Weekend Head Spiritual

(Please make sure that you have read the material located on the Clergy page in the menu as well.)

The Weekend Head Spiritual Director (WHSD) is the primary clergy leader of a Walk to Emmaus or Chrysalis weekend working in collaboration with the Weekend Lay Director (the layperson who is responsible and accountable for actually leading the weekend). The WHSD is selected by the Board of Directors with the recommendation of the Emmaus or Chrysalis Community Spiritual Director. The WHSD is responsible to the board as the spiritual leader of the Walk, Flight or Journey. As with the Weekend Lay Director, the WSD must have sufficient experience, training, and ability for the job.


Only clergy who meet the following criteria can serve in this role:

  • is ordained as a UMC Elder or the equivalent in other denominations/churches who has completed a four year undergraduate degree and has received an Master of Divinity degree from a seminary accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS, www.ats.edu);


  • is ordained as a UMC Elder or the equivalent in other denominations/churches who has completed an undergraduate degree and The United Methodist Church (UMC) Basic Course of Study Program and the Advanced Course of Study Program (or the equivalent in other churches or denominations). (The description of the UMC Basic and Advance Course of Study Program is attached.)


  • is a United Methodist Licensed Local Pastor; or their equivalent in other churches or denominations, who is current in his/her Course of Study or seminary; or, who has completed a Course of Study Program or seminary, is serving a local church under the appointment of the Bishop, or other supervisory body or person, and who is not ordained. Such a person needs to secure written authorization from the Bishop, District Superintendant, or supervisory body to consecrate the elements of Holy Communion in Emmaus or Chrysalis settings. This letter of authorization must be on file with the local Community Spiritual Director, and the Emmaus/Chrysalis International Office prior to serving as the WHSD. This letter must be renewed annually (or for each walk, journey or flight if the authorization is event specific).


  • is an Upper Room-Certified Clergy.

In addition, a WHSD must meet the following criteria:

  • is able to maintain theological balance and be sensitive to the variety of perspectives in the ecumenical setting that is the Walk to Emmaus and Chrysalis.
  • is willing to serve on a team, working in concert and cooperation with the weekend Lay Director, and abiding by The Upper Room design for Emmaus and Chrysalis as presented in the most recent editions of the Handbooks, the Manuals, and the other official documents.
  • is actively engaged in professional ministry (or retired in good standing from professional ministry).
  • has served at least once for the entire three days as an Assistant Spiritual Director under the leadership of someone who has served at least once as a Weekend Head Spiritual Director.
  • has given a minimum of two of the five clergy talks other than the Emmaus "Means of Grace" talk, or the Chrysalis God's Gifts to You talk.
  • is authorized to consecrate the elements of Holy Communion during a Walk to Emmaus or Chrysalis Flight.