MAFM Spiritual Direction Track: Here’s What it Takes
Our MAFM Spiritual Direction track addresses the following Learning Outcomes:
- Acquire, develop, and apply knowledge of and experience with sacred scriptures, theology, spirituality, and diversity in ministries of service and support.
- Recognize and articulate the scriptural, psychological and theological dynamics that undergird a contemplative life stance
- Engage Diverse voices and develop capacities to welcome differing experiences of the Divine
Recognize and engage personal and communal spiritual experiences that form one's own relationship with the Divine, with self, and with others.
- Develop the skill set to work with the movement of the Divine in one's self and others.
- Identify and demonstrate the relationship among spiritual practices, ethical behavior and healthy ministry
“Spiritual direction encourages an honest look at what grace illumines. It affirms that God is in our lives and hearts and can be encountered” (Susan Phillips). Individual spiritual direction supports the on-going spiritual and psychological growth that is needed to become a spiritual director. As a student in the Spiritual Direction Graduate Certificate, you are required to receive monthly individual spiritual direction. (If you do not already have a spiritual director, we can give you contact information for several local spiritual directors. The fee for spiritual direction is contracted privately between the student and their spiritual director and is the responsibility of the student.)
Prerequisites for the Practicum Courses
Throughout the program, you will engage with the Formative Spirituality co-directors in a process of careful, mutual discernment to uncover your call and aptitude for the ministry of spiritual direction. Following are the prerequisites to the practicum courses:
- Clear background checks
- Understanding and signed acceptance of the Spiritual Directors International (SDI) Code of Ethics
- Letter of reference from your current spiritual director
- Satisfactory completion of Theory & Ethics of Spiritual Direction and 1 core course
- Interview with Formative Spirituality Co-directors
- Evidence of call and aptitude for the ministry of spiritual direction
- At least 1-year experience of receiving monthly spiritual direction
Students taking this program at a distance will join local students for class times using Zoom, a web-based meeting platform. Students may meet with directees in their own geographical area and will meet by Zoom with an approved supervisor at mutually-agreeable times. Distance students are required to attend the two on-site Wisdom Retreats. Arrangements and travel costs to the retreats are the responsibility of the student.
You can take many of our courses via distance learning. Some of these might be intensive classes or "hybrid" classes in which at least 50% of the course is held with all students on campus. The Seminary does not currently offer a completely online degree program. To obtain the MAFM degree, students must complete at least one year of full-time academic study or its equivalent on campus in Bethlehem, PA.
*Note: In response to the coronavirus, since March 2020 all in-person courses have transitioned to video-conference. Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary are in ongoing discussions about how and when it is safe to re-open campus to in-person instruction. For Fall 2020, our faculty are preparing for both possibilities: that campus will open and some courses will be held in-person and some online, or that campus will remain closed and all courses will be held online. No matter what the outcome will be, students can rest assured that they will be getting the personal instruction that they have come to expect from Moravian Seminary.
Wisdom School Retreats
In year 2 of the program,* the curriculum includes two 3-day retreat learning Wisdom School residencies (Fall and Spring) in addition to five required courses. Both Wisdom School residencies will be held at St Francis Center for Renewal in Bethlehem, PA. These Wisdom School retreats integrate Moravian’s unique charism of inclusivity and community within a deep contemplative stream and the pedagogy of a Wisdom School. The two retreat residencies will be conducted in a Wisdom School format, with times of Centering Prayer and Body Movement interspersed with teaching and practice work, creating a Benedictine Rhythm of “ora et labora,” prayer and work. There is an additional fee charged to cover the retreat center accommodations.
*In year two of the Spiritual Direction Certificate Program, students in the 1-year Spiritual Direction Intensive Program join with the students in the 2-year program.
Intercultural Immersion Experiences
As an MAFM student, you are required to take a three-credit cultural immersion course. Cultural immersion experiences could be local or could involve travel in the US or internationally. These courses include preparation, processing the experience as you engage in it, debriefing, and discerning ways to incorporate the learnings in your vocation.
Continuing Education Requirement
Each MAFM student is required to participate in at least 4 continuing education programs. You get to choose which ones you attend—and there are lots to choose from.