Recognition of programs

The Australian Ecumenical Council for Spiritual Direction (AECSD) seeks to
  • recognise spiritual direction formation programs that achieve excellence
  • foster new initiatives in the formation of spiritual directors
  • support the ongoing growth of developing formation programs.
The application process for AECSD recognition is as follows:

i)  Recognition is a collaborative process between the AECSD (‘the council’) and Formation Programs, grounded in a relationship of mutual trust.

Therefore, the council welcomes early engagement with a formation program (‘the program’) which is considering applying for recognition, even as early as the initial development stage in the process.

The council will appoint up to two representative(s) to be available to work with the formation program throughout this contemplative process. A third council member will also be appointed to critically review the application as well as to encourage other council members to review the application and provide their feedback to council.

(ii)  The director and /or team members of the program examine and assess their program in the light of the Formation Guidelines (2018).

They may make changes and adjustments to their program to ensure it is faithful to the Guidelines.

iii)  The program director submits their Application for Recognition Checklist [See Section 14 and Appendix B of the Formation Guidelines (2018)] to the council, indicating they are confident their program is faithful to the Formation Guidelines (2018) to the best of their knowledge and interpretation. Click Here to download a current copy of the Application Checklist.

Throughout this contemplative process the program director and representative(s) nominated by the council discuss any issues arising from their joint review of the submitted checklist that may seem to hinder the program fulfilling the Formation Guidelines (2018).

iv) The council representative(s) consults with the council during this ongoing process.

v)  At some point the council representative(s) will arrange with the program director a mutually convenient time to visit the program to talk with the program team, supervisors, participants, and graduates (if possible), and which may include sitting in on selective sessions of the program, to experience the contemplative nature of the program.

vi) This ongoing collaborative process facilitates the council and program team’s discernment that the program fulfils the Formation Guidelines (2018).

vii)  The council representative(s) chosen to work with the formation program will present a written report to the council recommending recognition, a copy of which is sent to the program director.

viii)  The council recognises the program, signs and issues the Certificate of Recognition, usually following completion of one cycle of the program. The program director may invite a council member to celebrate this recognition with the program community.

ix) While acknowledging the confidential nature of the intellectual property of all formation programs submitted for recognition by AECSD, we invite you to consider if you would be willing for your information (some or all) to be shared in a resource bank on AECSD website. Please tick the box below if you are open to sharing your work on AECSD website.

x) Following recognition, a council representative will contact the formation program director to request their feedback on their experience of the recognition process, including:

  • up to three things about the recognition process they most valued and
  • how the recognition process might be strengthened.

The recognition process is marked by mutual trust, respect and affirmation.

Application for Recognition includes a financial contribution towards the cost of administering the recognition process. The contribution is $550 for the current year (2017-2018) for programs seeking recognition or re-recognition.

For further information please contact:

The Secretary

Australian Ecumenical Council for Spiritual Direction

P. 0409 987 401