Nurturing the Call: Spiritual Guidance Program

Do you companion others on their spiritual journeys?
Do others see your spiritual commitment and your gift of spiritual companioning?
Do you desire support and enrichment for this ministry?

If your answers are yes, perhaps the Spirit is calling you to Nurture your Call with Shalem’s Spiritual Guidance Program.

Listen to a recording of our Discern with the Director call on October 22 here.


Nurturing the Call: Spiritual Guidance Program offers both academic resources and experiential support for the ministry of spiritual direction or holy listening. At the heart of this program is the radical conviction that spiritual companionship is a form of prayer and that contemplative listening comes from being grounded in one’s relationship with God.

To learn more about spiritual direction, you may  view Shalem’s Pamphlet on Spiritual Direction here.

Timeline & Components

Early Bird by 11/30/20
Regular by 1/15/21 

The extended application deadline is March 1, 2021. All applications must be submitted online or emailed to 

Program Dates
(The program includes at-home work before the first residency, between residencies and after the second residency.)

At-Home Work: March-June 2021
1st Residency: August 10-19, 2021 – this will be virtual
At-Home Work: Sept 2021-June 2022
2nd Residency: June 21-30, 2022
At-Home Integrative Phase: Sept-Dec 2022

Program Components
At-Home Work & Two Residencies

Participants do much of the program work in their own communities, coming to the Baltimore/Washington area for in-person residencies during each program.

At-home work includes:

    • Receiving and offering one-to-one spiritual guidance;
    • Mutual support and accountability with a self-established peer group;
    • Reading of selected texts, including classics and specific topical material;
    • Several brief theme papers;
    • Periodic reports to Shalem;
    • Personal journal-keeping;
    • A personal spiritual practice;
    • Self-scheduled, solitary retreat days;
    • A 6-12-page final paper.

Residencies include:

    • Topical seminars (sampling follows):
      – Classics of Christian spirituality
      – The arts and spirituality
      – Scripture and spiritual direction
      – Discernment
      – Group spiritual direction
      – Social vision and the spiritual life
      – Contemporary social contexts
      – Spirituality in our time;
    • Practicums in prayer and spiritual discipline;
    • Individual interviews with staff;
    • Guided, silent retreat time;
    • Supervised peer groups, group processing, and reflection;
    • Participant-led morning and evening prayer.

Our desire is to foster a community of peers within a prayerful atmosphere. Frequent sessions on prayer will expose a broad range of prayer forms and issues, both theoretically and experientially.

A Certificate of Completion is awarded upon completion of all program requirements.


Liz Ward
Liz, Co-Director of the Program, is an Episcopal layperson and a graduate of the 1994 Spiritual Guidance Program Class. She is an experienced spiritual guide and retreat leader and has mentored local churches in communal discernment for many years. She also serves as a spiritual director at Virginia Theological Seminary and as an elected member of the Commission on Ministry and a discernment facilitator for the Diocese of Virginia.

Phillip Stephens
Phillip, Co-Director of the program, is an Episcopal lay-person and graduate of the 2006 Spiritual Guidance Class. In addition to being an associate of the Order of the Holy Cross, he serves as a spiritual guide and retreat facilitator. He is interested in cross-cultural studies and inter-spirituality.


Price & Apply Now

Registration is now closed. Check back for 2022 dates.

Program Price



Click below to download the brochure, which includes detailed information on at-home work, residency topics, peer groups, program components, and a full listing of current staff.

Feel free to contact Katy Gaughan, Program Administrator, at (301) 897-7334.