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Diocese of York ‘SPIDIR’ – An Ecumenical Course in Spiritual Direction

  • Are you interested in exploring some of the treasures of Christian Spirituality?
  • Are you looking for insights to help and encourage you in your journey with God?
  • Do you desire gifts to aid your walking alongside fellow pilgrims or those who are searching for God?
  • Or, are you sensing a calling to exercise a ministry of spiritual direction?

If you can answer YES to some or all of these questions, then the SPIDIR course may well be right for you.

Background to the course

Spiritual Direction is a ministry deeply embedded within the Christian tradition. It is one of the many ways in which we share in the ministry of Jesus Christ within the life of his body, the Church. The story of the Emmaus Road where Christ revealed himself to the two disciples walking along together is a helpful model for this ministry of walking alongside others in their journey with God.

The Course we offer is not designed to give an academic qualification for spiritual direction. There are no exams or essay writing. Rather, we aim to explore the relationship between God and his people in our daily life and work. The Course will challenge you to explore your own relationship with God in order that you can be a ‘life servant’ to others. It will be a mixture of learning through listening, sharing, personal reflection and developing practical skills; and is facilitated by the Diocese of York SPIDIR Support Group, with a number of visiting speakers.

Course Overview

The SPIDIR Course is connected to two bodies within the Diocese of York. It comes under the remit of the York Diocesan Training Team, and it liaises with the York Diocesan Spirituality Group. The course runs for two years, with each course year beginning with a 24hr residential. The Year 1 residential introduces participants to the Myers Briggs Personality Test Indicator, whilst the Year 2 residential is a retreat on ‘prayer’.

Subsequent sessions are held once a month on a Tuesday or Thursday, and begin at 10.00am and finish by 3.30pm, with a majority taking place at Wydale Hall the Diocese of York retreat house. These monthly sessions explore a wide variety of themes, including different Christian traditions. They enable us to draw on the riches and experience of the past in order to enable us to engage with the real issues and problems of life as it is today. The themes include:

  • What is Spirituality and Spiritual Direction?
  • Spiritual Direction and the Bible
  • Models of Spiritual Direction
  • Relationship between Director and Directee
  • Listening, silence and contemplation in Spiritual Direction
  • The Benedictine Tradition
  • The Franciscan Tradition
  • The Ignatian Tradition
  • The Orthodox Tradition
  • The Celtic Tradition
  • The Carmelite Tradition
  • Fresh Expressions
  • English Spirituality
  • Charismatic Spirituality
  • Community Spirituality
  • Counselling, Psychotherapy and Spiritual Direction
  • Gender and Spiritual Direction
  • Religious experience
  • Dreams
  • The Absence of God
  • ‘Forgiving God’ – healing, wholeness and reconciliation
  • Different times of life and Spiritual Direction
  • Use of Art in Spiritual Direction
  • Use of Story and Journalling in Spiritual Direction
  • Use of Music and Poetry in Spiritual Direction

At the end of the first year there will be an opportunity to review ‘where you are’ with a member of the Support Group. This is to see whether it is right for you to move on to the second year.

At the end of the second year participants names may be given, if appropriate, to the spirituality advisors in their respective denominations. These advisors help people looking for a spiritual director to find someone suitable to their needs.

SPIDIR courses have been run in this Diocese for a number of years and have proved to be successful in nurturing ministries of spiritual guidance among those who have attended.

The next course will run in 2023 and details will follow soon. If you wish to enrol or need more information, the contact person is Pam Lindsay:

Information on Spirituality Training and Events in the Diocese of York can be found with other training events here.