Nurturing the Call: Spiritual Guidance Program

In-depth support for the ministry of one-on-one spiritual direction.

Class of 2024

Do you companion others on their spiritual journeys?

Program runs March 2023 – December 2024


However, if you have a deep interest in attending, you can contact the registrar, Katy, at

Nurturing the Call: Spiritual Guidance Program offers both 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.

Free Info Sessions

Join us on Zoom to discern about the rightness of this program for you. Talk with the Director and recent grads. No dates are scheduled at this time.

Nurturing the Call Timeline

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

At-Home Work: March-June, 2023
1st Residency: July 25 – August 3, 2023
At-Home Work: September 2023-June 2024
2nd Residency: June 18 – 27, 2024
At-Home Integrative Phase: September-December, 2024

Program Components

Participants do much of the course 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 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.

Residency Topics

  • 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.

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


The residential retreats will be held at Bon Secours Retreat and Conference Center in Marriottsville, MD. You will have a private room with bathroom. The center and grounds have walking paths through woods and fields.

Bon Secours bridge

“I believe Shalem’s Spiritual Guidance Program sets the gold standard for Spiritual Direction training…. Shalem nurtured my connection with Spirit by encouraging me to be still, cultivate quiet, and develop trust in Spirit as the real guide.”

-Lerita Coleman Brown


(View the Program Brochure in a larger screen here).


  • Early Bird price (by November 30, 2022): $8,730
  • Regular price (after November 30, 2022): $9,245

Need-based tuition assistance is available. For more information, contact Katy at



However, if you have a deep interest in attending, you can contact the registrar, Katy, at

Review the Criteria for Ideal Spiritual Guidance Program Candidates and Application Requirements below before filling out the application form.


Katy Gaughan is the Registrar for Nurturing the Call: Spiritual Guidance Program and can be contacted at


Our mission is to nurture contemplative living and leadership.


Grounded in our understanding of God’s desire for peace, wholeness and well-being, we envision a world transformed by contemplative living and leadership in which all people honor one another and creation, recognize their unity and interconnectedness, and courageously seek to live out of this reality.