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Diocese of Joliet Partners with Franciscan University to Offer Training in Spiritual Direction


In response to a rapidly increasing need within the Church, Franciscan University’s School of Spiritual Direction was launched to help individuals grow closer to God, develop a deeper prayer life, and learn how to accompany others in a life-changing relationship with God. In an exciting new collaboration, the Diocese of Joliet will be partnering with Franciscan University’s School of Spiritual Direction to train interested people to be missionary disciples, who can walk with people in the mess of their lives and help them encounter Christ in a real and transformative way.

Franciscan University will bring their spiritual direction team to the Diocese of Joliet for two-week intensives to train individuals to help others encounter Jesus Christ and enter into deeper intimacy with Him. The program lasts three years with the formal training during the two-week intensives in September 2021, 2022 and 2023. The training is based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Through class presentations, praying with sacred Scripture, personal prayer, retreats, supervised skills practice, and other formation, participants will grow in self-knowledge and knowledge of God. Students will develop tools for journeying with others so they can help directees achieve greater intimacy with God.  Between the two-week intensives, students are asked to engage in ongoing formation through their Catechetical Institute. Online videos from Franciscan University’s Catechetical Institute will assist in growing a basic knowledge of theology, philosophy, sacred Scripture, and other disciplines.

There is a demand for certified spiritual directors, which exceeds the number of those who are qualified to offer direction. Those completing the three years of training will be certified by Franciscan University and the Diocese of Joliet to offer individual spiritual direction through affiliating with a parish, retreat center, Newman Center or a ministry sponsored by a religious order or Church organization.

Here are more details regarding this exciting new collaboration in spiritual direction training between the Diocese of Joliet and Franciscan University of Steubenville:

  • Yearly two-week intensive at the Carmelite Spiritual Center in Darien, Illinois
  • 2021: Sept. 5 - 19, 2021
  • 2022: Sept. 2 - 16, 2022
  • 2023: Sept. 1 - 15, 2023
  • Commit to receive monthly spiritual direction
  • Commit to monthly supervision
  • Walk with at least one directee for the duration of the program
  • Between first and second years, you are asked to make either form of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises (30-day retreat or 19th Annotation)
  • Between second and third years, students will lead one person through either form of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises

FOR MORE INFORMATION, pricing and registration information, go to