DMIN Cohort

Spiritual Direction

Formation & Training 


Spiritual Director Formation and Training Program
Certificate in the Art and Practice of Soul Companionship
with Lynn Holt

The complexity of challenges and unanswerable questions in this threshold moment is unprecedented. We need spiritual leaders and soul companions who are trained for generous listening and committed to their own inner work and greater self-awareness in order to authentically host sacred conversations leading to Spirit-led healing, clarity, and transformation. Spiritual direction instruction forms practitioners who can offer a listening and healing presence that can assist others to recognize and respond to the movements of God in their life and in their community for the sake of the world.

The art of sacred listening in spiritual direction nurtures and sustains soul-tending and is different from problem-focused pastoral counseling, goal-making in coaching or mentoring, and teaching through discipleship. We live in a time when our souls are easily ignored, languishing in the ambiguities and paradoxes of being human. We experience both our greatness and our fragility and underneath those tensions, we may notice fear and uncertainty, busyness and achievement, shame and isolation. Taking the time to intently listen to our inner life readies and sustains our personal encounter with Christ and prepares us to engage our outer world with compassion, grace, and new insight. Here we find for ourselves and for the sake of others space and time for the soul to thrive.

Join us as we embark on an 11-month formational training program.  Our program is designed for a cohort to journey together in learning the art of sacred listening as defined by spiritual direction. This community model invites space for growing deeper in self-awareness. By carefully pacing our program to allow for deep formation through intentional community, compassionate mentoring, and integrative practices, our rhythm for meeting honors breaks around holidays.


  • In-Person Retreat Dates: November 2021

  • Weekly Online Sessions starting the week of August 2021. 

  • Breaks and holidays are observed 

  • Program completion date: June 30, 2022


Our Spiritual Direction Mentors and Spiritual Formation instructors include authors, teachers, seasoned spiritual directors, and supervisors who are deeply committed to the formation of Spiritual Directors. They place particular emphasis on:


  • Attention to foundational components which include theory and robust practical experience. 

  • Understanding the practical application of spiritual formation tools and concepts. 

  • Exploring Psychological and social underpinnings.

  • Christian contemplative traditions that engender a capacity to host those of other faiths or no faith. 

  • Contemplative approach that fosters

    • Listening silence

    • Encountering Presence   

    • Generous compassionate justice 

    • Forming for companioning self and the world 

    • Discernment that leads toward freedom

    • Embodied listening awareness 

    • Collaborative learning and relational focus

  • Spiritual Formation Topics that include​

    • Shame and Resiliency

    • Images of God - developing awareness of one's own and others’ understanding of God.

    • Optional: Continued Enneagram training with Katie Skurja


Who should apply: We are welcoming spiritual leaders and soul companions who wish to increase their capacity for generous-active listening and deeper self-awareness and who are drawn to deep, authentic and vulnerable conversations. Those seeking this training and formation will assist others to recognize and respond to the movements of God in oneself and in their communities.  



  • Applicants should have experience in an ongoing relationship in receiving spiritual direction or less formal spiritual accompaniment. A recommendation from that person will be required as part of the application process. Those who do not have a current spiritual director will be required to engage one. A list of those who offer direction in the manner of this training is available. 

  • This cohort is open to Portland Seminary DMin LSF graduates and those who have completed the four semesters of courses with Dr. MaryKate Morse. 


Expected workload: Students can expect to spend 8-10 hours per week in reading, reflection, online cohort discussions, and praxis sessions. 


Cohort size: Due to a highly praxis and relational approach we are limiting each cohort to 10-16 participants. With three trained praxis mentors, the student to mentor ratio is five to one. 


Why would I join? As we journey together over these 11-months, you will receive content with guided praxis to develop listening skills to hold space for others without needing to fix them. Our program is heavily weighted with listening and spiritual direction praxis, as you are accompanied by trained supervisory praxis mentors who desire to help you learn to openly listen with compassion, offering a judgment-free space. In addition to spiritual direction content, we include two spiritual formation courses to help define your own way of understanding yourself, God, and those around you.


At the end of this training, you will receive a Certificate in the Art and Practice of Soul Companionship  For those interested in continuing on to receive a full Certificate of Spiritual Direction, another 10-months of praxis coursework will be required. 


The cost for this 11-month program—exclusive of transportation, retreat room & board, personal spiritual direction, books, and supplies—is $2900. A deposit of $500 is due by July 1st once a student is accepted. The remaining $2400 is due by August 1st or a $240 payment option to extend over 10-months. (If for the unfortunate possibility that we are not able to meet in-person for our residency, alternate arrangements will be made)

What about a Certificate for Spiritual Direction? For those sensing a call to a vocational path of spiritual direction, we are offering a 10-month program for continued training for a Certificate in the Art and Practice of Spiritual Direction starting July 2021. Admittance to this next level of training will be discerned with your supervisor/mentors. 


Requirements to complete the Certificate in the Art and Practice of Spiritual Direction:

  • 8 monthly online class sessions - Sept 2022-April 2023 

  • Assigned light reading

  • Monthly Spiritual Direction - fee worked out with personal director

  • 10 monthly Spiritual Direction Supervision sessions - fee worked out with supervisor (ranging from $50-100 ea.)

  • Meeting with 3 directees over 10 months for a total of 30 overall sessions

Program Fee: $500 (excludes books, personal spiritual direction, and supervision sessions) 


More Questions? Email Kathi Gatlin at

Spiritual Direction Lead Mentor

Lynn Holt is an experienced educator in the formation of spiritual directors and those who offer soul companionship. She has trained and supervised spiritual directors through Portland Seminary in an online/hybrid format for the past 7 years. Her vocation as a soul companion includes serving as a spiritual director and supervisor for 23 years, 18 years of pastoral ministry, and teaching theological, leadership, and spiritual formation courses. Lynn is a Quaker and holds an M.Div from Portland Seminary and received her spiritual direction training from the Mercy Center of Colorado Springs and supervision training from the Mercy Center in Burlingame. 


Lynn is gifted in preparing and supporting soul companions whose faithful response in these challenging times invites generous listening and a compassionate heart for the sake of the world. Her ministry is grounded in a contemplative posture of holy listening, surrendering to the Mystery with a sense of awe and curiosity, and the dynamic relationship of God's Presence.

Spiritual Direction Praxis Mentors

Kathi Gatlin is an experienced spiritual director, group facilitator, and spiritual direction supervisor. In addition, she has hosted space as an adjunct professor in online and in-person college courses that allow safe conversations with those who have diverse views. She has received her training through George Fox University (M.Ed.), Portland Seminary (M.A., DMin 2021) and Together in the Mystery. Kathi provides a gracious space to bring your own understandings and your questions as we journey together to become more present in listening to God, ourselves, and others. For more info about Kathi visit Boldly Loved.

Jeff Savage is a spiritual director, retreat guide, and couples facilitator shaped by over 30 years of pastoral ministry and contemplative practice. He has also served as a spiritual director and faculty advisor for Portland Seminary. Jeff and his wife, Janet, offer retreat space for reflection, rest, and renewal at their home above the McKenzie River at Vida, Oregon. In each expression of his calling, Jeff finds abundant joy in holding space for folks to pay attention to their life in God. The values that center him in his vocation include hopeful trust, hospitality, attentiveness, and integrity. Jeff finds balance in tending garden, photography, wandering, and being Pop Pop to four grandchildren (photos supplied on request). For more about Jeff visit his site.

July 1st Application Deadline for Fall 2021
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