Center for Christian Spirituality
Center for Christian Spirituality
DO YOU FEEL CALLED BY GOD TO OFFER SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE TO OTHERS?
DO YOU DESIRE TO ENHANCE YOUR OWN SPIRITUALITY, INTERIOR LIFE & PRACTICE OF PRAYER?
The Center for Christian Spirituality (CCS) may be a place for you to explore the ways God is acting in your life. Established in 1976, the CCS educates and forms leaders to offer ministries of spiritual guidance, including spiritual direction. Drawing upon the rich resources of an accredited seminary, the CCS offers degrees and a certificate in Spiritual Direction and a certificate in the Spiritual Guidance of Children. The CCS also invites you simply to take a course or visit for special programs and events open to anyone seeking to enhance a relationship with God.
For the General Seminary Community: To learn about Spiritual Directors ministering on the Close and to make appointments, click here.
What is Spiritual Direction?
The CCS understands spiritual direction as any ministry that nurtures the spiritual lives of the people of God. Such ministries include spiritual direction, group spiritual guidance, the teaching of prayer practices, liturgy design, preaching, retreat and quiet day leadership, and prophetic leadership grounded in prayer. CCS courses explore many facets of Christian spirituality and offer students both an academic foundation and experiential learning for their future ministries.
Who are the Students?
Students come for spiritual enrichment, deeper understanding and experience of their faith, discernment of God’s guidance, sabbatical study, and education and formation for new spiritual guidance ministries in the church and the world. Students might be parish lay leaders, parish clergy, chaplains, artists and performers, business leaders, teachers, homemakers, or employees of non-profit organizations. The CCS prepares leaders for ministries of spiritual guidance in a variety of settings: congregations, religious communities, schools, health chaplaincies, and vocational and religious counseling centers.
Programs in Spiritual Direction
Through the CCS, General Seminary offers Master of Arts and Master of Sacred Theology degrees and a Certificate in Spiritual Direction. The course titled “AT1: Introduction to Christian Spirituality” serves as a foundational academic course, while practicums offer both scholarly formation and experiential learning. Viewing ongoing supervision as key to a healthy spiritual direction practice, the CCS also requires degree and certificate students to take three credits of supervision courses in which their ministry is reviewed by a professor alongside peers. M.A. students also take foundational courses in other theological fields, as well as electives according to their research and vocational interests. They either write a thesis or prepare a project in Spiritual Direction. S.T.M. students have the option of writing a thesis or pursuing a non-thesis track that focuses more on coursework.
CERTIFICATE IN the Spiritual Guidance of Children
Children have a natural, deep spirituality. They know God even before stories and symbols. They need adults who can help them discover a language for their faith. This certificate program invites you to become, through scholarly learning and practical training, a leader who can nurture children’s relationship with God. The program includes academic courses in the major theological disciplines, with a focus on children’s spirituality; scholarly courses addressing the theory and history of children’s spirituality; and practicum courses conducted in learning spaces where children explore their relationship with the holy through story, wonder, silence, prayer, and play.
For Master of Divinity Students
Recognizing that clergy are sometimes called by God to ministries of spiritual direction and spiritual guidance for children, General Seminary offers M.Div. students the opportunity to earn a Certificate concurrent with their degree program. Nine credits may count toward both the M.Div. degree and a Certificate. The remaining nine credits must be earned over and above the credits required for the M.Div. degree. To earn a Certificate, M.Div. students must complete all coursework required for the Certificate. Regardless of whether or not they are pursuing a Certificate, all M.Div. students may take CCS courses in areas of their interest to enrich their formation for ordained ministry.
iWith the hope of nurturing the spiritual lives of a diverse audience, the CCS offers a variety of special events and programs throughout the academic year that are open to the entire seminary community and the general public. The offerings include weekend workshops, guest luncheon speakers, spiritual direction and prayer groups, drum circles, and quiet days.
A major event each year is the Kay Butler Gill Lecture in Christian Spirituality; past lecturers have included Roberta Bondi, Tilden Edwards, Margaret Guenther, Alan Jones, Sandra Schneiders, Martin Smith, Janet Ruffing, Robin Jensen, and John Philip Newell.
Rejoice Always: Joy, Humor and Laughter in the Spiritual Life
The 2013 Kay Butler Gill Lecture in Christian Spirituality
by Fr. James Martin, SJ
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Financially Supporting the CCS
The CCS is grateful to all who care about spiritual leadership in the church and in the world and who express their care through financial gifts to the CCS. Whenever you make a donation to General Seminary, you may specify that you wish your gift to support CCS programs. You may make a gift online or send a check payable to "General Theological Seminary" with "CCS Gift" written in the subject line. No gift is too small. Thank you for your generosity
With inquiries about the CCS, please feel welcome to contact the Rev. K. Jeanne Person, Director,
either by email or by telephone, 646-717-9786, toll-free (888) 487-5649, ext. 271.