University of Mary Launches Inaugural ‘Prayer and Spiritual Direction’ Certificate

Allison praying at the Cathedral

University of Mary Launches Inaugural ‘Prayer and Spiritual Direction’ Certificate

Summer courses with Monsignor Richter and Shea and Father Sattler begin May 9, so contact to register and UMaryOnline for more information.

BISMARCK, ND — The Certificate in Prayer and Spiritual Direction involves three, five-week courses that introduces students to the theology and practice of prayer as well as the impediments and obstacles to developing a robust spiritual life.

Chair of the theology program and assistant professor at the University of Mary, Dr. Philip Porter, wants to help people meet that challenge. Citing the Second Vatican Council’s Lumen Gentium, paragraph 39-42, Porter believes the Church has a responsibility to equip Christians to answer the universal call to holiness.

“The purpose of the Certificate in Prayer and Spiritual Direction is twofold, and they are intimately related,” said Porter. “The first is to introduce students to concepts and practices that help them deepen their own relationship with God in prayer. This includes introducing students to some of the major spiritual traditions within the Church — Benedictine, Ignatian, and Carmelite — and helping them to come to terms with the obstacles and impediments to the spiritual life that are perennial and particular to our own age. The second purpose is to begin introducing students to the practice of spiritual direction.” 

The first course, Being with God: What Happens in Prayer, introduces the student to the life of prayer and is taught by Monsignor Tom Richter from May 9 through June 10.

The second course Sanctity and Sanity: The Christian Spiritual Tradition, with co-instruction provided by Father Wayne Sattler, is scheduled for June 30 through July 22. Also included is a special eight-day, in-person, Ignatian retreat on the University of Mary campus led by Richter — which can be done this summer or the next depending on the student’s schedule.

University of Mary President Monsignor James Shea teaches the third and final course that leads to a Prayer and Spiritual Direction certificate called Transformation and Renewal: Healing the Mind, July 25 through August 6. This course helps students apply the insights of the two earlier courses in the contemporary context of cultural and spiritual upheaval, while prayer as a means of developing a Christian imaginative vision and learning to see the world as a Christian.

Contact to register and UMaryOnline for more information.

About the University of Mary 

True to its motto “lumen vitae” — The Light of Life — the University of Mary offers education for the whole of life through cutting-edge professional programs and graduate programs animated by moral courage and leadership in chosen professions and service to the community. A private, co-educational Catholic institution, the University of Mary welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds.

A Christian, Catholic, Benedictine institution founded in 1959 by the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, Mary offers nearly 60 bachelor’s, 15 master’s, and five doctoral programs — in business administration, education, nursing practice, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. The 19-sport Athletic Department adheres to its Greatness Through Virtue mission under the governance of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) conferences. With more than 3,800 students, Mary has locations in North Dakota, Montana, Arizona, and Rome, Italy, as well as vibrant online offerings.