In this unit, students acquire the skills and competencies needed to become directors of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and spiritual directors in the Ignatian tradition. Under supervision, the student will guide two retreatants through either: (i) the Retreat in Daily Life over 35 weeks, or (ii) the full one-month (30-day) experience. If the student is directing the full one-month experience, supervision will occur on a daily basis. If the student is directing the Retreat in Daily Life over 30 weeks, supervision occurs on a fortnightly basis.

Unit code: DD9281J (Approved)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Spiritual Direction

Proposing College: Jesuit College of Spirituality

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Learning outcomes


Outline the role and stance of an Ignatian director, particularly as set out by Saint Ignatius in the Annotations to the Spiritual Exercises


Evaluate personal capacity to adapt the dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises to particular retreatants


Analyse the Rules for Discernment of Spirits and identity the ways in which ‘spirits’ work in a retreatant


Articulate and evaluate the decision-making process outlined in the Exercises


Evaluate their gifts, abilities and limitations as a giver of the Exercises

Unit sequence

Prerequisites: DD8241J Spiritual Exercises Practice A and DD8251J Spiritual Exercises Practice B Or Previous 30 unit: DD8819F/DD8829F

Prohibited combinations: Old Code: DD9107F Old Code: DS9107F Old name: Supervised Retreat Direction


Guided reading/instruction and individual ministry supervision

Indicative Bibliography

  • Barry, William A. Letting God Come Close: An Approach to the Spiritual Exercises. Chicago, IL: Loyola University Press, 2001.
  • Buckley, Suzanna M., ed. Sacred is the Call. New York: Crossroads, 2005
  • Bumpus, Mary R., and Rebecca B. Langer. Supervision of Spiritual Directors. Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse, 2005.
  • Conroy, Maureen. Looking into the Well: Supervision of Spiritual Directors. Chicago, IL: Loyola University Press, 1995.
  • Dyckman, Katherine et al. The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women. Manwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2001.
  • Fleming, David L. Draw Me into your Friendship: The Spiritual Exercises. St. Louis, MO: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1996.
  • Green, Thomas H. Weeds Among the Wheat: Discernment: Where Prayer and Action Meet. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 1990.
  • Schemel, George & Judith Roemer. Beyond Individuation to Discipleship. Scranton, PA: Institute for Contemporary Spirituality, University of Scranton, 2000.
  • Tetlow, Joseph. Choosing Christ in the World: Directing the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola. St. Louis, MO: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 2000.
  • Toner, Jules J. A Commentary on Saint Ignatius' Rules for the Discernment of Spirits. St. Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1982.
  • Toner, Jules J. Discerning God's Will. St. Louis, MO: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1991.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

6000-word Directory on giving the Exercises under supervision. This will include self-reflective practice review, and reflection on required skills, resources and challenges within each Week of the Exercises, linked to the literature.

6000 100.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 19 Oct, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2019-05-03 13:07:25 +1000