Application Form below

Click below for spiritual guidance-application-form-2022-2023

Professional Diploma in Spiritual Guidance / Direction


Spiritual Guidance Training at An Croí

With a background in theology and spirituality both Carmel and Geraldine became innovative leaders in the area of Spirituality. They have developed a variety of spiritual programmes and developed the first academically recognised programme for spiritual guidance in Ireland in collaboration with Milltown Institute. They were founding members of the All Ireland Spiritual Guidance Association.  The Spiritual Guidance Training programme has been  running successfully for almost twenty years. The programme responds to the current spiritual landscape  with a contemplative and creative programme with a Celtic flavour. The programme is now delivered as a Professional Diploma in Spiritual Guidance and is recognised by the All Ireland Spiritual Guidance Association.


spiritual guidance advert 2021


Professional Diploma in Spiritual Guidance / Direction 

& Soul-Centred Accompaniment


This programme is now available as a blended learning training

using online learning platforms, video conferencing

and the opportunity for experiential in-house learning.

Programmes at An Croí Wisdom Institute are characterised by a contemplative, creative and compassionate approach, elements that are foundational for the Spiritual Direction/Guidance Training and soul-centred accompaniment. The programme is rooted in the Christian Tradition, however it has an inter-spiritual perspective that focuses on perennial wisdom and is especially enriched by the Anamchara tradition in Celtic spirituality.

An Croí Wisdom Institute offers a comprehensive professional certification programme in Spiritual Guidance and soul-centred accompaniment is recognised by the All Ireland Spiritual Guidance Association. We have chosen to adopt the term Spiritual Guidance instead of Spiritual Direction and we are aware of the conversation around the limitations of any term to describe this work however we use both terms interchangeably for the purposes of understanding in different contexts. The term Soul- Centred Accompaniment has been added more recently as we respond to the current spiritual landscape that includes a contemporary spiritual psychology. This programme has been running successfully for almost twenty years and is continually updated as we respond to current trends in spirituality and spiritual practice while remaining true to the ancient tradition of spiritual direction.

Programme Aim

The programme aims to provide the psycho-spiritual training in theory and practice necessary for spiritual guidance and soul -centred accompaniment. It focuses on spiritually orientated processes, practices and perspectives, drawing on ancient wisdom from the Christian tradition of spiritual direction, perennial wisdom across traditions and insights from psycho-spiritual disciplines.

It aims to provide theoretical, spiritual, and ethical foundations and prepare participants to become spiritual guides/ directors and for some who already have a professional practice, to be able to integrate soul work and spiritual perspectives into their existing practice.

The programme aims to develop a contemplative, compassionate and creative approach that enables participants to develop a personal philosophy of Spiritual Guidance and gain a critical and theoretical understanding of the nature and elements involved in spiritual guidance and soul-accompaniment. There is a Celtic flavour to the programme influenced by Anamchara-Soulfriendship tradition.


Programme Intentions

  • Prepare participants for their role as a Spiritual Guidance Practitioners
  • Develop a contemplative, compassionate and creative approach to Spiritual Guidance
  • Enable participants acquire the skills necessary for Spiritual Guidance & SCA
  • Facilitate spiritual growth and understanding of the ways of Divine Mystery in human experience and relationship with the Divine.
  • Examine some theories, approaches, models, psychological and social contexts necessary for Spiritual Guidance and develop a working model based on the principles of the programme
  • Gain the theoretical foundations in learning necessary for Spiritual Guidance &SCA
  • Facilitate participants as they discern their role as Spiritual Guidance Practitioners
  • Provide practical training in the skills of Spiritual Guidance and provide the opportunity to engage in Spiritual Guidance with Guidee’s under supervision.
  • Enable participant to develop a personal philosophy of Spiritual Guidance and gain a critical and theoretical understanding of the nature and elements involved.
  • Develop an understanding of the ethical responsibilities for a Spiritual Guidance Practitioner

While developing skills for spiritual accompaniment and soul making the programme also explores the relationship between spirituality and psychology, psyche and soul, spiritual direction and counselling. Other areas explored include maps of spiritual unfolding, psycho-spiritual issues, spiritual guidance approaches and traditions, contemplative spiritual practices.

Programme Modules

Module:1. The Art of Spiritual Guidance & Soul-Centred Accompaniment

Module:2. Spiritual Guidance: Traditions, Approaches and Themes

Module:3. Spiritual Experience, Contemplative Spiritual Practices & Discernment

Module:4. Spiritual Unfolding & Soul Consciousness

Module:5. Self-Understanding & Psycho-Spiritual Themes for Spiritual Guidance:

Module:6. Transformational Learning and Integrative practices

Learner Profile

The programme is ideally suited to those who wish to train in spiritual guidance/direction and who wish to become a certified spiritual director/guide. It is also geared towards caring professionals who wish to integrate a spiritual perspective into their professional practice with competency and ethical awareness. It is also suitable for those who want to lead retreats or spiritually focused groups.

Suitable candidates will normally have some foundation in spirituality, counselling or a cognate area.   Participants will normally have:

  • Felt drawn to spiritual accompaniment and soul work with others that is evidenced in their life
  • Have some background in spirituality/theology/counselling, or cognate area.
  • Willingness to engage in Spiritual Guidance themselves.
  • A commitment to spiritual growth and contemplative spiritual practices
  • An ability to listen to others with reverence.
  • Commitment to the duration and components of the programme
  • A personal capacity for openness, change and transformation.

Programme Structure

There are a few of stages in the programme, including an initial stage following application, which involves a discernment conversation and an invitation to engage with some preparatory reading.

The next stage is the scheduled training days that due to Covid 19 are now available as an online training with the hope of blended leaning with some in-house training if possible.. This aspect of the training provides theoretical foundations and develops foundational skills for Spiritual Guidance in a variety of settings. This stage also includes four consecutive days of intensive training during the An Croí Spirituality Summer School.

The programme then continues to build on these foundations by providing the practical training, psycho- spiritual foundations and also provides an opportunity to engage in accompanying others under supervision. The programme aims to facilitate growth in understanding the ways of the Divine Presence in human experience and foster spiritual growth and human becoming. Participants will gain insights into soul-work and prepare to become spiritual practitioners. The programme will develop the art and provide the professional training to become a certified Spiritual Guide/Director.

The final stage of the programme is the integrative stage that provides an opportunity to integrate learning and complete required skills practice under supervision and complete a final learning portfolio.

 Programme Commitment

The programme commitment involves a discernment phase following application, monthly training sessions over a calendar year Fridays 4-8pm & Saturdays 10am-5pm from September to June (Video Conference or in-house),  and participation in a four-day intensive training component usually in late July 2023 plus an integration phase (July-December) which includes supervision of practice.

The programme has adapted to the challenges of our times and restrictions on physical meeting. This has provided new opportunities and expanded ways of learning  so it is exciting that the training will now also involve a blend of online and in-house training which makes the programme more accessible to participants from abroad.

The programme is delivered in an integrative modular format, though each training session will have a focus on a particular module, with on-going skills training, practice and integration. Successful participants who complete all components of the programme (including summer intensive, three self-schedule retreat days, a commitment to the required number of sessions of personal spiritual guidance and of guiding others under supervision) will be eligible for the award of Professional Diploma in Spiritual Guidance, recognised by the All Ireland Spiritual Guidance Association.

Discernment Phase Discernment Conversation


Preparatory Reading

July – Sept 2022


at An Croí Wisdom Institute

Monthly Sessions


Friday 4-8pm

Sat. 10-5pm



October 2022 – June 2023

An Croí Wisdom School Four Day July 20th – 23rd 2023
Spiritual Guidance Engagement 10 Sessions Monthly
Spiritual Guidance Practice 10 Sessions


(between 2 guidees)

January – October
Spiritual Guidance Skills Prac. 25 hours video sessions May-June 2023
External Supervision 5 Sessions


(also internal x3)

January – October 2023
Retreat Experience Days Minimum Three days Self- scheduled
E-Learning & Video Conference Self Directed learning with Resources on line class On-going
Three integration Sessions 3 Sessions Sept – Nov.

Outline of proposed schedule for 2021-2022


Assessment on the programme is based on the completion of both transformative and summative assessment as outlined below. Assignments are presented in a variety of formats with summative assignments and transformative evidence which is presented and integrated into the presentation of a professional learning portfolio format for final assessment at the end of the programme.

During the programme participants are required to complete assignments to be submitted in a variety of formats which may include: a book report, essay, group presentations, creative presentation with supporting documentation, reflections papers, micro analyses, verbatims, and learning journals.

Programme Director and Tutors

 Programme Director & Key Tutor   :Carmel Boyle MMin, BATh

 Co-Tutor  :Geraldine Holton DPsych.,MSc., Adult Ed. BATh.

 Visiting Tutors include :Jack Finnegan SDB DD            Paddy Greene  SJ STL, MA.

Programme director may engage visiting presenters who have particular expertise and experience to enhance the programme either online or in person.

Programme Details 2022-2023

Fridays 4pm-8pm & Saturdays 10am-5pm

Dates Sept. 23rd/24th, Oct. 21st/22nd,  Nov. 25th/26th, Dec. 16th/17th

2023 Jan.20th/21st, Feb 17th/18th, March 24th/25th

April 21st/22nd, May 19th/20th,  June 16th/17th,  Sept 15th/16th

An Croí Wisdom Summer School July 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd 2023

Programme Financial Investment  €1750 (payable in instalments)

(Retreats, spiritual guidance, supervision and accommodation not included in fee)