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Spiritual Direction

Application Deadline: October 21, 2022


spiritual direction cohort

In the church today there is growing interest in the ministry of spiritual direction. This interest comes out of a longing for greater spiritual depth, intimate community, and tangible encounters with God. The church today desperately needs leaders with contemplative awareness to better address the anxiety, tensions, and complexities of our times. The first two years of this cohort will give students the skills to serve as trained spiritual directors. As a doctoral level program, however, this cohort goes further in equipping students with the academic study of Christian spirituality through understanding the biblical, historical, and theological foundations of the spiritual life. Year three will further develop students as spiritual leaders who are able to facilitate growth and transformation in community.

*For students that are already trained spiritual directors there is an alternative supervision track to equip students to train and supervise new spiritual directors.


Year One


Reading Course: January 2–March 17, 2023
In Person Intensive: March 27–31, 2023 at a retreat center near Pasadena, CA
Writing Course: June 19–September 1, 2023

The first year focuses on the biblical and historical roots of spiritual direction through the early church and the desert fathers and mothers. Students will cultivate greater attentiveness to their interior movements as they engage with the foundational practices of silence and listening. In addition, students are required to receive spiritual direction with a trained director before starting the cohort and through the duration of the program. Students will also begin practicing spiritual direction with their cohort peers under supervision. Students on the supervision track will begin mentoring and supervising their peers as well as teaching some of the training sessions and contemplative practices.

Year Two


Reading Course: January 2–March 15, 2024
In Person Intensive: March 25–29, 2024 at a retreat center near Pasadena, CA
Writing Course: June 17–August 30, 2024

Year two looks at spiritual direction through the Ignatian tradition, with students required to engage in Ignatius’ 30–day Spiritual Exercises. The course will also go deeper into the dynamics of encounter and experience with the Holy Spirit. As spiritual directors, students will be trained to facilitate the practice of discernment and will begin practicing spiritual direction with at least two directees under supervision.

Year Three


Reading Course: January 6–March 21, 2025
In Person Intensive: March 24–28, 2025 at a retreat center near Pasadena, CA
Writing Course: June 16–August 29, 2025

Year three focuses on deepening spiritual leadership. The course will engage with the Quaker and Celtic traditions as well as global voices in Christian spirituality. In year three, students will be equipped with the skills to lead group spiritual direction, learning how to teach and facilitate contemplative spiritual practices. They will also receive peer supervision as they continue their practice as spiritual directors.
After the 3–year cohort, students will engage as scholars and leaders of Christian spirituality through researching and writing a 150–page, practically applied doctoral project.

Years Four and Five (2026 and 2027)


  • DM710: doctoral project proposal online 10–week course (4 units)
  • DM706: doctoral project writing course (8 units)


Cindy Lee

Cindy Lee is a spiritual director and oblate with an Episcopal monastic community. She earned her PhD in Practical Theology from Claremont School of Theology in the area of Spiritual Formation. She leads retreats in Christian mysticism and De-Westernizing Christian Spiritual Formation. In addition, Dr. Lee serves as the Doctoral Projects Administrator for the DMin and DGL degrees at Fuller Theological Seminary. Prior to Fuller she served overseas in Beijing and Taipei and also was on staff with InterVarsity. In her free time, she enjoys street art and exploring the city.

Learn More and Connect with an Admissions Counselor

If you are interested in pursuing this program in Korean, please visit this page to learn more.

Joel Short

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Office Hours

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8 am – 5 pm (Pacific Time)

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