An Online Course in Spiritual Conversation

‘To listen another’s soul into a condition of disclosure and discovery, may be almost the greatest service that any human being ever performs for another.’ – Douglas Steere

The course takes place in an ecumenical context and is rooted in the Ignatian spiritual tradition.

It will start with an Opening Saturday on 16th October 2021 (10am – 1pm) and will be running for 3 terms. Each term consists of 3 monthly Thursday evening sessions (7pm to 9.15pm) – and a Closing Saturday, 16th of July (10am – 1pm).

Over the course we will be exploring together:

  • ways of fostering our listening skills
  • how we can become better attuned in our conversation
    with others
  • what characterises a ‘spiritual’ conversation
  • how we can help people sift their experience
  • how we can help people in making decisions
  • different contexts for Spiritual Conversation
  • how we can create safe space for Spiritual Conversation

The course will include a mixture of input from the team, small group sharing, practical exercises and observed conversation practice.

There will be some light reading and practice exercises between sessions and a short reflective piece of work at the end of each term, which can be undertaken in a range of different ways. Each participant will be offered a 1:1 tutorial per term.

The key aims of the course are:

  • to become sensitive and alert to opportunities for spiritual
    conversation in everyday life
  • to increase confidence to enter into spiritual conversations
    with others
  • to grow in being alongside others in a discerning way


This course is open to all adults of any Christian denomination. However, the number of places is limited to 16.

In order to preserve the continuity of the group and to gain full benefit, participants are encouraged to attend ALL sessions.

If you have any questions as to whether this course is appropriate for you at this particular time in your life, please arrange through St. Bede’s office to have an informal conversation with one of the team.

Course team

The team will consist of four tutors all trained in Ignatian spiritual accompaniment.

Lead tutor: Marion Bettenworth CJ is trained in Ignatian spiritual accompaniment with a background in social work and parish ministry


Course dates

Autumn: 16th Oct (Sat), 21st Oct, 18th Nov, 16th Dec

Spring: 13th Jan, 10th Feb, 10th March

Summer: 12th May, 9th June, 7th July & 16th July (Sat)

Course fee

The fee for the course is £240 a year, payable in termly instalments of £80. Bursaries are available for those on a limited income so please do enquire if cost is an issue.


As places on the course are limited potential participants are invited to submit an application to apply for a place. Applicants may be invited for an informal exploratory conversation following submission of their application. Application forms can be downloaded from the St. Bede’s website or requested from the office.

The closing date for applications is Tuesday 31st August 2021. The team will aim to notify successful applicants by Friday 3rd September.

Please send download, complete and send the course booking form to

Or download, complete and post the form to: Marion Bettenworth, c/o St Bede’s Pastoral Centre, 21 Blossom Street, YORK YO24 1AQ.