Ignatian Enrichment

The ISC top-up course for practising spiritual directors

The course usually runs every two years. We aim to run it next as an online-only course from September 2022 – July 2023.

Quotes from past top-up Course participants:

“A wonderfully lifegiving and enriching experience which has served to deepen my own spirituality, enhance my understanding, love and respect for the Exercises and hugely inform my practice.”

Caroline Welby

“Undertaking the Top Up course was one response I made to completing the Spiritual Exercises for myself. Initially nervous I quickly found the course delivered more than I could have hoped for; a small, intimate group of students, enabling deep fellowship and authentic practice sessions, all safely held by wise and empathetic tutors who encouraged us, and ensured we each got our best from the content. The Top Up course has enhanced my regular spiritual direction practice, reengaged me with my own journey through the Exercises and led to the blessing of leading my first retreatant through the 19th annotation. It’s an intense year, but the best investment of time and money that I have made in my spiritual direction ministry. For devotees of the Spiritual Exercises, I cannot recommend it highly enough.”

Revd Julia Sheffield

Top Up enabled me to understand better the principles and inspiration of the Spiritual Exercises, enlightening the journey I had with the 19th annotation, and bringing a deeper experience of God’s infinite Love, and a renewed spiritual transformation. I was greatly helped by the knowledge and support of the Team and the other participants, and the group work enabled honest sharing and learning in a safe and prayerful environment.

Victor Bailey

“This course will change your life! I can’t recommend it highly enough. Experienced directors will come away re-energised in relation to their own experience of God in the Exercises, as well as gaining a whole new dimension to their accompanying of others.”

Ruth Tuschling

“The Top Up course provided me with the confidence I needed to become a director who would accompany people wanting to embark on the the Spiritual Exercises. I have no hesitation in encouraging others to embark on this programme.”

Paula Pearce

This one-year course aims to form participants in giving the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola. This course is considered as Continued Professional Development and is for people already trained in spiritual direction. The course may also be suitable for previous graduates from our 3-year Ignatian training as a way to refresh their ability in giving the Exercises.

The course provides participants with the opportunity to engage with the theory and application of the text of the Spiritual Exercises.

In addition, participants are helped to develop further their skills in spiritual direction, especially the competence and reflective practice needed to be able to give the Spiritual Exercises by the 19th Annotation. There are regular appraisals and assignments throughout the duration of the course.

The course is an ecumenical Christian course and is open to people of goodwill from all traditions. It is led by an experienced staff of lay people, religious and clergy.

It will run on Thursdays (11 am–4 pm), partly in conjunction with ISC year 2 for the theory of the Exercises.

There is a lot of interest in this Course and places are limited and will be given on a first-come, first-served basis. Download the brochure.

Entry Requirements

Participants will

  • have completed training for offering spiritual direction;
  • be involved in accompanying others on a regular basis;
  • have been engaged in the ministry of spiritual direction for several years;
  • be receiving support from on-going supervision;
  • have made, or currently be in the process of making, the full Spiritual Exercises, either by the 30-day retreat or in Daily Life (sometimes called the 19th Annotation).

Entry on to the course is subject to an application form with two letters of recommendation from your supervisor and another. An interview can be arranged if needed.

Cost

The fees for 2021-22 were set at £1320. While this is presently under review, it is envisaged that fees for 2022-23 will remain roughly within this region.

We hope that no one is prevented from following the course through lack of money. Some assistance may be available from a small bursary fund.

Certification

A Certificate of Continued Professional Development is presented at the end of the year, reflecting the hours attended.