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 (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 Direction (UD code DD8202W)

This unit introduces the Ministry of Spiritual Direction 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 involves five 2-day gatherings throughout the year. There are also monthly peer supervision group work and personal supervision sessions scheduled outside these times.

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 is also strongly recommended.


Unit 2: The Art of Spiritual Direction (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 involves five 2-day gatherings throughout the year. There are also monthly peer supervision group work and personal supervision sessions scheduled outside these times.

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 Direction (UD code DD9204W or XD9770W)

The course involves five 2-day gatherings throughout the year. There are also monthly peer supervision group work and personal supervision sessions scheduled outside these times.

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 Direction (Post-Course 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 2020

Dates for 2020:

This unit is now fully online (via Zoom), as WellSpring’s buildings are closed during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Details of dates, times and Zoom meeting links will be sent directly to enrolled students.

Please email Rosanne if you have any queries.