Summer Institute for Spiritual Formation

The Summer Institute for Spiritual Formation provides training for those interested in individual spiritual direction and congregational spiritual formation. It also gives participants an opportunity to deepen their own faith and explore their own faith formation more fully. The Institute is held at Eastern Mennonite Seminary in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

Courses for 2017

Cost: For seminary credit- $480 per credit hour
Participation audit- $235 a credit hour.


The Summer Institute is a two-week institute offered every June. If students complete three consecutive summers or 12 semester hours they will receive a certificate of course completion (not an academic degree).

Core courses in the Summer Institute are:

Spiritual Guidance in Life and Practice (First Year)

Grounded in the understanding that God in Jesus Christ is inviting us to be reconciled- to God, to ourselves, to each other, and to God’s creation- this course is designed to offer learning in three areas: a biblical foundation and historical overview of spiritual formation; an understanding of spiritual discernment; and learning the practice of spiritual guidance.

Spiritual Directors Peer Group (Years 2 & 3)

This class offers guidance for depth listening, reflection, spiritual discernment, and discovery in our journey as emerging spiritual directors. Participants engage in spiritual direction conversations and in-depth listening to verbatim. Students take this course in years two and three of the summer institute.

Home-based Practicum

Students engage in 50 hours of practice in leading spiritual direction or formation at home between August and May. Three practicums, one after each summer, are required to complete a certificate. Students will receive individual guidance from faculty based on their project.

Each year two or three spiritual formation electives are offered during the summer institute. Choices may be made from any of the focus areas totaling three courses:

Spiritual Direction Focus:
SD 1: Journey of the Soul
SD 2: Seasons of Impasse (including work on “dark night of the soul”)
SD 3: Spiritual Formation for Congregational Discernment

Worship Focus:
Worship 1: Spiritually Formative Worship (including introducing narrative)
Worship 2: Congregational Soul Tending (including healing within worship)
Worship 3: Sustaining Practices in Congregational Ministry (including the spirituality of the Lord’s Supper)

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