Center for Christian Spirituality
Center for Christian Spirituality
DO YOU FEEL CALLED BY GOD TO OFFER
SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE TO OTHERS?
DO YOU DESIRE TO ENHANCE YOUR OWN
SPIRITUALITY & PRACTICE OF PRAYER?
The Center for Christian Spirituality (CCS) may be a place for you to explore the ways God is acting in your life.
Established in 1976, the CCS educates and forms leaders to offer ministries of spiritual guidance. Drawing upon the rich resources of an accredited seminary, the CCS offers degrees in both spiritual direction and the spiritual guidance of children. The CCS also invites you simply to take a course or come for special programs and events.
What is Spiritual Direction?
The CCS understands spiritual direction as any ministry that nurtures the spiritual lives of the people of God. Such ministries include spiritual direction, group spiritual guidance, the teaching of prayer practices, liturgy design, preaching, retreat and quiet day leadership, and prophetic leadership grounded in prayer. CCS courses explore many facets of Christian spirituality and offer students both an academic foundation and experiential learning for their future ministries.
Who are CCS Students?
Students come for spiritual enrichment, deeper understanding and experience of their faith, discernment of God’s guidance, sabbatical study, and education and formation for new spiritual guidance ministries in the church and the world. Students might be parish lay leaders, parish clergy, chaplains, artists and performers, business leaders, teachers, homemakers, or employees of non-profit organizations. The CCS prepares leaders for ministries of spiritual guidance in a variety of settings: congregations, religious communities, schools, health chaplaincies, and vocational and religious counseling centers.
ACADEMIC PROGRAMS in Spiritual Direction
Through the CCS, General Seminary offers Master of Arts (45 credits) and Master of Sacred Theology (24 credits) degrees and Certificates (18 credits) in Spiritual Direction. Each program includes the academic study of Christian Spirituality, practicum courses that offer experiential learning, and supervision of ministry courses. Master of Arts students also take foundational courses in other theological fields, such as Scripture and Pastoral Theology, and either write a thesis or prepare a final project in Spiritual Direction. Master of Sacred Theology students have the option of writing a thesis or pursuing a non-thesis track that focuses more on coursework.
Spiritual Guidance of Children PROGRAM
Children have a natural, deep spirituality. They know God even before stories and symbols. Yet they need adults who can help them explore their relationship with the holy and learn a language for their faith. General Seminary's Spiritual Guidance of Children program (18 credits) provides both academic learning and practical training for the spiritual guidance of children. The program includes academic courses in the major theological disciplines, with a focus on children’s spirituality; scholarly courses addressing the theory and history of children’s spirituality; and practicum courses teaching approaches for nurturing children's spirituality through story, wonder, silence, prayer, and play.
Master of Divinity Students & CCS Certificates
Recognizing that clergy are sometimes called by God to ministries of spiritual direction and spiritual guidance for children, General Seminary offers M.Div. students the opportunity to earn a Certificate concurrent with their degree program. Nine credits may count toward both the M.Div. degree and a Certificate. The remaining nine credits must be earned over and above the credits required for the M.Div. degree. To earn a Certificate, M.Div. students must complete all coursework required for the Certificate. Regardless of whether or not they are pursuing a Certificate, all M.Div. students may take CCS courses in areas of their interest to enrich their formation for ordained ministry.
Special Events FOR ALL
With the hope of nurturing the spiritual lives of a diverse audience, the CCS offers a variety of special events and programs throughout the academic year that are open to the entire seminary community and the general public. The offerings include weekend workshops, guest luncheon speakers, spiritual direction and prayer groups, drum circles, and quiet days. A major annual event is the Kay Butler Gill Lecture in Christian Spirituality. Past lecturers have included Roberta Bondi, Tilden Edwards, Margaret Guenther, Alan Jones, Sandra Schneiders, Martin Smith, Janet Ruffing, Robin Jensen, John Philip Newell, and Fr. James Martin, SJ.
Financially Supporting the CCS
The CCS is grateful to all who care about spiritual leadership and who express their care through financial gifts to the CCS. Whenever you make a donation to General Seminary, you may specify that you wish your gift to support CCS programs. No gift is too small. Thank you for your generosity.