In this unit the student will explore the theory, context, content and dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises, using biblical and theological interpretative frameworks.

Unit code: DD8221J

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Spiritual Direction

Proposing College: Jesuit College of Spirituality

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Learning outcomes


Articulate a detailed knowledge of the theory, context and content of the Spiritual Exercises


Demonstrate a theologically and scripturally informed knowledge of the dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises


Analyse the Spiritual Exercises in light of foundational Ignatian themes


Apply an appropriated theoretical framework for personal discernment and decision-making etc

Unit sequence

Prohibited combinations: DD8829J (online) Old Codes: DD8981J / DD8982J or DD8988F/DD8989F (online)


Lectures, seminars, tutorials, facilitated interaction in small groups

Indicative Bibliography

  • Coogan, Michael David, Marc Zvi Brettler, Carol A. Newsom, and Pheme Perkins. The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version: with the Apocrypha: An Ecumenical Study Bible. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2010. (recommended for purchase)
  • Ignatius, Joseph A. Munitiz, Philip Endean, and Ignatius. Personal Writings: Reminiscences, Spiritual Diary, Select Letters Including the Text of The Spiritual Exercises. London, UK: Penguin Books, 1996. (recommended for purchase)
  • Vatican Council II: The Conciliar Documents, ed. A. Flannery, Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1975. (recommended for purchase)
  • Fleming, David L. Draw Me into your Friendship: The Spiritual Exercises. St. Louis, MO: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1996. (recommended for purchase)
  • Ivens, Michael. Understanding the Spiritual Exercises. Surrey, UK: Inigo Enterprises, 1998. (recommended for purchase) Tetlow, Joseph. *Choosing Christ in the World: Directing the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola. St. Louis, MO: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 2000. (recommended for purchase)
  • Tylenda, Joseph N. A Pilgrim’s Journey: The Autobiography of St. Ignatius Loyola, revised ed. San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 2001. (recommended for purchase)


  • Aschenbrenner, George A. Stretched for Greater Glory: What to Expect from the Spiritual Exercises. Chicago, IL: Loyola University Press, 2004.
  • Barry, William A. Letting God Come Close: An Approach to the Spiritual Exercises. Chicago, IL: Loyola University Press, 2001.
  • Cusson, Gilles. Biblical Theology and the Spiritual Exercises: A Method Toward a Personal Experience of God as Accomplishing Within Us His Plan of Salvation. Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1998.
  • Dyckman, Katherine et al. The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women. Manwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2001.
  • Gallagher, Timothy M. Spiritual Consolation: An Ignatian Guide for the Greater Discernment of Spirits. New York, NY: Crossroad, 2007.
  • Gallagher, Timothy M. The Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living. New York, NY: Crossroad, 2005.
  • Green, Thomas H. Weeds Among the Wheat: Discernment: Where Prayer and Action Meet. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 1990.
  • Lonsdale, David. Dance to the Music of the Spirit: The Art of Discernment. London, UK: Dartman, Longman, Todd, 1992.
  • O’Callaghan, Joseph F. The Autobiography of St. Ignatius Loyola, with related documents. New York, NY: Fordham University Press, 2001.
  • Schemel, George & Judith Roemer. Beyond Individuation to Discipleship. Scranton, PA: Institute for Contemporary Spirituality, University of Scranton, 2000.
  • Toner, Jules J. A Commentary on Saint Ignatius' Rules for the Discernment of Spirits: A Guide to the Principles and Practice. St. Louis, MO: The Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1982.
  • Toner, Jules J. Discerning God's Will. St. Louis, MO: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1991.
  • Toner, Jules J. A Commentary on Saint Ignatius' Rules for the Discernment of Spirits. St. Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1982.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

3,000-word written assignment

3000 45.0
Oral Presentation

Class presentation of 15 minutes (equivalent to 1000 words)

1000 10.0

3000-word written assignment

3000 45.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 30 Sep, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:48 +1000