Shekinah Certificate

Course Overview

Programme Title/Award: 
Certificate in Spirituality – Youth Retreat Facilitation
NFQ Level: 
Level 6
Credits (ECTS): 

Programme Aims and Objectives

Course commences 7th October 2017

To train adults in creative ways of bringing the gospel message to young people through youth retreat facilitation. The course offers transferrable skills through a series of experiential workshops and lectures, while inviting the participants  to deepen their own spirituality and commitment to ministry.

Course Topics

  1. Introduction to Youth Retreat Facilitation
  2. Evangelisation Today 
  3. Adolescents today Gen Y/IY
  4. Introduction to Christian Meditation
  5. Relationships & Team Work
  6. Adolescent Development Piaget, Erikson, Marcia, Vygotsky
  7. Use of Music in Youth Retreat Facilitation
  8. Teaching Preaching & Facilitation Skills
  9. Images of God
  10. Developing Reflective Exercises
  11. Story & Parables
  12. Drama in Youth Retreat Facilitation
  13. Confirmation Retreat Facilitation – Themes and Resources
  14. Senior Retreat Skills & Discipline
  15. Faith & Moral Development Fowler & Kohlberg
  16. Use of IT, PowerPoint in Youth Retreats
  17. Hero/Heroine Story & Rites of Initiation
  18. Youth culture & Edge Spiritualties
  19. Dealing with Difficult Questions on Youth Retreats
  20. Senior Retreat Facilitation –Themes and Resources
  21. Power & Use of Film
  22. Art Activities for Youth Retreats
  23. Child Protection & Youth Retreats
  24. Teens, Stress, Sexuality & Developmental Issues
  25. Mission & Youth Retreat Facilitation

Course Objectives

  • To train adults in youth retreat facilitation skills
  • To lead the participants through a series of experiential workshops and lectures while inviting them to deepen their own spirituality and commitment to ministry in the Church
  • To facilitate effective teamwork in the preparation and leading of both senior and junior retreats

Learning Progression

Diploma in Spirituality (Applied Youth Ministry)

2017 Dates

  • 7th October
  • 14th October
  • 21st October
  • 11th November
  • 18th November
  • 25th November
  • 2nd December

2018 Dates 

  • 3rd February
  • 10th February
  • 21st April


Margaret Aylward Centre for Faith & Dialogue, Glasnevin, Dublin 11.

Admission Criteria for Certificate Course:

Applicant should submit an application form. Acceptance for the course is dependent on the successful completion of an interview.

Other requirements:

  • Ongoing commitment to their Christian Faith
  • An adequate level of faith development
  • A willingness and openness in working with young people
  • An openness to ongoing personal faith development and reflective practice

Cost of Certificate Year

€925 The fee covers insurance, tuition, administration, registration, student card, library facilities, retreat materials and graduation expenses.

There is a refund scheme available specifically for teachers to recoup costs of additional study, more information here..



Module 1: (Introductory module) Foundation skills for youth retreat facilitation
  • Adolescent human and faith development 
  • Pre - evangelisation and retreats in a multicultural environment  
  • Essential communication and facilitation skills
  • Team work and small group sharing
Module 2: Core training module – building on foundation skills
  • Modern youth culture and elements of basic psychological, social and emotional development
  • An understanding of liminal spiritualities, rites of initiation and the hero/heroine journey
  • Dealing with sexuality and relationships
  • Prayer experience and practice of Christian meditation
  • Child protection and safety
  • Use of music, art, drama and mass media resources
Module 3: Practical strategies, problem solving and evaluation techniques
  • Preparing for a school retreat
  • Facilitation model of retreat giving
  • Discipline resolution
Module 4: Practical placement

Students are required to prepare, facilitate and evaluate at least 3 day-long retreats, as part of a team, with both junior and senior cycle pupils. They are required to present short ‘self evaluation’ reports at the end of each retreat day.

Student workload and criteria for assessment


It is a requirement that students attend all 10 workshop sessions. If someone is absent due to illness or other extenuating circumstances they will have to do an assignment pertaining to the particular section that they missed. They will also have to take responsibility for acquiring any relevant material pertaining to that session. Students who miss 2 or more sessions will not qualify for the certificate in that particular academic year. They may, however, repeat the missed workshops in the following year and thereby qualify for certification

Continual Assessment

Students will demonstrate their skills in leading meditation and prayer experiences, ice- breakers and involvement exercises. They will be encouraged to create audio visual presentations and demonstrate their ability to select appropriate media resources for appropriate age groups.

Written work

Students are required to submit reflective logs following each of the 10 workshops. They are also required to submit three 1,000 word papers.

Practical Placement

Students are required to prepare, facilitate and evaluate at least 3 day-long retreats, as part of a team, with both junior and senior cycle pupils. They are required to present short ‘self evaluation’ reports at the end of each retreat day.