Cenacle of Our Lady of Divine Providence
School of Spiritual Direction
Cenacle School of Spiritual Direction – Houston Campus Overview
The Cenacle School of Spiritual Direction is an institution recognized and approved by the Bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida, and in association with the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio.
Due to the increasing number of applicants, the Community of the Marian Servants of the Incarnate Wisdom opened a new campus in Houston. His Excellency Daniel Cardinal DiNardo approved the opening of the Houston Campus for the School of Spiritual direction in 2015
The Cenacle of Our Lady of Divine Providence® School of Spiritual Direction, headquartered in Clearwater, Florida established its Spiritual Direction program in response to the universal call to personal holiness, and the rising need within the Church for well-trained spiritual directors to assist those on the spiritual journey.
The program relies on God’s transforming power of healing and freedom, through Scripture praying and the sharing of the students’ experiences, insights, and graces. Due to the combination of the Ignatian prayer model and the contemplative evocative model, the students experience extensive inner healing in their lives. Through prayer, teachings and supervision, the students become more compassionate and better listeners. During the two-year program, the candidates are transformed into useful instruments of God’s grace, for the benefit of those they direct.
The Spiritual Direction program consists of 3 two-week sessions, each session a year apart. The two-week schedule is highly intensive, for the students are required to attend classes morning until evening, including morning classes on weekends. Since there are no formal evaluations such as tests or written papers, the intensity comes from the daily schedule, the personal prayer time, the sharing of praying experience, and the healing action of the Holy Spirit.
The Spiritual Direction Program for the Houston campus consists of one two-week session each year during June, and it is aligned with the Cenacle School in Clearwater, through livestream. Thanks to technology, and in real time, the same didactic materials, professors, presentations, and class discussions are presented. The Houston summer campus is a separate school and has its own application process. If you are interested in attending the Houston campus, please submit your email request here.
Upcoming School Dates:
- June 9-24, 2023
June 14-29, 2024
Notable instructors, authors and professors are part of the team of instructors. Many from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, major seminaries, and religious orders.
The Elements of Spiritual Direction — Included in every session
The principles and goals of Spiritual Direction are presented to the students, following academic content and practical sessions. The purpose of this class is to provide the student with the skills of attentive listening and responding, the dynamics of the meeting, and the use of Scripture in direction. This course includes role playing demonstrations, assisting the student to be objective and respectful of God’s unique grace in everyone.
Daily Prayer with Group Sharing — Included in every session
A characteristic feature of the Spiritual Direction program is the healing component. Praying on Scripture, and sharing their prayer experiences in a group setting, are the components that allow the students to experience among themselves the elements of self-disclosure, genuineness, and compassioning. These elements are foundational in the Spiritual Direction process. Through the Ignatian model, the potential directors experience extensive healing in their lives, which it is necessary as God moves each participant into a deeper relationship with God. Healing allows the student to attain a deeper self-knowledge, a better understanding of who God is, and to become a more compassionate and attentive listener.
Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit
Provides a Scriptural and theoretical background for the gifts of the Holy spirit and lays a foundation of a person’s prayer life, thanks to the action of the Holy Spirit and a renewed devotion to the Blessed Mother.
Saints of the Church will be discussed considering the great streams of spirituality that they represent.
Healing Prayer — Theory and Practice
The students are presented with the theoretical knowledge of healing prayer, along with a practical workshop on how to pray for themselves and others in the context of Spiritual Direction.
Ignatian Rules of Discernment
The quality of Discernment and the process that implies, will be presented from a Scriptural and psychological viewpoint. During this course the students will learn the Ignatian Rules of Discernment Weeks 1 and 2.
Christian Understanding of the Human Person
Under the topics of freedom, conscience, call and mission, relationship and love, this course will present the models of the human person. Students will recognize the Christian/Catholic and non-Christian understanding of these aspects of the human person.
Ignatian 30 Day Retreat or 19 Annotation – completed between the first and second year
Thanks to the experience of the Exercises, the students will examine their own lives more deeply, and draw closer to Christ. The Exercises also will give to the student the tools to discern their own vocation to better guide others through the same spiritual process.
Supervised Practicum – completed between the second and the third year. The student meets with a person seeking spiritual direction, once a week, over a four-month period. The candidate will be supervised and evaluated before the certification is granted.
School Application Process
The application process includes the following documentation and must be received in its entirety:
- A completed application form
- Two letters of recommendation, one from your Pastor and one from your current Spiritual Director.
- A non-refundable application fee of $150.00
- Personal interview (in person or video assisted)
- Catholic candidates must be in good standing with the Catholic Church. Members of other Christian denominations can be considered for admission.
Please note that each potential student’s application request will be reviewed by the admission committee. The committee will consider the applicant’s interview, letters of recommendation, and personal statement before making a decision for acceptance or non-acceptance. Once accepted into the program, the student candidate remains on probationary status, for ongoing evaluation of readiness and response to the call to be a spiritual director. The current cost per two week session including room and board is $2,550.00.
Participation in the full Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius is a requirement of the School of Spiritual Direction and is a key part of our student’s program. The four-day graduate seminar is a continuation of this training and deals with the main meditations and flow of the Exercises. Each seminar resents spiritual topics directly related to the Spiritual Exercises and offers to the graduates the opportunity to strengthen their gifts in directing others, as well as time to deepen their own spirituality.
These seminars are offered twice a year, March, and September, by various instructors schooled in the Exercises and they are only open to graduates of the program.
Upcoming Dates for the Graduate Seminars:
- September 21-25, 2022: Presented by Fr. Gregory Cleveland, OMV