13 Feb to 6 Apr
24 Apr to 23 Jun
17 Jul to 15 Sep
2 Oct to 17 Nov
Commissioning of Students 2023
Monday 20 November, 7.30pm at Heart of Life
SILOAM : FULL-TIME OR PART-TIME PROGRAM FOR THE FORMATION OF SPIRITUAL DIRECTORS
The internationally-renowned Siloam program for the formation of spiritual directors continues to guide candidates from Australia and around the world along the path of contemplative discernment, following the way of the heart.
It is the longest-running program for the formation of Spiritual Directors in Australia. First offered in 1979 by Brian Gallagher msc, and by Heart of Life since 1983, Siloam, recognised by the Australian Ecumenical Council for Spiritual Direction, has earned a national and international reputation of forming competent and experienced spiritual directors.
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.
It is open to people of all faiths 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.
The lecturers and supervisors at Heart of Life foster a discerning, contemplative approach where spiritual directors-in-formation become more and more attuned to the movement of God’s Spirit in themselves and in their directees.
Siloam can be undertaken as either the ‘Siloam Program’ (a Certificate issued by Heart of Life) or for those who have a previous, recognised University degree, the Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction.
Siloam is offered in the following formats:
Full Time – 1 Year (Mondays – Thursdays) on campus (times to be advised)
Part Time – 2 Years (Mondays) on campus or online (times to be advised)
We are receiving applications for studies in 2024. Closing date: 15 October 2023.
Places in the program are limited – we recommend that applications be submitted as early as possible. Late applications will be considered on their merits.
The Siloam formation groups consist of a small number of participants each year, providing the best environment for the course praxis in particular. A full course fee information is provided in the PDF below.
Census Dates in 2023
The Census Dates below are the final dates on which a student may withdraw from the Siloam Program or Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction without financial penalty. Withdrawal from either of these programs/units after the dates below will result in a ‘Fail’ being marked on the student’s transcript and no refund will be possible unless special circumstances apply as per the Refund Policy.
Sem 1 Units – 21/3/23
Sem 2 Units – 22/8/23
12.00pm – 24/4/23
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the process for gaining a place in the program?
1/ You have had at least six months’ experience of being in spiritual direction.
2/ You sense a call to become a spiritual director.
3/ Attend a Taster session if possible – these are generally held in June and August each year and are publicised on our website.
4/ Have a conversation with us before you submit your application.
5/ Complete application documents, pay application fee, and submit no later than 15 October.
6/ Attend interview.
7/ Undertake psychological test as directed.
8/ Based on steps 5-7, receive an Offer of a Place.
9/ For those studying for the Graduate Diploma, enrol with Yarra Theological Union. Overseas students must enrol with YTU by 15 November.
Are you an overseas applicant seeking to study the Siloam Program for the Certificate in Spiritual Direction?
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, 9am-5pm 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.
Are you an overseas applicant seeking to study the Siloam Program for the Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction?
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.
What Units are studied in the Program?
- DD8701Y Religious Experience and the Christian Spiritual Tradition I (Seminars: Religious Experience; Grace & Conversion)
- DD8702Y Religious Experience and the Christian Spiritual Tradition II (Seminars: Discernment; Ecological Spirituality)
- DD8703Y Personal Awareness and Human Development I (Seminars: Spirituality of Human Life Stages A & B)
- DD8704Y Personal Experience of God and Personal Ethics in Spiritual Direction (Seminars: The Nature of Human Experience and the Human Experience of the Divine; Professional Standards)
- DD8705Y Spiritual Direction Practicum I
- DD8706Y Spiritual Direction Practicum II
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.
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.