There are several Certificate programs in Ontario. What is unique about the Ontario Jubilee program?
The Ontario Jubilee program intentionally has small class sizes – between 12 and 20 participants in a cohort. People from all spiritual traditions are encouraged to apply.
The Ontario Jubilee program invites participants to a 5-day residency at the beginning and end of each phase. At each residency we deliberately pay attention to the heart, mind and body connections and the importance of physical movement in our learning.
Who typically participates in this program?
The cohorts vary. Participants come from many walks of life and various professional backgrounds (education, spiritual care, health care, engineering, business, etc.). While the majority are Christian, they increasingly come from different spiritual traditions. While the majority are Canadian, the Ontario Jubilee program has also attracted persons from the USA, Israel and South Korea.
What can I expect at a residency?
The residencies have a rhythm of physical movement, learning in circle, silence for contemplation, and creative expression. The first phase (year) focuses on listening to ourselves, to others, to the Holy and to creation. The second phase focuses on practicing spiritual direction with one another.
Does this program certify me as a spiritual director?
No. Most programs around the world do not certify spiritual directors. Instead you receive a certificate of completion at the end of each phase stating that you have successfully completed the requirements of the Ontario Jubilee program. Serving as a spiritual director is not a professional designation such as pastor, teacher or therapist. Rather spiritual direction “disposes the spiritual directee to the gift of God’s guidance available everywhere.” (Liz Ellmann, ED, Spiritual Directors International, 2015)
How much work is involved in this program?
It is the equivalent work of a part-time university course, remembering that the more you put into it the more you get out of it. Between the 5-day residencies the program requires:
- reading, reflecting and writing (a 1-2 page reflection every other month) using borrowed or purchased materials. A small amount of reading material is offered at each residency.
- meeting monthly with a spiritual director of your choice
- facilitating a small group about once a month (this is practiced at the first residency)
- spending time on a silent retreat at a location of your choice
Where do I go for silent retreat and how much does it cost?
Ideally you have a retreat centre within driving distance of your home. Realistically you need to find space and time to take a silent retreat that you can afford. For some people this is at a retreat centre, and for others it means going to a cottage or staying home. Your spiritual director should be able to suggest a location and format that fits your style. You can choose to meet with a spiritual director while on retreat or spend the time in silence on your own.
The cost at a retreat centre ranges from $75 if you prepare your own food to about $140 for food and lodging. Spiritual direction sessions usually cost an additional $40 to $80 a session.
Is the cost of individual spiritual direction included in tuition fees?
Participants are required to meet regularly with a spiritual director for the duration of the Ontario Jubilee program. This cost is not included in the fees.
Is there financial assistance available?
Check with your local community first. The Ontario Jubilee program has a small bursary available which participants can access if they can show financial need. To apply for this $500/phase, speak to the Director of the Ontario Jubilee program before the payment is due.