The General Theological Seminary is offering Summer 2012 courses open to anyone seeking to pursue learning or enhance a ministry. Courses explore topics in Christian spirituality, ministries of spiritual guidance, and Anglican church history. Students may come in June, July or August. Courses will be held in a variety of intensive-study formats, and many are open to auditors.
Topics in Spirituality & Anglican Church History
AT1: Introduction to Christian Spirituality
Great Classics, Prayer, and a Foundation Course in Two Weeks Monday-Friday, June 4-8 and June 11-15, 9:30am-12:30pm Prof. Clair McPherson, 3 credits or audit
This course, which satisfies the ascetical theology requirement in the seminary's Master of Divinity and spiritual direction programs, explores classical texts of Christian spirituality and offers experiences of meditation and prayer. Readings include works by Ignatius of Antioch, Irenaeus, the Cappadocians, the Latin Fathers and Mothers, the Desert Dwellers, Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, and modern searchers including Simone Weil. Prof. McPherson's teaching incorporates the expression of spirituality through poetry, visual art, and music.
CH130: The Venerable Bede & the Origins of Anglicanism
Mornings with an Eminent Scholar on the "Gateway Book to Anglican History" Monday-Friday, June 18-22 June 25-29, 10:00am-12:00pm Prof. J. Robert Wright, 3 credits or audit
This course offers a close reading of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. Bede's is the gateway book to
Anglican history, notes Prof. Wright, whose own new book, A Companion to Bede, has been enthusiastically praised by The Living Church as "a gracious and thoughtful guide to the occasionally perplexed modern reader." The course will examine such topics as liturgy, foundations of spirituality, methods of evangelism, miracles, baptism, eucharist, ways for interpreting the Bible, monastic life, ideals of priesthood and episcopacy, and the struggles between Roman and Celt.
AT315/515: Contemplative Practices for Spiritual Direction Ministry Practicum
Mornings of Spiritual Practices for Ministers Tuesday-Friday, June 19-22, 9:30am-12:30pm Adj. Prof. Westina Matthews, 1 credit or audit
Contemplative practices increase openness to the way God’s Spirit is active in the hearts of both spiritual directors and those whom they companion in the spiritual life. Students will experience and develop an ability to guide others in stillness and movement practices, spiritual practices that tap into creativity and generative processes, ritual/cyclical practices, and relational practices. Underlying the course is the conviction that ministries of spiritual direction, guidance or companionship are a form of prayer grounded in the spiritual lives of those who offer these ministries.
AT385/585: Twelve Step Spirituality Practicum
Spiritual Health and Wholeness for AllMonday-Friday, June 25-29, 9:30am to 5:00pm Adj. Prof. Stuart Hoke, 3 credits or audit
The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and other recovery groups provide a guide for spiritual health and growth that is available for all people in all walks of life. This course invites participants to look closely at the Twelve Steps, reflect on the practices, pray in the way of Twelve Step spirituality, and discern how the Twelve Steps can inform their holistic living. Stuart Hoke is a respected Episcopal priest and scholar who serves on the Board of the Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church.
A New Summer Track
for the Spiritual Guidance
of Children Program
This summer, General Seminary is introducing a new three-summer track for the Spiritual Guidance of Children certificate program, making it more possible for clergy, school chaplains, teachers, and others with slower summer schedules to pursue their education and formation in children's spirituality. Each summer, students will be able to complete 6 credits of the 18-credit program.
SGC20: The Spirituality of Children
An Academic Study of Perspectives Monday-Friday, July 23-27, 9:00am-2:30pm Distinguished Visiting Prof. Jerome W. Berryman, 2 credits
What is "spirituality"? How is it different from "religion"? Is children's spirituality different from the spirituality of adults? Exploring such questions, this scholarly course examines children's spirituality from the standpoints of personal memory, spiritual masters, historians, psychologists, and educators. The class will construct together a general theory of children's spirituality.
SGC303: Keeping Silence with Children Practicum
Ancient and New Ways of Observing Silence that are Child-Friendly Monday-Friday, July 23-27, 3:30pm-5:30pm Prof. Clair McPherson and Adj. Prof. K. Jeanne Person, 1 credit or audit
In a world filled with jolting noise, many are seeking ancient and new ways for observing silence. This course begins with a scholarly introduction to the history of contemplative spirituality within the world religions, examination of the rising need and interest in contemporary U.S. culture for silence-keeping, and an experience of different contemplative practices. The course then turns to children’s need for silence and approaches adults can use in accompanying and guiding children in contemplative practices towards a deeper engagement with the holy.
SGC301: Godly Play for the Spiritual Guidance of Children, Practicum I
Offering to Children a Language for their Experiences of God Monday-Friday, July 30-August 3, 9:00am to 5:00pm Distinguished Visiting Prof. Jerome Berryman, 3 credits
This practicum course in Godly Play teaches the art of inviting children into the Christian language system in a way that honors their wonder and undifferentiated awareness of God’s presence. It is in this context that the skills of observation, the relationship of child development to the spiral curriculum, the awareness of method, fluency in the curriculum, and foundational theory are experienced and critically reflected on.
A Focus on Preaching
AT345/545: Spirituality of Preaching Practicum
Learning the Spiritual Arts of Proclaiming and Listening Tuesday-Thursday, August 28-30, 10:00am-3:00pm Adj. Prof. Jonathan Linman. 1 credit or audit
This course invites in-depth exploration of preaching, for those who preach and those who listen. For-credit students will prepare a sermon before the course, deliver the sermon during class time, and, in the weeks following the course, write a final paper that is a theological and spiritually autobiographical commentary. Auditors will be literally this: Participating in class activities and discussions, they will engage the spirituality of the preaching moment from the perspective of those who hear. This course is appropriate for anyone drawn to the ministry of proclamation, including clergy, seminarians, and listeners who wish to gain tools to derive greater spiritual benefit from their experience of sermons.