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 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 will be offered via weekly online sessions, two intensives at WellSpring Centre in Ashburton (12 June, and 29-30 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 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 will be offered via weekly online sessions, two intensives at WellSpring Centre in Ashburton (12 June, and 29-30 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 Direction (UD code DD9204W or XD9770W)

The course will be offered via weekly online sessions, two intensives at WellSpring Centre in Ashburton (12 June, and 29-30 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 Direction (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 2021

Dates for 2021:

  • Mondays or Tuesdays (7.30 to 9.30pm) –
    Seminars weekly and quads fortnightly (shorter seminar in quad weeks), and
  • 2 x intensives, 10am to 4pm

First Semester:

Week 1
  • Mon 22 February
    (7.30 to 9.30pm)
Orientation, Units 2 and 3
Weeks 2-9
  • Mon 12 April or Tues 13 April to
  • Mon 31 May or Tues 1 June
    (7.30 to 9.30pm)
Seminars weekly and
Quads fortnightly
Week 10
  • Sat 12 June
    (10am to 4pm)
Intensive

Second Semester:

Weeks 11-21
  • Mon 26 July or Tues 27 July to
  • Mon 13 September or Tues 14 September
    (7.30 to 9.30pm) and
  • Mon 4 October or Tues 5 October to
  • Mon 18 October or Tues 19 October
    (7.30 to 9.30pm)
Seminars weekly and
Quads fortnightly
Weeks 22
  • Fri 29 October and Sat 30 October
    (10am to 4pm)
Intensive

Apply for 2021

Step 1:

Please click here to complete the WellSpring application form for The Art of Spiritual Direction before 13 November 2020. Interviews then begin in November 2020. If you are applying, or would like more information, 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 Direction.

Step 2:

Following receipt of your application, we will make a time with you for an interview with two members of our Discernment Team later in 2020. The Discernment Team will then prayerfully consider all applications, and we will contact you with the outcome of your application for 2020.

Step 3:

If you are invited to enter the Art of Spiritual Direction I in 2021, 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.

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 2021 ($3,185) 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.