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Presence Program -Called in Love, Sent to Serve

Presence Program Graduates Nine People

Called in Love, Sent to Serve reflects the heart Providence Renewal Centre’s Spiritual Director Training Program, PRESENCE. Nine people answered the call to the ministry of spiritual direction and were sent to serve with a graduation on June 7, 2018.  The Presence Program offers a supportive and prayerful learning experience which includes thematic learning modules, theological reflection, spiritual practices, retreats and a practicum.  Participants learn alongside other seekers and journey with a team of professionals.  This ecumenical, live-in, formation program is two years in length (September to June each year).  

The next Presence Program takes place September 2019 to June 2021. For more information contact Debbie Doornbos, 780-701-1853 or email .  Do you feel called?   

Purpose: To deliver a two-year, part-time formation program that prepares people to be spiritual directors

  • Nurture a prayerful and supportive community
  • Foster contemplative listening and discernment skills for spiritual direction ministry
  • Offer monthly learning modules related to faith, spirituality, and spiritual direction
  • Utilize spiritual resources and practices of the Christian faith tradition
  • Explore faith and spirituality in a broad range of traditions and cultures
  • Facilitate opportunities for participants to discern a call to spiritual direction ministry
  • Recognize and call forth gifts for spiritual direction ministry
  • Organize supervised practicum experiences for providing spiritual direction
  • Prepare participants to be spiritual directors

  • Monthly live-in experiences - In order to nurture a prayerful and supportive learning community, participants stay overnight each month of the program. This encourages both formal and informal gatherings, relaxed times for quiet, socializing over meals, sharing prayer, and times of ritual, walking the labyrinth, or taking walks on the grounds and along nearby trails.
  • Thematic Learning Modules - Participants will have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge about topics related to spirituality and spiritual direction. Themes planned for year one include: My Sacred Story, What is Spirituality, Naming the Divine, Prayer and Discernment, The Human Person, Popular Culture and Spirituality, Transition and Transformation, Sacred Texts and Living Words. Themes for Year Two will be provided prior to the conclusion of year one.
  • Integrated Retreat Experiences – In the middle and at the end of each year participants will gather for five-day periods of retreat. These will include structure but also allow ample time for silence, personal reflection, prayerful discernment, and spiritual direction.
  • Theological Reflection – Theological reflection builds on faith and spirituality. It has been described as both an art and a discipline. During the program participants will utilize a variety of tools (e.g. journaling, art making, written reports, story/narrative development, etc.) to theologically reflect on self, others, the Divine, one’s faith tradition, and the socio-cultural context of contemporary spiritual direction.
  • Spiritual Practices – Throughout the two-year period participants will nurture their spiritual lives by means of spiritual practices such as daily prayer, spiritual reading, examination of conscience, regular spiritual direction, and ongoing discernment of God’s call in their lives. In addition, program faculty will introduce spiritual practices related to the monthly themes.
  • Practicum – During the second year of the program there will be an opportunity for participants to offer spiritual direction within the context of supervised practicum experiences. Practicum work will involve careful preparation, oversight, and evaluation. More information will be provided at the beginning of year two.
Admission Requirements:

  • Adults (preferably age 35 and older) with demonstrated self-awareness and an established commitment to prayer, ministry, and holistic growth in one’s spiritual life
  • Presently receiving spiritual direction
  • Affirmed by others as having gifts and skills for spiritual direction ministry
  • A sense of being called to the ministry of spiritual direction
  • Some background in theology, scripture, and personal growth
  • Open to learn and grow
  • Retreat experience (e.g. silent retreats of 5, 8, 30 days, and/or participation in a 19th Annotation retreat)
  • Time and willingness to complete the program
  • Commitment to participate fully in the monthly learning modules and inter-module assignments (e.g. readings, reflection papers, etc.)
  • Three letters of recommendation (including a letter from one’s faith community)

For more information about the Presence Program, please contact:
Debbie Doornbos, Program Director
Providence Renewal Centre
3005 119 St NW
Edmonton AB T6J 5R5


Please send the application along with the letters of recommendation and the $100.00 non-refundable processing fee payable to Providence Renewal Centre to:
Presence Program
Providence Renewal Centre
3005 119 St NW
Edmonton AB T6J 5R5

Transfer Credit available from St. Stephen’s College, Edmonton