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Spiritual Direction and Directed Retreats (Graduate Certificate)

Creighton University’s Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction and Directed Retreats offers an experience of reflection, prayer, worship and study that cultivates a deep knowledge of Christian Spirituality.

Creighton offers guaranteed discounts to help support and encourage students to deepen their spiritual journey. See tuition and fees section below for more details.


This program will provide practical Ignatian spiritual direction training to enhance your ability to minister others. You’ll also cultivate an apostolic spirituality, gaining a deep spiritual and moral renewal that will help you respond appropriately to the many urgent issues facing humanity in the 21st century.

Apply what you learn to your life—or ministering others

This program will give you opportunities to self-reflect, gain a deeper understanding of Christian Spirituality and practice your ministerial skills. You’ll be encouraged to internalize what you learn and apply it to your own life through discernment skills. You’ll also be expected to interpret course materials to create your own contemplative, evocative approach to spiritual direction.

Dedicate some time to self-reflection and prayer

The Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction and Directed Retreats is offered year-round. All candidates must have a history of regular spiritual direction and be at least 30 years of age. The courses for this program are held on-campus, so you’ll have opportunities to connect face-to-face with others from around the world on similar spiritual journeys.

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Creighton University awards SDDR students 50% tuition discount. Apply and automatically receive.
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The Creighton University Retreat Center supports and fosters an active prayer life. Deepen your connection with God.


Program Details

Program Goals and Curriculum

The Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction and Directed Retreats is ideal for anyone over the age of 30 who wishes to become a professional Spiritual or Retreat Director. Students can apply what they learn to ministry and life.

To earn this certificate, you must complete 18 credits:

  • Introduction to Counseling for Spiritual Directors
  • The Theology of The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
  • Theory and Practice of Ignatian Prayer
  • Discernment of Spirits: Theory and Practice
  • Pre-Practicum in Spiritual Direction and Directed Retreats
  • Post-Practicum in Spiritual Direction and Directed Retreats


Creighton University's Theology Department faculty has a number of scholars and teachers who are nationally and internationally recognized for their excellence in teaching and research. The Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction and Directed Retreats draws on this body of faculty to develop spiritual leaders in the Jesuit tradition.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction and Directed Retreats program, applicants must:

  • Complete an application
  • Include an updated curriculum vitae or resume
  • Provide an official transcript from the institution that granted the Bachelor’s degree. Read more about sending transcripts here
  • Submit a personal statement of interest in the graduate certificate 
  • Have 12 recent credits in undergraduate or graduate theology and two years of regular spiritual direction
  • Currently be receiving regular spiritual direction and share the spiritual goals of the program
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from persons other than friends or family members who can speak to your life of faith and prayer
  • Be at least 30 years of age
  • Complete an eight-day silent, directed retreats preferably before beginning classes

A personal interview may be requested in addition to the above requirements. The interview may be conducted in-person or virtually.

International students are welcomed into this program and F-1 visas will be supported upon admission for the on-campus summer requirements.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Creighton University awards all Spiritual Direction and Directed Retreats students 50% remission from standard graduate school tuition. Tuition rates change in the fall of each year. Visit our financial aid page for more details. Students must apply and be accepted for scholarship assistance by December 1.

Financial Aid
To help make your graduate studies at Creighton University more affordable, we encourage you to file the FAFSA to apply for financial assistance. We also encourage you to apply for available graduate student scholarships and fellowships.

Still have questions? Email or call a friendly financial specialist at 402.280.2731 for any additional questions you may have.

Dates and Deadlines

The table below details the enrollment deadlines and starting dates of courses for the current academic year. If you have any questions about dates, deadlines, or application materials, please contact an enrollment specialist for personalized assistance.





April 15

Additional Certificate & Master's Degree Options


Graduate Certificate in Ignatian Tradition (9 credits)

  • Immerse yourself in the theology and history of the Ignatian tradition. Perfect for anyone employed by a Jesuit university, high school, refugee service, or other institution, this graduate certificate includes a 10-day travel course to Ignatian places of northern Spain, Paris and Rome. This trip incorporates the elements of personal prayer and reflection.
  • Credits earned for this graduate certificate can be applied toward a Master of Arts in Christian Spirituality degree.
  • Available in a hybrid format.


Master of Arts in Christian Spirituality (33 credits)

  • The credits you earn in the Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction and Directed Retreats program serve as the foundation for the Master of Arts in Christian Spirituality program.
  • Further enrich your understanding of Scripture, the Ignatian tradition, and the Christian faith through our Christian Spirituality master’s program.

Still Have Questions?

Reach out to a Graduate Enrollment Specialist