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Scarritt-Bennett Center offers a 15-month program in spiritual direction that prepares people for the ministry of one-on-one spiritual companionship. The program provides directed readings, contact with a spiritual mentor, two five day residential retreats with other participants and staff, integrative response papers, and a supervised internship in spiritual direction. Each program cycle is limited to 16 members.


Those who hear a call to spiritual direction, guidance, and friendship, that is, leading others in awareness of God and discernment of His activity in another's life. Participants in this program should have experience in regular spiritual practices and should already be respected by others for their Christian maturity and companionship. Ideally, they should have a spiritual director or companion themselves.

Program Components

At Home Activities

- Regular spiritual direction provided by you with at least two directees in your community.

- Readings from an extensive bibliography, focusing on contemplative presence and carrying out a contemplatively grounded spiritual direction ministry.

- Supervision from a spiritual director mentor from the Spiritual Direction program. You will send tapes of your spiritual direction sessions to your mentor for accountability, support, and suggestions on improving as a spiritual director.

- Reflective papers that provide an opportunity to integrate your personal spiritual unfolding, the readings, the residencies and your own ministry of spiritual direction; and brief periodic reports to Scarritt Bennett.

- A spiritual direction mentor who will guide you throughout the program.

Residential Retreats

- Instruction and practice in spiritual disciplines, individual interviews with staff, and peer group experiences.

- Areas of instruction including Scripture and spiritual discernment, the distinction between spiritual direction and pastoral counseling, theological basis of spiritual guidance, contemplative prayer, psychology and spiritual direction, settings for spiritual direction (i.e. church, family, work), group spiritual direction, and inviting others into one-to-one spiritual direction.

- Guided silent retreat times.

Ongoing Personal Spiritual Practice
- Commitment to a rule of life that incorporates various spiritual practices and expands your openness to God.

- Personally scheduled silent retreat time at regular intervals throughout the program.

Program Timeline

Reading assignments and phone contact with mentors begin in May 2014. A second set of readings is required between residencies.

First Residency: July 28-August 1, 2014 - Scarritt-Bennett Center, Nashville, TN

Second Residency: July 6-10, 2015 - Scarritt-Bennett Center, Nashville, TN

Participants will offer at least 24 monthly sessions as a spiritual director with at least two directees between August and the following July.

Final reflections on the program are due in the last month.

Program Leaders

Randy Harris

Randy Harris Randy teaches at Abilene Christian University. He has participated in a 40 day contemplative prayer retreat in the Carmelite tradition and a 15 day experience of The Ignatian Exercises. He holds a certificate from the 2 year program in spiritual direction from the Shalem Institute.

Jackie L Halstead

Jackie L. Halstead Jackie L. Halstead is the Director of Education, Programming and Connections at Scarritt Bennett Center. She holds certificates from two programs with the Shalem Institute--Spiritual Guidance and Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats and is a member of the Lay Cistercians of Gethsemani Abbey. Jackie has a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy and specializes in working with clergy and their families.

Program Fees

Registration and application fee (refundable) $2000

Remaining tuition (to be paid by December) $1999

TOTAL: $3999

Tuition covers costs of all meals and lodging for the residencies. It does not cover books or transportation needs. Fees are subject to change.

More Info

If you have any questions regarding particulars of this program, please do not hesitate to contact Jackie L. Halstead at (615) 340-7450 or e-mail her at jhalstead@scarrittbennett.org.

To Register call (615) 340-7557 or email programs@scarrittbennett.org

Online Registration is available if paying the $3999 tuition in full (refundable within 60 days) at http://conta.cc/1kvWZ7N












Jackie L. Halstead