An Online Course for Clergy and Lay Leaders
Course Description: A common theme in our society today is the hunger for experience. From new age spiritualties, to the growth of Buddhism and other eastern spiritualties, to the rise of Pentecostalism, a driving force in today’s spiritual landscape is the quest for “experiential” spirituality rather than an abstract doctrinal faith. For Christians, the heart of experiential spirituality lies in the tradition of contemplative (meditative) prayer. Historically, this kind of spirituality was associated with monasteries and convents. But since most Protestant Churches do not have monastic communities, and even among Catholics such communities are declining, how can Christians today find contemplation — and how can churches embrace this kind of spirituality as a way to serve their communities and support their members as they seek to grow in Christ? This five-week online course considers those questions as it challenges participants to begin (or deepen) their own contemplative practice, while also exploring concrete steps that congregations can take to foster a truly contemplative spirituality within their own community. The class is taught by Carl McColman, author of several contemplative books, and draws on the experience of congregations with vibrant contemplative ministries.
Instructor: Carl McColman is a lay minister who specializes in helping Christians to grow in the life of prayer. He teaches in Columbia Seminary’s certificate program in Spiritual Formation, and regularly leads retreats and workshops at churches and retreat centers. Carl received training in Christian spiritual formation from the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, the Institute for Pastoral Studies, and the Lay Associates of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit. He is the author of several books, including Answering the Contemplative Call and The Lion, the Mouse and the Dawn Treader: Spiritual Lessons from C. S. Lewis’ Narnia. In addition to his blog at www.carlmccolman.com, his writing has appeared at websites like the Huffington Post, Contemplative Journal, and the progressive Christian portal at Patheos. Carl lives with his family in Stone Mountain, GA.
Dates and Times: Tuesday April 29 – Monday June 2. Live sessions take place 4/29, 5/13, 5/20 & 5/27 at 1:00 p.m. EDT. All sessions will be recorded and you can do the course even if you can’t participate in the live sessions.
Individual Registration for $299
Group Registration for $499
Each week there will be reading assignments, live or recorded lectures and a weekly online discussion forum. All participants will work on a final course project to be submitted to the instructor for comments and recommendations.