This unit introduces students to the foundational skills of spiritual direction practice. Students will engage in teaching sessions and practical experience which will demonstrate and hone the skills of a competent spiritual director. They will engage in routine supervision of their spiritual direction sessions, both within the tuition time and externally. The teaching sessions will include topics such as models of spiritual direction, the purpose of supervision and a comparison of helping professions. The practicum will take place in triads or quads where students will learn from direct supervision and supervisory learning from observing others.

Unit code: DD8741Z

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Spiritual Direction

Proposing College: Uniting College for Leadership and Theology

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Learning outcomes


Discuss and implement foundational skills of spiritual direction


Integrate theoretical learning and personal development into spiritual direction practice


Recognise the value of engaging in the supervision process.


Evaluate the impact psychological issues play in maintaining a professional spiritual direction relationship


Articulate the distinctive nature of spiritual direction in relation to other helping professions

Unit sequence

A required unit in the Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction (program 3)

Prerequisite or Corequisite units: DD8740Z Contemplative Stance and Soul Care


The unit engages students through readings, workshops, group discussions, personal reflection and spiritual direction practicum sessions.

Note that this unit continues over two semesters.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Australian Ecumenical Council for Spiritual Direction. Anthology of Spiritual Direction. Volume 1. Mandurah, W.A.: Equilibrium Books, 2012.
  • Barry, William A., and William J. Connelly. The Practice of Spiritual Direction. New York: HarperCollins, 2009.
  • Benner, David G. Sacred Companions: The Gift of Spiritual Friendship and Direction. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002.
  • Edwards, Tilden. Spiritual Director, Spiritual Companion. Mahwah: Paulist Press, 2001.
  • Harborne, Lynette. Psychotherapy and Spiritual Direction Two Languages, One Voice? London: Karnac Books, 2012.
  • McDonnell, Maureen. A Contemplative Spirituality to Guide the Supervisory Process. Presence 19, no.1 (March 2013): 42-50.
  • May, Gerald G. Care of Mind. Care of Spirit. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.
  • Millis, Diane M., and Bussho Lahn. Narrative Stances in Spiritual Direction: Hearing Others to their Life-Giving Story. Presence, 24, no.4 (2018): 5-12.
  • Ruffing, Janet. To Tell the Sacred Tale. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2011.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Seminar or Tutorial

4 x 1000 word seminar papers based on topics presented throughout the unit

4000 40.0
Personal & Professional Evaluation

2 x 750 words – Complete one directee reflection form and one theological reflection form and engage with a professional supervisor.

1500 20.0
Workplace evaluation

5 x 200 words Internal Supervisory reports

1000 30.0
Personal Reflection

Self-evaluation of spiritual direction practice

500 10.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 20 Oct, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-10-27 18:34:05 +1100