Spiritual Formation at Luther Seminary

Nourishing Your Spirit while Attending Seminary

In the midst of academic studies, it can be easy to forget to take time to slow down and tend to one's personal spiritual well-being.

Opportunities are provided throughout the academic year to step out of hectic schedules and be with others seeking to deepen their connection to God. 

Spiritual Formation

Spiritual formation describes a whole host of practices or disciplines that enable us to grow in our relationship with God. Some of the traditional practices include:

  • Prayer
  • Spiritual reading
  • Sabbath-keeping
  • Worship
  • Spiritual direction
  • Retreat
  • Spiritual care groups
  • 12-step support groups

Spiritual Direction

Spiritual Direction is a practice which pairs an individual who has been trained in the art of Christian listening with a person or a small group of individuals interested in tending to their spiritual lives. Through attentive listening to God and to the Holy Spirit’s presence and movement in the stories, questions, and experiences of an individual, the spiritual director offers wisdom and encouragement to those seeking a deeper relationship with God.

How do I find a Spiritual Director?

There are several options:

Group direction: We have enlisted qualified and trained spiritual directors who are willing to provide group direction at no cost. You may form your own group, or we will help connect you with a group. If you are interested in this form of spiritual direction, contact Seminary Pastor Laura Thelander at sempastor@luthersem.edu or 651-641-3216.

Individual direction: The following organizations offer individual spiritual direction which you may arrange on your own. Most of these have a fee of $60-75 an hour, but many also say they will negotiate the rate based on the student's ability to pay.  

Learn more: Watch here to see a conversation among a panel of spiritual directors as they discuss what it is and the benefits for people in the church.

Other practices: The Benedictine Center also offers its space for a quiet time apart as does the Lake Wapogasset Lutheran Bible Camp at Avery, Wisc. Contact Loren Teig for scheduling at Camp Wapo.

Most of the centers listed above offer a wide range of other spiritual practices as well. For instance, the Benedictine Center has a Taizé prayer service on the third Friday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at St. Paul's Monastery, 2675 Larpenteur Ave. E, St. Paul.


During the academic year, there are occasional opportunities over Reading Days for students to take part in a hermitage retreat at Pacem in Terris. A hermitage is a holy dwelling place, a simple but comfortable prayer cabin that enables those on retreat from the burdens of everyday life to be more fully attentive to the Presence of God. Retreatants will stay by themselves in the hermitage in order to experience a sanctuary of silence and solitude.