Diploma in Spiritual Formation



Two years part-time. Three modules are delivered each year.


Entry Points

Students can enter the programme at the start of any of the taught modules.


To register interest, please contact: registry@waverleyabbeycollege.ac.uk


Dates and Fees

You can download the Spiritual Formation Fees and Dates for 2019-20 here, and the Spiritual Formation Fees and Dates for 2020-21 here.
You can download the 2018-19 entry point date and fees here.

Download the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment for 2019-20 here.


Course Content

Students taking this course take six taught modules:

  • Framework, skills and ethics
  • Approaches to Spiritual Formation
  • Spiritual Direction
  • Chaplaincy
  • Pastoral Care
  • Mentoring and Coaching



Whilst not formally validated by a university this course is pitched at levels 6 and 7 of the Higher Education Framework



Students are required to keep a personal journal throughout the duration of the course and this will be submitted at the end of the course. Students will also have to prepare work for presentation to their fellow students on each of the modules.

Students will also be required to undertake a number of interventions to practice the various skills that they will learn throughout the course.


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.

Entry Requirements

There are no formal entry qualifications for this course.


For further information

If you require further information on this, or any of our programmes, email: admissions@waverleyabbeycollege.ac.uk or call 01252 784731