Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Spiritual Direction Course Syllabus

Course Description
This is an introduction to the art and science of spiritual direction as soul care in the Protestant tradition.  The course will provide a model for spiritual direction as soul care in the local congregations. The primary focus will be upon listening, seeking wisdom and direction of God in journeying with others. Attention will be given to two other questions: the inner spiritual life of the spiritual director as well as the art of discernment.

Course Objectives:
The desired outcomes are that by the end of the course, students are able to
  • develop a biblical and theological basis of Christian spiritual formation and transformation
  • understand the psychospiritual dynamics of spiritual development
  • differentiate between the dynamics of spiritual friendship, mentoring, counseling and spiritual direction
  • listen and cultivate discernment concerning the movements of the Holy Spirit
  • acquire some basic skills in spiritual direction

Course Outline
  • Defining spiritual direction and its role in spiritual formation and transformation
  • Spiritual direction in different traditions (Reformed, Pentecostal, Wesleyan, Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Orthodox, etc)
  • Biblical and theological foundations of spiritual formation (concepts from shalom, Trinity, imago dei and missio dei)
  • The psychospiritual dynamics of spiritual development
  • The continuum of soul care: spiritual friendship, discipling, mentoring, coaching, counseling and spiritual direction.
  • The spiritual life of a spiritual director
  • The art of listening
  • Discernment
  • Guidelines in spiritual direction

Academic Requirements

Small groups
Reflection paper
Reading and Review Essay

1.      Attendance.
All students are expected to attend all lectures; this is a short, compact course; attendance is therefore expected for all sessions.

2.      Small Group Discussion and Reflection Paper.
Each student will either choose or be assigned to a small group of 2-4 persons (ideally
3) discussion. The faciliatator will provide guidelines during the first session for these
groups which will meet outside of the lecture time, but during the week of the course. From this small group interaction each student will submit a reflection paper of 3-4 pages.  

DUE: Mon., Nov 26, 2012

3.      Reading and Essay.
Read the recommended texts the course reader (500 pages for 2 or 3 credit students)
and from the bibliography, and write a review essay of your reading. The review
article should be a critical examination of material read, which both reviews the book
but then also provides an extended reflect critical response. The response to this
reading should give clear evidence of understanding of the course lectures; ideally,
the review of these books should provide for critical interaction between the lectures
and the readings. Note: only books from the bibliography may be chosen for this
assignment; any additional books need to be approved in advance by the facilitator.
Word limit: 1,500.

DUE: Mon., Nov 26, 2012


Small Group/Reflection Paper               30%
Review Essay                                       70%

Recommended Reading

Required reading:

(1)   Anderson, Keith R. & Randy D. Reese. 1999. Spiritual Mentoring. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
(2)   The course reader
(3)   One of the following:
a.       Peterson, Eugene H. 1989. The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
b.      Barry, William A., William J. Connolly. 2009. The Practice of Spiritual Direction. New York, NY: HarperOne.

Benner, David G. 2002. Sacred Companions. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Bakke, Jeanette A. 2000. Holy Invitations. Grand Rapids, Ml: Baker Books.
Baker, Howard. 1998. Soul Keeping: Ancient Paths of Spiritual Direction. Colorado
Springs: NavPress.
Barry, William A. 1990. Discernment in Prayer: Paying Attention to God. Notre Dame:
Ave Maria Publication.
Calhoun, Adele Ahlberg. 2005.  Spiritual Disciplines Handbook.  Downers Grove, IL:
InterVarsity Press.
Demacopoulos, George E. 2007. Five Models of Spiritual Direction in the Early Church.
Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame.
Edwards, Tilden. 1980. Spiritual friend: Reclaiming the Gift of Spiritual Direction.
Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press.
Dyckman, Katherine Marie, L. Patrick Carroll. 1981. Inviting the Mystic Supporting
Prophet. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press.
Gratton, Carolyn. 1995. The Art of Spiritual Guidance: a Contemporary Approach to
Growing in the Spirit. NY: Crossroad.
Guenther, Margaret. 1992. Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction. Cambridge:
Cowley Pubs.
Horsfall, Tony. 2008. Mentoring for Spiritual Growth. Abingdon, UK: The Bible
Reading Fellowship.
Houston, James M. 2006. Joyful Exiles.  Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press
Howard, Elmer B. 2008. The Brazos Introduction to Christian Spirituality. Grand Rapid
Brazos Press.
Johnson, Jan. 1999. When the Soul Listens: Finding Rest and Direction in Contemplative
Prayer. Colorado Springs: NavPress.
Jones, Alan 1982. Exploring Spiritual Direction. Boston, MA: Cowley Publications.
Jones, W. Paul. 2002. The Art of Spiritual Direction: Giving and Receiving Spiritual
Guidance. Nashville, TN: Upper Room Books
Leech, Kenneth. 2001. Soul Friend: Spiritual Direction in the Modern World. Harrisburg,
PA: Morehouse Publishing.
Nouwen, Henri. 2006. Spiritual Direction.  New York, NY: HarperCollins.
May, Gerard G. 1992. Care of Mind, Care of Spirit: A Psychiatrist Explores Spiritual
Direction. New York, NY: HarperCollins.
Moon, Gary W. David G. Benner. 2004. Spiritual Direction and the Care of Souls.
Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Phillips, Susan S. 2008. Candlelight: Illuminating the Art of Spiritual Direction. New
York, NY: Morehouse Publishing.
Reed, Angela H. 2011. Quest for Community: Reclaiming Spiritual Guidance for
Contemporary Congregations. New York, NY: T&T Clark International.
Tan, Soo-lnn. 2008. Friends in a Broken World. Singapore: Graceworks.
Voon, Choon Khing. 1999. Spiritual Direction in a Malaysian Context: in Search of a
Viable Way Ahead. Donaldson, Indiana: Graduate Theological Foundation.
Wilhoit, James C., Evans B. Howard. 2012. Discovering lectio divina: Bringing Scripture
 into ordinary life. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

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