Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Pastoral Studies

Spiritual Direction Certificate


Lewis Towers, Suite 630

111 East Pearson Street

Chicago, IL 60611

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Spiritual Direction Certificate

Format: Campus

Program Description:

IPS also offers an 18-credit hour Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction. This certificate is suited to applicants holding a Master’s degree or above in theological or ministerial studies, psychology or counseling, psychiatric social work, or health care.

The certificate comprises the following courses:

  • IPS 545 Foundations of Christian Spirituality
  • IPS 501 Advanced Human Relations Skills
  • IPS 428 Introduction to Spirituality Praxis
  • IPS 429 Essentials of Spiritual Direction
  • IPS 572 Ignatian Spirituality
  • IPS 578 Contextual Education Preparation (0 credit)
  • IPS 579 Contextual Education Introduction (0 credit)
  • IPS 580 Contextual Education

Students must also complete 4 semesters of spiritual direction. The 30-day or 30-week version of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola will count for 2 semesters of personal spiritual direction 

Students in the Certificate in Spiritual Direction willing to learn how to direct the Spiritual Exercises must have completed the 30-day or the 30-week 19th Annotation format of the Exercises prior to beginning the Contextual Education component of their program. This requirement will be waived for those who have taken the complete Spiritual Exercises within 5 years of commencing their studies at IPS.

The Contextual Education requirement is adapted to enable students of the Certificate in Spiritual Direction to acquire the practical skills for and experience of spiritual direction in learning interaction with their peers and under the supervision of an experienced spiritual director. Students have the unique opportunity to learn to direct and use the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola in and for spiritual direction. They also have the possibility of learning to practice spiritual direction in a spiritual tradition other than Ignatian (e.g., Carmelite, Benedictine, Franciscan, etc.) under the guidance of a trained coach/mentor. Suitable field learning settings may be found in the Chicago area, elsewhere in the United States or in other countries, upon approval by Prof. Dan Rhodes, Faculty Coordinator of Contextual Education.


North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

Facts & Figures

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 10,000-19,999

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