Art of Spiritual Companioning

Lecturers: Rev Dr Peter Bentley + Spiritual Formation Team

View a video trailer about the WellSpring formation units on offer through University of Divinity

Featuring Anne Mallaby (Former Academic Dean of Whitley College) and Peter Bentley (Senior Lecturer in Formation, WellSpring Centre)


Academic Credit:

These units can be taken for academic credit through Whitley College, a college of the University of Divinity.


Unit 1: Introduction to the Art of Spiritual Companioning (UD code DD8202W)

This unit introduces the Ministry of Spiritual Companioning in theory and in practice and provides a context in which to test a sense of call to this ministry. The seminars include teaching on the history of the tradition, characteristics of the ministry, common misconceptions, issues of discernment, human experience of God, important psychological considerations, development of listening skills and growth in prayer and faith.

Students have regular practice in both giving and receiving spiritual direction and the opportunity to reflect on this experience. In addition, they participate regularly in personal and peer group supervision sessions. Two written assignments and a number of written verbatims are required.

The course will be offered via weekly online sessions, two intensives at WellSpring Centre in Ashburton (2-4 June, and 28-29 October), monthly group supervision, and monthly personal supervision sessions.

Pre-requisites:

  • Students need to have been in spiritual direction themselves for at least six months prior to commencing the course.
  • In addition, students need to have some sense of call to this ministry.

Completion of the Art of Contemplative Practice 1 is also strongly recommended.


Unit 2: The Art of Spiritual Companioning (UD code DD8203W)

This unit extends the work done in the previous level. Teaching seminars cover mysticism, sexuality and spirituality, culture and religious diversity, listening,  discernment and psychological considerations. This unit also includes a city street retreat experience.

The experience of giving and receiving spiritual direction is continued at a deeper level. Supervision – personal and in peer groups – remains a significant aspect of the training. Two written assignments and a number of written verbatims are required.

The course will be offered via weekly online sessions, two intensives at WellSpring Centre in Ashburton (2-4 June, and 28-29 October), monthly group supervision, and monthly personal supervision sessions.

Pre-requisites:

  • Successful completion of Unit 1.
  • Recommendation from formation leaders of the course regarding proceeding to this level.
  • Receiving regular spiritual direction.
  • Minimum of two people coming for spiritual direction.

Unit 3: The Art of Spiritual Companioning (UD code DD9204W or XD9770W)

The course will be offered via weekly online sessions, two intensives at WellSpring Centre in Ashburton (2-4 June, and 28-29 October), monthly group supervision, and monthly personal supervision sessions.

Teaching seminars continue to develop listening skills, growth in prayer, discernment, psychological considerations, spiritual accompaniment, the holding environment and converging.

Each participant chooses an elective research project and studies it during the year. One 8,000 word essay on the research topic is required, along with written verbatim reports.

At a final intensive workshop, students give a presentation of their papers to the group for reflection and discussion.

Pre-requisites:

  • Successful completion of Unit 2.
  • Recommendation from formation leaders of the course regarding proceeding to this level.
  • Receiving regular spiritual direction.
  • Minimum of four people coming for spiritual direction.

Unit 4: The Art of Spiritual Companioning (Professional Year)

This is a post-course year of personal and peer supervision and professional development seminars, and is an essential part of the program, although it is deliberately set within a post-graduate context. This provides generous support in the first year of ministry, aims to establish collegiality with peers and the wider community of WellSpring directors, and establishes ongoing personal and professional development. We encourage graduates to join one of the Australian Spiritual Direction Associations and thus become part of the wider community of Australian Directors.


Coordinator of Formation Studies: Rev. Dr Peter Bentley

Peter works with an ecumenical formation team of teachers, supervisors and other professionals who are experienced spiritual directors. Together they bring a creative and balanced approach to this ministry. Numbers are limited at all levels to allow maximum participation. University of Divinity accreditation for these units is available to those doing post-graduate degrees in Ministry or Spiritual Direction.

For more information, please email Rosanne Arnott, or call Rosanne on 0439 389 829 or Peter Bentley on 0413 736 889.


 

Course for 2023

Dates for 2023:

 

  •  

2022 dates Mondays  or Tuesdays  7.30 to 9 pm

  • ONLINE Weekly Seminars and quads alternating

andM

  • Two Intensives (1 x 3 day and 1 x 2 day) in-person at WellSpring Centre

2022 First Semester:

Weekly Sessions 1 Mon 21 Feb or Tuesday 22 Feb
(7.30 to 9 pm)

Orientation

Units 2 and 3 only

ONLINE

Weekly Sessions 2-3

Mon 28 Mar or Tues 29 Mar

to

Mon 4 Apr or Tues 5 Apr
(7.30 to 9 pm)

Units 1, 2 and 3

Seminars and
Quads alternating ONLINE

Weekly Sessions 4-8

 

 3 day Intensive

Mon 25 Apr or Tues 26 Apr

to

Mon 23 May or Tues 24 May

Intensive  Thurs 2 Jun, Fri 3 Jun, and Sat 4 Jun (9.30 am to 3.45 pm)

Units 1, 2 and 3

Seminars and
Quads alternating ONLINE

3 day in-person Intensive at WellSpring Centre

2022 Second Semester:

Weekly sessions 9 – 17

 

Mon 18 Jul or Tues 19 Jul

to

Mon 12 Sept or Tues 13 Sept (7.30 to 9 pm)

Units 1, 2 and 3

Seminars and
Quads alternating ONLINE via Zoom

Weekly sessions 18-20

 

 

plus 2 day Intensive

Mon 3 Oct or Tues 4 Oct

to

Mon 17 Oct or Tues 18 Oct   (7.30 to 9 pm)

 Fri 28 Oct and Sat 29 Oct   (9 am to 3.45 pm)

Units 1, 2 and 3

Seminars and
Quads alternating ONLINE via Zoom

 

2 day in-person Intensive at WellSpring Centre


Apply for 2023

Step 1:

 

If you are a student of the Art of Contemplative Practice 1 and would like to apply for the 2023 course, please email Rosanne Arnott, or call Rosanne on 0439 389 829 or Peter Bentley on 0413 736 889, as soon as possible 

Please note that completion of the Art of Contemplative Practice is highly recommended before commencing The Art of Spiritual Companioning.

Step 2:

Following receipt of your application, we will make time with you for an interview with two members of our Discernment Team later in 2022. The Discernment Team will then prayerfully consider all applications, and we will contact you with the outcome of your application for 2023.

Step 3:

If you are invited to enter the Art of Spiritual Companioning I in 2023, you then need to decide whether to enrol in the unit for academic credit or register as an audit participant. Both options happen through Whitley College.

Enrolment for academic credit:

This unit can be taken for academic credit through Whitley College, a college of the University of Divinity.

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Costs are as per University of Divinity schedule (post-graduate double unit).

Students who enrol through University of Divinity may be eligible for FEE-HELP to cover course fees.

If you already a student with the University of Divinity, contact the registrar at your own Home College to arrange enrolment.

Contact for New Students:

Dorothy Morgan
Registrar
Whitley College
Ph: (03) 9340 8000
Email: registrar@whitley.edu.au

Auditing:

There is also the option of auditing this unit, at a reduced cost.

Fees for auditing for 2022 ($2,732) are payable in full to Whitley College at the time of registering as an audit participant.

Participants who audit the unit are encouraged to complete the written tasks to gain full benefit.

NB: If you choose to register as an audit participant, no academic credit can be claimed for the unit, either at the time of enrolling or retrospectively.

To register as an audit participant:

Please download/complete this form and return to Dorothy Morgan, Registrar at Whitley College.