Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Guild for Spiritual Guidance? - The Guild offers a two-year certificate Apprenticeship Program of formation for spiritual directors and individuals who want to take their spiritual lives more seriously, and a Graduate Guild community of life-long learners. In seeking a deeper spiritual life, the two-year training program is steeped in the traditions of the depth psychology of Carl Jung, the timeless wonder of ancient and modern mystics, the evolutionary cosmology of Teilhard de Chardin, and the spiritual well-being of an expanding global consciousness. Twice yearly graduate retreats provide a context for ongoing growth and fellowship among our members. A Guild from medieval times to the present day is a community with a unique purpose and outreach. Traditionally, its goal is to help an apprentice learn a trade, become skilled in one’s work and, over time, to pass on the knowledge and proficiency gained to others. To be invited as a member of the Guild brings with it a responsibility of expressing one’s unique calling in service to a wider global community. Apprentices follow an inner prompting to deepen and explore their skill-sets under the tutelage of Guild members and develop a deeper awareness of their calling and vocation while earning a certificate in the field of spiritual guidance.
Purpose of the Apprenticeship Program
The two-year Apprenticeship Program …
• Is designed to develop and deepen a relationship with yourself, with God/Divinity, with the Earth/Universe and others within the context of a loving and supportive intentional community.
• Begins with an opening retreat weekend, and is followed by monthly 24-hour sessions focusing on various facets of our four-strands curriculum (Teilhard, Jung, Mystics, Community).
• Emphasizes “learning by doing” and offers a variety of modalities to engage your unique learning style through experiential sessions, one- on-one exercises, group spiritual direction (quads), processing, group sharing and self-discovery.
• Is well-suited for those who desire to grow spiritually and are seeking the opportunity to enter into life-long adult learning with an expanding community of graduates.
• Is generally designed to serve the needs of those who feel called to address the development of the emerging global consciousness, but can be of specific help to those in the healing professions (medical, social work, care-giving, counseling, pastoral care, hospice, mind/body practitioners), education (all levels), the arts, social change organizations (civic, environmental).
• Can help you integrate the practice of spiritual guidance within your chosen profession or explore new ways to whole-heartedly serve others.
Elements of our Curriculum – A key element of our two-year program is our regular, monthly “in person” sessions within the contemplative and expansive setting of Wisdom House in Litchfield, CT. Apprentices model their commitment to spiritual growth by honoring the community agreement to meet monthly to practice with a listening presence. Our four strands provide a framework for guiding oneself and others towards a deeper connection with the Divine.
a. Teilhard – This strand explores how Teilhard and those who have expanded upon his vision (e.g. Thomas Berry, Ilia Delio, Brian Swimme, etc.) serve as guides for the individual and collective spiritual journey within a global and cosmic context.
b. Jung - Jung’s teachings help us to become intimate with the language of the psyche so we can better attend to our inner life and accompany others along their spiritual journey.
c. Mystics - Exposure to the Mystics and their ability to relate to the Divine helps deepen our sensitivities to the “holy longing” within ourselves and others.
d. Community – Community helps us to find our voice and to realize our ability to contribute to the spiritual well-being of the group.
While an Apprentice may receive from others, they also have the responsibility to give and to step into what they are able to offer back to the community. We encourage Apprentices to reach their full potential by helping them examine and articulate what is spiritually arising within their own lives. We believe that when Apprentices begin to articulate and understand their spiritual story, they can become deeper listeners to the movement of spirit in others.
Skills – Our two-year program helps our Apprentices:
a. Cultivate and develop skills of deep listening, contemplation and being present to Presence.
b. Engage in dialogue with their interiority while being aware of the integration of all internal and external cues.
c. Understand the mechanics of a spiritual guidance session (e.g. individual, group spiritual guidance) and be sensitive to the occurrence of transference and projection.
d. Whole-heartedly listen to Nature as scripture, thereby echoing the teachings of Teilhard de Chardin, Thomas Berry and others, and to experience one’s own life within the context of a wildly imaginative and evolving Cosmos.
e. Become sensitively attentive to the guidance of one’s deepest self through encountering the depth psychological insights of
f. Integrate the teachings of various Mystics and explore multiple pathways to relate to the Divine and others.
g. Experience various types of spiritual practices and learn which are better suited to one’s innate qualities.
h. Express your unique talents and abilities in service to the greater global community.
Applied Learning - Training in our Apprenticeship Program can be applied towards:
a. Informal spiritual guidance in various home, work and community settings based upon one’s discernment and intuition.
b. Formal spiritual guidance either in an individual or group setting - The Apprenticeship Program provides a grounding in how to become a spiritual guide as well as a discernment process on whether to pursue more formal spiritual guidance supervision.
Upon completion of the program, those students who are called to the vocation of spiritual guidance are encouraged before engaging with directees in either a “one-on-one” or group setting to seek additional supervision.
c. Spiritual grounding for social action within one’s local community, work or place of worship (e.g. community advocacy, non- profit capacity building, multi-faith engagement and inter-spiritual exploration). The Apprenticeship Program assists people to discern their calling and gifts for Servant Leadership and to practice Prophetic Imagination within their profession, places of worship and local/global community.
d. The integration of spirituality within your current professional work (e.g. therapist, pastoral counselor, social worker, medical professional, educator, business consultant, artist, body-oriented therapist/teacher, religious leader and more).
e. Credit towards a Masters in Pastoral Counseling – Apprenticeship Program training credit towards a Masters in Pastoral Care can be arranged through the Graduate Theological Foundation program.