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Advanced Certificate

Spiritual Direction

Serve others in the historic Christian discipline of Spiritual Direction.

Interested in receiving an overview of the program with specific courses, costs, and academic plans?

Frequently Asked Questions

Applying for an Advanced Certificate in Spiritual Direction

In the Advanced Certificate in Spiritual Direction, students gain insight into the history, theology, and practice of spiritual direction and prepare to serve as spiritual directors in churches or other ministry contexts. The Advanced Certificate is designed for students who have completed or are in the process of completing an Advanced Certificate or Master’s degree in theology or divinity and are seeking specialized training in the art and practice of spiritual direction.

Students must have at least 18 graduate credits in theology in order to enroll in the Advanced Certificate program.

Need flexibility as a working adult? Northeastern Seminary strives to make our seminary experience as flexible as possible. This 18-credit ministry degree can be completed 100% online or through classes in Rochester, New York in as little as one year. Our students can also select a full-time or part-time schedule to accommodate career and family commitments.

In addition to the standard application, students applying to the Certificate in Spiritual Direction must complete the following four things before enrolling:

  • Complete at least 18 graduate credits in theological studies from an Association of Theological Schools (ATS) accredited seminary
  • Submit an essay describing personal experience providing spiritual guidance to others
  • Provide a reference letter from a person who has benefited from the applicant’s spiritual guidance
  • Complete an interview with a faculty member during the application process.

Full admission steps can be found in our Admissions pages here. 

You may apply to the Spiritual Formation program (44 credits) and complete the Spiritual Direction Certificate as part of the M.A. program. You will need to complete an abbreviated application following your first or second semester.  

You could get credit for a prior seminary course if you have taken Spiritual Formation (PSF 612) at Northeastern Seminary or another course with at least 2/3 of the content of Spiritual Formation (PSF 612). If you received transfer credit for a Spiritual Formation class, they would only complete the remaining 15 credits to complete the Certification.

If you have 18 or more seminary credits in a cross-section of theology, scripture, and church history, you may be eligible for direct entry into the Spiritual Direction program.

You will need to complete this autobiographical statement and request an interview with the Director of the program by emailing (subject line: Interview with Director of Spiritual Direction program)

If you do not have a Spiritual Director you are working with already, we can recommend some to you. All costs associated with paying for a Spiritual Director will be the responsibility of the student. If you are already working with a Spiritual Director, you should discuss this with the Director of the program. In most cases, you can continue working with this individual for the duration of the program. 

All Northeastern Seminary students enrolled in the M.A. Spiritual Formation or Advanced Certificate in Spiritual Direction programs are eligible for a free account with Grafted Life Ministry. Upon graduation, they can be added to the growing database of Spiritual DirectorsGrafted Life Ministries supports churches and individuals with resources that help people root their lives in Christ’s transforming love.

Advanced Certificate Program Tuition

Cost for Spiritual Direction

Woman at graduation

Total Program Sticker Price:

Less than 15% of students
pay this amount

98% of students who applied
for a scholarship received one

Spiritual Formation

To affirm that the indispensable foundation for Christian ministry is a vital relationship with God through Christ, and so seek to provide a nurturing community in which genuine Christian faith can deepen and thrive

Learn more about our online masters programs

An advanced certificate may be the perfect option if you are interested in lifelong learning, developing new skills to complement your gifts and ministry, or are looking to experience theological education before committing the time and financial investment in a Master's degree program.

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Responding to life as it comes to you is a theological practice."

Dr. Rebecca Letterman