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The Ministry of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises

Post-Graduate Certificate or Doctor of Ministry Program Concentration

The Ministry of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises is a four-course sequence that may be taken as a stand-alone certificate or as a concentration in the D.Min program. The Certificate is designed for those who would like to appropriate, strengthen, and integrate the charisms associated with the art of contemplative spiritual direction in the living tradition of Ignatian prayer and discernment of spirits.

Recognizing the unique training Christian Leaders require for accompanying others, the courses are fashioned to engender in-depth understanding and knowledge of Ignatian contemplative spiritual direction and retreat ministry. Participants will be equipped to apply this fruitful art to their ministerial calling, whether parish work, Christian formation, or beyond.

A combination of online instruction, in-person one-week intensives, and residential retreat practica, which take place at the Joseph and Mary Retreat House on the beautiful suburban USML campus, supports students in achieving their goals in the midst of busy schedules.

The one-week intensives take place Monday through Friday in late June and mid-January. Retreat practica takes place for 10 days each July for two years. In the third summer, students will be supervised as they direct the 30-day format of the Spiritual Exercises in July. Alternatively, students can direct the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, also known as the 19th annotation. This option takes place in the participant’s local ministerial context for those unable to complete the 30-day in-person retreat.

Students interested in applying require:

  • A master’s degree in theology or its equivalent;
  • A Certificate in Christian Spiritual Direction or in-depth mentoring in Christian Spiritual Direction.
  • Additionally, Doctor of Ministry students will need to meet the program’s prerequisites, which requires a Master of Divinity or Master of Theology degree.

Students from other faith traditions may apply and be admitted but will learn the knowledge and skills in spiritual direction and pastoral ministry that are in harmony with the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Request more information here.

Courses are:

Ignatian Retreat Internship: Foundations

This course begins with virtual, seminar-style reflective conversation on Barry & Connolly’s “The Practice of Spiritual Direction,” along with practica. It includes supervised retreat ministry at the Joseph and Mary Retreat House, followed by a four-day intensive seminar on the Holy Spirit.

Spiritual Exercises and the Human Person

The brilliance of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola is especially seen in how they shine a discerning light upon the inner mystery of the human person. This course explores Christian Anthropology through the wisdom of St. Ignatius to foster greater self-knowledge, an increasing awareness of the healing activity of the Indwelling Trinity, and more abundant fruitfulness in ministry.

Ignatian Retreat Internship: Intermediate

This course provides supervision for the spiritual director as the dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises are engaged during an eight-day silent retreat. It includes a four-day intensive study of the text of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Ignatian Retreat Internship: Advanced

The personal, pastoral and ecclesial dimensions of the ‘discernment of spirits’ and their impact on human, psychological, and spiritual formation are explored through virtual, seminar-style conversation. Additionally, the spiritual director is supervised during either the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life (Annotation #19) or the 30-day format to facilitate the art of contemplative accompaniment.