Term 1
14 Feb to 8 Apr

Term 2
16 Apr to 24 Jun

Term 3
18 Jul to 16 Sep

Term 4
3 Oct to 18 Nov

Graduation & Missioning of Students
Monday 21 November, 7.30pm at Heart of Life



Siloam: Full-time or Part-time Program for the Formation of Spiritual Directors

We are receiving applications for SILOAM studies in 2023

Full-time (in-person) and
Part-time (in-person and online) 

Apply before 15 October 2022

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 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. It can be taken over one year full-time, or two years part-time (Mondays, 8.45am-4.30pm). In 2023, the Full-time stream will be delivered in-person whilst the Part-time stream will be available both in-person and online.

Students who meet the ‘previous degree’ and other criteria may undertake Siloam as a Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction (GDSD) through Yarra Theological Union/University of Divinity. Government Fee-Help for Tuition fees is available to qualifying Australian citizens.

Overseas candidates wishing to apply for the GDSD must do so before 15 November 2022 (after they have been offered a place in the program by Heart of Life). It is advisable therefore that overseas applicants apply to Heart of Life as early as possible and before 15 September 2022.

Siloam 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.

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.

To view videos of past students’ experience of Siloam, click on the links below:

Brian Gallagher msc, founder of Siloam and Heart of Life
Paul Beirne, past Director of Heart of Life, who undertook Siloam in the first cohort in 1980
Jovito Dales, Alumni 2020
Rita Malavisi rsj, Alumni 2014
Khoi Nguyen msc, current Siloam student

Seminars offered in Siloam:
  • Grace & Conversion
  • Spirituality of Human Life Stages A & B
  • Discernment
  • Religious Experience
  • The Human Experience of God
  • Ecological Spirituality
  • Professional Standards in Ministry
Formation Team:
  • Carole Carmody rsm
  • Sue Gesell
  • Peter Hay
  • Jeff Hood
  • Marlene McGrath
  • Wayne Stanhope OCarm

Click here to download 2023 Siloam brochure in PDF format.

Click here to download 2023 Siloam Application form, including Guidelines.

The closing date for applications for Siloam 2022 is 15 October 2022.  Places in the program are limited, and so it is recommended that applications be submitted well in advance of this date.

Census Dates in 2022:

15 March 2022 – for Semester 1 units, Full-time students
16 August 2022 – for Semester 2 units, Full-time students
26 April 2022 – for year-long units, Part-time students


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