Ways of Sacred Listening

Ways of Sacred Listening  is based on 1) spiritual principles 2) a belief in the sacred and 3) prayerful discernment and goal setting. Drawing on the best of Spiritual Direction practices and Life Coaching techniques, the course is designed for those who already have training and experience in the “helping professions,” but who wish to add a strong spiritual foundation to the work they are currently doing. Trained in the art of sacred listening, for example, spiritual directors may want to shift into a more active relationship with clients; this may include helping the client with articulating needs, setting goals, and identifying those skills and capacities they either already have or need to develop to accomplish their goals. Life coaches, on the other hand, accustomed to helping clients meet both internal and external goals, may feel drawn to include an explicitly spiritual framework to some or all of their coaching sessions. This course, then, offers new ways of combining  Spiritual Direction with  Life Coaching.

Please note: This course is only offered once a year.


  • Cultivating Mindfulness
  • Approaching Mystery
  • Guiding the Human Spirit
  • Creating Sacred Time, Sacred Space
  • Listening as Spiritual Director, Therapist, Mentor and Life Coach
  • Mirroring, evaluating, discovering, affirming, encouraging, challenging, focusing …
  • Observing body language, speech patterns, choice of words… (Reading the client)
  • Sharing (“Do’s” and “Don’ts”)
  • Identifying choices,  assessing commitment, setting goals, evaluating  actions, ensuring accountability
  • Exploring questions of purpose and mission from a spiritual perspective

Learning Method:  Lecture; Journal entries; discussion with learning community; reading/reading/logs; a  Spiritually-Based Life Coaching session with peer supervision


Additional Readings:

  • Williams, Pat & Deborah C. Davies.Therapist as Life Coach. New York: W. W. Norton & co., 2007.
  • Barry, William A. and William J. Connolly.The Practice of Spiritual Direction, 2nd Ed, rev.New York: HarperCollins, 2009.

Course Prerequisites


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