Foundations of Christian Spirituality

Entering the Narrow Gate

A year-long reflective study of the Christian Wisdom Tradition

Hosted by: St. Luke's Lutheran church - Grand Rapids, MI

Explore the classic elements of monastic, spiritual & contemplative life to discover how this ancient wisdom, learning and spiritual practice might be understood and lived in new settings & life today. The program offers a reflective personal & transformative process for all who desire deeper life in Spirit and more intentional living of the Christian life in Christ. The rich and inspiring teaching is centers on the saints, mystics and spiritual teachers of the Christian centuries, personal contemplative prayer practice and the writing and living of a personal Rule of Life.


 Location:  St. Luke's Lutheran Church, 3215 4 Mile Rd NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525.  (616)363-2381
 Local Staff Coordinator: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • September 2017 to June 2018, Ten Fridays, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 
    (please bring your lunch, coffee provided) 
  • Ten sessions, 9:30 am-4:30 pm; one Friday per month (except March)
  • Tuition: $500 (Payment in full or 50% due with registration and 50% due in January or February)
  • Required books (may be purchased on Amazon.com at reduced cost) Required editions:
    • The Wisdom Jesus by Cynthia Bourgeault;
    • The Rule of Benedict. Ed., Timothy Fry Liturgical Press, 1982;
    • The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality by Ronald Rolheiser.
  • Recommended:
    • Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality by Richard Rohr
    • Joan of Arc by Mark Twain – with trial proceedings included
  • Each program day consists of two three-hour sessions, each focusing on a separate topic.
  • Each session has required readings (short background and/or readings from the original
  •    writings of each spiritual teacher) and journal questions
  • Participation in a four-day silent directed retreat during the year is encouraged - scheduled at St. Francis Retreat Center in DeWitt in March or April of 2018. 
  • Participants are encouraged to have a spiritual director
  • Those completing this first year may apply for a two-year Formation Program & Practicum for on-going discernment of a call to the ministry of spiritual direction. The Practicum for becoming a spiritual direction begins every two years…next program begins Sept., 2018.

Following completion of the Foundations program, participants can enroll in a two-year Formation Program & Practicum fo those who have discerned a call to the ministry of spiritual direction.  The Practicum begins every two years (starting September of even-numbered years).  

For questions contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Program Schedule for 2017-2018:

  • 9/15/2017
    • Gospel according to John
    • Paschal Mystery and Spiritual Journey
  • 10/6
    • Desert Mothers as Midwives of Wisdom
    • Contemplative Prayer & Approaches to God
  • 10/27
    • St. Benedict and St. Scholastica
    • St. Hildegard of Bingen
  • 12/1
    • St. Francis & St. Clare
    • St. Anthony of Padua
  • 1/26/2018
    • Beguine Women’s Movement of the 13th c
    • Julian of Norwich
  • 2/23
    • St. Catherine of Siena
    • Meister Eckhart
  • 3/23
    • St. Ignatius of Loyola
    • Joan of Arc
  • 4/27
    • St. Teresa of Avila
    • St. John of the Cross
  • 5/25
    • St. Teresa of Calcutta
    • Henri Nouwen
  • 6/8
    • Dorothy Day
    • Thomas Merton

Downloads:    Information Page  ~  Registration form

Register now

Registration is not complete until payment is received.  Your registration spot will be held for 4 business days, to allow for your payment to arrive.

Tuition: $500 with registration
(may be in two payments 50% due with registration and 50% due in January) 

Make checks payable toSt. Luke's Lutheran Chruch
              (Please print Narrow Gate and the participants name on the memo line of check

Mail payment to:

St. Luke's Lutheran Church
3215 4 Mile Rd. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525