School of Spiritual Direction Beyond Borders

How can Spiritual Direction be a resource for your congregation?

Spiritual Directors provide space for spiritual discernment with individuals, small groups or congregations.  The process for Spiritual Direction is life-giving and will nurture the seeds of spiritual growth. Through spiritual discernment, persons and groups will find clarity and spiritual formation as a foundation for sustainable discipleship. Through the gifts of listening we can deepen our ministry of discernment and evangelism.

The School of Spiritual Direction Beyond Borders believes we are in an ever-learning journey to seek God beyond the borders in our lives and in our world.  The directors (lay and clergy) trained in the program are formed by Korean, Black, Latin, Indigenous, African and Anglo traditions of Spiritual Direction.  From these various traditions, we can begin to seek discernment in order to  break down the borders within our hearts and culture.

Our Purpose

Provide Spiritual Direction and train Spiritual Directors to discern and listen for God’s direction beyond the borders within our hearts and world.

What is a Spiritual Director?

A trained listener who exhibits the skills of spiritual discernment with their directee. They are not advice-givers but a listening ear to how the directee can deepen their relationship with the divine. Spiritual Direction can happen with individuals, groups, and congregations as spiritual discernment.

Next Steps?

OPEN HOUSES are offered throughout the year for those interested in learning more about Spiritual Direction and those that are interested in applying to our next Cohort. Please check back often to see when the next Open House is scheduled.



The next Cohort will begin in October, 2024. This two-year certification program will train you to become a Certified Spiritual Director and is open to both Clergy and Laity. The training format consists of six three-day retreats (Tuesday through Thursday evenings) over a two-year period. Students in the program will also be required to meet with their own Spiritual Director for the length of the program.

Retreat Dates are as follows:

Retreat 1

Introduction to Spiritual Direction: October 8-10, 2024

Retreat 2

Journey of the Soul: January 27-29, 2025

Retreat 3

Spiritual Direction during times of Impasse: May 6-8, 2025

Retreat 4

Trauma and Group Spiritual Direction: September 9-11, 2025

Retreat 5

Group Spiritual Direction/Clearness Committee: January 26-28, 2026

Retreat 6

Presentation of Final Project: May 19-21, 2026



“A wise teacher of English literature and writing, once said, ‘All our stories, no matter who told them or when they were recorded, include two major themes: our journey towards God, or our journey away from God.’ ”

– Wendy Miller

Day One

Tuesday, 6:00pm – 8:00pm EST

Day Two

Wednesday, 6:00pm – 8:00pm EST

Day Three

Thursday, 6:00pm – 8:00pm EST 

The training includes 6 retreats (2-3x per year) + intermittent reading + practicums. Study manuals and book lists are provided for you prior to the first retreat. Additional books and spiritual direction for trainees are not included in the total cost of the certification.

Tuition for the The Spiritual Direction Program is $2,500.00 payable over the two-year period. Monthly and quarterly payment plans are available for your convenience. The Center never wants cost to be a deterrent to participation so we also offers scholarships on a per-case basis to Rural and Small-Member church pastors that would not be able to afford the program otherwise. Additionally, If you are a member of the United Methodist Church, there are scholarships available through WNCC LEAD.

Additional Costs

Books: Once your registration fee has been paid, you will receive the list of recommended books. Two required readings are Mindful of Race by Ruth King and Coming to the Light (Pendle Publishing).

Spiritual Director: All students are required to have a Spiritual Director that they meet with monthly. This cost, on average, is $60/hr. We will help you find someone that fits your needs if you fo not already have one. You will be responsible for paying them outside the cost of the school.


The first payment of $500.00 will need to be paid prior to the start of the first retreat. You will be prompted to make your first payment once you have been accepted into the program. You will also be able to apply for a scholarship at that time.

To apply for the School for Spiritual Direction please click the following link:  Application Form

Once you have completed your application, you can pay your first payment by clicking here: Payment Link

If you would like to pay for Individual Spiritual Direction Sessions, please click the following link: INDIVIDUAL SESSIONS PAYMENT LINK


Please contact Rev. Kimberly Clarke Turner, Director, Center for Bold Leadership at or at 704-636-6891 or 336-324-9058 for additional information.

Trainers for Spiritual Direction

Ellen Spruill, Maria King, Donnell FitzJefferies, and Jonathan Brake lead the curriculum with a diverse team of small group and worship leaders. We lead you through a two year course on becoming a spiritual director for your community. We come from diverse understandings of Spiritual Direction and offer the embodiment of The Beloved Community through this School of Spiritual Direction Beyond Borders.
Rev. Maria King

Rev. Maria King

Rev. Ellen Spruill

Rev. Ellen Spruill

Rev. Jonathan Brake

Rev. Jonathan Brake

Rev. Dr. Donnell FitzJefferies

Rev. Dr. Donnell FitzJefferies

Hood Theological Seminary

We are grateful to the many Hood Seminary alumni, alumnae and friends who have helped to shape and guide the Seminary for over one hundred years and are certain to help shape its future in the next hundred. Your continued financial support is essential to the mission of this institution and its academic strength and vitality.