Franciscan School of Theology

Spiritual Formation


About Lay Spiritual Formation

“This is what I want,” he said, “this is what I seek, this is what I desire with all my heart.”

 With these words of St. Francis, you are invited to explore Spiritual Formation at FST. The “this” Francis is talking about in the quote above – what he wanted, sought and desired with all his heart – is the Gospel call to follow Christ in the world. Spiritual Formation in the Franciscan tradition is a way of paying attention to your own search, and to your own heart’s desire. It is part of the academic life here.

A Rule of LifeRule of Life

A unique dimension of the Spiritual Formation program provides students the opportunity to develop a Rule of Life, which is a form of personal covenant. In consultation with the Director of Spiritual Formation, participants prepare and commit themselves to their Rule of Life in the presence of the school community gathered in prayer at a Covenant Ritual.  Those witnessing the commitment are invited to offer support and prayer for those making their covenant.


 Prayer and reflectionPrayer, Renewal and Reflection

In addition to the Rule of Life, the Spiritual Formation program provides experiences of communal prayer, retreats, spiritual direction referrals, and opportunities for small group reflection and spiritual renewal. Attention to personal growth coupled with awareness of social/environmental justice supports an integrated approach to spiritual formation at FST.


 Your Spiritual Formation Plan

During their time at FST, students are encouraged to create a personalized spiritual formation plan. For students in the professional ministry degree program (MDiv), creating a spiritual formation plan is an integral part of their program.  With the assistance of the Director or Spiritual Formation, they are encouraged to develop a plan that attends to their particular needs and goals as well as to goals specific to the formation of lay ecclesial ministers.  These goals are drawn from the Franciscan tradition, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the National Association for Lay Ministry.

A Lifelong ProcessFrancis and leper

Since formation is a lifelong process, the Spiritual Formation program is extended to alumnae/i of the school through invitations to participate in various activities and celebrations, so that a spirit of generous service can be supported and sustained beyond the student’s time at FST. In these and all things, may the Lord give you peace!

To learn more about the Spiritual Formation Program, view the Handbook here or contact:

 Donna Foley

Director of Spiritual Formation


760-547-1800 ext. 224

 News and Events


Oceanside Campus

Mondays at 4:30 pm: School Liturgy in the St. Clare Chapel – please join us!

Monday April 28, 4:30 pm: Evening Prayer and Covenant Ritual. Come celebrate, bless and pray for those who have made a Rule of Life.

Monday May 19, 4:30 pm: Our Closing Liturgy. Please join as as we celebrate our first academic year at Mission San Luis Rey.

Berkeley Campus

For more information about the Spiritual Formation program in Berkeley, please contact Dr. Frances Flynn at fflynn@fst.edu or (510) 848-5232 ext. 31.