Initial Formation Course

  • Modular course designed to complement the Initial Formation of candidates wishing to embark upon a religious life in Carmel.
  • Intended to be part of a community Initial Formation Programme
  • Students choose from an extensive range of modules
  • Part-time and fully online
  • Certified by the Carmelite Institute of Britain and Ireland (CIBI)


This course can also be tailored to meet the requirements of a community or candidate.


Course Overview:

The Initial Formation course provides an introduction to various aspects of Carmelite Spirituality, Tradition and History at a more relaxed pace than our other courses.

It is designed as a part-time course, to complement the Formation programme of the Carmelite community, and enables candidates to read and reflect on individual modules, in a structured yet flexible manner.

Students study as many modules as they require, selected from the suite available in the Discovering Carmel programme.

There are two entry points to the course, one at the start of each semester

  • Semester 1: September – December
  • Semester 2: January – April


Course Delivery:

The course is delivered in the form of a phased release of reading material, which encourages a reflective approach to study and learning. The content is accessed online, and support is available through the team in CIBI.

Students usually register for one module at a time and it generally takes 12 weeks to complete a module. 

Each module comprises 5 units of content to be read and reflected upon. The units are text-based and written by an expert in the field. The content of one unit is equivalent to approximately that delivered in a 45 minute lecture. 

Reflective questions are included in each unit that focus on the candidates spiritual development. We recommend keeping a Reflective Journal to record responses to these questions, which is for personal use only and not shared with CIBI.

At the end of the five units there is a simple questionnaire based on the module. Answers are reviewed and comments provided so that the candidate can deepen their understanding, and have the maximum learning and development experience.



Module Details:

There are a wide variety of modules available. It is usual that the choice of modules would be made between the Candidate and the person responsible for their formation. However, it would be wise to include modules from the Traditions section, the History section and the Saints and Spirituality section. 

O.Carm tradition:

DC02: The Rule of St Albert DC06: The Carmelite School of Spirituality O.Carm. Perspective
DC03: Elijah in the Carmelite Tradition DC25: St Titus Brandsma
DC04: Mary in the Carmelite Tradition DC40: St Albert of Jerusalem


OCD tradition:

DC07: The Carmelite School of Spirituality: Teresian Perspective DC24: St Elizabeth of the Trinity
DC09: Prayer in the Carmelite Tradition DC26: Carmelite Nuns and Sisters, past and present
DC15: St Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church DC27: St Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church


Carmelite History and Tradition:

DC01: Who are the Carmelites DC31: Carmel in Britain and Ireland – the Beginnings
DC08: Scriptures in the Carmelite Tradition DC32: The Third/Secular Order from 1900
DC22: The O.Carm. Charism from 1950 DC33: The History of Carmel in Zimbabwe
DC23: The OCD Charism in the 20th Century DC35: Female Contemplative Life and Recent Developments
DC30: The Carmelite Family in the 14th Century DC42: Who Founded the Carmelites? 


Significant Carmelites:

DC11: Madam Acarie (Blessed Mary of the Incarnation) DC28: St Teresa of the Andes
DC17: Blessed John Soreth DC29: St Edith Stein: Spirituality of the Cross and Holocaust
DC18: John of St Samson DC34: Some Themes from the Writing of St Teresa of Avila
DC19: St Raphael Kalinowski DC36: St John of the Cross
DC20: Jacques de Jésus-Au Revoire Les Enfants DC37: Spirituality and Social Justice-Isidore Bakanja
DC21: Blessed Lawrence of the Resurrection DC38: Women in Carmel (Teresa, Thérèse, Elizabeth and Edith)


Aspects of Carmelite Spirituality:

DC05: What is Spirituality? DC14: Psychology and Carmelite Spirituality
DC10: Living in Gods Presence DC39: Carmelite Commitment to Justice and Peace
DC12: Formation in Carmel DC41: Liturgy in the Carmelite Tradition
DC13: Carmel and Interfaith Dialogue DC43: The Charism of Consecrated Life


Certified Course:

The Carmelite Institute of Britain and Ireland (CIBI) certifies all completed modules.


Course Fees:

The current fee is €35 per module.

Please contact us to arrange community participation at admin@cibi.ie