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School of Spiritual Direction

School of Spiritual Direction

The School of Spiritual Direction in the Diocese of Joliet is a program offered, in partnership with Franciscan University in Steubenville, for those seeking formation and training in becoming a spiritual director.

School of Spiritual Direction (Accordion)

Spiritual direction is the accompaniment of a spiritual guide. Perhaps you are being called to accompany others in their spiritual journey? We invite you to watch our Come and See video above, including testimonials from students.

The Diocese of Joliet will be launching a new cohort in the Fall of 2024 for those seeking formation and training in becoming a spiritual director.  Here are answers to some common questions.

  • What does the ministry of spiritual direction involve?
    The spiritual director helps another discern the movement of the Holy Spirit in the life of the one seeking spiritual guidance. The spiritual director facilitates discernment through prayerful listening.
  • Do I need my own spiritual director prior to starting the program?
    Yes. The call to becoming a spiritual director needs to be discerned. This is best accomplished through the accompaniment of one’s own spiritual director.
  • How do I find a spiritual director?
    Ask for the assistance of the Holy Spirit. Check at your own parish, and speak with your pastor. Contact the Diocese of Joliet School of Spiritual Direction.
  • When can I apply for the School of Spiritual Direction?
    We have been able to open additional spots in our next cohort.  However, it is important to apply right away before those spots are taken. Download the application, noting all the application components and making sure they are all completed and submitted as soon as possible.
  • How is the program structured?
    The program is comprised of three full-day summer intensive sessions. Each intensive session runs for two weeks, from early- to mid-September. The months between the summer intensives are devoted to reading, practicum experiences, and gathering in monthly small-group meetings facilitated by a supervisor.
  • What are the requirements of time and availability for completing the program?
    Attendance at two-week summer intensives, early- to mid-September in 2024, 2025, and 2026. Attendance at eight monthly small-group supervision meetings, January to August, in both 2025 and 2026 (a total of 16 meetings). Flexibly scheduled practicum experiences of spiritual direction.
  • What is the cost of the program, and is financial aid available?
    The program cost is $3,300 per annual intensive session for those staying overnight, or $2,900 per annual intensive session for commuters. Thanks to diocesan donors, financial assistance is available for those who qualify.

Applications are now being accepted for the School of Spiritual Direction cohort. All document submissions and application steps (including the student application, reference forms, VIRTUS compliance, fingerprint background check, and Franciscan at Home account set up) need to completed no later than May 1, 2024.

Deacon Anthony (Tony) Clishem
Office of Catechetical Formation Lead
Phone: (815) 221-6142
[email protected]

Reverend Steven Borello
Director of Vocations
Phone:  (815) 221-6171
[email protected]