Spiritual Direction Practicum

Dr. Becky Towne, Spiritual Direction Practicum Director

Spiritual Direction Field Ed- Dr. Becky Towne

Dr. Towne grew up among Friends (Quakers) and spirituality has been part of her spiritual “DNA,” especially since college. She combines spiritual direction with family systems thinking when she meets one-on-one with those seeking direction.

Spiritual Direction Practicum experiences provide students with the opportunity to integrate what they learn in the classroom with practical experience.

Most students who come to HGST begin with some prior experience at the lay or professional level. However, most have not achieved a level of competency that comes with graduate-level theological education and integration of new knowledge into a professional context. The practicum experience gives students further opportunity for supervised spiritual direction in field settings so that they attain higher proficiency as reflective practitioners.

As part of enrolling in the spiritual direction practicum, each student is required to provide face-to-face*, supervised** spiritual direction with two persons meeting semi-monthly for one-hour sessions over the course of the semester/year (for a minimum of 8 sessions in one semester), document his or her experiences, and receive face-to-face supervision of at least two hours per month. This supervision may consist of either individual or group supervision.

Master’s students enrolled in a summer practicum experience must meet with directees for no fewer than 8 sessions.

*Face-to-Face involves meeting with directee or supervisor in person or, on occasion, via Skype or a similar protocol.

**Supervision includes all interactions with one’s supervisor that involve receiving a combination of the following: consultation, direction, mentoring, counseling, instruction, and evaluation of clinical and administrative skills. (Please see “Supervision” section of this manual for important definitions related to supervising students.)

Miscellaneous Hours involve all other duties and experiences related to field study that do not fall into the “face-to-face” or “supervision” categories, including administration. Administration involves scheduling, attending school/agency meetings, writing case notes, research/preparation for sessions, room set-up/clean-up, etc.

Total Hours are the sum total of face-to-face supervision and miscellaneous experiences.

HGST Master’s and Doctoral students must check the Spiritual Direction Practicum Handbook (click here) for specific requirements, which are dependent upon the student’s degree program. However, all students are required to receive spiritual direction from a certified spiritual director prior to enrollment in the practicum experience.

The Office of Field Education


Houston Graduate School of Theology
Dr. Becky Towne, Spiritual Direction Practicum Field Director
Phone: 713-942-9505 ext. 219
Email: btowne@hgst.edu