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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where does the IPF Spiritual Direction Training Program take place?
    1. University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary near Chicago, Illinois.
  2. Campus Map
    1. Here is the campus map in .pdf form. Be aware that this campus also serves a Seminary community, therefore, please be respectful of the noted private areas on campus. The areas on campus which you will most often frequent are: building E where you will live, building D where you will have classes, and building B where you will eat.


  1. Where can I park?
    1. Please park in the purple lot indicated on the campus map. When you check in with the person at the front desk, they will ask you more specific questions about the make, model, color, and license plate number of your vehicle (for security purposes).
  2. Which airport should I fly into?
    1. Flights can be booked into Chicago O’Hare airport (ORD) which is about 45 minutes away, or Chicago Midway airport (MDW) which is about 90 minutes away.
  3. How do I get from the airport to the USML Seminary?
    1. American Taxi provides reliable and economical transportation from the airport to the Conference Center and you can schedule online before your trip.

      Northshore Limo is another possibility. To book online and be ‘linked’ to the IPF profile you will need to enter the correct Login linking you to the Group ‘Institute for Priestly Formation’. Click the ‘Sign In’ tab which will give you the next option. Then enter the code IPF38986 which brings you to next screen (which has the IPF pricing with gratuity already included). Now you can request either a 1-way or round-trip reservation. FYI- this account is set up as payment by credit card only for now so will require you to enter one to complete the reservation.

      Of course, Uber and Lyft are also viable options using their respective applications. Please do research about where you can hail a rideshare at the ORD or MDW airport before hailing a ride.

      For any ride to USML Seminary, please use the address of the Conference Center, 300 Principal Avenue, Mundelein. The driver should drop you off in the Green Lot, it is a short walk to the Conference Center Lodging and Registration/Building E on the campus map.
  4. Where can I be dropped off?
    1. If you take a taxi or another ride share option from the airport, please have the driver drop you off in the green lot indicated on the campus map. This address, 300 Principal Avenue, Mundelein, IL 60060, will take you directly to that parking lot. You will find the Conference Center (Building E) just a short walk from where you get dropped off. If you arrive before 9:00 pm you can find your key at the front desk. If you arrive after 9:00 pm you will need to call security at 847-970-4815 to help you gain access to the building.

About the Seminary

  1. What are the USML Conference Center accommodations like?
    1. All priests will be staying the USML Conference Center (building E on the campus map). All of the guest rooms in the lodge were refreshed in December 2018 and are newly painted and have new mattresses, pillows, bedding, linens and towels.

      Each room includes:
      • Two twin beds
      • Private bathroom
      • Towels
      • Free Wi-Fi

      Guests will need to bring their own toiletries and hair dryer. Courtesy ones are available at the Front Desk should a guest forget these items.

      If you have special needs i.e. mobility issues, back trouble etc. please let Kelsa Brazell know ASAP.
  2. Check-in and Check-out Information
    1. Please let our office know if you will be arriving at an unusual time.

      The official check-in time is after 4:00 pm.
      If you will be arriving after 9:00 pm the doors to the building will be locked. It is still possible to gain entry into the Conference Center building. Please call security at 847-970-4815. They will come and escort you into the building and get your key. Please let our office know that you will be late so security knows how many late phone calls to expect.

      The official check-out time is 11:00 am. If your flight is later in the day, you may leave luggage in the Living Room until you leave. There is also a rest room in the Living Room.
  3. Meal Information and Times
    1. All meals will be served in the building marked B on the campus map. It is a short walk from the Conference Center.  Be prepared for Chicago weather throughout the changing seasons.

      Important notes:
      • Please take your room key with the dining tag on it to the dining hall with you. You will scan this for your meal.

      • Once you have your meal, we ask that you sit on the south side of the dining hall (to the left as you enter) as the north side is for student and faculty. This seating arrangement helps Mundelein Seminary accommodate their entire campus community.

      • Please remember that no outside food or beverage is permitted in the Conference Center Meeting Hall or Conference Center Lodge due to state health regulations.

      Breakfast (Served: 7:30 am – 8:15 am)

      Lunch (Served: 1:15 pm – 2:00 pm) and Dinner (Served: 6:30 pm – 7:00 pm)

      Regarding dietary needs:
      • Each meal has a vegetarian or vegan offering.
      • All sauces are gluten-free.
  4. Is there a gym on campus?
    1. There is no gym on the USML campus.  There is a basketball court for recreation.
  5. Will there be WIFI?
    1. WIFI is available to you while on campus. Access information cards can be found on the Meeting Hall Registration Desk and at the Front Desk of the Lodge. If you have any questions about accessing this system, please let us know.
  6. What do I need to bring?
    1. You should bring an alb and a stole, a Bible, your Liturgy of the Hours book, your prayer journal if you keep one, a notebook and pen or whatever you desire to use to take notes. Dress will be casual. Program materials will be provided after arrival.  Please remember to bring hand sanitizer and a mask for your own personal use.
  7. What can I do on campus?
    1. There is a beautiful 5K path around the lake. Take advantage of that. If you are out either in the morning or in the evening when it is dusk – you will need a safety vest. Please check that out at the front desk.
  8. Can I arrive early or extend my stay?
    1. This question is dependent upon availability at the Conference Center. Your program fee includes a five-night stay from Sunday to Friday. If you want to arrive early or depart later, there will be a per diem fee.  More information is outlined in the memo you received from IPF. You would be responsible to pay the front desk directly. They can take payment by credit card or a check written to USML Conference Center.

About the Spiritual Direction Training Program

  1. What are the requirements for the IPF Spiritual Direction Training Program?
    1. • Attendance at each weeklong program session.
      • Completion of readings.
      • Completion of all practicum requirements. Further clarifications will be provided as the program begins.
      • The priest must also receive regular (usually monthly) spiritual direction throughout the training program and intend to continue this monthly spiritual direction.
  2. What are the dates for the IPF Spiritual Direction Training Program?
    1. Dates for the 2020-2023 Spiritual Direction Training Program can be found on this page.
  3. Is it possible to switch between sections if one week doesn't work in my schedule?
    1. Because of the housing situation and the assignment of spiritual directors, it is not possible for you to switch between one section and the other.
  4. Should I get accepted to the program when am I required to arrive at Mundelein Seminary and when can I leave?
    1. • The opening session begins, Sunday at 7:30 pm.
      • The program concludes by 11:00 am on Friday morning.
      • Transportation to O’Hare Airport (ORD) is about 45 minutes to an hour.
      • Transportation from Midway Airport (MDW) takes about an hour and a half.
  5. How much does the IPF Spiritual Direction Training Program cost?
    1. The cost for the program is $2,400 in 2020 and $3,225 for 2022-2023. Invoices will be sent in the spring before the beginning of each new year; all payment is due by September 1 of each year.

      The cost includes a private, air conditioned room (linens included), meals, books, program materials, administrative fees, and spiritual direction.
  6. What if COVID-19 affects the program?
    1. In light of the growing concerns about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), IPF is actively monitoring information shared through the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). We take the health and safety of our participants very seriously and are taking every effort to comply with their recommendations for preventing the spread of this illness. We will update our participants and faculty immediately with any information or changes as they arise. For more information about the disease and what you can do to prevent the spread, please visit the CDC website or the WHO website. If you get sick and will not be able to attend any of our programs, please let us know as soon as possible.