IMF Offering Fall Courses

The Saint Vincent Seminary Institute for Ministry Formation (IMF) will be offering five courses this fall. Registration is available for both online and in-person learning. 

Father Boniface Hicks, O.S.B., IMF Director, will teach two courses: Spiritual Direction, Directing Prayer. He notes that “Spiritual Direction is an art that develops through ongoing learning and practice. This course explores dynamics of spiritual direction that will guide beginners and expand the understanding of experienced spiritual directors. Through reading, lectures, and discussions, participants will learn advanced dynamics of spiritual direction.” 

Principles of Prayer and Catholic Spirituality will also be taught by Father Boniface. He notes that “this course covers stages of spiritual development including the traditional three ways—purgative, illuminative and unitive. The course also explores the developments in personal prayer, including vocal prayer, meditation, contemplation. Since all prayer in the Catholic Christian tradition is Trinitarian, students will learn about the personal relationships that are possible with the three Persons of the Trinity. Since all prayer in the Catholic Christian tradition is also Incarnational, the humanity of the one who prays is also brought up into those relationships. Lastly, students in the course will learn to identify mis-directions in prayer and false mysticism.”

Father Nathanael Polinski, O.S.B., will teach two courses as well. The first is Praying Sacred Scripture.This course,” he notes, “will address the ancient practice of praying with Sacred Scripture, traditionally known as Lectio Divina or ‘Sacred Reading.’ It will provide an overview of the canon of Sacred Scripture and some important considerations for understanding biblical texts such as the literary genre, literary and historical contexts, and the benefit of accessing the meaning of particular terms in the original languages. The course will cover fundamental aspects of the Church’s teaching on Sacred Scripture and its interpretation. The majority of the course will focus on methodologies for and the practice of praying Sacred Scripture.”

The other course Father Nathanael will teach is Johannine Literature.This course,” he said, “introduces students to the literary, historical, and theological study of John’s writings, especially his Gospel. The objective is to gain a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the Johannine writings, including their use in the Church’s Tradition. Special attention will be given to the use of the Gospel of John in the Catholic Christian celebrations of Christmas and Easter.”

Celine Mitchell will teach Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS), a faith formation experience for children ages three to twelve years old. It is based on the belief that young children can and do experience God. Founded on the principles of Maria Montessori and Sofia Cavalletti, the catechesis is rooted in scripture and liturgy. Central to the catechesis is the atrium, a special environment created to nurture the child’s spirituality with beautiful materials that focus the child’s attention on key scripture passages or liturgical moments.

Visit for registration details and class times.