This course is no longer recruiting students for the academic year 2024/25

Course overview


Three years part-time. Three modules are delivered in each of years one and two. In the third year, students will write their dissertations.

Mode of Study
Entry Points

Who is this programme for?

This programme is suitable for those interested in Spiritual Formation both for themselves and in order to help others that they interact with.

Programme content

Students taking this course take six taught modules in the first two years and a dissertation in the third year. The taught modules are:

  • Framework, skills and ethics
  • Approaches to Spiritual Formation
  • Spiritual Direction
  • Chaplaincy
  • Pastoral Care
  • Mentoring and Coaching – Successful completion enables students to apply for accreditation with the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC).

Description of modules

Framework, skills and ethics

This core module, along with the module Approaches to Spiritual Formation, forms the theoretical framework and practical perspective. It facilitates the application of both theory and relational skills to the practice of pastoral care, chaplaincy, spiritual direction and mentoring/coaching.

Approaches to Spiritual Formation

An approach which underpins all else in our lives, providing focus; a clearly articulated process and a practice designed to heighten our awareness of God. This module explores and progresses that awareness in our daily lives.

Spiritual Direction

The scope of this topic is wide and includes theology, historical antecedents and ways in which our ‘faith journey’ can be conceptualised. The topic includes the practice of both regular ongoing direction and retreat direction. This module will enable students to use spiritual direction as the main focus of their ministry; it will also equip those with other ministries to use the skills of spiritual direction. Students are required to undertake a 3 day self-funded retreat as part of the module.


This module is designed to equip students to effectively manage the challenge of being a religious representative in secular institutions, such as hospitals, educational establishments or the military. It aims to examine the potential of chaplaincy as a form of Christian mission, serving others by providing support and spiritual guidance in a variety of contexts. This includes critical reflection on working with people of other faiths or no faith. The module will enable students to develop a philosophy of chaplaincy consistent with their personal strengths, training and the particular context in which they currently operate, or might do so in the future.

Pastoral Care

The module aims to broaden the more recent emphasis on pastoral counselling as the main focus of concern for pastoral theology and practice, to a more holistic approach that involves several dimensions of church/organisational life. An emphasis on pastoral care as spiritual formation views pastoral encounters as collaborative in nature; helping the other to negotiate particular challenges within a faith framework provides an opportunity for growth and change, both for the person helped and the helper.

Mentoring and Coaching

This module will enable students to frame the practice of mentoring/coaching within the central organising theme of spiritual formation. The aim is to give a clear understanding of the theoretical underpinning of role of a coach and/or mentor, as well as enhancing skills development. It will draw on theology, psychology and insights from various counselling approaches.

  • A three day retreat as part of the Spiritual Direction module
  • Accommodation costs whilst staying at the college
  • Books and other study material
  • Application and membership of EMCC (this is optional) 

Further details

This programme is quality assured by Middlesex University and you will receive a Middlesex award on successful completion.


Students will have to write essays, give presentations and are required to keep a personal journal throughout the duration of the course.

Entry requirements

Students are required to have obtained a minimum of one of the following:

  • A first degree or equivalent professional qualification or

  • At least three years significant experience in ministry and relevant life experience 

Next steps

Students could apply for membership of the EMCC, go on to leadership or ministry roles in a church or other Christian or secular organisation or undertake study at doctoral level.


Waverley Abbey College, Waverley Abbey House, Waverley Lane, Farnham GU9 8EP

Further information

Book a Personal Discovery Call today and a member of our friendly team will discuss your financial options with you and answer any other questions you have.

If you require further information on this, or any of our programmes, email or call on 01252 784 784.