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Summer 2013/Phoenix




DESCRIPTION: Encounter and intimacy with God is expressed in various spiritual traditions, which develop different spiritual practices. This course employs a practical theology method to explore four traditions of Christian spirituality, including Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant, and contemporary expressions. Within each tradition one or more spiritual practices will be explored, experienced, and related to practice in today’s church. In addition these different traditions and practices will be examined in relation to contemporary expressions, such as that of Metropolitan Anthony Bloom Oscar Romero, Mother Teresa, and Howard Thurman.

SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY: There is a resurging interest in spirituality both in the church and culture. This course seeks to root spirituality in the Scriptures and the church’s historic traditions, to encourage students to explore their own traditions in order to enhance their own spirituality, and to nurture others in their spiritual journeys.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: The student will (1) understand the interrelation between the spiritual traditions and practices of the leading Christian confessions; (2) explore and experience various spiritual disciplines and practices from these traditions; (3) develop a better understanding of the student’s own spiritual tradition; (4) develop a better understanding of a spiritual tradition different from that of the student’s; (5) develop skills and attitudes that may be used to lead others in the practices of Christian spirituality.

COURSE FORMAT: There is a combination of lecture, discussion, small groups, and case studies. The class will meet June 21 – July 3 on weekdays from 6:30-9:30 PM, and on Saturdays from 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM. A retreat will be held on one of the Saturdays at a local retreat center.


REQUIRED READING: Students are required to read 1500 pages from the following books. Books marked with an asterisk are available in the Christian Ethereal Library at http:www.ccel.org/

Augustine. Saint Augustine Confessions. Oxford University Press, 1998. ISBN: 9780192833723, Pub. Price $7.95 [352 pp.]*

Benedict. The Rule of St. Benedict. Anthony C. Meisel, ed. Doubleday/Image Books,1975. ISBN: 9780385009485, Pub. Price $7.95 [128 pp.]*

Calvin, John. Golden Book of the True Christian Life. Baker, 2004. ISBN: 9780801065286, Pub. Price $8.99 [96 pp.]*

De Sales, Francis. Introduction to the Devout Life. Image, 1972. ISBN: 9780385030090, Pub. Price $14.95 [336 pp.]*

Gregory of Nyssa. The Life of Moses. Paulist, 1978. ISBN: 9780809121120, Pub. Price $21.95 [224 pp.]

Ignatius of Loyola. The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Image, 1964. ISBN: 9780385024365, Pub. Price $12.99 [208 pp.]*

Luther, Martin. A Simple Way to Pray. Westminister John Knox, 2000. ISBN: 9780664222734, Pub. Price $15.00 [62 pp.]

Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh. Essential Writings. Orbis, 2010. ISBN: 9781570758669, Pub. Price $18.00 [189 pp.]

Mother Teresa. Contemplative in the Heart of the World. Angela Devanda, ed. Zondervan, 1986. ISBN: 978-0006270737, Pub. Price $12.99. [148 pp.]

Romero, Oscar. The Violence of Love. Orbis, 2004. ISBN: 9781570755354, Pub. Price $18.00 [214 pp.]

Thurman, Howard. For the Inward Journey. Anne Spencer Thurman, ed. Friends United, 1984. ISBN: 978-0151326563, Pub. Price $24.00 [324 pp.]

Wesley, John. A Plain Account of Christian Perfection. Epworth, 2007. ISBN: 9780716206309, Pub Price. $12.00 [116 pp.]


Jones, Cheslyn, Geoffrey Wainwright, Edward Yarnold, eds. The Study of Spirituality. Oxford, 1986. ISBN: 978-0195041705, Pub. Price $64.95.


  1. Attendance at all classes including active involvement in class and small groups (15%).
  2. Attendance at the Saturday retreat and an 8-page (double spaced) reflection paper (15%);
  3. Report on 1,500 pages of reading; 300 words on each book; (25%);
  4. Three eight-page papers (double spaced) based on lectures and required readings; each paper will examine aspects of the traditions and each of the four main areas of study with application for today’s church (45%)
    1. Paper reflecting on your spiritual journey;
    2. Paper on the spiritual theology and practices of one of the persons studied who comes from a tradition that is your own, or similar.
    3. Paper on the spirituality and practices of one of the persons studied who comes from a tradition different than your own.

PREREQUISITES: None. Auditors allowed without completion of assignments.

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