Thank you for your questions that continue to bring clarity and for your prayers and encouragement. We are just about ready to officially open registration for the 2017-18 school year. Below are the details so far, FAQ style.
1. When can students begin registration using the website?
The REGISTER button on our website will be activated on April 15, 2017. That's a day that's easy to remember!
2. What will help the Sustainable Faith admin team prepare for registration?
If you have not already done so, please email your cohort dates ASAP to Janice Courter: firstname.lastname@example.org
She will make sure your cohort locations and dates get on the website.
3. When can teachers begin confirming students?
On May 1 Jared will have the confirmation process ready to roll out. We will email you that secret link to the backside of the website.
4. Are there any SOSD materials to hand out to folks?
YES! Postcards are now available. If you would like some for your interest meetings, churches, or regional conferences, email Janice Courter with your mailing address and the number of postcards you want. Janice will be shipping postcards on Wednesdays. (Please plan ahead, remember, this is by regular snail mail.)
5. Is the tuition of $2100 per year the cost?
Yes it is. Both years 1 and 2 will be the same cost. The deposit will remain at $400. The schedule for tuition payments will also remain the same--there's the $40 processing fee to make 8 equal payments of $212.50 online.
6. Do you have any suggestions for how to go about explaining the tuition to students?
Yes! Marty Boller has crafted an explanation for his students and you are free to use his, or create something similar.
* What factors determine the price of our tuition?
What was once a small equipping ministry in Cincinnati designed for raising up a handful of church leaders in spiritual direction has now become a multi-dimensional, cross-denominational ministry that rewards its two-year graduates with a certificate that reflects that the student has met the demanding requirements of most spiritual direction professional networks worldwide. One recent report has deemed Sustainable Faith as “the largest spiritual direction training group in North America!”
Thanks to a group of dedicated volunteers and very generous donors, Sustainable Faith has been able to keep our tuition rates as low as possible so we can reach as many people as possible. But that business model, which relied heavily on contributions from donors, just will not support us as this ministry continues to grow and expand. In recent months, our Sustainable Faith board thoroughly investigated other well-established two-year spiritual direction training programs around the USA and found that most programs are priced at well over $5000 for two years of training. Thus, in order to help Sustainable Faith remain solvent in the years ahead and keep our tuition costs competitive with others, our board has set tuition for our two-year program to $4,200 (or $2,100 per year). If you have concerns or questions that arise from this tuition increase, please let us know.
7. What should we tell prospective Year 2 students about the curriculum for the fall?
You can start by telling them that they should allow two days for each cohort gathering. There is agreement that we need at least a day and a half to be together and interact with the material. Secondly, there will be a supervision component, a formational focus and some theological work. We don't have a reading list to give them ahead of time at this point. The curriculum will allow them to complete the professional requirements of most US spiritual directors networks and will be comparable to other two year training programs.
Other News: Teachers Gathering Postponed Until June 2018
The board just voted to postpone the Teachers Gathering until next June. No suitable venue could be found within the budget for this June. Even The Loretto Center was already booked. Pushing out the Teachers Gathering to 2018 will give more margin for the location search and Dave's re-entry from sabbatical. We will let you know as soon as we find a venue for the 2018 gathering. The board will be hosting a couple of online Zoom gatherings to share community news and to pray together before this fall.
We will keep you posted as new developments occur. We appreciate all that you are doing to create such wonderful opportunities for the formation and training of a whole new group of spiritual directors each year. Thank you for partnering with God in His equipping ministry and living out Dave's vision that spiritual direction would be increasingly accessible to folks!