A little bit about Shekinah

About Shekinah

Thu 17/11/2016

Shekinah is a training programme for adults who wish to facilitate youth retreats or other youth ministry programmes.

The Shekinah course ethos is rooted in in scripture and the message of Jesus but with a profoundly practical interpretation to help Shekinah graduates reach new levels of awareness to engage better with the youth of today.

Shekinah is a Hebrew word that means ‘the light of God’s presence’. In Jewish and Christian theology Shekinah is the glory of the divine presence, conventionally represented as light or interpreted symbolically as a divine feminine aspect.

Young people seek out role models from their peers, siblings, parents and grandparents, an effective retreat team ideally embraces all age groups and backgrounds to best model the reality of the Church as a community.  The methodology and tenor of Shekinah is deeply influenced by the living pedagogy and practice of St John Bosco, founder of the Salesians and patron saint of young people.

The Story of Shekinah

Shekinah was started in 2005 by Jennifer Perkins (a Salesian Sister). The course was developed in response to a shortage of traditional school retreat personnel and teams. The aim was to provide interested adults of any age and background an opportunity to gain professional accreditation in youth retreat facilitation skills and to better engage with young people in their faith journey.


St. Patrick’s College Maynooth is the certifying body for accreditation of the course. Both certificate and diploma course are approved by the National Framework for Qualifications (NFQ)

The certificate is level 6 (20 credits) and the diploma is level 7 (20 credits)

Participation in the diploma course is dependent on successful completion of the certificate course. 

Practical experience

The Shekinah certificate course requires students to undertake 3 days of practical retreats during their training.  The practical retreats take place in the following locations:

  • The Ruah Retreat Centre, St. Alphonsus Rd, Drumcondra, Dublin 9, owned by the Redemptoristine Sisters
  • The Margaret Aylward Centre Glasnevin Dublin 11, owned by the Holy Faith Sisters.
  • These retreats are organised from Northside schools adjacent to the retreat centres. by the programme directors. 

Diploma students must organize their own placement which will be supervised and assessed.