Mercy Institute of Spiritual Formation
WHAT IS SACRED JOURNEY?
Sacred Journey is a Spiritual Formation program. Once completed, it fulfills the prerequisite formation program that is needed to enter the Art and Practice of Spiritual Direction program. Some people take Sacred Journey simply for the experience and to enhance their own spiritual growth and development. Others intend to go on to become spiritual directors, and others use Sacred Journey as a discernment tool to consider if they are being called into becoming spiritual directors.
A Foundational Year in Contemplative Spirituality
Whether you are currently engaged in some form of pastoral ministry, chaplaincy, deaconate, hospice, parish work, spiritual direction or other lay ministry, or just wondering how God is moving in your life — this course is an opportunity to deepen your spiritual life.
This program is designed to be entirely online.
People who live locally can participate in their Sacred Circle in-person at Mercy Center if they wish.
We invite you to apply for the Sacred Journey online formation program.
Reflections from participants
- “Our sacred circle is always powerful — to be held in such unconditional space is truly a gift.”
- “Guidance about spirituality and psychological development was very enriching.”
- “The meetings were mindfully constructed to model deep listening and speaking from the soul.”
- “I value the variety of backgrounds and faith traditions that are present within the group.”
- “The others on this journey provided a wealth of kindness and humility that was hope-filled, comforting, and encouraging.”
“We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us.”
– Catherine McAuley
CAN I TAKE SACRED JOURNEY 100% ONLINE?
Yes! All of the large group meetings will be held online. You will have an option to choose an online-only Sacred Circle.
CAN I TAKE SACRED JOURNEY IN PERSON?
All of the large group meetings will be held online. You will have an option to choose an in-person Sacred Circle which will meet at Mercy Center. Optional overnight stays at Mercy Center Burlingame have a discounted fee of approximately $85/night. (When Mercy Center is open and available.)
LEARNING GRANTS & PAYMENT PLANS
We want to make sure our offerings are available to everyone. Due to generous gifts and donations, we are able to offer financial-need-based learning grants for individuals through a separate application process, once you are accepted to the program. Payment plans are also available upon request.
Topics include: Spirituality and Prayer, Scripture, Contemplative Practice, Images of God, Psychology and Spiritual Development, Mystery of Christ, Discernment, Loving Service & Mercy Spirituality, and independent study of Special Topics such as Eco-Spirituality, Indigeneity, Gender, and Diversity.
WILL I NEED A SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR?
Spiritual direction is recommended but is not a requirement for this program. Please note: The Art and Practice of Spiritual Direction program does have a requirement of at least 2 years of spiritual direction experience prior to entry. You may contact Mercy Center for help in finding a spiritual director.
I’M NOT A CHRISTIAN OR A CATHOLIC. CAN I STILL APPLY?
Of course! We have welcomed people of a variety of denominations and faith traditions for more than 30 years. While this program is based in the Judeo-Christian tradition, we welcome people of all faiths who can honor our approach and use the formation to support their specific spiritual practice. Our Mercy charism of hospitality means loving respect and welcome for all.
WHAT KIND OF TECHNOLOGY WILL I NEED?
We have an intuitive and easy-to-use learning platform that will help you stay connected and organized.
You will need:
- An updated computer or tablet that you can use to type documents and log in to our learning platform.
- A strong internet connection in order to participate in videoconference sessions.
- A webcam and microphone (most likely already available in your laptop or smartphone).
- Consistent access to a computer and an email account that you check regularly.
- A digital camera or smartphone to take photographs and record brief videos to upload.
- Ability to create and upload documents in PDF or Word formats.
- Access to Google Drive.
Sacred Journey is a formation program that can be taken for personal growth and development or as preparation for those who wish to become a spiritual director.
If taken as a part of formation in spiritual direction, the sequence will be as follows:
Year 1: Sacred Journey
Years 2 & 3: Art and Practice of Spiritual Direction
WHAT IS THE TUITION?
Payment plans are available, you may pay with Visa, Mastercard, or personal check. Please note that there are additional cost for books and materials, which can be purchased at the Mercy Center bookstore or another bookstore (around $150). There are also optional overnight stays at Mercy Center Burlingame, which are discounted, approximately $85/night.
- Non-refundable application fee
- 1 year program from April to December of 2022