Spiritual Programs

Nine Month Training Program in Contemplative Prayer and The Art of Spiritual Leadership

The Nine Month program (September- May) can stand alone and offers a certificate of completion of The Art of Spiritual Leadership. Please see “Year One” tab below for details.

Three Year Training Program in The Art of Spiritual Direction



HeartPaths explores practices of prayer and contemplative living because we believe that what you practice shapes who you are, and who you are becoming is important to God and the world!

Contemplative Prayer and Spiritual Leadership

Year One Includes:

Weekly Sessions

Weekly Small Group Sessions offer relevant instruction and practical wisdom for contemplative prayer, followed by ample time for quiet prayer, journaling, and reflection.

While there is plenty to learn about prayer, HeartPaths focuses on the actual practice of praying.  In Year One of HeartPaths you can enjoy a safe circle for quiet prayer where you may grow in grace and feel closer to God.

A variety of prayer styles can enrich your relationship with the Holy.  A representative year includes: Breath Prayer, Contemplative Reflection, Lectio Divina (praying the scriptures), Jesus Prayer, guided meditation, body prayer, centering prayer, Examen, and more.

While learning new styles may be exciting, it is the steady practice that is encouraged at HeartPaths, because that is where new life occurs through spiritual formation. Come and see!

Practical Resourcing Included

HeartPaths provides training and experiences which undergird and enhance your weekly prayer practices.  Past topics have included:

  • How to progress towards a balanced and whole life;
  • Your spiritual preferences;
  • Practical skills for retreat leading; and
  • Personality and prayer. “

If you seek to rest in God’s peace, follow Jesus more closely, or grow in the fruit of the Spirit, you are invited to prayerfully consider HeartPaths as a next step on your spiritual journey.


Preparation (a.k.a. ‘a bit of homework’) includes a book each month and brief reflective writing assignments, along with occasional articles or chapters that enhance weekly prayer experiences.

Spiritual Direction

All HeartPaths students will meet individually with a spiritual director who is a member of the HeartPaths faculty.  This person will not direct your life, but will accompany you as you seek to steady your spiritual gaze in the direction of God.

For more information about spiritual direction, “click here.”

The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola

Movement to Year 2 of HeartPaths is a matter of discernment for both faculty and student.

This year offers an 9-month retreat experience of The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola done in daily life which invites a rich walk with Jesus Christ through the Gospels towards greater spiritual freedom.

Themes of Ignatius that relate directly to the ministry of spiritual direction include spiritual freedom, finding God in everything, discernment of spirits, joining Christ’s mission in the world, and the spiritual states of consolation and desolation.

Year 2 includes weekly group sessions from September until May plus six seminars.  Individual spiritual direction increases to approximately twice a month to support you on retreat.

Come engage your imagination in the excitement of following Christ more closely!

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it…”   

Colossians 4:2 New Revised Standard Version

Practicum in Spiritual Direction

In Year 3 of HeartPaths, students interested in exploring the possibility of serving as spiritual directors enter a supervised practicum.  Year 3 usually begins in late May or early June and runs until the following May so that students gain a year’s worth of experience practicing spiritual direction.

Monthly seminars address relevant topics such as listening skills, the art of asking questions, and spiritual discernment.  Monthly books and articles offer participants a feast of wisdom.

After reflecting on their experiences with volunteer directees, HeartPaths students increase their ability to sit freely and listen well through small group supervision sessions with a faculty supervisor.  Students write reflection papers and verbatims to help them notice and expand their gifts in the art of spiritual direction. A final project invites exploration of a favorite topic in spiritual direction.

Year 3 often leads to more trust in God and increased clarity about one’s own sense of calling about how to serve in the world, as well as a deeper understanding of the dynamics of the spiritual life.

Year 3 includes monthly sessions with a HeartPaths spiritual director who listens as you and God discern next steps in your life of faith.

A Certificate of Completion in The Art of Spiritual Direction is offered at the end of the 3 year program.

“O LORD, my heart is not lifted up, my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother…”  

Psalm 131:1-2 New Revised Standard Version

HeartPaths-DFW-Application (PDF download)

HeartPaths-DFW-Application (MSWord download)

HeartPaths Brochure (PDF download)

Limited number of scholarships upon request