Tending the Holy

Two-year certificate program

The search for purpose and meaning often arises with holy questions: Where do I go from here? How do I become part of something significant? What is happening with my spiritual or prayer life? These questions call for careful tending and discernment and mark the beginning of a deeper spiritual journey.  This foundational insight is central our pathway to certification.

Program Overview
One of the longest-standing programs nationwide, Christos Center’s, Tending the Holy program has been preparing women and men for the ministry of spiritual direction since 1990.  Tending the Holy is a Christian ecumenical program that rests on the premise that we receive the gift to be present and listen to another’s story in a healthy way through our own prayerful practices and contemplative experiences of God.

Each person involved in Tending the Holy – students, facilitators, presenters, coordinators, spiritual directors and directees – is in the process of being transformed.  Our experiential emphasis ensures that we increase our awareness of the movement of the Holy Spirit in ourselves and in others. Prayer is the foundation of this program. We believe the ministry of spiritual direction is a call or charism.  Through prayer, this call or charism is discerned, nourished, encouraged, deepened and challenged.

Program Description
The two-year program begins in September each year in three locations (St. Paul, Chicago, Fargo) and is also available online via distance learning. It concludes in May of the second year with a silent retreat. Students meet twice a month, watch informative and challenging video presentations, and gather in small groups with a facilitator. The first year small group experience is centered on group spiritual direction. The emphasis in the second year is peer supervision. Every small group is led by an experienced Spiritual Director/facilitator, who will provide leadership and feedback on each student’s practice of spiritual direction and reflections of the course material. Our bibliography is a diverse compilation of classic and modern writings on prayer, contemplative practices, spiritual direction and will be given out upon acceptance into the program.

Upon completion of all course requirements, students will receive a Certificate of Completion of the Tending the Holy training program through Christos Center for Spiritual Formation. Our graduates offer spiritual direction in locations all over the world. Graduates report the knowledge and wisdom gained through Tending the Holy benefits them in all walks of life.

Curriculum Units

  • Foundations of the Spiritual Direction Relationship
  • Contemplative Prayer
  • Movements/Dynamics of the Spiritual Direction Relationship
  • Theology in Spiritual Direction and Introduction to Peer Supervision
  • The Heart of Discernment
  • Human and Spiritual Development

Applicant Qualifications

  • Demonstrate spiritual maturity through awareness of and attentiveness to their relationship with God, themselves and others.
  • Have experience with contemplative spiritual practices and listening for the movement of God in the story of another.
  • Sense a call to offer spiritual companionship to others.
  • Have participated in spiritual direction with a trained spiritual director at least 6 months prior to starting the program.
  • Submit application and two recommendations.
  • Complete a personal interview with the program coordinator of their selected location (St. Paul, Chicago, Fargo or Distance)

Tuition, Fee & Application Information

  • Tuition is $2725 a year, $5450 for the two years. Tuition can be paid monthly: $259.52 a month over 21 months beginning in September of the first year of the program. Please contact our Financial Administrator with any questions at
  • Application fee: $100 (Applications received by May 31 will receive a $100 tuition credit.)
  • Christos accepts checks, credit cards and Paypal.
  • Students are responsible for all book, retreat, and travel costs.
  • Application deadline: August 1
  • A complete application includes the following: application form, application fee, discussion with Program Coordinator, recommendations and an interview. Applicants will be notified of acceptance.

Learn More & Apply

Twin Cities Program Contacts

Tamra Koehler, Lead Coordinator

Robin Fraser, Coordinator

Chicago Program Contacts

Linda Richardson, Lead Coordinator

Brenna Jones, Coordinator

Fargo Program Contact

Ellen Zaeske, Coordinator

Online Distance Program Contact

Gail Brecht, Coordinator