First Semester Courses (August-January)
Course One: The Dynamics of Transformation (Saturday mornings 9am-12pm)
The purpose of this course is to examine the nature, dimensions and dynamics of ongoing conversion, while enabling the participants to reflect upon the process of ongoing faith formation in their personal lives. In order to familiarize participants with the relationship between religious conversion and the various theories of human development, the course will also examine the various writings on conversion and transformation as seen through the eyes of Thomas Merton, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Matthew Fox, Carl Jung and Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, along with the various paradigms found in Scripture.
Course Two: Historical Trends in Christian Spirituality (Wednesday evenings 6:30-9:30pm)
The course provides an overview of the central authors, themes and movements that characterize Christian spiritual tradition from the New Testament era to the present. The course provides an overview of the central authors, themes and movements that characterize Christian spiritual tradition from the New Testament era to the present. Major spiritual classics will be studied in the light of changing historical and cultural contexts in order to achieve an understanding of the principles and dynamics of spiritual growth articulated in the Christian tradition.
Second Semester Courses (February-June)
Course Three: The Process of Prayer (Wednesday evenings 6:30-9:30pm)
Participants in this course will engage in an experiential approach to prayer. The mystery of the divine human relationship is explored by considering the influences of personality, history, culture and theology.
The goals of this course for participants are threefold:
- To identify and to integrate one's own personal prayer style as it informs one's daily life.
- To be exposed to a variety of both individual and group expression of prayer.
- To deepen and further one's own relationship with God known as prayer.
Course Four: Human Development, Personality Types and Spirituality in the Adult Life Cycles (Saturday mornings 9am-12pm)
In seeking to understand the possible relationships between human development and religious experience, three different approaches will be used. Using personality theories such as the Myers-Briggs, the first approach focuses on the different ways in which individuals interact with the world, gather information, and make choices. The second approach comes from psycho-social development, particularly as it is reflected in the work of Erik Erickson and various adult-life theorists. This approach focuses on three main issues: identifying the critical events that invite growth and development; identifying the different issues facing men and women; and identifying strategies which would invite and encourage further growth. The third approach, which is based on the work of James Fowler, focuses on how individuals "look at" and "make" meaning of their world.
The purpose of this course is to encourage the student to explore each of these approaches in greater depth, first in relation to his/her own religious experiences and then in relating to the religious experiences of others. Each theory will be explored separately and then in various combinations to see how they interact. The goal is to gain a deeper appreciation of the individual paths each person follows, while also becoming familiar with different strategies which could be utilized to invite individuals to further growth in faith.