University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
UOM Main Page
Apply - Admissions 2016


TITLE Spiritual Direction

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Moral Theology

DESCRIPTION Spiritual direction is an ancient practice which in the Christian tradition dates back to the desert fathers. Although practices of mentorship pre-date the Christian practice of spiritual direction, the latter has its own rationale and goals. In spiritual direction one seeks to become aware of God's presence in personal life and to make life decisions in light of that awareness through the accompaniment of a gifted and trained mentor. The ministry of Spiritual Direction is a helping tool which enables the directee to articulate and understand one's own search for meaning through life situations and events. Spiritual direction as a practice distinguishes itself from psychotherapy or counseling although it utilizes many skills of these clinical practices. This study-unit aims at enabling participants to integrate their theological and psychological training from previous courses and utilizing it through theory and supervision in the practice of spiritual direction.

Study-unit Aims:

At providing participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to help people asking for spiritual mentorship in a pastoral relationship.

Learning Outcomes:

A. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. discover and appreciate the charism of Spiritual Direction;
2. distinguish Spiritual Direction from other types of personal accompaniment to a directee (psycotherapy, counseling, etc...);
3. know what are the characteristics and aims of Spiritual Direction.

B. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. be self-conscious as a pastoral minister;
2. develop focused attentive listening skills;
3. develop empathy and compassion.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Barry William – Connolly William, The Practice of Spiritual Direction, New York: The Seabury Press, 1982.
Barry William, Spiritual Direction and the Encounter with God: A Theological enquiry, Mahwah/nj: Paulist Press, 1992.
Bonnici John S., Person to Person. Friendship and Love in the Life and Theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar, New York: St. Pauls, 1999.
Bonello Kathleen, A Historical Sketch of the Catholic Tradition of Spiritual Direction by means of Letters – A Representative Selection, in Melita Theologica 58/2 (2007) 31-88.
Brundell Michael, Traditions of Spiritual Guidance. Themes in Carmelite Spiritual Direction, in The Way 25/3 (1985) 236-245. (available at the Carmelite Institute Library - Mdina)
Bumpus Mary Rose – Langer Rebecca Bradburn, Supervision of Spiritual Directors: Engaging in Holy Mystery, Harrisburg, Morehouse Publishing, 2006.
Burrows Ruth, Guidelines for Mystical Prayer, Denville/nj: Dimension Books, 1980.
Costa Maurizio, Direzione spirituale e discernimento, Rome: ADP Edizioni, 2002.
Douglas Julie M., Handbook for Spiritual Directors, Mahwah/nj: St. Pauls 1998.
Empereur James L., Spiritual Direction and the Gay Person, London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1998.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite Qualification: S.Th.B

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study and Practical

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Charlo Camilleri

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
21st Annual Augustinian Lecture 2017
The 21st Annual Augustinian Lecture 2017 will be celebrated on the 5th and 6th December 2017 with two lectures delivered by Rev. Prof. Theodore Dieter.

Closing Date Dissertation Proposals
Deadline to present dissertation proposals for next Faculty Board is Wednesday 29th November 2017 at 1700hrs

Augustinian Institute Academic Year 2017-18

 Click here for more information


Dissertation Logbook
The Dissertation Logbook can be found here.

Quick Guide for using the Chicago Style
Click to download document.


Log In back to UoM Homepage