Contemplative Spiritual Direction Training

~ Cohort VI 2021 After completing a cycle of three Cornerstone Courses we accept applications due Nov 1, 2020 for the sixth cohort of our training.



radically present to what is

thoughtful, pensive, reflective, meditative, ruminative, introspective, brooding


Contemplative Spiritual Direction Training VI 2021

Mar 17-21, Jun 9-13, Sep 8-12, Nov 10-14, 2021 

A year-long program with four residential intensives and distance learning modules before and between the intensives.

Preparatory/Pre-Requisite Work:

Participation in a cycle of three Cornerstone Courses, taken in any order you choose.


In preparing people as spiritual directors, we are bringing the power of contemplative presence out of the prayer room to bear upon the cultural wounds of our times, particularly addiction, dislocation, soul trauma and dying.

Grounded in the contemplative practices of silence and heart awareness, and informed by the ancient tradition of spiritual direction, we seek to meet the challenges of our time. We do this by listening and attending to the voices speaking from the fertile eddies, margins and liminal spaces of our world.

With the continual unfolding of traumatic world events, we feel that we must find ways to overcome our “spectator consciousness” so as to be truly present to the sufferings and spiritual hunger that confronts us. We bring contemplative practice to bear on such phenomena as addiction, trauma and environmental degradation so as to become more receptive to their meaning and what is being asked of us. We have found that this approach has radically reoriented our frames of reference and ways of thinking about world, soul and future.

Rooted in the fertile ground of the Christian contemplative tradition and designed to deepen capacities for spiritual presence and leadership and in our turbulent times, this training is open to all who feel called to the way of inner Christianity:

  • a living practice of presence to silence
  • a renewed understanding of the human journey
  • a transformational engagement with sacred text


Overview of Training

Spiritual direction is rooted in the ancient tradition of ‘companioning’ a person or group as they embark upon the inner way of sacred service. The contemplative spiritual director does not so much offer guidance as he/she cultivates a capacity for listening. Hence our program does not train ‘directors’ but rather ‘midwives’ who inwardly listen with others to the ‘speaking silence’ of the ever emerging world.

At the most basic level, we do this by entering silence and cultivating heart awareness. Heart awareness brings us into an intimate and receptive resonance with the Earth, her creatures, and our fellow human beings. We foster this intimacy so as to help heal the alienation that characterizes our time. This work is eminently practical and can be applied to virtually any activity or situation.

The Alcyon training in Contemplative Spiritual Direction is comprised of three major components: 1) contemplative practice, 2) individual spiritual direction and, 3) study. We use these practices to deepen our awareness and understanding of the myriad catastrophes besetting our world.


Contemplative Spiritual Direction Training VI:  Mar 17-21, Jun 9-13, Sep 8-12, Nov 10-14, 2021 

Full Details and 2021 Application coming soon


Some Background Information about the origins of the CSD Training Programs

from Letter of Inquiry for Grant from The BTS Center Innovation Incubator 2016

In early June 2016 we received a $20,000 grant from the The BTS Center’s Innovation Incubator to help us “continue to think boldly about practical, grounded and visionary scholarship, research and training to inspire and form spiritual leaders working at the most vulnerable edges of our culture.”

The grant recognized that our inaugural Training in Contemplative Spiritual Direction, with 13 students, is the seed of a comprehensive and visionary model for forming spiritual leaders for contemplatively grounded and prophetic ministries. With this grant we form the seed vision into an annual program and related trainings. We are grateful and honored to be part of this first granting cycle.  Our Letter of Inquiry (PDF) for the grant describes the background, vision and preparation for this training.