About Spiritual Direction

  • Spiritual Direction (SD) is a people-helping ministry of soul care.
  • It is a ministry of spiritual hospitality, making space for a three-way conversation (involving the director, directee, and Holy Spirit) in prayer.
  • The focus of SD is helping people hear and obey the voice of God.

With increased awareness of and attention to where and how God is at work in one’s life, the desired outcome of Sherpa SD is enhanced abiding—deeper intimacy and greater fruitfulness—in Jesus Christ.

Program Structure

The Sherpa Certificate in Spiritual Direction training program is our “base camp,” the place from which mountaineer expeditions set out.

In a retreat setting we offer three kinds of preparation for the climb

  1. A biblical theology of transformation into Christlikeness.
  2. A historical survey of the activity of the Holy Spirit in Christian formation.
  3. The skills of soul care: experienced, practiced, and supervised.

Four retreats over two years (one each fall, spring, fall, and spring) serve as the spiritual staging area preparing our mountaineers for four “graduated treks” (post-retreat six-month—long ventures). The certificate program culminates in one “peak climb,” a spiritual pilgrimage and prayer retreat (in early summer).

Every spring or summer (on a rotating basis) Sherpa offers one of four pilgrimages.

Certificate participants may choose the pilgrimage that interests them most, taking it the spring or summer before, after, or in between year one and two of their program. 
Friends or family members (not in the SD training program) are also welcome to participate in the pilgrimages. 
Although only one pilgrimage is required to complete the Sherpa Certificate in SD training program, alums are welcome to participate in as many Sherpa pilgrimages as they desire.

Admission Requirements

ADMISSION into the Sherpa Certificate in Spiritual Direction training program involves formal written application, fee, references, and personal interview.

  • The applicant is encouraged to be involved in receiving SD for one year before admission.

  • Significant others are not admitted to the same cohort.

  • In order to understand what SD is about, it may be helpful to read from the following:
__________________________________________________________ .

CONTINUATION in Sherpa SD training requires remaining current in payment of program costs, completing required assignments, showing personal and spiritual growth, and evidencing aptitude for this ministry.

(Some participants may receive a “Certificate of Completion of One-year of Spiritual Formation Training” and be encouraged to consider returning for the second year at a later season.)

  • Participants are required to be involved in receiving SD during the two years of training (cost covered by participant), in offering SD (to a minimum of two directees), and in participating in SD supervision (cost covered in the certificate program).


Each of the four Retreats and post-retreat Trek experiences (i.e., each intensive module and the six-month term following) costs $1,500 (x 4 = $6,000). This amount includes:

  • meals and lodging at retreat center;
  • retreat speakers, teachers, facilitators, and supervisors;
  • post-retreat input on assignments and SD supervision.
    • Participants cover their own transportation to the retreats and
    • costs of receiving SD during the term of their training.

The $6,000 total for the four Retreats and Treks can be covered by an interest-free twenty-four-month subscription of $250/month.

The cost of the Pilgrimage is around $3,000 plus airfare.

Because individuals’ travel plans vary so much (from including family members, 
to extending a trip, or using frequently flier miles, etc.) pilgrimage costs are not included in the subscription plan but are covered by the participants.

If the cost of international travel on a pilgrimage is prohibitive, a more-economical spiritual adventure (such as a guided silent retreat in the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises) in the US can be arranged in place of the Sherpa 
“Peak Climb.”

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