Art of Contemplative Practice 1


Art of Contemplative Practice ( UD code DS9201W)


This unit explores the foundational principles of contemplation and their relevance to our life, work and spiritual practice. The formation program will draw on the various contemplative elements of inner silence, solitude, spiritual practices, listening, discernment and the human experience of the Transcendent.

Participants will be invited to reflect on these aspects of contemplation and the impact on their developing awareness of spiritual aspects and practices in participant’s everyday life experience.


NB: Art of Contemplative Practice 1 is strongly recommended before enrolling in The Art of Spiritual Companioning Unit 1, and can also be taken on its own without progressing on to the Art of Spiritual Companioning.


Course Director and Lecturer: Rev Peter Bentley

Course Co-ordinator: Rosanne Arnott

Teaching Team: The team comprises a diverse group of teachers and supervisors who are experienced spiritual companions. Together they bring a creative and balanced approach to this ministry. Numbers are limited to allow maximum participation.


Art of Contemplative Practice – 2024 dates

This course will be offered in the First Semester of 2024.

The offering will be online via Zoom only and dates will be advised in due course.

The unit will be taught over nine weekly online sessions and includes two 1-day retreats at home.

Teaching Method:

Lectures, personal reflection, sharing in triad groups, supervised practice,

Pre-requisite for course: none



This unit can form part of a Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction or Masters of Spiritual Direction through Whitley College of the University of Divinity. These courses are offered through Whitley College. Government Fee-Help is available to qualifying Australian citizens.

Costs are as per University of Divinity fees schedule for 2024 which are to be advised (postgraduate single unit).

Eligible* students enrolling for academic credit may defer the payment of fees through the FEE-HELP loan scheme.

(*Australian citizens and holders of a permanent humanitarian visa.)

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


Further Information

Art of Contemplative Practice 1 (UD code DS9201W) is offered for those seeking to explore contemplation as a basis for living and ministry.

This program has the attraction of the following features:

  • A flexible program allowing participants to adapt it to their own circumstances.
  • Participants may benefit from completing this unit on its own or using it to lead into other formation programs. (NB: Completion of this course is strongly recommended prior to enrolment in the Art of Spiritual Companioning.)
  • There is a good balance between teaching, practicums and peer groups.
  • Both teachers and students come from diverse faith traditions and this adds to the depth and richness of the program.
  • WellSpring Centre provides an attractive venue and excellent resources for training.
  • The unit is recognised by the University of Divinity and may earn credit towards the Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction or Spirituality and the Master of Spiritual Direction or Master of Spirituality. FEE-HELP may be available for course fees, for those who enrol through the University of Divinity.


Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an informed and critical appreciation of contemplation
  2. Articulate an understanding of various experiences of contemplation.
  3. Assess models of spiritual practice, listening and action that relate to everyday life experience.
  4. Compare and contrast various approaches to contemplative practices as they relate to vocational engagement and systematically evaluate the traditional approaches to contemplative practice.
  5. Creatively apply the principles of contemplative practice to discernment processes in life decisions.



Participants will be required to complete two assessment tasks:

  1. Essay (5,000 words)
  2. Book review (3,000 words)

For more information, please contact Rosanne Arnott.

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

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

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

Process for enrolment for 2024

The application process will open in early November. Please register your interest with Rosanne Arnott as soon as possible since places are limited.

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

To register as an audit participant, contact Rosanne Arnott.


Enrolment contact for new students:

Whitley College
Ph: (03) 9340 8000