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Gullixon Hall in fall

Spiritual Formation

Grow in relationship with God

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 care groups 

All students are encouraged to take part in a spiritual care group. These small groups provide a regular opportunity for Christian fellowship centered on Scripture, prayer and mutual conversation around vocation and service. Spiritual care groups are open to students in all degree programs and are led by members of the faculty and staff along with Ph.D. students and returning seniors.

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. Watch a recording of a panel discussion with six local area spiritual directors who offer a great window into this practice.

How do I find a spiritual director?

There are several options:

Other practices

The Benedictine Center also offers its space for a quiet time apart as does the Lake Wapogasset Lutheran Bible Camp in Amery, Wisconsin. 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. Retreat goers will stay by themselves in the hermitage in order to experience a sanctuary of silence and solitude.