Why is the Spiritual Direction Certificate at DMU Unique
The Spiritual Direction Certificate Program at Divine Mercy University brings together beautiful traditions and integrates them in a way which will have a great impact on students.
First we have the age-old tradition of spiritual direction which has been around since Jesus walked this earth, with foreshadowing of it in the Old Testament. Also the reality that we are a community of believers, we are church and we help one another on the path of holiness. All these aspects are so ingrained in the history of the church and in Christian life. On top of that, how it has developed is beautiful. It has developed very naturally, if you will, from individuals seeking to be with others who they viewed as a little further along the path of holiness, or simply wanting someone more objective to help them. As St. Cassian of Imola would say, “I pity those that walk alone, because when they do fall into a pit there’s no one to pick them up.”
So we have the beauty of being accompanied and accompanying. On top of that Divine Mercy University has brought together some unique traditions in weaving together the best that the human sciences, psychological sciences, and the counseling profession have to offer with the Catholic-Christian view of the human person. Weaving those together in our programs helps bring out the best of those fields, and not only those aspects that will serve the practitioners but also will serve the profession, and help preserve what’s good and true in psychology and counseling.
At Divine Mercy University we bring that to spiritual direction because the subject to spiritual direction humanly is so rich, we speak about human biology, physiology, emotion, and volition. Including in the human sciences an understanding of how grace informs nature requires a responsible combination of what the sciences have to offer about our knowledge of the human person. All of this combined with the understanding offered by the Church as taught by Revelation.
There are a few unique features to this program and the first is that it’s developed for online delivery, making it very accessible to people both in terms of time and geography. Most spiritual directors are not ministering full-time so being able to study on your schedule is very important. As well since the program is not campus-based students from all over the world can participate. That’s a huge advantage of an online program. Also we create a rich learning environment; students are part of a learning cohort and have various levels of interaction throughout the program. So, students will have the flexibility of studying on their own time while still being a part of a peer learning community, which is very powerful. It would be a deficit, particularly for a spiritual director’s program, if the learning cohorts were not as strong.