Youth Retreat Facilitation Training Diploma 

Programme Title/Award: Diploma in Spirituality – Applied Youth Ministry and Facilitation
NFQ Level: Level 7

Shekinah Online Diploma in Spirituality


Cost 1,600 

Course Structure

  • 2 years Blended Learning
  • 11 Days (Zoom)
  • 6 in the Liturgy Centre, St. Patrick’s College Maynooth 9-5pm
  • 4 Essays
  • Weekly Reflections
  • Craft Assignments
  • 2 Peer Presentations
  • 6 Practicals
  • Portfolio

The Diploma in Spirituality course runs from the end of August to April. It will be delivered using a blended learning format, creating opportunities to study a wide range of subjects applicable to applied youth ministry and facilitation. The modular structure of the course is designed with flexibility in mind, enabling the student to balance study with work and family commitments. Through a combination of media and virtual learning resources students will have opportunities to view lectures, access readings, ask questions and submit assignments online. Students will be offered several live e-tutorial sessions, providing them with opportunities to ask questions, engage in discussions using “break-out” rooms, and facilitate icebreakers, and other activities.

Diploma in Spirituality Course Assessment

This comprises four elements: full attendance, course participation, weekly learning reflections, completion of four essays, craft assignments, and the practical element of the course. The  practical element will comprise the sourcing, planning, resourcing, and delivery of four youth retreats/parish reflective youth experiences –  to be approved by the course managers. Students are also required to prepare and present two retreats to small groups of their course peers – these peer presentations are delivered on-line in the presence of a supervisor. Peer presentations are useful practice before students facilitate retreats to young people. Training for this is included in the course.  Students are required to arrange their own school/parish placements

Who is this course for?

Anyone interested in the spiritual and human development of young people, including parents, teachers, school chaplains and youth workers in parish ministry.    

Teacher Fee Refund Scheme

Teachers can access information on this scheme through the Marino Institution of Education 

Serving primary and post primary teachers who are registered with The Teaching Council and paid by the State are eligible to apply for funding under the scheme.

This includes permanent whole-time, temporary whole-time, part-time teachers, substitute teachers, teachers holding contracts of indefinite duration and teachers holding fixed-term contracts who are employed for the full school year and who provide teaching service during each school week. More information here

Diploma in Spirituality Course Aims

To provide the participants with a foundational, authentic, theological, scriptural, spiritual and psychological basis from which to design and deliver youth retreat and other youth ministry experiences, through a facilitative process. 

This course in applied youth ministry and facilitation explores the development of a comprehensive methodology for retreat facilitators and other youth workers in our contemporary youth culture. Its values are rooted in a theological and pastoral vision of Christian Spirituality. Apart from helping participants develop foundational understandings for youth ministry, the skills of the course are transferable to varied pastoral work with youth. Reflective practice and theological reflection will be integral to the programme.

Course Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Design and conduct appropriate faith-based experiences for adolescents.
  • Identify the relevant characteristics, skills and practices applicable in youth ministry today.
  • Integrate and transfer theological reflection into their work as reflective practitioners.

Course Topics

  1. Introduction/course ethos – theological, educational and anthropological underpinnings of the course
  2. Safeguarding
  3. Adolescents and cultural influences; secularisation and the decline of institutional religion; media ‘platforms’ and their influence on adolescents
  4. Adolescent Development Piaget, Erikson, Marcia, Vygotsky
  5. Understanding the social media culture and influences on today’s teens
  6. Holistic understanding of mindfulness and wellbeing
  7. Christian meditation and young people
  8. Teens, stress, sexuality and developmental issues
  9. Class facilitation skills, group work, and practical approaches
  10. Practical use of music
  11. Practical use of drama and ice breakers
  12. Use of YouTube, video and film
  13. The use of story
  14. Reflective practice and theological reflection
  15. Understanding the sacraments of initiation, rites of initiation
  16. Youth culture and difficult questions
  17. New and Old Testament images of God. How our images of God affect our retreat facilitation and youth ministry
  18. The central role of Jesus in applied youth ministry
  19. The universe story, ecological awareness and responsibilities
  20. Laudato Si
  21. Introduction to ‘Godly Play’.
  22. Mission and ministry

Learning Progression

MA in Applied Spirituality (

Entry Details: Applicants for the MA in Applied Spirituality should normally hold an NFQ Level 8 Honours degree in a field of study related to the programme such as, philosophy, humanities, human sciences, religious studies, or a similar discipline.  They will usually have familiarity with the language of spirituality and will have experience in the field through, for instance, attendance at retreats, prayer practice, meditation, pilgrimage, social justice engagement, planetary well-being advocacy, or other such activities. 

Applicants who do not hold the NFQ Level 8 qualification, but have sufficient relevant learning gained through the workplace, voluntary service, life experiences, and study will be considered for admission to the programme.

Every applicant is invited for an admissions conversation.

For further information, please contact Michael at