The Office of Spirituality and Formation for Ministry is an integral part of the Secretariat of Evangelization for the diocese. This office collaborates with the offices of central administration and provides coordinated, thorough and consistent preparation for ministry throughout our large diocese. Spirituality and Formation for Ministry helps lay women and men to understand the process of formation, as they use their gifts and talents in becoming Missionary Disciples.

The Associate Director is the diocesan liaison to Spring Hill College as we continually educate adults who are called to be Spiritual Directors in our seven deaneries. Currently, we have 17 people in our second cohort with Spring Hill College.

Also, this office promoted the establishment of a partnership with the University of Dayton to educate virtually the laity in Adult Faith Formation. Dayton’s virtual program is one of the finest in the country and has been in existence for over 20 years. Many lay parish staff, volunteer catechists and volunteer RCIA members, are offered grant opportunities through this office.

The Office of Spirituality and Formation for ministry has coordinated efforts with other non-profit organizations such as RENEW Int’l to bring various programs to the diocese in human, spiritual and intellectual formation.

Learn More: 2020-2021 Annual Report

What’s New

Synod on Synodality

Thank you for you participation in the Synod on Synodality, whose theme is: For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission. Our surveys in English and Spanish and feedback from over 85 Listening Sessions were compiled into a synthesis document. The full diocesan report, and a shortened version sent to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, are available here:

For additional resources visit:

Now Forming a New Cohort for Diocese of Charleston

Formation in Ignatian Spirituality and Spiritual Direction

Spring Hill College (Mobile, AL), founded in 1830, is the oldest Catholic college in the Southeast.  The CSD program began at their home campus in 1999.  The first cohort in the Diocese of Charleston was formed in the Fall of 2018.

Certificate of Spiritual Direction/CSD program is designed to guide students as they grow in their own personal spirituality and to gain basic skills for contemplative listening and discernment.  Hybrid classes combine face-to-face instruction with online work.  Requirements:  18 credits, two full years (4 semesters & 2 summers Spirituality Institute).  Year One:  Spiritual Direction Seminar/Fall (3 credits); Spirituality & Psychology/Spring (3 credits)  Year Two:  Spiritual Directions Practicum I & II/Fall-Spring (4 credits total)

Certificate of Ignatian Spirituality/CIS  program is designed for those who seek to enrich their personal spirituality, but do not intend to guide others through spiritual direction.  Requirements:  18 credits (same as CSD), but Year Two is replaced by a third summer of the Spirituality Institute.

Summer Spirituality Institute:  2 weekends + online (for 2 summers — total of 8 credits or for CIS 3 summers — total of 12 credits).  Core Courses (4 credits total:  Prayer & Discernment and Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.  Spirituality Electives (1-3 credits each, total of 4; for CIS, total of 8)

Class Sessions/Locations:  Year One & Two Fall and Spring semesters) meet one Saturday a month (twice online and twice at Our Lady of the Hills Church in Columbia, SC) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 4 times a semester Year One and 5 times during Year Two.  Summer Spirituality Institute courses meet in June for two summers, either online or at the Spring Hill College campus in Mobile over two weeks or two intensive weekends.

Prerequisites:  These may also be fulfilled as “co-requisites” during the course of the SD program.

  • 30 credit hours (or non-credit equivalents) in biblical, historical, and moral theology (not required for CIS)
  • One individually-directed Ignatian retreat (5-8) days, as well as a second retreat during the course of the program
  • Experience at least one year of ongoing spiritual direction (may be begun at the start of the program)

Cost:  $345/credit hour or $6, 210 for the entire certificate program.  Cohort limited to 20 students total (CSD and CIS combined).

Contact Deacon Tom Whalen by April 30 if interested in these programs or email

We’re on Facebook!

Did you know that the Office of Spirituality and Formation for Ministry has a Facebook group? To request to join, please click here.

Virtual Learning for Faith Formation

The Diocese of Charleston has partnered with the University of Dayton virtual learning community to offer continuing education courses for all those in parish ministries.  For more information or to apply for a tuition grant, please contact Sister Kathy Adamski, OSF, at 843.261.0498 or

Now Registering! Registration for Cycle 4 begins April 27 and runs through May 25. Classes begin May 30.

Course Information

See what UD has to offer at

Formation for Mission & Ministry

This is a staff-development process for all chancery, parish and Catholic Charities staffs who minister in the Diocese of Charleston, which includes the entire state. Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone, recognizing the role of the laity in the Church, established Spirituality and Formation for Ministry under the Education and Faith Formation Secretariat in August of 2016. At that time, our bishop was responding and recognizing the upcoming 50th Anniversary of the great Ecumenical Council Vatican II. One of the 16 documents of Vatican II was the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, Apostolicam Actuiositatem.

His Holiness, Pope Paull VI promulgated the document and in its introduction, one reads about the “proper and indispensable role of the laity in the mission of the Church … The Christian vocation by its very nature is a vocation to the Apostolate” (#2). The laity’s major duty is union with Christ.

When the Office of Spirituality and Formation for Ministry began over five years ago, we delved into the formation pillars that originated with the writings of St. John Paul II — human formation, intellectual formation, spiritual formation, and pastoral formation.

The first three years, we concentrated on intellectual formation. Specifically, we discussed Revelation and Catholic identity. Second, we explored the sacraments and models of the Church. The third year, we examined the social teachings of the church and how we make moral decisions. The fourth year, we transitioned into human formation as we learned about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and each participant took the full MBTI and either learned or re-learned their personality traits. The fifth year we collaborated with the Office of Stewardship and Mission Advancement to offer a spiritual formation retreat. Last year, our concentration was on human formation, as we reviewed the importance of one’s IQ, EQ and LQ respectively: Intelligence Quotient, Emotional Quotient and Love Quotient, as we defined those terms and explored how how Jesus exemplified intelligence, emotional, and love quotients.

Year Seven of Formation deals with Intellectual Formation of the four pillars of formation as we explore the topic of  “Prophets Yesterday and Today.” We will give an overview of the three major parts of the Old Testament, concentrating on Biblical Prophets. We will also mention a few minor and major prophets and how they challenged the people to live moral lives.

A big part of this year’s seminar reviews and analyzes the need for modern-day prophets as we discuss Catholic Social Teaching and analyze a major issue affecting our society today: the racial climate and disparities in our world, specifically with regard to the United States. Our office and the Office of Ethnic Ministries of the Diocese of Charleston have collaborated to address key aspects of Catholic teaching regarding this topic. We will discuss modern Church teachings and whether how one lives life is consistent with the teachings of the major prophet: Jesus, the Christ.


Your Content Goes Here

For your convenience and should you be ascertaining certification in areas of theology and/or spirituality, please see below for a summary of one-day seminars offered in the past by the Office of Spirituality and Formation for Ministry. These classes help attendants to receive Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Certification for catechists, as well as those who seek certification for spiritual direction. Should you need anything further, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Formation for Mission and Ministry is a lay formation program offered annually to parish staffs throughout the diocese of Charleston (the entire state). The topics for formation coincide with St. John Paul II’s formation pillars as described in Pastores Dabo Vobis – Human, Intellectual, Spiritual and Pastoral. The first three years dealt with intellectual formation; year four, dealt with human formation and year five dealt with spiritual formation. Total Hours: 25

Year I (2015-2016)

  • Divine Revelation
  • Catholic Identity

Year II (2016-2017)

  • Ecclesiology (Models of the Church/Dulles)
  • Sacraments

Year III (2017-2018)

  • Catholic Social Teaching
  • Morals

Year IV (2018-2019)

  • Myers Briggs-Type Indicator

Year V (2019-2020)

  • Retreat: Formed to Live Joyfully Our Time, Talent, and Treasure; reflected on Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium.

Year VI (2020-2021)

  • The Importance of one’s IQ, EQ, and LQ (Intelligence Quotient, Emotional Quotient, and Love Quotient): The definition of these terms and how they were exemplified by Jesus

Year VII (2021-2022)

  • “Prophets Yesterday and Today” gives an overview of the three major parts of the Old Testament, concentrating on Biblical prophets. A big part of this seminar analyzes the need for modern-day prophets from the perspective of Catholic Social Teaching and major issues such as racial climate and disparities affecting our society today.