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The Ignatian Spirituality Institute (ISI) offers a two-year educational program for the training of spiritual directors in the tradition of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola. First year students learn about the life of Ignatius, the Spiritual Exercises, and the history of spirituality. In the second year, practical skills of spiritual direction are emphasized. At the conclusion of the two years, students receive a certificate in spiritual direction from John Carroll. 

The ISI welcomes those who serve in parishes, retreat ministries, campus ministry and other Church-related works.  Men and women of diverse faith and professional backgrounds are welcome. The ISI offers theological and spiritual tools for deepening Christian life and ministry, in schools, church congregations, or other ministries. Undergraduate students may participate as part of the 10-credit TRS internship.

As an affiliate program of John Carroll University’s Office of Mission and Identity, the ISI conducts all courses at the University.

Simply stated, a spiritual director is one who accompanies another in their life of faith, and their relationship with God. The core of this relationship concerns spiritual experience and discernment.

Based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, ISI courses focus on the study of contemporary theology with classroom sessions, retreats, small group work and a supervised practicum during the second year.

The program is designed around three areas of

• The writings of St. Ignatius Loyola: Autobiography, Spiritual Exercises, Letters, Diary, and contemporary commentary

• Spirituality: Ignatius and the Christian Mystical Tradition, Christology, discernment

• Spiritual direction: art and practice


  • A completed application, a written spiritual autobiography, two letters of recommendation, resume, and an interview with the Director of ISI


  • $3,000 per year or $1,500 per semester due at the beginning of each semester. Scholarships are available.

Apply here!


Rev. Thomas J. Pipp, S.J.

Ordained to the Society of Jesus in 1992, Rev. Thomas J. Pipp, S.J. currently serves as Director of the Ignatian Spirituality Institute at John Carroll University. Fr. Pipp is the superior of the Jesuit Community at John Carroll.

Tom has two degrees in theology from the (former) Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California. 



Andrew Cera, S.J.

Instructor Andrew Cera, S.J. is a Jesuit Regent and adjunct professor of Ignatian Spirituality and Christian Spirituality at John Carroll University.

Andrew holds Masters of Arts degrees in Philosophical Resources and in Christian Spirituality with a concentration in Spiritual Direction from Fordham University in New York City.

Michelle Buehrer


Phone: 216.397.1599