Hello Dear Teachers,
The board continues to work hard at refining and reinforcing our business infrastructures. To that end, Sustainable Faith has been given the gift of business consulting hours, compliments of one of our regular donors. Our new business consultant, Darin Petersen, specifically works with faith-based non-profits. He has been collecting information about Sustainable Faith and making some initial observations.
Through the process of working with Darin, what has clarified for the board is that our School of Spiritual Direction is a professional certificate program in spiritual direction. Yes, we are about the formation of our students. However, when a student completes the requirements of the two-year program, he or she is awarded a certificate in spiritual direction that meets the requirements of professional networks of directors. Thus, the board has looked at what other spiritual direction training programs are charging and noted that Sustainable Faith is below the cost of most other programs. Most two-year programs are over $5000. The board has elected to raise the cost of our two-year program to $4200, or $2100 per year. The decision to make both years the same price comes from the reality that the workload on a teacher does not differ between the two years. And we are moving toward making year 2 modules at least one and a half days, if not two full days of face-to-face time.
One goal in setting new tuition fees is to increase the sustainability of our operating budget. Our previous budget relied heavily on donor contributions because the cost of tuition did not cover the operating costs. The coming budget will rely less on donor gifts. Thus the tuition split between teacher and Sustainable Faith will be 70/30. With the increase in the tuition price, a teacher will make $204 more per student who completes both years (that’s an increase of $26 for year 1 and $178 for year 2).
While we are tailoring our SOSD toward the student who would like to have the professional certificate in spiritual direction, we are also exploring other offerings that focus solely on one’s spiritual formation. These one year offerings would be part of a new School of Spiritual Formation. They would be offered at a lower cost than our professional trainings.
It is the hope and prayer of the board that these developments reflect God’s movement in shaping the ministry of Sustainable Faith. We have become one of the largest spiritual direction training programs around the world. We hope to deepen the training experience students receive as well as provide other avenues for spiritual formation. Please do feel free to contact any of us on the board with your questions or suggestions. As always, we are grateful for the partnership we have with all of you as teachers. It is through you that God continues to refine and shape the formational training experience we give to our students. May God bless you richly as you live out your Sustainable Faith ministry.