Training in Spiritual Accompaniment

‘Exploring Spiritual Accompaniment’ is a two-year programme of formation that provides both an opportunity for personal spiritual development, as well as offering practical and experiential training in the skills applicable to accompanying others on their faith journey.

Our approach to Spiritual Accompaniment is ecumenical, drawing on a broad range of Christian wisdom and spirituality, as well as being informed by the Guidelines for Spiritual Directors, published by the Retreat Association.

A key principle undergirding the course is that it should be congruous with the process of spiritual accompaniment itself. Rather than simply being a programme of training in skills or knowledge, it should also be seen as a process of discernment and formation in the charism of this distinctive ministry.

The course will comprise eight modules taught over two academic years. Each module will include a significant element of self-directed learning. This will provide an opportunity to reflect on matters considered between sessions, as well as enabling a focus on the development of listening skills and the practice of accompaniment.

“The course has vastly exceeded my expectations on every level. The depth and spread of topics covered, the reading and the materials (physical and on-line) and individual and group experiential aspects have all been extremely rich and stretching.”

Course Participant

Participants will be enabled to:

  • grow in their own spirituality and Christian formation
  • cultivate the core skills and qualities necessary for the practice of spiritual accompaniment
  • discern whether they are called to the ministry of spiritual accompaniment

The course is recognised by the major Christian denominations and is led by an ecumenical team comprising: Ruth Grant, Michael O’Halloran and Sister Sheila McNamara RSCJ

Course Content

The course will explore several relevant topics, including:

  • Theory and practice of Spiritual Accompaniment
  • Key Spiritual Accompaniment relationships
  • Contemplative listening
  • Traditional & Contemporary Spirituality
  • Good practice and Supervision
  • Personal and spiritual development
  • Safeguarding
  • Ignatian Discernment
  • Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicators


  • The programme will run over the course of two academic years, starting in September.
  • Each participant will be invited to a review at both a mid-point and at the end of each year.
  • The course will be delivered via a combination of self-directed online learning and monthly in-person sessions (on Tuesdays, and one Saturday per term). These will be held at the Priory, 9.30am-4.00pm.

Course Details

The course will begin each September.

  • Please email the team on the link below to enquire about joining the course September 2024.

  • While we ask for applications to be summitted online from this link, to help you prepare, the application form questions can be viewed on this document.

  • Places will be limited to twelve participants.

  • The cost of this course will be £750 per year.

For questions or more information please contact us, and a member of the team will get back to you.

Further Information

It should be noted that this course does not lead to a professional qualification: participants are invited to approach it as part of their own process of discernment and spiritual development which will typically have already begun some time before application to the course.

Acceptance onto the course is subject to interview and two references. Potential applicants ideally need to have experience of being accompanied by another for at least a year and should be able to demonstrate a deep commitment to their own faith journey and personal prayer life.

The course price includes the online components and resources, access to wifi, basic support in using the Thinkific student learning portal, and membership of the Priory library.

All those who do go on to accompany others are asked to adhere to the Retreat Association Spiritual Direction Guidelines. They will themselves have a Spiritual Director and will also be expected to attend regular supervision.