Spiritual Direction Certificate

The Spiritual Direction certification program will:

  • Enable students to deepen ethical skills and professional practices in spiritual direction
  • Enhance student capacity for noticing and attending to self while maintaining effective spiritual-direction relationships


The Spiritual Direction Certification program is designed to equip newly trained spiritual direction graduates to serve as professional spiritual directors. The program offers scriptural and Christ-centered training from skilled and experienced spiritual directors who are attuned to the vulnerability of the other and noticing the internal dynamics that arise in the context of a contractual relationship.


Students can take advantage of the flexibility of a fully online certification structure. 


Our spiritual formation curriculum is biblically grounded and Christ-centered, and our understanding of spiritual formation involves the intersection of Scripture, theology, and social-cultural factors. The focus of our curriculum, therefore, is on developing awareness, increasing empathy and compassion skills, and building distinct practices that are spiritually centering.

Courses (2 credit hours)

SFAD 576 Spiritual Direction Certification I 1
SFAD 577 Spiritual Direction Certification II 1


  • A graduate theological degree similar to Portland Seminary's Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation degree program (Master of Arts, Doctor of Ministry, etc.) from an ATS-accredited seminary

The spiritual direction certification curriculum is designed for individuals who have completed initial spiritual direction training. Individuals who have a master's degree but have not been trained as a spiritual director are required to take an additional 12 credit hours of prerequisites.

If applicants have experience in spiritual-direction relationships without formal training or if training was completed at another institution ( Renovaré, etc.), the seminary will do a leveling evaluation on a case-by-case basis in light of the standards of this certificate program.