Siloam: Full-time or Part-time Program for the Formation of Spiritual Directors
We are receiving applications for studies in 2023:
Melbourne, in-person: Full-time & Part-time
Sydney, blended (in-person/Zoom): Part-time
Closing date 1/12/22 – Late applications considered on their merits
Siloam is a program for the formation of competent, experienced spiritual directors. The lecturers and supervisors at Heart of Life foster a discerning, contemplative approach whereby spiritual directors-in-formation become more and more attuned to the movement of God’s Spirit in themselves and in their directees.
The Program is the longest-running program for the formation of spiritual directors in Australia. It was first offered in 1979 by Brian Gallagher msc, and Heart of Life has continued the Program since 1983 to this day, building a national and international reputation for excellence. It is open to women and men of varying faith and cultural traditions, who are drawn to listen deeply to their own hearts, and the hearts of others, and seek to discern whether they may be called to the ministry of spiritual direction. Study can be taken over one year full-time, or two years part-time (Mondays, 8.45am-4.30pm AEST).
In 2023, the Full-time stream will be delivered in-person. Students wishing to study the Part-time stream can do so either in-person or online.
The Siloam Program is recognised by the Australian Ecumenical Council for Spiritual Direction as meeting its standards for the formation of spiritual directors in Australia. The program’s approach to formation is soundly experiential and is based on solid theological, biblical and social sciences theory and praxis. A discerning, contemplative attitude is integral to all seminars and practical work. Regular reflection, prayer time and a commitment to one’s own spiritual direction are essential to the program.
Local and international students may be awarded the Siloam Program in one of two ways:
a) a ‘Certificate in Spiritual Direction’, or
b) if they meet the previous Degree and other criteria, a ‘Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction’ (GDSD) through Yarra Theological Union (YTU)/University of Divinity. The course content is the same as the Certificate in Spiritual Direction. Additional fees apply to the GDSD. Government Fee-Help for GDSD Tuition fees is available to qualifying Australian citizens.
In the recent past, we have trained spiritual directors originating from Australia, Bougainville, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Kiribati, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Tanzania, Timor-Leste and Vietnam. Almost 50 religious orders from Australia and overseas are represented in our Siloam graduates together with Lay women and men.
OVERSEAS APPLICANTS SEEKING TO STUDY THE SILOAM PROGRAM FOR THE CERTIFICATE IN SPIRITUAL DIRECTION:
1/ Study in Australia – firstly, candidates should undertake an IELTS test (or equivalent) to ensure their level of English meets 5.5 General. Candidates should then apply to Heart of Life to undertake the Siloam Program well before the closing date. After a successful application and interview, and being offered a place by Heart of Life, these candidates should apply for the Temporary Activity Visa 408 if they wish to study in-person in Australia. This Visa is for one year thus applicants would need to study the Program full-time. The English level required for the Certificate is IELTS 5.5 General, with at least 5.0 in each of the four bands.
2/ Study Online from your Home Country – firstly, candidates should undertake an IELTS test (or equivalent) to ensure their level of English meets 5.5 General. Candidates should then apply to Heart of Life to undertake the Siloam Program before the closing date. As an online candidate, a stable and reliable internet service is required as well as a manageable time difference. Note that only the part-time stream (ie Mondays, 8.45am-4.30pm AEST) of the Program is available online. The English level required for the Certificate is IELTS 5.5 General, with at least 5.0 in each of the four bands. After a successful application and interview, Heart of Life will offer a place in the program.
OVERSEAS APPLICANTS SEEKING TO STUDY THE SILOAM PROGRAM FOR THE GRADUATE DIPLOMA IN SPIRITUAL DIRECTION:
1/ Study in Australia – firstly, candidates should undertake an IELTS test (or equivalent) to ensure their level of English meets 6.5 Academic. Candidates should apply to Heart of Life to undertake Siloam/GDSD well before the closing date. After a successful application and interview, Heart of Life will offer a place in the program, and candidates can then apply to YTU to enrol in the GDSD. Note that those seeking the GDSD would apply for the Student Visa 500, which requires full-time study of the program, and a higher level of English – IELTS 6.5 Academic. After being accepted by Heart of Life to study Siloam/GDSD, an application to YTU to enrol in the GDSD must be made before 15 November 2022.
2/ Study Online from your Home Country – firstly, candidates should undertake an IELTS test (or equivalent) to ensure their level of English meets 6.5 Academic. Candidates should apply to Heart of Life to undertake Siloam/GDSD before the closing date. Candidates will be able to study part-time only (ie Mondays, 9am-5pm AEST). A stable and reliable internet service is required as well as a manageable time difference. After a successful application and interview, Heart of Life will offer a place in the program, and candidates can then apply to YTU to enrol in the GDSD as an online student. The English level required is IELTS 6.5 Academic. After being accepted by Heart of Life to study the program, an application to YTU to enrol in the GDSD should be made before 15 December 2022.
Overseas GDSD applicants can find more student information here.
See these short videos providing feedback on the Siloam Program:
Units offered in Siloam:
Click here to download 2023 Siloam brochure in PDF format.
Click here to download 2023 Siloam Application form, including Guidelines.
Places in the program are limited – it is recommended that applications be submitted well in advance of the closing date. Late applications will be considered on their merits.
Census Dates in 2023: to be advised
Testimonials / Comments from Former Participants
My time with the Siloam program was an incredibly enriching, formative experience. Experiential at its core, the program takes participants through an inner journey like none other. The insights I have gained about myself in relation to God and to the world have transformed my sense of self, my vocation and my capacity to hear with the heart, not just my own self but the longings of others. I recommend Siloam highly to those on the Christian walk who are ready to be stretched and challenged and to those who want to learn through experience, what it means to truly listen and be heard.” – Carrie, VIC
I’ve just completed the university course to end all courses. Though only a day per week for most of its two years, Siloam has not only profoundly altered my understanding of myself and others, introduced me to the most amazing thinkers and theologians, sharpened my ability to discern between the words of what another person says, bestowed on me a deep trust in whatever turns my life will take in the years ahead – for good measure, it has also transformed me professionally and started me in a career that has given me moments of the most intense satisfaction and purpose, in my daily dealings with the sick and dying.” – Chris, VIC
After spending the last ten years on mission overseas, Siloam has been a truly blessed year for me. My experience at Heart of Life has touched my heart deeply and enriched my mind. A refrain that kept ringing in my ears was, “Listen attentively with the ear of the heart.” (St Benedict) Participating in Siloam has helped me hear more deeply God’s personal call to me. Lectures, Group and Individual Supervision, evaluations and interaction with other participants all worked together to lead me to a greater self-awareness and self-acceptance, which in turn have enriched my ministry response. The year has helped me be more aware of the “Divine Spark” within me and others. For Siloam, which has brought me to life-giving water, to Living Water, I am truly grateful.” – Marie, VIC
Siloam is an unique opportunity to answer the inner call in each person’s individual relationship with their God. This course allows each person to refine and connect at a deeper level of Spiritual understanding, not just within themself, but also in being able to take this understanding outwards to other people in their deep need. The journey is guided gently but firmly and structured with each person being able to engage with the theology of writers down the centuries. The course allows the person to appreciate God’s unique place in our day-to-day lives. Siloam is a blessing given to a few. A gift that was given to me.” – Jan, VIC