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Certificate in Spiritual Direction

Learn how to guide others deeper with Jesus in emotional health and loving relationships with Soul Shepherding’s Spiritual Direction Certificate program. Gain practical skills and experience to be a compassionate spiritual director and strengthen your ministry impact.


Everyone longs to go deeper with Jesus in emotional health and loving relationships. But many are derailed by stress overload, discouragement, or spiritual dryness. And their efforts to be healthier and more loving get hijacked by unconscious self-defeating patterns.

They need the compassionate listening, care, and guidance of a spiritual director trained in Jesus-centered psychology and spirituality.

You can be that spiritual director, assisting the Spirit of Jesus to minister God’s empathy, grace, and wisdom to people who are struggling or stuck in their spiritual journey. Plus you can earn side income from this ministry or qualify for a better job.

Drs. Bill and Kristi Gaultiere have trained thousands of people like you in their Jesus-centered psychology and spirituality. Their integrative approach is the foundation of the Certificate in Spiritual Direction program offered by the Soul Shepherding Institute.

About the Spiritual Direction Training Program

Like many people, you may be asking how you can become a spiritual director. This spiritual direction training program is our answer. In this two-year journey with a community of mentors and friends, you will be equipped to begin a professional practice as a spiritual director or to bring excellent spiritual direction skills into your church, mission, nonprofit ministry, or other job.

Over 200 students have graduated or will soon graduate from our spiritual direction training program. We expect more than 80 students for the next class. Our students include pastors, missionaries, church workers, ministry spouses, coaches, business leaders, and other leaders.

People choose this program for:

Courses in the Spiritual Direction Program

The top value in the Soul Shepherding Institute’s two-year Certificate in Spiritual Direction is intimacy with Jesus. Dr’s Bill and Kristi Gaultiere and each of the faculty they’ve mentored approach every class, group, and individual conversation with a heart to assist Jesus in his ministry to you personally. That’s because your most fruitful and joyful ministry to others overflows from your own relationship with God and soul care practices.

You will learn spiritual direction skills and soul care practices to apply to your life, relationships, and work or ministry. The learning is conversational, experiential, and practical.

The spiritual direction courses include these topics:

How Much Time is Required?

The time to earn your certificate in spiritual direction from Soul Shepherding is flexible. In addition to the four 5-day retreats, some students can complete the program requirements in about five hours a month over the course of two years.

Other students choose to spend more time because they love what they’re learning and have time for additional learning through reading, soul care groups, supervision or practice spiritual direction sessions.


Starts March 1st each year but registration is open until July 1st.

In addition to the online program, all four Soul Shepherding Institute retreats need to be completed to earn a certificate.


$369* per month for 24 months (this includes fees for the required 4 Institute retreats).

A $100 non-refundable enrollment fee will be collected if you are accepted to the program.

*Additional costs for spiritual direction sessions, books, and a private room on retreats

** Pastors and missionaries can apply for partial scholarship assistance

Additional Questions? Talk to Us!

Check out our FAQ or connect with us now!

Can You Make a Living as a Spiritual Director?

A certificate in spiritual direction can help you start a private practice as a spiritual director to work flexible hours, from home or an office, part-time or full-time. Others use their certificate to improve their skills in a job with a church, mission organization, nonprofit, or business.

When you graduate from the Certificate in Spiritual Direction in the Soul Shepherding Institute you can apply to work with Soul Shepherding as a Sr. Spiritual Director and charge $90 per 45-minute session.

Additionally, after completing the two-year spiritual direction training you can earn an advanced Certificate in Coaching from Soul Shepherding. Then you can apply to work for Soul Shepherding as a Sr. Coach and charge $150 per 45-minute session.

How to Be Certified as a Spiritual Director

Earning a certificate in spiritual direction indicates that you’ve completed a course of training in the ministry of offering spiritual direction to people. Certificate programs vary in curriculum, length, courses, and requirements. The Certificate in Spiritual Direction program offered through the Soul Shepherding Institute exceeds the training standard guidelines of the ESDA.

After graduation you can apply to be certified as a Sr. Spiritual Director in your work with Soul Shepherding. Spiritual direction certification (or getting certified as a spiritual director) for ongoing work is a higher standard than earning a certificate. Spiritual direction certification from Soul Shepherding includes complying with our policies and Statement of Faith, receiving ongoing supervision, and demonstrating excellent and ethical care of others.

Additional Questions? Talk to Us!

Check out our FAQ or connect with us now!

Soul Shepherding