The unit provides students with the opportunity to undertake spiritual direction under appropriate supervision and to reflect critically on that experience.

Students are inducted into the processes and ministry of spiritual direction through focussing on a contemplative approach to spiritual direction; the nature and boundaries of the relationship of direction; confidentiality and appropriate consent procedures for referral; the environment and protocols for spiritual direction; the nature and boundaries of the supervisory relationship; the different theories and praxis of spiritual direction.

The unit includes individual and group supervision, individual and group evaluations, group interaction and leadership of group prayer.

Unit code: DD8705Y

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Spiritual Direction

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


Reflect critically on their relationship with another in spiritual direction


Articulate clearly the impact of accompaniment on human and spiritual development


Demonstrate an ability to engage in group supervision processes


Integrate their theoretical learnings, their ministerial practice and their personal development

Unit sequence

Co-requisites DD8701 Religious Experience and the Christian Spiritual Tradition I And DD8703Y: Personal Awareness and Human Development I or equivalent units


Lectures, tutorials, supervised practice of spiritual direction

Indicative Bibliography

  • Barry William A., and William J. Connolly. The Practice of Spiritual Direction. New York: Seabury, 1982. (recommended for purchase)
  • Buckley, Suzanna M., ed. Sacred is the Call. New York: Crossroads, 2005
  • Bumpus, Mary R., and Rebecca B. Langer. Supervision of Spiritual Directors. Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse, 2005.
  • Conroy, Maureen. Looking into the Well: Supervision of Spiritual Directors. Chicago, IL: Loyola University Press, 1995.
  • ––––––. The Discerning Heart: Discovering a Personal God, Chicago, IL: Loyola, 1993.
  • Coutinho, Paul. How Big is Your God? The Freedom to Experience the Divine. Chicago, IL: Loyola, 2007.
  • Guenther, Margaret. Holy Listening: the Art of Spiritual Direction. Boston, MA: Cowley, 1992.
  • Hart, Thomas N. The Art of Christian Listening. New York: Paulist, 1980.
  • May, Gerald G. Care of Mind, Care of Spirit. San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row, 1982.
  • ––––––. Will and Spirit: a Contemplative Psychology. San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row, 1982.
  • Ruffing, Janet K. Spiritual Direction: Beyond the Beginnings. New York: Paulist, 2000.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Case Study

1000 word case study

1000 20.0
Workplace evaluation

1000 word self-evaluation [workplace evaluation]

1000 20.0

1000 word portfolio on goal setting

1000 10.0

Ten verbatim reports, incorporating critical reflection of at least 300 words each

3000 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 19 Oct, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2019-05-03 09:09:30 +1000