Interpersonal Dynamics in Spiritual Direction II

This unit can be undertaken as full time (DS8704Y) or part time (DS8714Y) and (DS8724Y)


The unit covers both the human experience of God – a detailed study of God’s working in personal experience and consequent approaches to prayer — and ethics and professional standards in ministry, with particular application to the ministry of spiritual direction.   Each student will direct a retreat under supervision as part of this unit.


Enrolment in Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction at Heart of Life Centre


Full time = DS8702Y and DS8706Y

Part time = DS8712Y and DS8716Y

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the anthropological, psychological and pastoral underpinnings of the ministry of spiritual direction
  2. discuss the various ways of expressing the human encounter with God
  3. critically evaluate different traditions of spirituality and their different approaches to the practice of prayer
  4. integrate the ethics of spiritual direction in their own practice.


3000 word reflection paper / Human Experience (50%); 1500 word reflection paper/ Ethics (25%); 1500 word critical reflection on the experience of leading a retreat under supervision (based on a journal) (25%)


* = set texts recommended for purchase

* Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference & Australian Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes. Integrity in Ministry. Canberra: ACBC,2004.

* ———. Integrity in the Service of the Church: A Resource Document of Principles and Standards for Lay Workers in the Catholic Church in Australia. Canberra: National Committee for Professional Standards, 2011.

* Australian Ecumenical Council for Spiritual Direction. Code of Ethics for Spiritual Directors,

* Barry, William A. Spiritual Direction and the Encounter with God. New York: Paulist, 1992.

Burrows, Ruth. Essence of Prayer. Mahwah, NJ: Hidden Spring, 2006.

* Gallagher, Brian. Taking God to Heart. Sydney, NSW: St. Pauls, 2008.

Gula, Richard. Ethics in Pastoral Ministry. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist, 1996.

———. Just Ministry, New York, NY: Paulist Press, 2010.

Ignatius of Loyola, Spiritual Exercise. Chicago: Loyola UP, 1952.

* Keating, Thomas. The Human Condition: Contemplation and Transformation. New York: Paulist Press, 2007.

May, Gerald G. The Dark Night of the Soul. New York, NY: Harper San Francisco, 2005.

Matthew, Iain. The Impact of God: Soundings from St. John of the Cross. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1995.