At the 2000 General Conference of the United Methodist Church, delegates approved a new certification program in spiritual formation (not in spiritual direction).  Like other certifications in the UMC (such as Christian Education, Camping & Retreat Ministry, etc.), it is administered through the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry in Nashville but requires individuals to seek approval through their United Methodist Conference structures.  Lay persons, Deacons and Elders may be certified following a program of seminary study with practical application.  Detailed information is available through their website (     



Five courses are required for the Certification in Spiritual Formation. Meeting the completion requirements of a Two-Year Academy provides credit for two of the required courses. Scholarship funding is also available through GBHEM for these two courses, which is applied towards your Academy tuition costs.


Even though some of the course work for the Certification in Spiritual Formation is in spiritual direction, the term “spiritual formation” was chosen to represent the variety of ways in which this orientation may be applied in one’s ministry.     



For further information, contact the GBHEM Certification Office at 615-340-7375 or at