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.



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. We provide you with contemplative experiences, knowledge, and wisdom that will deepen your awareness of God, self, and others. You will engage your spiritual journey in the company of an experienced spiritual director, in a journey group, and in times of group spiritual direction. These experiences will position you to develop your own skills in spiritual listening, spiritual discernment, and 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 one-year program consists of a pre-residency that introduces students to the rhythm and concepts of spiritual formation and spiritual direction. The pre-residency work provides the opportunity to experience in part what can be anticipated in the residencies. In each residency, students will develop spiritual community, interact with course content, share in a dyad or triad learning exchange and participate in group spiritual direction experiences. Between residencies, students will engage with their journey group (a smaller sub-group within the learning community that allows for deeper discussion and integration of spiritual formation principles and content). Students in the one-year program are required to be actively receiving spiritual direction and will begin their training (working with directees) after Residency 2. Additionally, students should have attended the Formational Prayer Seminar and will be required to complete two personal retreats (of which one should be directed) prior to the completion of the program.

Cost: $4,850 (for one year program only)

The program value includes residency instruction and group work, spiritual direction advising, residency room and board, spiritual direction at residencies, 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 one year payment plan.


The two-year program is designed for those who would like to pursue advanced training in spiritual formation and is specifically geared to individuals who feel called to the ministry of spiritual direction. As such, students in this program will engage readings that are more in-depth and focused on the work of spiritual direction. As ongoing formation is important, students will continue in personal direction, as well as one-to-one work with directees. Students will also practice experientials, spiritual disciplines and engage in a deeper level of group spiritual direction and skills development. The second year Praxes experience consists of peer supervision, dyad or triad experiences under faculty oversight, and spiritual mentoring. Year two culminates with an Enterprising experience in which students will develop the rubric for their ongoing ministry of spiritual direction or for developing their own spiritual direction practice. Students completing year two (including two, 2-day Continuing Education events sponsored by Healing Care Ministries or arranged separately with permission) are eligible for endorsement through Healing Care Ministries** and for membership and recognition in the ESDA (Evangelical Spiritual Directors Association) and the CFCSD (Canadian Fellowship of Christian Spiritual Directors). Students in the two-year program 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.

*For more information regarding the two tracks available to you, click here.

**Endorsement will be maintained by earning ongoing CEUs.

Cost: $5,500 (for full two year program)

Program value includes residency instruction and group work, spiritual direction advising, residency room 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.


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 G (2021-2022)

Residency Schedule

  • August 7-12, 2021

  • December 5-10, 2021

  • April 3-8, 2022

  • August 7-11 2022

Cohort H (2022-2023)

Residency Schedule

  • August 6-11, 2022

  • December 4-8, 2022

  • April 16-21,2023

  • August 6-10, 2023

Click here for 2023-2024 program dates

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 direction@hcminternational.org.





Dr. R. Neal Siler

Neal is the Senior Pastor of First Shiloh Baptist Church, (Mechanicsville, Virginia) and the Executive Director of New Life Ministries of Virginia, Inc. He has an extensive background in individual, marriage and family counseling, having been a mental health clinician, a court psychologist and serving in the private sector. In 2008, he founded The Healing Place, which provides on-going small group ministry and extensive training opportunities in healing prayer and formational counseling.

Sarah Herring, M.A.

Sarah resides in Redding, California, where she serves as a spiritual director, professor at Simpson University (previously an administrator for 16 years) and staff member at the Leadership Metaformation Institute. She has a Master's in Counseling, a graduate diploma in Bible and Theology and has completed D.Min. coursework. She was a part Dr. Wardle's initial retreat ministry at Spring Meadow and has served as a caregiver for the Come Away with Me retreats. Her specialties are a blend of spiritual direction and formational counseling. 

Dr. Proctor Beard

Proctor is the Pastor of Springfield Baptist Church in Glen Allen, Virginia. He also serves as the Director of The Healing Place-West: Center for Counseling and Spiritual Formation. He holds a B.A. in Business Administration, a Master of Arts in Christian Education, and the Doctor of Ministry Degree from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia. He has also served as a caregiver and team member with Healing Care Ministries.  


Dr. Terry Wardle

Terry is Professor Emeritus of Practical Theology at Ashland Theological Seminary, and Founder and President of Healing Care Ministries. He is a frequent seminar and conference speaker and the author of numerous books on spiritual formation and formational prayer. He has been married to Cheryl for more than 40 years, has three children and five grandchildren.

Dr. Anne Halley

Anne received her D.Min. in Formational Counseling from Ashland Theological Seminary and is recognized for her extensive work in developmental healing. She teaches in the Integrating Formational Prayer Seminar and speaks at conferences and seminars in addition to serving as a spiritual director adjunct faculty member of the Spiritual Direction Program.