Adult Education Certificate in Christian Spirituality and Psychology

Adult Education Certificate in Christian Spirituality and Psychology

7:00pm, Tuesday, February 6th, 2018
9:30pm, Tuesday, March 27th, 2018
The Priory Institute, Tallaght Village, D24

The adult education Certificate in Christian Spirituality and Psychology offered by the Priory Institute, Tallaght is an eight week course which allows learners explore the interface between Christian spirituality and psychology, particularly as it relates to their human experience and counselling practice. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to register.

The course is suited particularly to qualified counsellors seeking continuous professional development (CPD) but is also open to those who work in parish ministry, pastoral counselling, chaplaincy or who wish to take the course for their own personal enrichment. The course will be of interest to those who wish to:
- Deepen an understanding of spirituality in the Christian tradition
- Explore the connection between human and spiritual development
- Explore the interface between spirituality and counselling practice 
- Examine therapeutic issues  related to empathy, human development, marriage and relationships, loss and grief
- Engage with approaches to Christian prayer and contemplation
- Learn how to read sacred scripture in a prayerful way
- Become attentive to God’s presence in everyday life
- Deepen an understanding of the basic Christian vocation

The certificate may be used for CPD purposes.

Venue: The Priory Institute, St Mary’s Priory, Tallaght, Dublin 24.
Duration: 8 weeks
Timetable: Every Tuesday evening from 19.00 to 21.30 between 6 February and 27 March 2018. The evening consists of two lectures.

Facilitators: The course will be delivered by experts in the area of theology, spirituality, counselling and psychology.
Delivery: A blend of lectures, small group discussions and reflection on personal experience.
Award: The certificate is awarded by the Priory Institute.
Cost: €220

Course Outline

Week 1: Tuesday Feb 6
19.00 - 20.00: What is Christian spirituality? (Donagh O’Shea OP)
20.00-20.30: Coffee Break
20.30-21.30: Human development and spirituality: coping with fragility and conflict (Martin Boyle OP)
Week 2: Tuesday Feb 13
19.00 20.00: Exploring prayer in the Christian tradition: meditation and contemplation (Fionnuala Quinn OP)
20.00-20.30: Coffee Break
20.30-21.30: Being Christian in the world: living as priest, prophet and king  (Mary McCaughey)
Week 3: Tuesday Feb 20
19.00 20.00: Challenge and empathy in the therapeutic relationship (Martin Boyle OP)
20.00-20.30: Coffee Break
20.30-21.30: Finding God in all things: an introduction to spirituality and discernment (Eileen O’Brien)
Week 4: Tuesday Feb 27
19.00 20.00: Persons in relationship: a Christian approach to the human being in a technological age (Mary McCaughey)
20.00-20.30: Coffee Break
20.30-21.30: Images of God and spiritual growth (Eileen O’Brien)
Week 5: Tuesday March 6
19.00 20.00: Encountering God in the scriptures through lectio divina (Fionnuala Quinn OP)
20.00-20.30: Coffee Break
20.30-21.30: Encountering Christ as healer through the scriptures (John Littleton)
Week 6: Tuesday March 13
19.00 20.00: Marriage and relationships: therapeutic perspectives (Brian Kavanagh)
20.00-20.30: Coffee Break
20.30-21.30: Hope and healing in marriage and relationships (Brian Kavanagh)
Week 7: Tuesday March 20
19.00 20.00: Managing stress and anxiety: a therapeutic approach (Kieran Murphy)
20.00-20.30: Coffee Break
20.30-21.30: Faith in difficult life situations (John Littleton)
Week 8: Tuesday March 27
19.00 20.00: Coping with loss: a psychological and spiritual analysis (Kieran Murphy)
20.00-20.30: Coffee Break
20.30-21.30: Christian faith in the context of loss, grief and bereavement (John Littleton)


Fr Donagh O’Shea OP is director and retreat giver at the Dominican Retreat Centre, Tallaght, and the author of numerous publications in spirituality.




Fr Martin Boyle OP is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist trained in Kleinian psychoanalysis. He works at Fitzwilliam Therapy and is also Chairperson of the Mercy Family Centre on Mount Brown Street, and of the Swan Centre, West Tallaght.




Fr John Littleton is Director of the Priory Institute. Previously, he taught theology, religious studies, liturgical studies and adult religious education in various institutes in Ireland and the UK. He is a well-known preacher and retreat director.




Dr Mary McCaughey is Academic Executive at the Priory Institute and previously lectured in theology at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth and All Hallows College Dublin. She is a trained spiritual director.




Ms Eileen O’Brien is a trained spiritual director and ministers at Manresa, a Jesuit centre for spirituality, Dublin. Previously, she taught religious education for ten years and was involved in parish renewal.

Fr Brian Kavanagh works at the Dublin Regional Marriage Tribunal. He trained as a counsellor with Accord, specialising in marriage counselling, and furthered his training as a psychotherapist.

Prof Kieran Murphy is Head of the Department of Psychiatry at the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland and a practising psychiatrist.




Sr Fionnuala Quinn OP is  the international co-ordinator of Contemplative Outreach which presents and teaches centering prayer. She previously ministered in New Orleans for 27 years.


Latest News
Adult Education Certificate in Christian Spirituality and Psychology

Advent Words and Advent People, online Advent reflections

  Dec 12, 2017
This December we are offering a five-day online Advent retreat for those interested in thinking more deeply about Christmas. Read more.

Previous News