School of Spiritual Direction



If you’re new to the world of spiritual direction and feel a need to first experience it and grow your understanding of the contemplative tradition, we are now offering an easy on-ramp with our SSD Primer.  

This cohort will provide great preparation for our 2-year certificate program in spiritual direction. First, we link you with a qualified spiritual director so you have nine to twelve invaluable months of receiving direction before ever beginning Year 1 of the training. Second, we guide you in a small group setting through foundational aspects of the contemplative tradition via teaching, practice, debriefings, and short readings.

Each meeting lasts about 3 hours and follows the same format: the welcome, a prayer exercise, a 20-minute teaching, a guided practice, a time to debrief the practice, and time to comment and reflect on whatever readings were assigned in the prior month. (The readings are short, typically consisting of 1-2 chapters.)


  • Presence Over Performance
  • Desire Over Duty
  • (Inter) Dependence Over Self-Sufficiency
  • Vulnerability Over Self-Protection
  • Gratitude Over Entitlement
  • Embodied Over Fragmented
  • Mercy Over Judgement
  • Mystery Over Certainty
  • Consent Over Control


The cost for the SSD Primer is $900 total. There will be a $100 non-refundable deposit with 8 monthly payments of $100 over the course of 8 consecutive months. Books (minimal) and monthly spiritual direction are not included.


North America Online

Lainie Elander Thursday cohort meets 7 pm Eastern Time on Thursday
9/14/23, 10/12/23, 11/9/23, 12/7/23, 1/11/24, 2/8/24, 3/7/24, 4/11/24, 5/9/24

Lainie Elander Saturday cohort meets 1 pm Eastern Time on Saturday
9/16/23, 10/14/23, 11/11/23, 12/9/23, 1/13/24, 2/10/24, 3/9/24, 4/13/24, 5/11/24

Chris Goral Saturday cohort meets 9:30 Eastern Time on Saturday
10/7/23, 11/4/23, 12/2/23, 1/6/24, 2/3/24, 3/2/24, 4/6/24, 5/4/24, 6/1/24