Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction

Course information for - 2023 entry

Offered at 1 locations

Study mode
2 years part-time
Fees (first year)*

$7900 Fee-paying

Start dates
Semester 1 intake: Not available
Midyear (Semester 2) intake: Beginning July 2023
Applications open April 2023


Spiritual Direction is the process and practice through which a skilled individual helps another to grow in intimacy with God. It is the practice of being with people as they attempt to deepen their relationship with the divine, or to learn and grow in their own personal spirituality. Understood as a ministry within the church suitable for trained lay people, religious and ordained ministers, spiritual direction has a long and revered history in the Christian tradition.

The Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction is coursework degree for those who are interested in becoming a spiritual director, but do not have formal background in theology. You will develop knowledge, understanding and the foundational skills suited to the ethical, self-aware and safe practice of spiritual direction in the Ignatian tradition, normally in Christian contexts.

In the present day, when the choice to belong to institutional religious traditions is perhaps more complex than previously, the role of Spiritual Directors assumes a new importance as people seek to find meaning and purpose. Spiritual directors must be experienced persons of prayer, humility and integrity, able to listen to, be with, and guide others as they seek to deepen their relationship with God.

Drawing from the Ignatian spiritual tradition, the Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction aims to provide you with the theological, spiritual, psychological and ethical frameworks, as well as practical skills necessary to undertake spiritual direction as a ministry.

Course details

Course structure

To complete the Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction, a student must complete 80 credit points (cp).

View course rules

Sample program map

Year - Study periodUnit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4Unit 5

Year 1

Semester 1

THSP520 Introduction to Spiritual Direction in the Ignatian Tradition

THSP521 Psychological Foundations for Supervision and Spiritual Direction

Year 1

Semester 2

THSP509 Ignatian Discernment and Decision-Making

THSP522 Ethics and Professional Practice in Supervision and Spiritual Direction

Year 2

Semester 1

THSP632 Spiritual Exercises Theory A *

THSP633 Spiritual Exercises Praxis A #

Year 2

Semester 2

THSP634 Spiritual Exercises Theory B

THSP635 Spiritual Exercises Praxis B #

This is a sample program only and units will vary depending on your campus and mode of study. Please refer to the handbook for the prerequisite units and the current listing.

* A prerequisite for enrolment in the Spiritual Exercises sequence of units is the private completion of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises according to annotations 19 or 20.

# A minimum pass mark of 75% (DI) is required in each of Spiritual Exercises Praxis A and B in order to complete the course. Participants not meeting this requirement may be offered and alternative pathway through the Graduate Diploma or Master of Theological Studies.

AQF framework

Graduate Diploma - AQF Level 8

Entry requirements

An applicant must comply with the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy.

International applicants need to meet the English Language Proficiency requirements as defined in the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy.

To be eligible for admission to the course, an applicant must have:

  1. completed a Bachelor degree and;
  2. demonstrated suitability to undertake the course, as evidenced by interview with the Course Coordinator.

Disclaimer: The course entry requirements above are for 2023 Admission.

Applicants with higher education study

To be eligible for admission to the course, an applicant must have:

  1. completed a Bachelor degree and;
  2. demonstrated suitability to undertake the course, as evidenced by interview.

English language requirements

Applicants should carefully review the details outlined in Schedule 3 of the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy to check how they must demonstrate their English Language Proficiency.

Inherent requirement

There are essential components of a course or unit that demonstrate the capabilities, knowledge and skills to achieve the core learning outcomes of that course or unit. You will need to be able to meet these inherent requirements to complete your course.

Learn more about inherent requirements for your course and how they affect you


Course costs

Average first year fee*

$7900 Fee-paying

Payment options

You should be able to concentrate on getting good marks instead of worrying about how you’ll pay your fees. We have a number of options that can help you ease the financial burden, including government assistance, scholarships and income support.

Explore your options


You could be eligible for one of the hundreds of scholarships we award each year to help students from across the university with the cost of studying, accommodation or overseas study opportunities. Some of our scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit, but these aren’t just for the academically gifted; ACU also recognises excellence in community engagement and leadership. We also offer a range of scholarships for those who may be struggling financially or who have faced other barriers to accessing education.

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