Franciscan Spiritual Direction Training Program



Spiritual direction is an ancient practice of accompaniment that honors the divine light in each person, helping the seeker to further awaken to the mystery called God in his or her unique and sacred journey. The spiritual direction relationship is grounded in contemplative practice and includes deep and attentive listening for movements of the Holy Spirit in relationship with self, others, and creation.


Our two-year program is inspired by our passion for the ministry of spiritual direction. Participants are guided by an experienced team who will welcome them as colleagues to create an atmosphere of mutual ministry and learning. Emphasis is placed upon the role of the spiritual director as companion rather than leader in helping others to recognize and follow the movements of grace in their lives.

We explore in depth our core topics, which include Self Knowledge, Contemplative Attitude, Practices of Prayer and Silence, Listening and Speaking Skills, Psychological Knowledge, Discernment, Intimacy, Social Justice, Historical and Biblical Contexts, and Freedom.


We welcome all with personal experience that includes a practice of daily prayer and at least three to five years experience of being in spiritual direction. Candidates are required to submit a completed application and two letters of recommendation, and to attend a personal interview.

Ideal candidates bring life experience that reflects a deep grounding in their relationship with God, have received affirmation of this call from others in their community, and desire an experiential and academic program in a contemporary Christian context while being open to learning from other faith traditions and practices.


Requirements for graduation include; monthly spiritual direction, attendance and participation in all classes and small groups, required reading and reflection papers, class presentations, monthly meetings with two directees and an individual supervisor beginning the interim summer through graduation, and attendance at two weekend retreats. A Certificate of Completion will be awarded upon completion of these requirements.



Classes will be primarily held online.

Saturdays 9:30 am to 3:30 pm

September 21
October 19 (at St. Anthony Shrine)
November 16
December 14
January 18
February 15
March 14 – 16 (retreat)
April 26
May 17
*All classes on Zoom except October and March

Information for the 2024 – 2026 Classes


$50 one-time non-refundable registration fee
$1250 per semester**, which includes two weekend retreats and 12 sessions of individual supervision
Books generally cost less than $75 each semester

** First semester tuition due by Sept. 20, 2024. Click here to make a payment.

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE by July 15, 2024 for the 2024-2026 class.

Applications will be reviewed and people will be accepted on a rolling basis as they apply.

For application or further information, please contact:

Jennie Isbell Shinn, Director of the Spiritual Direction Training Program

[email protected] or by phone at 857-206-7201.

Franciscan Spiritual Direction Training Program
100 Arch Street, Boston, MA 02110

The Shrine is located in Downtown Crossing, Boston accessible from the T with stops at Park Street and Downtown Crossing.  The Shrine validates parking at the 33 Arch Street Garage on weekends for $6.  There is minimal on street parking available.

Here’s What Our Graduates Have Said About Us
“The teachers in the program helped us to gain the skills we needed, and the
content was rich. The greatest gift I received, however, was the result of the
sharing of teachers and students towards a deeper and more intimate relationship with God.” Jim Morris

“Enlightening” John Barrett
“It has been a life-changing journey.” Cynthia Tokos

“This training has nurtured my call to the ministry of spiritual direction. I am excited to accompany others on their spiritual journey.” Alice Poltorick

“The Spiritual Direction training program at the Shrine has exceeded my already high expectations. I have felt God’s Presence more deeply, grown in knowledge and skills, and found real joy with my classmates in this ministry.” Mary Iannuzzi


2024 Headshot Jennie Isbell Shinn 1Jennie Isbell Shinn, M.A., M. Div., Program Director ~ Since 2007, I have provided spiritual accompaniment to people through individual and group spiritual direction, adult religious education programs and many kinds of retreats. In addition to these ministries, my current portfolio of work includes providing massage therapy to hospice patients and caregivers and service on many committees tasked with discernment support. I have degrees in the humanities and Christian Spirituality, and I love poetry, dreams, praying out loud, embodied practices, and tea. I am a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

3Lucretia B. Yaghjian, M.Div., Ph.D. ~ I am a graduate of the Franciscan Spiritual Direction Program at St. Anthony Shrine and joined the FSDB leadership team in 2018. I trained previously in spiritual direction at Weston Jesuit School of Theology where I received the Master of Divinity degree. As a former college professor with a Ph.D. in English Literature, I taught theological writing for 25 years at Weston Jesuit, Boston College, and Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, and continue to embrace writing as a spiritual practice. I offer spiritual direction at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish, Acton MA, and work with FSDP Year One students at St. Anthony Shrine.

bob frazzetta

Br. Bob Frazzetta, OFM, M.A. ~ I am a graduate of Fordham University’s Advanced Certificate in Spiritual Direction program with degrees in Religious Studies (Emmanuel College) and Theology (St. Elizabeth University).  I taught Music and Theology in schools in East Boston and New Jersey.  I am presently Director of Liturgy at the Shrine as well as a member of the Spiritual Direction team.


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