halley

Anne received her D.Min in Formational Counseling from Ashland Theological Seminary. She received additional training in Spiritual Direction from The Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Washington D.C. Anne is recognized for her work in developmental healing. She teaches in the Integrating Formational Prayer Seminar and leads Healing Care skill-development for caregivers.


Dr. Sharon Siler

Sharon is Executive Director of the Healing Place Center for Counseling and Spiritual Formation. She has an Ed.D. from the College of William and Mary and has had extensive training in Formational Prayer and Spiritual Direction. Her interest in grief and loss led her to pursue an MS in Thanatology from Marian University and to develop a twelve-week Grief Ministry Curriculum focusing on caring for individuals and families confronting death and non-death losses.



As our SFSD program has grown, so has our desire to continue to offer community, training, and accountability to all Spiritual Direction Graduates.

If you are a 2nd year student, a graduate of our Spiritual Direction Program or you have completed another Spiritual Direction training program and want to find out more details about our Peer Supervision program, click on the link below.

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