The ministry of spiritual direction requires a calling from God and a thirst for spiritual growth. Additionally, spiritual directors need to be properly formed in the Catholic faith and spiritual traditions. The Diocese of Charleston has developed standards for the training of spiritual directors and requires future directors to select a program that meets the following standards.

  1. A Catholic Institution obedient to official teachings of the Roman Catholic faith.
  2. An accredited, graduate level certificate of spiritual direction program that grants academic credits.
  3. 30 hours (credit or non-credit equivalents) of prerequisites in: Scripture, Church history, spirituality, moral and dogmatic theology, if these courses are not required by the certificate program. If these courses are not met, the Coordinator of the Office of Spiritual Directors will design a personal, independent program to complete the requirement. Fulfilling the requirements will be done with little or no cost.
  4. Because spiritual growth is an essential component of the training, each student is required to be in ongoing spiritual direction and attend required retreats as part of the curriculum.
  5. Online or distant learning, with or without residency requirements, is acceptable.
  6. Programs can be from any Catholic spiritual tradition, such as: Ignatian, Benedictine, Dominican, Augustinian, Franciscan, etc., if they meet the above standards.
  7. Once a future spiritual director chooses a program, they must present their choice of Catholic institution for study to the Coordinator, Office of Spiritual Directors, for confirmation and written approval. Please contact the Office of Spiritual Directors for approval before enrollment.

Spring Hill College has been an approved program in spiritual direction since 2018. A new cohort will be formed in August, 2024. Contact Deacon Tom Whalen at for more information.