Diploma Course in Spirituality (Spiritual Direction)

We believe there is a need for spiritual guidance in our society, for people willing to walk with others in their journey of faith. If you find yourself drawn to help others in their search for God or are a person others tend to confide in, training in spiritual direction might be for you.

The Diploma has been run by Manresa Jesuit Centre of Spirituality Jesuit Centre of Spirituality in Dublin, since the 1970s. It is also being provided as an outreach programme in various venues around the country, including Galway. The diploma, which is accredited by St Patrick's Collge, Maynooth takes place over seven weekends annually for two years, beginning in September.

Details of the course are given below. An application form and letter of recommendation are available on request from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phoning 091 725363 or 086 877 6537. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or you'd like to discuss one or other aspect of the course.

Please note that the closing date for all applications is 30th April 2017

Diploma in Spirituality (Spiritual Direction)

Drawing on the insights of spirituality, psychology and scripture, this two year course will prepare you for the ministry of guiding others in their faith lives. This unique offering, with ongoing supervision and mentoring over two years, allows participants to develop and deepen their skills over time. We work within the Ignatian tradition which is a rich source of guidance in discerning the ways of God and which equips participants in the course to help others find their way in our sometimes confusing world.

In 2017-2019, this course is being offered, subject to numbers, in Manresa, Jesuit Centre for Spirituality, Dublin, and in Galway’s Jesuit Centre of Spirituality & Culture.

Students successfully completing the course will receive a Diploma in Spirituality (Spiritual Direction) from St. Patrick’s College Maynooth.

Programme Content 2017-2019

This is, at its core, a formation programme, fostering a reflective approach to life and noticing God at the heart of it. During the first year of the course there is a focus on deepening your own spiritual life and prayer experience, furthering your capacity to reflect, developing your listening and communication skills and learning to accompany others. From the second term of the first year, you will accompany two people, under supervision.

Topics covered in the first year include: The scope and limits of the ministry of spiritual direction Personal history and the role of narrative in spiritual direction Development in prayer: Theology & Practice Psychological, Biblical & Theological aspects of spiritual direction Following Christ and the cost of discipleship Introduction to discernment

During the second year of the course central aspects of spiritual direction are re-visited and deepened with a more specific focus on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, on discernment, and on the reflection on your ongoing practice of spiritual direction. The second year is characterised by an integration of learning.

Topics in the second year include: The roles of ‘director’ and ‘directee’ in spiritual direction Human frailty and the need of God Understanding the human person & the meaning of Christ’s coming Christ’s call to work for justice and peace Growing in freedom; discerning good choices Contemplative prayer.

The programme is interactive, experiential and will engage participants at a personal level. Different methods are employed such as: input; case studies; ‘real’ plays; triads; discussion; guided reading; written reflection; group work and ongoing supervision on a one-to-one basis that continues throughout the two years of the programme.

Entry requirement

The programme is open to Christians of any denomination. Ideally, candidates for the programme: · Experience a call to help others in this ministry and find themselves approached by others to talk about issues of faith · Have experience of receiving spiritual direction over a period of time · Demonstrate a reflective capacity, personal maturity and awareness of God in life · Have sufficient theological and scriptural knowledge to participate in the course · Give commitment to meeting all the requirements of the programme

Programme dates

At Manresa in Dublin each weekend begins on Friday evenings with supper at 6pm and ends after 1pm lunch on Sunday. At the Jesuit Centre of Spirituality & Culture in Galway, the weekend begins at 7pm on Friday and ends at lunchtime on Sunday. Applicants who elect to follow the course in Galway must make their own arrangements for food and accommodation.

The weekends for Year 1, from 2017-2018 are as follows:*

Weekend 1: 8 - 10 September 2017; Weekend 2: 6 - 8 October 2017; Weekend 3: 3 - 5 November 2017; Weekend 4: 12 - 14 January 2018; Weekend 5: 9 – 11 February 2018; Weekend 6: 9 – 11 March 2018; Weekend 7: 13 – 15 April 2018

The weekends for Year 2, from 2018-2019 are:*

Weekend 1: 7-9 September 2018; Weekend 2: 5-7 October 2018; Weekend 3: 2-4 November 2018; Weekend 4: 11-13 January 2019; Weekend 5: 8-10 February 2019; Weekend 6: 8-10 March 2019; Weekend 7: 10 May-12 May 2019.


The closing date for applications for the Programme in Dublin and Galway is the 30 April 2017. If you are interested in applying, we invite you to submit an application form, together with a brief autobiographical account of your faith journey and recommendations from two people who know you well. All applicants will be invited for interview but as places are limited not all applicants can be accepted.


In Manresa Dublin, the cost of the programme will be €1800 per annum. This includes all meals, en-suite accommodation for two nights on each of the weekends, tuition, reading materials, books and the registration fee for St. Patrick’s College Maynooth.

In Galway, the cost of the programme will be €1100 and includes tuition, reading materials and the registration fee for St. Patrick’s College Maynooth. Board and lodging costs are separate and the students’ own responsibility.

* Dates and cost may be subject to change. Final confirmation of both will take place upon offer of a place on the course.


Course information