Souljourners is an ecumenical spiritual formation program for those seeking access to the nourishment of the deep wells of spiritual treasure in their tradition. Based at Sophia Center, a spirituality center sponsored by the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas, this program has the unique gift of Benedictine hospitality where students are embraced by a living, praying community. Coming together monthly in this setting, Souljourners form a community within the community.

Souljourners provides a compact three-year opportunity to explore and develop the ministry of spiritual direction/companionship for those who feel a call to perform the service of “holy listening” with people on the spiritual journey. The circle diagram illustrates the experience of a Souljourners training weekend immersed within these two communities.

Need more information, contact

Sister Mary Elizabeth Schweiger, OSB
Director of Souljourners
Sophia Center
751 South 8th Street
Atchison, Kansas 66002

maryliz@mountosb.org

913-426-7355

 

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Souljourners Community

Small Group Process

Individual Consultation

Personal Spiritual Growth

Personal Study

Prayer

Spiritual Direction & Skill Building

Spiritual Supervision (Year 2)

Student Requirements

On-Going Spiritual Direction
All students will participate in ongoing Spiritual Direction while participating in this program. To meet this program requirement, the student will meet every 4-6 weeks with a Spiritual Director outside of Souljourners.
Year I and 2 Requirements
For each of the two years of study, Souljourner students are expected to:
Participate in a week-long residency in June
Participate in 7 weekend sessions starting on Friday mid-afternoon and ending at 4:30 pm on Saturday. Students unable to attend one weekend session for pastoral or family emergencies will be expected to make up the weekend either by attending that session when it is available or, in consultation with their advisor, determine an appropriate make-up assignment. With the emphasis placed on small group process and the communal bonds of prayer, only one weekend absence per year is allowed.
Completion of reading assignments
Completion of seven Reflection Papers assigned in conjunction with the weekend/residency sessions. All papers are due one month after the session.
Completion of five book reflections.
Complete all of Year 1 and 2 assignments, participation in a discernment retreat and payment of all Year 1 and 2 fees.
Pre-Practicum Experience
In September of their second year, students will begin a supervisory experience. They are to meet with one directee each month and bring a verbatim of that session to the Souljourners weekend. These supervisory sessions will begin at 2:00 pm on the regularly scheduled Souljourners weekend. The staff will supervise the students giving them the opportunity to be supervised four times during the year, and observing three times.
For the Practicum Year, Souljourner students are expected to:
Complete all Year 2 assignments and pay all Year 2 fees.
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Participate in a three-day silent retreat and a one-day orientation at the beginning of Practicum year.
Contract to meet monthly as a Spiritual Director with two directees for a 9 month period.
Write verbatims from the exchanges with their directees. From these experiences the Practicum student will note their own emotional reaction and how that impacts their own journey of conversion. This information will be shared with a professional supervisor.
Work with a trained, approved supervisor for professional supervision of their work with their directees. This supervision will consist of 9 monthly meetings with that supervisor. The focus of supervision is always primarily the inner spiritual/emotional experience of the director.
Meet with other practicum students at Sophia Center for input and practice in the fall and the spring of the Practicum Year.
On-going support during the Practicum - Former faculty advisors are available for assistance during the practicum year. If a student has difficulty completing the required number of supervision sessions within the Practicum Year and upon recommendation of the faculty, the student may be granted a one-time extension for a total period of 24 months to complete the Practicum.

One year of course work in the “Knowledge of God and the Christian Spiritual Tradition.

One year of course work in the “Knowledge of Self and Graced Human Development. 

One year of practicum. 

All Souljourners participate in a week-long residency in June during their first year in the program and again during the second year of the program. Residency weeks take place at the Mount and provide an important opportunity for interaction with Souljourner faculty and fellow students.

The small group process is an important aspect of Souljourners weekend gatherings. It is through small groups, that students are given the opportunity to develop the necessary skills such as reflective listening, asking good questions and being attentive. Through the small group experience, students establish a level of trust for good learning to take place, receive suggestions and adaptations in their directing, and have the opportunity to watch and learn from one another. Students are assigned to a small group and each group will have two Faculty Advisors. The small group will meet once twice each Souljourner weekend and Group membership will remain the same for that year of the program.