Art of Contemplative Practice 1
Recipient of Exception Report Commendation from the Vice Chancellor, University of Divinity
This Commendation is for an outstanding result based on student feedback in 2019
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)
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 Direction.)
- 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.
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.
Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:
- Demonstrate an informed and critical appreciation of contemplation
- Articulate an understanding of various experiences of contemplation.
- Assess models of spiritual practice, listening and action that relate to everyday life experience.
- Compare and contrast various approaches to contemplative practices as they relate to vocational engagement and systematically evaluate the traditional approaches to contemplative practice.
- Creatively apply the principles of contemplative practice to discernment processes in life decisions.
Course time structure
The unit will be taught over nine weekly online sessions and includes two 1-day retreats at home.
Lectures, personal reflection, sharing in triad groups, supervised practice,
Participants will be required to complete two assessment tasks:
- Essay (5,000 words)
- Book review (3,000 words)
For more information, please contact Rosanne Arnott.
Course Director: Rev. Dr Peter Bentley
Course Coordinator: Rosanne Arnott
- The team is made up of an diverse group of teachers and supervisors who are experienced spiritual directors. Together they bring a creative and balanced approach to this ministry.
- Numbers are limited to allow maximum participation.
NB: Art of Contemplative Practice 1 is strongly recommended before enrolling in The Art of Spiritual Direction Unit 1, and can also be taken on its own without progressing on to the Art of Spiritual Direction.
- Thursdays, 9.30am to 2pm:
20 January to 17 March 2022
- Including retreat days (Week 5) and (Week 7) to be confirmed.
In 2022, this unit will be offered by Zoom only.
Process for enrolment for 2022
Numbers are limited so please enrol as soon as possible.
Enrolment and Costs for 2022
Enrolment for academic credit:
This unit may count towards a postgraduate award through Whitley College, a teaching college of the University of Divinity.
Costs are as per University of Divinity fees schedule for 2022 (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.)
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:
Ph: (03) 9340 8000
There is also the option of auditing this unit, at a reduced cost.
Fees for auditing for 2022 ($1,366) 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 complete the unit 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:
Art of Spiritual Diection
If you are wishing to also apply for/enrol in The Art of Spiritual Direction Unit 1 in 2021, please click here to read further details about application dates and processes.