CHICAGO, IL (March 1, 2011) – The deadline for applying to the Spiritual Direction Certificate Program at North Park Theological Seminary is March 31. Credentialed Evangelical Covenant Church clergy can apply for financial aid.
Spiritual direction is a ministry of listening, discernment, and prayer in a confidential setting of encouragement and compassion. The number of spiritual directors has grown in the denomination and several conferences have formed networks to provide greater access.
“They’re another support mechanism for ministers and laypeople in Covenant churches,” says Dan Pietrzyk, director of the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence program. Pietrzyk hopes enough people from each conference will be trained so that more networks can be formed. “I think that would be a gift to each conference to have a set of spiritual directors.”
Former student Neil Taylor has said the program changed his approach to ministry and was transformative for him. “It taught me to not offer a solution very quickly and to depend on God to do the work that needs to be done in a person’s life. Spiritual direction training gave me a different ear to listen to the person, and hopefully to God.”
North Park’s graduate program is anchored in three week-long summer intensive courses taken over three years. During the intervening two years, students take two practicum courses, for a total of 15 semester hours of academic credit. This is the seventh year for the program.
The C. John Weborg Center for Spiritual Direction is rooted in the heritage of the Evangelical Covenant Church, with roots in the Protestant Reformation, classical Lutheran Pietism and other evangelical movements.
For more information or to apply, click here. The seminary also can be reached at 773-244-6229 or 800-964-0101.