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School of Spiritual Direction

What is Spiritual Direction?
Spiritual Direction is the art of accompanying an individual on their journey as they attempt to deepen their relationship with God and further develop their own personal spirituality.

School of Spiritual Direction
Although this is called a "school", it is far from being a purely academic exercise. It is a school in the original sense of a "community of people gathered together for a common purpose".

The school was started in January 1979 by the late Abbot David Gerates, OSB, the first abbot of this monastery. The school has graduates from all 50 states and 16 foreign countries. Abbot David was a visionary and leaves as his legacy the Abbey's mission to bring people to a deeper, more abiding love of God through the School for Spiritual Direction.

The school provides participants the opportunity for growth in a monastic setting according to the four pillars of religious formation: human, academic, spiritual and apostolic.

Students will enter into the rhythm of monastic life joining the community in prayer and study. This course is designed in two phases. The initial phase lasts about 30 days (usually held in the month of June) and introduces the students to living a more balanced life style and deepening one's relationship with God. The school is multifaceted providing each individual the opportunity for a life changing experience bringing about inner healing and wholeness. While at the monastery each student will be provided with a Spiritual Director. Following the first session students will return home with specific assignments to be completed prior to returning for the second phase. This is a two week session usually held in July. A certificate of completion will be awarded at the end of this session. Many graduates have chosen to become Spiritual Directors assisting others in their walk with the Lord.

Course of Study
Personal integration is key to the success of the program. Participants will be introduced to personality types as well as various types of spirituality, including but not limited to Benedictine, Franciscan, Ignatian and Carmelite. The art and practice of Holy Listening and the setting of boundaries is discussed in addition to the Principals and Ethics of Spiritual Direction. A component of the course is the differentiation of the spiritual growth of an individual or the need to refer an individual to a professional for help.

Students are in class 5 days a week Monday to Wednesday. Thursdays are days off and field trips are usually planned. Class is held on Friday and Saturday.

Cost of the School
The cost for the month long session is $3500.00 and includes: room, board, meals, laundry facilities, note book and instructor's handouts. The cost for the follow up session is $1750.00 and includes all of the above.

Payments plans are available through the Financial Officer, Brook Rivers.

Application Process
The application and reference letter forms may be downloaded by clicking on the links below.

Download the Application for the School in PDF format.

Download the Recommendation Form in PDF format.

Application and reference letters are to be sent by USPS. Once the application has been reviewed and references received a formal letter of acceptance will be issued. At that time a 10% deposit is required to hold a room. The monastery accepts personal and bank checks as well as most major credit cards.

Additional Information
Father Aidan Gore, OSB oliv., and prior of the monastery, is the director of the school. Marilyn Payer, OSB obl. will assist Father Aidan with facilitation. Marilyn may be reached by phone, mail or at her e-mail address:
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