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Summer 2014/Seattle




DESCRIPTION: Spiritual practices emerge out of spiritual traditions which, in turn, often emerge from the life and experience of spiritual pioneers. In this course we will explore the lives of spiritual pioneers from the contemplative tradition and the spiritual traditions they founded or influenced. Within each tradition a spiritual practice will be explored with an eye to its use in the twenty-first century church. In addition, these traditions will be set in conversation with contemporary spiritual traditions from the worldwide church and set in the context of the broad sweep of the history and theology of Christian spirituality.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: The student will (1) understand the life, ministry, and spiritual practices of spiritual pioneers in the context of a broad understanding of the history and theology of Christian spirituality; (2) explore and experience various spiritual disciplines and practices from these traditions; (3) develop a deeper understanding of one particular school of spirituality; (4) develop skills that enable the student to lead others in the practices of Christian spirituality.

COURSE FORMAT: A mixture of lecture, discussion, media, case studies, and interactive dialogue. The class will meet as a one-week intensive, four weekdays for four hours each, and two Saturdays for six hours and eight hours respectively, for a total of 30 classroom hours, plus a final Saturday for a six-hour retreat.


Read the following texts:

Allen, Diogenes. Spiritual Theology. Cowley Publications, 1997. ISBN: 978-1561011308, Pub. Price: $16.95 [169 pp.]

Heschel, Abraham Joshua. The Sabbath. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2005. ISBN: 978-0374529758, Pub. Price: $14.00 [136 pp.]

Maas, Robin and Gabriel O’Donnell. Spiritual Tradition for the Contemporary Church. Abingdon, 1990. ISBN: 978-0687392339, Pub. Price: $33.99 [464 pp.]

Choose one of the following and read it in preparation for the Reflection Paper assignment below:

Chittister, Joan. Wisdom Distilled from the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today, Reprint Ed. HarperOne, 2009. ISBN: 978-0060613990, Pub. Price: $13.99 [224 pp.]

Ware, Kallistos. The Orthodox Way. St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1995. ISBN: 978-0913836583, Pub. Price: $16.00 [164 pp.]

Choose at least two of the following spiritual classics and read a combined total of 300 pages for the Spiritual Reading Journal and Log assignment below:

Augustine of Hippo. Confessions. Oxford University Press, 1979. ISBN: 978-1449551759, Pub. Price: $15.00 [311 pp.]

Anonymous. The Cloud of Unknowing. HarperCollins, 2004. ISBN: 978-0060737757, Pub. Price: $11.99 [176 pp.]

Ignatius of Loyola. The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Vintage, 2000. ISBN: 978-0375724923, Pub. Price: $14.00 [224 pp.]

St. John of the Cross. The Dark Night of the Soul. Dover, 2003. ISBN: 978-0486426938, Pub. Price: $3.50 [128 pp.]

Teresa of Avila. Interior Castle. Trinity Press, 2013. ISBN: 978-1619491007, Pub. Price: $10.99 [242 pp.]


  1. Regular attendance and participation in all aspects of the course (10%).
  2. A Reflection Paper based on either Chittister or Ware (1,000 words) (15%).
  3. Research paper on a particular spiritual tradition and its implications for the twenty-first century church (2,500 words) (40%).
  4. Attendance at a six-hour retreat and a reflection paper based on the retreat experience (1,000 words) (10%).
  5. A Spiritual Reading Journal and Log based on 300 pages of reading in the spiritual classics (15%).
  6. Personal engagement in weekly spiritual exercises with journal reflections (10%).


RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Meets program requirement for MAT, MATM, MACL, MAIS (2010); meets the following MA spirituality requirements: FSP, SP2, or SPIR.


NOTE: This ECD is a reliable guide to the course design but is subject to modification. Textbook prices are set by publishers and are subject to change.

For your convenience, order these texts online through the Archives Bookshop.