Spiritual Direction

Effective leadership at the national and local level in churches, in non-traditional settings, and in one-on-one relationships requires a deep orientation to spiritual values and practice. That orientation requires an understanding of the history and theology of Christian spirituality, an orientation to the diversity of the global landscape in which leaders serve, and an acquaintance with with the varieties of spiritual practice that a leader might encounter.

The “Spiritual Direction” track is designed to provide today’s leaders with that knowledge base, exploring the historical, theological, and contextual dimensions of global spirituality. The program is also designed to meet the practitioner’s need for a knowledge of spiritual practice and the challenges presented by the rapidly changing global context in which they live and serve. A practicum also makes it possible for students to begin applying that knowledge to the specific settings in which they work.

Please note that this track is offered on alternating years. The program will next accept applicants for the January 2014-15 academic term.  


Admissions Requirements:

  • Applicants must have earned a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree or its equivalent.

    Most master's degrees that are not MDivs require at least some additional theology courses for students to meet MDiv equivalency. Please feel free to contact the Registrar's Office to have your transcript evaluated for equivalency.
  • Applicants must have completed at least three years of full-time ministry following the awarding of that degree.

    Applicants do not, however, have to be ordained nor does the ministry have to be in a parish setting.
  • Applicants must be serving in a ministry setting in which the applicant could direct a ministry intervention as part of the final DMin project.

    It is important that applicants have both the access to and support of a ministry setting in which they can complete their final project. This setting could be a parish church, a cluster of local congregations, an annual conference or judicatory, or any other setting appropriate to the practice of ministry being studied by the applicant.

International Student Applicants

The DMin Program offers coursework in intensive sessions twice a year. This schedule has implications for international students and visa applications. Therefore, we are unable to offer F-1 visas for Doctor of Ministy students.

A completed application consists of:

  • Application Form
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Biographical Essay
  • Sample of Writing
  • 3 letters of reference
  • Ministry site Endorsement Letter
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended
  • $75 application fee
  • Background check (conducted by the seminary, may take up to two weeks to complete)
  • Additional financial and church documents are required of international students in order to satisfy internal and federal requirements.

Detailed information for the application requirements can be found on the online application.

The Doctor of Ministry committee reserves the right to determine in its sole judgment whether an applicant is a suitable candidate for a specific concentration in the DMin program.


DMin Degree - 30 semester hours
DMin Degree Grid

The distinctic curriculum for the Spiritual Direction track consists of the following courses:

  • Spiritual Disciplines for Leadership
  • Spiritual Direction in Multi-cultural/Multi-religious World
  • Mission and Theology of the New Testament
  • Supervision in Spiritual Direction
  • Spiritual Direction and Pastoral Care


The program is offered primarily in January and summer two-week intensives, with course preparation before and after course completion.

Sample Schedule (based on school years beginning with the Fall semester):

Year 1:
Fall - Submit application by 1 October, notified of admission by 1 November
January - Attend two courses
Summer - Attend two courses

Year 2:
January - Attend two courses
Summer - Attend two courses and begin work on mid-program material

Year 3:
Fall - Submit mid-program material for approval and begin ministry intervention
January - Complete ministry intervention and begin writing final ministry project paper
Spring - Complete and defend final ministry project paper

Certificate in Spiritual Direction

Each course also includes a spiritual direction module, which – when successfully completed – leads to a certificate in spiritual direction. Those skills may be used in a direction setting, but they may also inform and enhance the student’s approach to leadership, preaching, teaching, and pastoral counseling. Note: In order to receive the certificate in spiritual direction, the student must take all five courses in the Spiritual Direction Concentration.  The direction modules are not offered with other electives.

The History and Theology of Christian Spirituality

Focuses on the history of Christian spirituality, examining the theological assumptions that have shaped that history.

Direction Module One: History, Theology, and Models of Spiritual Direction

Spirituality, Diversity, and the Global Landscape

Examines the multi-cultural, ethnic, and religious dynamics that shape spiritual practice and the context in which spiritual formation is taught and nurtured.

Direction Module Two: The spiritual journey, developmental issues, and the use of evaluative tools, including the Myers-Briggs Inventory and the Enneagram

Spiritual Practice

Focuses on the varieties of Christian spiritual practice, experience with that practice, and the process of Christian formation.

Direction Module Three: Spiritual Direction, Therapy, and Pastoral Counseling

Spiritual Formation and the Leader

Focuses on the essentially spiritual nature of the leadership task, a theology of spiritual authority, and the application of spiritual practice and understanding to the leadership challenge.

Direction Module Four: Applied Skills, including “holy listening” and other techniques

Practicum in Spiritual Formation

Focuses on the evolving challenges facing leaders engaged in spiritual formation, relying upon student projects as laboratories for defining and dealing with those challenges.

Direction Module Five: Practicum, including verbatims, in-class exercises, the integration of knowledge, and assessment of the student’s direction skills

UMC Logo Garrett-Evangelical, a seminary related to
The United Methodist Church, welcomes
students from a wide range of faith traditions.