Ignatian Retreat Guides Certificate Course 2017, offered by Hekima University College and Mwangaza Jesuit Centre

The ministry of the Spiritual Exercises has evolved enormously these last decades. What was originally considered to be an outreach to priests and religious women and men, and given by priests mainly, has developed into a Church ministry provided also by religious men and women as well as laity. Now more people are able to avail of spiritual retreats in times of rapid changes that need constant discernment.

Who can benefit from this programme?

The course is addressed to committed Christian men and women, who live and work in East Africa:

  • Women and men religious involved in the formation of their candidates
  • Priests who work as formators or spiritual guides in major seminaries or formation houses.
  • Priests engaged in pastoral work in parishes, pastoral centres and chaplaincies.
  • Lay women and men who understand the retreat guidance as a ministry in their local Christian communities
Application Procedures
  • Those interested are invited to submit the application form together with a 1-page reflection on their faith journey.
  • The applicant must have done at least once a personally guided 8-day Ignatian retreat
  • 2 letters of recommendation of people able to comment on the applicant’s potential as retreat guide. These should be forwarded to the Director of Mwangaza Jesuit Centre.
  • Finally, applicants will be asked to attend an interview with the Centre’s director.

The course is residential and is divided into four 4-day blocks. It will be offered at Mwangaza Jesuit Centre.

Required Level of commitment includes:
  • Attend all four block training sessions
  • Share in peer groups on the experience of the past months

  • Engage in discussions, role plays, case studies
  • Help organize and participate in Eucharistic liturgies and community prayers
  • Between training sessions, prepare and submit four written assignments for supervision.
  • Engage in 2 guided retreats supervised by a Mwangaza staff member.

The course explores the areas of psychology, Ignatian spirituality, theology and Scripture, in reference to retreat guidance.
The 1st block focuses on images of God; types of prayer; methods for delivering content and self-awareness; listening skills; Annotations 1-20 of the Spiritual Exercises.
The 2nd block deals with the text of Ignatius’ autobiography; the consciousness examen; personal faith journey; stages of Spiritual Growth; dynamics of conversion; retreatant’s spiritual progress in the different stages of the Spiritual Exercises; close study of key meditations and contemplations of the Spiritual Exercises.
The 3rd block studies ignatian discernment in the Spiritual Exercises; consolation and desolation; three times for decision-making; naming four levels of awareness in us; description of types of retreats; Scriptural basis for the Four Weeks of the Spiritual Exercises; planning a retreat.
The 4th block concentrates on the purpose of the interview with the retreatant and the role of the discerning guide; ethics for relationship between guide and directee; Annotations for guidance; rules for scruples; complex psychological situations: recognizing pathologies; handling a retreatant’s psychological issues in prayer; grief, healing, trauma, anger.


To qualify for the Ignatian Retreats Guides Trainig Certificate, each participant is required to

  • produce 4 assignments, corresponding to the topics given in each block.

  • receive a positive assessment in the practice of guided retreats from her/his supervisors together with the Centre’s residential core staff.
  • be evaluated positively by the staff at the end of the four blocks.
Calendar 2017

The blocks are scheduled as follows:
Feb 13-18
May 15-20
Oct 2-7
Nov 13-18

All sessions begin in the evening of the first day and end in the morning of the last day.

Residential Core Staff

Sr. Annfridah Mukwanyaga, NSA
Fr. Bernie Owens, S.J.
Fr. Emmanuel Mchopa, S.J.
Sr. Máire O’Nolan, IBVM
Sr. Sr. Anastasia Kariungi, IBVM
Fr. Miguel Angel García, S.J.
Bishop Rodrigo Mejía, S.J.

Other qualified resource personnel will be invited to facilitate specific sessions.


Kes 90,000, payable in four installments at the beginning of each block. This includes full room and board, the academic programme, handouts and some stationery. A non-refundable registration fee of Kes 22,500 should be sent on acceptance to the course, deductible as the first installment. Limited bursaries available.

Applications Closing Date

Completed applications including the documentation requested must reach us by November 17, 2016. Incomplete applications will not be considered. This course has limited places available.

For further information contact: secretary@mwangazajesuits.org, mwangazajesuits@gmail.com