We are honored that you feel led to apply for the Sherpa Certificate in Spiritual Direction Training Program! We so value the leading of the Holy Spirit in your life as well as in our discerning who is to be in each cohort. Please complete this application prayerfully and pray also for our sensitivity to the will of the Lord.

Introducing the Program

Sherpa’s Certificate in Spiritual Direction Training is a two-year program with a two-part aim: a deep, personal Christian formation of participants that grounds the subsequent application of training in and practice of soul care (also known as spiritual direction).

Sherpa’s theological foundations are Trinitarian, biblical, and experiential. In all ways we seek to honor God, center on Christ, and be infused with the Holy Spirit. Our curriculum is rooted in Scripture, in the heritage of Christ’s Church (in all its branches), and in an enduring dedication to caring for people’s souls.
We believe from the Bible that one can come to know God and be known by God; that one can abide in Christ and be in-dwelt by Him; and that one can be filled with the Holy Spirit and walk in step with the Spirit. In fact, we are convinced that God desires such intimacy and that such a relationship comprises the treasured inheritance of every believer—Life in all its fullness. This “upward call of God in Christ Jesus” is
the great adventure that spiritual Sherpas (along with the Apostle Paul, see Phil 3:14) desire to experience for themselves and to share with others.

Because people are the greatest treasure, relationships and community are both the means of delivery and the context of learning in the Sherpa program. Not only is one’s primary relationship with God indispensable, but one’s personal wholeness and right relationships with others are also vital. The fruit of the Spirit is the character of Christ manifested in our inner attitudes and interactions with others. Thus, grappling with our own deep, personal spiritual formation nurtures our ability to care for the souls of others.

The method of Spiritual Direction that Sherpa teaches is called contemplative soul care or contemplative SD. It differs from therapeutic models of conversation in that it is not directive or even interpretive. It is a three-way conversation—involving director, directee, and the Holy Spirit—in prayer. Instead of the director analyzing or interpreting elements of the narrative, the director guides the directee to listen to the Holy Spirit for oneself and respond to God’s personal word to and God presence in the directee’s life.

Thus, our goal in SD is not necessarily to fix the situation or even heal the person, but to receive God’s insights into the present: to see where God is, what God is saying and doing, and to join God in that work. This is how SD contributes to one’s growth in the character, likeness, and mission of Christ.

If you understand this distinction and desire to grow in the directions of Sherpa, we welcome your application!

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