A Certificate Program in Spiritual Formation & The Art of Spiritual Direction

Program Information

HCM International's certificate program in Spiritual Formation & The Art of Spiritual Direction provides participants with the contemplative experiences, knowledge, and wisdom necessary to deepen their awareness of God, self, and others. Participants will engage their spiritual journey in the company of an experienced spiritual director, through journey groups and group spiritual direction, and the development of their own ministry practice of spiritual direction.

Participants will learn to discern God's presence in all of life by: 

  • POSITIONING self and others before the transforming presence of God
  • CONNECTING self and others with God's unconditional love
  • ENGAGING the essentials of spiritual direction into life and practice

As participants' awareness of God in all things deepens, their spiritual perspective is transformed, empowering them to Rest in God's presence (Positioning), Receive God's love (Connecting), and Respond to God's voice (Engaging).

This unique program is designed for individuals who:

  • are hungry to experience deeper intimacy with God
  • desire to grow in attentiveness to God's movement in their lives
  • feel called to companion with others on their spiritual journey
  • seek spiritual community and mutual support with others of shared calling

To view the Program Outcomes, click here. To give you an idea of what to expect within the program, you may listen to this series of podcasts that are part of its supplemental curriculum.

A series of four residencies and two praxes form the core of this two-year training experience with faculty guidance and peer interaction between residencies using virtual formats. These are a time for personal spiritual formation and equipping in the skills, literature and practices of contemplative spiritual direction. Between residencies, students are engaged in their own spiritual direction and, under faculty supervision, offer spiritual direction as directors-in-training for optimal learning, reflection and growth. The praxes that follow the fourth residency are a time of deepening development and skills integration in the ministry of spiritual direction. Under the supervision of a skilled spiritual director, individuals completing this phase of training will be fully endorsed by HCM International as a spiritual director.

All the residencies will be held at Camp McPherson: 21880 Shadley Valley Rd; Danville, OH 43014

If you would like to hear what students have said about their experience in the program, check out our video testimonials.

Cohort C (2016-2017) Residency Schedule:

  • April 23-28, 2017
    Sunday 5:00 PM - Friday 1:00 PM

Cohort D (2017-2018) Residency Schedule:

  • August 13-18, 2017
    Sunday 5:00 PM - Friday 1:00 PM
  • December 3-8, 2017
    Sunday 5:00 PM - Friday 1:00 PM
  • April 22-27, 2018
    Sunday 5:00 PM - Friday 1:00 PM
  • August 12-17, 2018
    Sunday 5:00 PM - Friday 1:00 PM

Program Cost: $5,500.00

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

How to Apply

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.

Application Deadline (for Cohort D): May 1, 2017

Program Faculty (Fully On-Site at All Residencies)

Neal SilerDr. 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 (where she was 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. Robert Woodcock

Robert is the founder of Integrative Guidance, where he provides spiritual guidance for life, leadership and work for those in ministry and the marketplace. He received his D.Min. from Ashland Seminary and is trained as a spiritual director, supervisor of spiritual directors and in Ignatian spirituality. He has served as Adjunct Professor in Spiritual Direction, N.T. Greek and Biblical Studies. He has served in a variety of church and ministry organizations in the areas of leadership development, coaching, consulting, spiritual direction, church planter, missionary and pastor.


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