Overview of Spiritual Formation Opportunities at PTS
Some people come to counseling for guidance in faith development, spiritual disciplines, or discernment of call. While students are encouraged to talk about their faith in counseling, individual and group spiritual direction also provide a unique setting for exploring these issues. Local spiritual directors are available to help students and spouses deepen their capacity to “listen for God” in and out of the classroom, in all of life’s experiences. Information about spiritual direction at PTS and a list of local directors is available through the Office of of Student Counseling, Chapel Office, Student Relations & Senior Placement, Field Education, and Multicultural Relations.
Individual Spiritual Direction
“Spiritual direction helps me look at my own experience in a contemplative way. I’m paying more attention to the real holiness in everyday.” – Gary Becker, Spiritual Director
Students and spouses who have pursued individual spiritual direction during their time at Princeton Seminary routinely report that it has been an invaluable component of their faith formation. Many love having an opportunity to simply focus on where they are in their faith journey with a caring, trained “companion” who can help them hear the meaning in what they are saying and mine what they are experiencing.
Most people meet with a spiritual director on a monthly basis for an hour. Some directors will meet with students in the Spiritual Direction/Counseling Room in Miller Chapel. Others prefer to meet with students in their own offices off campus. The 17 directors on the general referral list are not employed by the seminary and students are responsible to contact the director to set up sessions and discuss location and fees. In their own practices directors may charge a fee of $50. Many will reduce the fee to about $25 for students and spouses at PTS who are not enrolled in the Student Health Benefit Plan (SBHP). Those that are enrolled in SHBP pay $15 per session to meet a director on campus and $10 to meet a director off-campus. If you wish to pursue direction and the fee is beyond your means, please see the Director of Student Counseling, Nancy Schongalla-Bowman.
Spiritual Direction & Discernment Groups
“I absolutely appreciate my spiritual director. Our time together has been so fruitful. I am so very blessed to have her as a fellow sojourner on my journey here at PTS. I think EVERY student – every person, actually – should have a spiritual director.” – MDiv graduate, class of 2010
Spiritual Direction groups honor the call to a deeper relationship with God within a small community. Assisted by a trained Spiritual Director, participants focus on articulating God’s presence in the whole of life through prayerful listening and responding to each other.
The groups normally meet on campus every other week throughout a semester for an hour and a half. There are four to five individuals or three couples in each group. Participants agree to regular attendance and hold what is shared as sacred and confidential.
The copayment for group spiritual direction is $10/session and is billed to student accounts at the start of the group series. There are two ways to participate: join one of the existing groups, or form your own group and a director will be assigned. Financial aid is available.
For more information contact the Office of Student Counseling in Templeton 301.