Specialist Degree in Spiritual Exercises

Submission of applications
May 3 to September 30, 2016.

Duration: 3 years.
Full-time study.

Study in Universidad Pontificia Comillas, 3-5

The Institute of Spirituality offers a private specialist degree in spiritual exercises, in collaboration with the San Ignacio Spirituality Center in Salamanca. The aim of this course is to provide religious brothers and sisters, priests, laymen and laywomen, formators and pastoral agents with the knowledge and experience to direct the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. The curriculum covers both theoretical and practical elements. The theoretical part corresponds to six sessions divided evenly over the course of three years. In these expert-led sessions, students study the entire Ignatian text, its interpretation and method of application.

The practical part of the course consist in writing up reports on the corresponding sessions, tutor guidance, active participation in sessions and the creation of an eight-day project of Exercises.

The University’s Specialist Degree in Spiritual Exercises, a private degree awarded by the Comillas Pontifical University, is based on theoretical study of the Ignatian text and offers a practical introduction to leading and directing the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola.

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Who is it intended for?

  • Diocesan priests who work in parishes, teaching of catechism or vocational formation, movements, Spiritual Exercises, etc.
  • Religious brothers and sisters who work in vocational formation, vocational and youth-related pastoral care, Christian groups, teaching and spirituality, etc.
  • Laymen and laywomen who are educators in the Faith, members and coordinators of secular organizations, movements and communities, catechism teachers, religious education teachers, etc.

Admission requirements

  • Preferred age: between 25 and 50
  • Hold a licentiate (five-year) degree, a university diploma or a bachelor's degree
  • Commitment from the candidate to study the entire program

Admission process

  • Candidates can complete their application and send it to the Registrar’s Office at the Spirituality Center in Salamanca from October 2011 onwards. Application forms are provided by the Center.
  • Successful candidates will be chosen by a team from the School of Exercises, based on the order of application. Candidates will be informed of the admission decision and of any further details of the course.
  • The enrollment fee for each year (two sessions) is €595, which will remain fixed for the full three years. Comillas Pontifical University will pay for the issue of the official degree and certificate at the end of the course.

The study sessions for the next University Specialist Degree (2013-2015) will be held in Salamanca and will begin on Monday February 11, 2013 at 09:30.


The program covers the entire Ignatian text, presents the interpretation of this work and how it can be applied. It is a three-year course and combines both theoretical and practical learning.


The theoretical elementis divided over six modules or weekly sessions (Monday to Friday) taught throughout the three years (see program dates). Each session will be led by an expert on the subject and will conclude with the production of a 10-page report.


The practical element consists of active participation (observing, guiding and proposing) in some form of the Exercises and in the production of a final report with the eight-day Exercises project. Each practical activity will be reflected through the production of a ten-page report.


Each student will be assigned a tutor who will guide them through their studies and monitor their practical activities. The team from the School of Exercises will coordinate the planning, practical activities and tutorial monitoring.



  • General introduction to the book of Exercises
  • The Annotations: to lead and perform the exercises
  • Application of the Exercises
  • The Premise
  • The Principle and Foundation
  • Introduction to the practice of the Exercises
  • Introduction to Week One
  • The Five Exercises of Week One
  • The Anthropology of Week One
  • Discernment rules for Week One
  • The Additions, the Examen and the Confession 



  • Introduction to Week Two
  • The Temporal King and the Eternal King
  • Contemplation and other modes of prayer in Week Two
  • The Mysteries of the childhood of Christ
  • Standards, Pairs and Manners of Humility
  • The Mysteries of the public life of Christ
  • Discernment rules for Week Two
  • The choice of one's own state of life
  • Reforming one's own life. Rules on alms
  • Practical introduction to discernment



  • The Christology of Week Of Three
  • Contemplation of the Passion
  • Sensibility in the Exercises
  • Rules for organizing one’s diet
  • Notes on scruples
  • Mary in the Exercises
  • Introduction to the interview of Exercises
  • Contemplations of the Resurrection
  • Contemplation for achieving love
  • Methods of prayer
  • Different pathways for practicing the Exercises in daily life
  • Rules for the sentiment of the Church 
  • Pablo Alonso
  • Santiago Arzubialde
  • Secundino Castro
  • Toni Català
  • Pascual Cebollada
  • Adolfo Chércoles
  • Albino García
  • José García de Castro
  • Luis Mª García Domínguez
  • José A. García Rodríguez
  • Pablo Guerrero
  • Antonio T. Guillén
  • Santiago Madrigal
  • Inocencio Martín
  • Nuria Martínez-Gayol
  • Javier Melloni
  • Avelino Quijano
  • Francisco Ramírez Fueyo
  • Elías Royón
  • Manuel Tejera
  • Abel Toraño
  • Gabino Uríbarri 

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