Frequently Asked Questions - Spiritual Direction
What is the purpose of the Spiritual Direction Certification Program?
The SDCP is for individuals seeking a sacred path of service as a certified spiritual companion/guide that is spiritually-oriented and not denominationally-oriented. It is designed to teach the art of spiritual companionship, so that individuals can tend to the holy through inner wisdom, healing, and compassion. Intended outcomes are for students to: 1. Experience a strong professional spiritual director identity with the foundational knowledge and skills needed to support others. 2. Demonstrate profound self-awareness, including one’s own internal movements and patterns of reacting to others and to similar circumstances. 3. Demonstrate adequate knowledge of human nature, including the findings of the human and behavioral sciences regarding attachment styles, personality differences, developmental stages, psychological obstacles to flourishing, and of the spiritual life and workings of supernatural grace in the human person. 4. Exhibit a professional, pastoral approach to encouraging gradual moral and spiritual development, while respecting a person’s spiritual path and honoring the divine in each person.
Who can enroll in the program?
While this program is unique to Unity principles and teachings, it is for individuals who are called to companion others of all religions and spiritual backgrounds. The program has no credentialing status in Unity churches or Unity Worldwide Ministries.
What is the tuition?
What do I receive for the tuition and fees of $6,650?
You will receive training and education that will equip you to provide spiritual direction and companionship to others in your own spiritual direction practice. This practice can take place with church members and or members of the greater community. It is a service that can be provided to anyone, since it is spiritually-oriented and not denominationally-oriented. Therefore, as mentioned above, you will receive certification, but no credentialing like we provide to our ministers and LUTS. The program is meant to be available to anyone, within Unity or otherwise.
In the program, you’ll be: 1. Building spiritual companion cohorts to develop skills and competencies 2. Diving deeper into body consciousness through academic coursework and individual and group experiential practices. 3. Embodying and holding a space of love, trust, compassion and non-judgment. 4. Learning and using contemplative practices to expand awareness of self and others. 5. Creating environments to encourage and support others in the practice of deep listening and discerning inner guidance in service to those you’ll companion. 6. Practicing vulnerability with others for healing and further integrate knowledge.
What curriculum is being used for each of the scheduled sessions? May I see a syllabus before applying?
Our instructors and the syllabus for each class is not available at this time. However, a course description is available on request. The curriculum is based on a two-year focused/concentrated program.
Does the tuition and fees include manuals, workbooks and/or texts?
Unfortunately, no, you’ll be responsible for purchasing those separately.
Are there no Unity education prerequisites for a certified Spiritual Director?
No Unity education prerequisites are required. However, recommendation letters demonstrating an individual’s spiritual leadership, or desire to lead, are a part of the application process. The SDCP is for anyone called to minister to others through one on one or group spiritual companioning.
Will the entire program be conducted virtually?
With the exception of a possible in person retreat in the second year, yes.
Are the training sessions pre-recorded or live?
Courses are done live, but to enhance the learning experience, some classes may include both synchronous and asynchronous learning modules.
How often do the training sessions take place? Twice weekly, weekly, bi-weekly, Monthly?
Is Robert Brumet the sole instructor? If there will be other instructors, who are they?
Robert Brumet isn’t currently scheduled as an instructor. We are engaging both those who have taught with us in the past and new instructors who are experts in their field for a rich, new, unique, spiritual direction learning experience.
If a student is unable to attend one of the sessions, is it possible to make it up at a later date?
The SDCP is a cohort-based learning community. Each class will build upon the previous one experientially. Unlike our other classes, classes for the SDCP are not available individually.
Will students be required to pair up with other classmates outside of the classroom experience in addition to the required monthly meetings with a Spiritual Director?
This depends on the class and curriculum of each instructor. You can expect some of this to occur. You will also be meeting with individuals under your care as a spiritual director.
Does a Unity Minister qualify as a spiritual director for the required monthly contact?
Our sincere hope is for you to use a person trained specifically in spiritual direction. We have a list of spiritual directors who are also ministers or students of Unity that is available upon request. You can also visit the Spiritual Directors International website to choose from over 6600 spiritual directors internationally at SDICompanions.org. If you resonate with a spiritual director from a different faith tradition, they can often provide additional tools for your own growth and practice.
At the completion of the program will a certified Spiritual Director be required to take annual Continuing Education Units?
No, but it is strongly recommended and ethically appropriate that if spiritual directors are providing spiritual direction for others that they remain in both spiritual direction and peer supervision.
Are Unity certified Spiritual Directors considered to have a role in the leadership team in Unity churches and centers as are Ministers, Spiritual Leaders and Licensed Unity Teachers?
No. Spiritual Directors certified in our program provide a different function that is not specific to Unity churches. Spiritual directors are like therapists in this way. They provide leadership and ministry to others through private practice.
Is it possible for someone with a full-time working schedule to be fully engaged in this program?
Absolutely! Class time will almost always be in the evening or on weekends. That time totals three hours, or two one- and one-half hour classes. A helpful, but generous estimate for time outside of class, should be no more than two hours weekly per class.