Mercy Center





Art & Practice Introduction and Format

The call to the ministry of Spiritual Direction is a journey of faith, contemplative listening, and commitment to study and practice. Art and Practice of Spiritual direction is a two-year contemplative program for the formation of spiritual directors which is focused on interior growth and discernment.

The Art & Practice of Spiritual Direction is a practicum, a framework that emphasizes the importance of personal relationship in the learning process. Interns regularly participate in dyads and triads (contemplative conversations) and small mentor groups. Each year consists of 5 weekend residential intensive sessions. The program begins in September 2020 and ends in May 2022.

After an orientation to the basic theory of Spiritual Direction in Sessions 1 and 2, interns will begin doing hands-on sessions in the practice of spiritual direction. Interns initially do sessions with fellow interns, while observed by staff. Following Session 3 and prior to Session 4, interns must find their own directees and begin providing spiritual direction without charging fees throughout the remainder of the program. Interns will regularly meet their direction supervisor and do check-ins with their Mercy Center staff mentor.


Program Dates

YEAR ONE: Begins in September 2020 and ends in May 2021


Session 1  Friday September 11 - Sunday, September 13

Session 2  Friday November 13 – Sunday, November 15


Session 3  Friday January 8 - Saturday January 9

Session 4  Friday March 5 - Sunday March 7

Session 5  Friday May 21 - Sunday May 23

YEAR TWO: Begins in September 2021 and ends in May 2022


Session 6  Friday September 3 - Sunday, September 5

Session 7  Friday November 5 – Sunday, November 7


Session 8  Friday January 7 - Sunday January 8

Session 9  Friday March 4 - March 6

Session 10 Friday May 6 - Sunday May 8


Program Costs

Program Cost: $5,900, includes overnight stays and meals during each Session.

If you wish to stay overnight the evening before a weekend Session begins, you can reserve a room and meals at a special rate.

Additional costs: $50 nonrefundable application/interview fee; 13 supervision meetings at $50 per meeting paid directly by you to your supervisor; and books and materials, which can be purchased at Mercy Center or Amazon (approx. $200).


Program Admissions Period

Admissions Period: Opens February - ends May 1, 2020.


Admissions Criteria

Please review these criteria. Each session, we have more applicants that we can admit for the Art and Practice program. These minimum requirements are essential to begin the application process.

You have completed Sacred Journey or an equivalent one-year contemplative spiritual formation program. You are currently in direction and will have beeen in ongoing spiritual direction for at least two years by August 2020. You have an active prayer practice and participation in a faith community.

Your educational background includes some study of scripture, contemporary theology, spirituality, or psychology that supports a ministry of spiritual direction. You must be able to access the Internet and comfortably use email and websites for program communications.

You have reviewed the program schedule and are able to attend all weekend sessions. There is enough spaciousness in your current life and commitments that you can be fully present to program work and interior processes.

You have read and reflected on the Reflection on Spiritual Director's Formation (linked below) and feel that it describes you. You have a conviction that you meet all the criteria described above.


Reflection on Spiritual Director's Formation

Read the Reflection prayerfully. You must read before applying.


Reflection on Formation


Program FAQ and Refund Policy

The program FAQ and booklet contain information about the core team and guest presenters, session dates and times, payment schedule, and frequently asked questions.

Program FAQ | Program Booklet

Please read the payment and refund policy. You must understand the payment terms and conditions before applying for the program.

Payment and Refund Policy


Contact for Further Information

For further information, | Phone: 650-340-7495


Continue to Application

After you have read the Reflection on Formation, program FAQ and payment and refund policy:

Go to Online Application Steps