The Spiritual Director Program is designed for those individuals who wish to provide formal spiritual guidance, mentoring and direction to others and to take a personal look at their own spiritual beliefs and practices.
A Unique Program
Discover the 5 major world religions and their mystical and esoteric traditions, in addition earth-based spirituality.
- Examine the concept of being a modern mystic within the definition of 21st century contemporary spirituality.
- Explore Divine guidance and the development of gifts of the spirit .
- The sacred art of ritual design and ceremony is explored through sound, music, movement and dance.
- An overview on mystery schools is presented.
- Explore transitioning to the non-physical and conscious dying.
- The art of transformation and working with the soul is learned.
Who is this program for?
This program is ideal for individuals who want to guide and support others on their spiritual journey and who wish to take a personal look at their spiritual beliefs and practices. This area of study is very effective for Psychotherapists and Counsellors since many clients seek direction on their spiritual issues as well.
Areas of Study
This program is set up in 4 units with each unit building upon the understanding and capacities developed in previous sessions:
- Our Mystical Search
- Divine Guidance, Ritual and Ceremony
- Mindful Living: Conscious Dying – Certificate
- Working with the Soul
- To challenge & deepen spiritual beliefs
- To broaden knowledge of different belief systems and comparative theologies
- To understand the concept of divine guidance and learn to apply it to life
- To discover the value of ritual & ceremony
- To explore spiritual and cultural traditions that surround death and the dying process
- End of Life Care, supporting the dying, ensuring dignity, advocating on their behalf
- To support others though spiritual crisis, the dark night of the soul and transformation
- To examine spiritual values and practices
- To become a Spiritual Director or Spiritual Mentor
This program was created by Gord Riddell, Co-founder of Transformational Arts.
Note: In order to work as a professional Spiritual Director it is highly recommended to take additional training in Counselling Skills or the Spiritual Psychotherapy Training Program.
|PROGRAM||START DATE||END DATE||NOTES|
|Spiritual Director||Wed, Sept. 15th 2021||Wed, Dec. 15, 2021||UNIT 1 – Being a Spiritual Director|
|Wed, Jan. 5, 2022||Wednesday Feb. 16, 2022||UNIT 2 – Divine Guidance, Ritual and Ceremony|
|Wed, Feb. 23, 2022||Wednesday May 4, 2022||UNIT 3 – Mindful Living and Conscious Dying|
|Wed, May 11, 2022||Wednesday June 22, 2022||UNIT 4 – Working with Soul|
Spiritual Director: Total Program Hours
111 hours + 9 hours case studies
Classes meet every Wednesday night, 6:30 – 9:30 pm, between September and June with scheduled breaks.
For a detailed schedule, application form and to reserve your spot, please contact Linda Kuschnir at 416-484-0454 ext. 23.
Program Format: Lecture, Discussion, Experiential, Meditation, Written Assignments, Journaling and 9 Case Studies.
Spiritual Director Training Program Courses
Unit 1 Our Mystical Search
Explore our spiritual history and traditions, leading us to examine the commonalities of spiritual experience globally. We must understand our Client’s birth religion to work with them effectively as Spiritual Directors.
- On becoming a Spiritual Director
- Islam- Sufism
- Christianity – Early Mystics and Saints
- Judaism – Kabbalah
- Diversity and Spirituality
- Indigenous – Native Spirituality
- Wicca/Pagan/Goddess religions
- Summary & Practicum
Course Length: 13 weeks (39 hours)
Instructors: Linda Kuschnir Registered Psychotherapist, Spiritual Director
Guest Lecturers: Sabastian Glass, Carmen Kattan, Christy DiFelice, Nina Menrai, Alex Pereklita, Tiffany Lazic and Victoria Ervin
Unit 2 Divine Guidance, Ritual and Ceremony
Deepen your connection to the Divine and examine the historical role of ritual, while developing skills in creating your own rituals with personal relevance.
- Divine guidance, developing Spiritual abilities
- Demystifying channeling
- Spiritual guidance from higher realms
- History of the Great Oracles
- Consulting Oracles and Divination tools
- Creating rites of passage
- Sacred space and your personal altar
- Coming from Soul and Source not ego
- Emerging new concepts in spirituality, the Sacred Human qualities
- Introduction to mystery schools and esoterica
Course Length: 7 weeks (21 hours)
Instructors: Gord Riddell (Registered Psychotherapist, Spiritual Director and Coach), Maria Gallé (Registered Psychotherapist,Spiritual Director and Coach), Linda Kuschnir (Registered Psychotherapist, Spiritual Director, and Coach), and Pauline O’Hanlon (Registered Psychotherapist, and Spiritual Director)
Unit 3 Mindful Living and Conscious Dying – Certificate
An opportunity to look at our greatest mystery, and as such, our greatest fear. Fear of death often co-relates to our fear of living life fully and consciously. Cultural traditions around death as well as such difficult areas as euthanasia, suicide and assisted suicide will be explored.
- From aging to sagehood
- Grieving our losses, cultural traditions at death
- End of life decision making and legalities
- Dignity, advocacy, and client involvement
- Transitioning to the non-physical and conscious dying
- The choices of celebration for the completion of life
Course Length: 10 weeks (30 hours)
Instructor: Gord Riddell, Registered Psychotherapist, Spiritual Director and Coach
Unit 4 Working with the Soul
Put in place the skills to work with others as a Spiritual Director. We will explore the dark night of the soul, spiritual ‘madness’, spiritual emergencies and create a working model of the modern day mystic.
- Difference between spiritual direction and psychotherapy
- Spirituality, Universal/Spiritual Laws
- Ego, personality and soul
- Higher purpose
- Dark night of the soul
- Spiritual emergencies/ madness, Spiritual values, and spiritual practice
- Understanding the dark passions and spiritual graces of the 7 chakras according to C. Myss
- Spiritual Director role & counselling skills
- Practicum, role-plays, and integration
- Closing ritual -Students performing in the Closing Ceremony Ritual
Course Length: 7 weeks (21 hours)
Instructor: Linda Kuschnir, Registered Psychotherapist, Spiritual Director and Coach; Gord Riddell, Registered Psychotherapist, Spiritual Director and Coach
Prospective Students must be a minimum of 18 years of age and have graduated secondary school. Students with differing and alternative pathways are encouraged to apply. Contact Linda Kuschnir, Registrar at 416-484-0454 ext. 23 or [email protected] to apply.
As enrolment is limited, you are encouraged to register now. All applicants for programs will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis depending on space availability. Once the program reaches maximum capacity applicants are placed on a waiting list. Acceptance into the program is conditional and requires an interview meeting in person or by telephone.
The minimum requirements are the Discovering the Total Self Program (may be taken concurrently) and some counselling skills. Those with differing backgrounds to the pre-requisites are invited to apply. All exceptions are made by the permission of Linda Kuschnir, Instructor and Managing Director.
If you do not have former counselling experience or are not a graduate of the Spiritual Psychotherapy, Holistic Program or other Counselling Program, inquire about the Counselling Skills courses offered through other TAC Programs.
Students must attend 90% of classes to receive a Diploma from Transformational Arts. All assignments must be completed successfully.
$3,200 plus a $185 Administrative and Materials Fee. Tuition tax credits are given for this program and it is HST exempt. A $300 non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration. Financial plans are available. Costs for books and materials are additional.
Mindful Living: Conscious Dying Certificate
Unit 3 is a Certificate course within the Spiritual Director Program and may be taken as a stand alone course for those wishing to gain knowledge and understanding in End of Life Care. The certificate is awarded based on the same criteria as the diploma (see above).
This course has limited open spaces as most spaces are already filled by Spiritual Director students. Apply Early for this program. Included in Spiritual Director Program
Tuition – $800 plus $75 Admin and Materials Fee. Includes course booklet. Tuition tax credits are given for this program and it is HST exempt. A $200 non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration. Financial plans are available. Costs for books are additional.
SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR ASSIGNMENT SCHEDULE
Assignment #1 Assigned: Wednesday, September 14, 2021 Due: last class of each Unit
Once a week, with breaks along the way, you will receive a question to ponder. Please take time to answer these questions through self-reflection. Your reply to each question should not exceed one (1) typed page. It is not possible to answer these questions incorrectly. There is no right or wrong answer. The questions are hopefully helping you to think about areas you may not have considered in the past or may consider now from a different perspective.
Assignment #2 Assigned: Wednesday, September 21, 2021 Due: January 5/22
Spiritual Autobiography Assignment:
For this assignment, you will be required to hand in a written report on your exploration of spirituality in your life. Feel free to use your creativity in terms of how you format your spiritual autobiography but try to include information on such things as:
- religion of origin, if any
- ways you may have challenged your religion of origin when growing up
- any religious wounding experiences
- your perception of God and how it might have changed as you have evolved, your current relationship with God
- your current relationship with the non-physical spiritual realms, i.e., saints, spirit guides, angels, nature spirits, animal totems, etc.
- dark night of the soul experiences or spiritual crises
- possible re-connections with faith traditions from your youth
- spiritual awakenings along the way
- current spiritual philosophies and practices and current spiritual orientation
This should be a short story of your life, but from the perspective of how you have experienced Spirit in your life and how it moves in and through you.
No more than 3 typed pages, double-spaced
Assignment #3 Assigned: Wednesday, October 13, 2021 Due: November 10/21
Diversity Reflection Assignment:
For this assignment, you will be required to hand in a written report on your reflections about diversity. Reflections can include what makes each of us unique, our backgrounds, personality, life experiences and beliefs, – a combination of our differences that shape our view of the world, our perspective and our approach. You may want to explore diversity as it applies to gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexuality, language, educational, background, religious beliefs, and so on and examine the different types of diversity: internal, external, organizational, and worldview.
Assignment #4 Assigned: Wednesday, February 22/22 Due: June 5/22
Creating an Altar/Sacred Space:
Take a picture of an altar/sacred space that you have created in your home or office and do a one page write-up (12 point-font). Things to consider for the design of your altar:
- Direction it’s facing. What room is it in?
- Use of the 4 elements: Earth, water, fire & air
- Spiritual symbols involved
- Activating ingredients: i.e.) incense, water, crystals, candles,
- Sound i.e.) bells, tingshas
- Clearing the space either with sound, smudge, essential oils, etc.
- Use of icons, statuary, pictures and mementos
- Use of fabric, colour, crystals, geometric shapes
Assignment #5 Assigned: Wednesday, February 15/22 Due: June 21/22, last day of class
Design a closing ritual for your class no longer than 1 to 1 ½ hours long. We should be finished by 8:30 pm. You will need to meet as a group perhaps before class a few times to design the ritual. In your group meetings, it can be a good idea to have a rotating chairperson to guide the process, move the meeting along and help get decisions made.
- Determine the themes and stages of your ritual. Energy circle, clearing of aura and space, intent and purpose of ritual, middle stages, themes and closure.
- Remember a ritual is like a symphony that has a beginning, middle and end. How will you peak or crescendo the energies?
- What are the moods of your ritual and what energy states do you wish to create?
- Draw a blueprint up for your ritual that provides an outline. You may put this on the whiteboard if you wish so that everyone has a map.
- Decide the roles that you will play in the ritual. Who facilitates what part and who will assist that facilitator. Certain function and roles should be delegated i.e.) lighting, music, etc. Remember that the facilitator sets the mood for the ritual so that they give permission to let others make a meaningful connection whether it is sacred, emotional, playful, fun, etc.
- What tools and props will you be working with?
- What instruments or music will you use? You can borrow the schools instruments.
- Build an altar or art piece to leave behind in the room as a blessing for the college and future students.
- Students provide a potluck afterwards: Munchies & beverages. Wine/beer is allowed.
- Gord Riddell, Linda Kuschnir, Maria Gallé and Sarah Clarke will attend. You may also invite other internal staff and other teachers you have had throughout the year.
Please note: It is a requirement to participate in the preparation of your group ritual, as well as to attend in order to graduate from the Spiritual Director Program.
Assignment #6 Assigned: Wednesday, June 14, 2022 Due: for graduation
The Spiritual Director Training Program requires students to complete 9 (nine) case studies to graduate (along with attendance and assignment requirements) and to obtain a diploma. You will be doing some role plays in class to help prepare for this assignment. You will need to meet with an assigned Spiritual Director Case Supervisor to review screening of clients, client intake documentation, informed consent and case study reports for Spiritual Director case studies.
When handing in case studies, documentation submitted must include your name & student number as Spiritual Director Intern and your case study client’s initials only, to protect your clients privacy.
You will be provided with the format to use for completion of your Spiritual Director case studies. You must also meet with your Case Supervisor to review the case study procedure in more detail, as well as receive support as you work on completing your case studies.
While you conduct spiritual direction with your clients, you will be considered a Spiritual Director Intern. Suitable clients for spiritual direction (also called Directees) are often looking for direction in the bigger scheme of their lives as opposed to working through particular emotional issues as is often done in spiritual psychotherapy.
At the same time, there can be a significant overlap between spiritual psychotherapy and spiritual direction. We would say that all psychotherapy is spiritual but in spiritual direction you are often dealing explicitly with spiritual issues, higher purpose, existential crisis, soul learning and soul evolution themes.
If your spiritual direction client is at a point of needing to do healing on their emotional wounds, refer them to the Transformational Arts Psychotherapy Clinic or to a psychotherapist before taking them on as a spiritual direction case study client and consider waiting to do spiritual direction until after they have addressed their emotional wounds to some extent.
SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR UNIT 3
MINDFUL LIVING/CONSCIOUS DYING
END OF LIFE CERTIFICATE COURSE REQUIREMENTS
Total classroom hours – 30
Required Attendance – 90%
Final Class and assignment – Mandatory
Students are assessed in this Course by the following criteria:
- Journal questions assigned – to be submitted 20%
- Attendance 10 %
- Participation 15%
- Creating Your Legacy – 15%
- Eulogies Presentation – 40% = Total 100%
Pre-requisites – Previous counselling experience or studies, or already registered in the full Spiritual Director Program
At the end of this course students will be able to:
- Differentiate between palliative, hospice, respite care.
- Explain different major religions traditions of death and dying.
- Assess the importance of the various roles on an end of life team.
- Facilitate the discussions with client about their final days.
- Manage the clients needs and wishes at the end of their life.
- Create with client their funeral/ end of life ceremony.
- Collaborate with client’s loved ones about their roles in the final days.
- Advocate for the client to ensure their needs are being met.
- Explain the legalities necessary to ensure client’s final wishes are met.
- Detect and corroborate with proper parties any ethics violations.
- Reflect upon their own experience with each client they work with.