Christian Spirituality Programs

  • Are you seeking a deeper life in Christ?

  • Might this be the time to learn different spiritual practices for a richer, fuller spiritual life?

  • Would you like to learn more about the great spiritual teachers of our Christian contemplative Faith tradition?

These programs offer a comprehensive look into Christian Spirituality throughout the ages and various Christian traditions. 
 
Foundations of Christian Spirituality provides a year long survey of Christian Spirituality that spans both time and tradition.  This program offers a reflective personal & transformative process for all who desire deeper life in the Spirit and more intentional living of the Christian life in Christ. The rich and inspiring teaching is centered on the saints, mystics and spiritual teachers of the Christian centuries, personal contemplative prayer practice, the writing and living of a personal Rule of Life and participation in a silent directed retreat.  We learn about and from a variety of theologians/mystics/spiritual teachers from over the centuries of the Christian tradition.  The focus is on their prayer and way of discernment of God’s will in life.  We find inspiration from their deep Faith commitment, their spiritual journey in Christ and total reliance on grace.  
 
Spiritual Direction Practicum builds upon the Foundations program by providing a two-year practicum training for spiritual directions.  Participants learn the way of spiritual direction from the life of Christ in the Gospel, and especially the unfolding of the Paschal Mystery in our daily lives.  We learn the art of spiritual direction from Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits and genius for teaching spiritual discernment; continued learning from the ancient tradition of spiritual direction from the mothers and fathers of the desert in the fourth century and ecumenical spiritual teachers of these times.
 
Completing both programs equips one to be a spiritual director.  
 
Participants can choose to complete only the Foundations program or continue on to the Practicum to be a spiritual director.

 

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


 

A two-year education/formation program for becoming a spiritual director

Next Session begins September 2016 - applications due by June 20th, 2016

Please note that individuals can only enroll in the Practicum after completing Phase 1: Foundations in Christian Spirituality: Entering through the Narrow Gate.

Spiritual Direction is concerned with a person’s real experience of their relationship with God.  It can best be described as the art of contemplative listening carried out in the context of a one-to-one trusting relationship.  It is when one competent guide journeys with another person, listening to that person’s life story with an ear for the movement of the Holy Spirit, of the Divine, and offering response as is appropriate.  An important component of listening is discernment of patterns and relationships that lead toward God or away from God. The director and directee become co-listeners or co-discerners who sit before the Word as it stirs in the heart of the directee. The heart of spiritual direction is the religious dimension of experience. Spiritual directors help a person notice and respond to our self-communicating God.

In the ancient Christian tradition of spiritual direction it has always been understood that God is the director and the spiritual director assists the seeker in uncovering and discovering the direction of God in that person’s life.  This enables the directee to receive and reverence God’s action and invitation in such a way that it elicits a natural and genuine response. We believe that God is active in all areas of life. Therefore, in addition to listening to the personal and interpersonal stories of others, spiritual directors are assisted to learn how to listen to the wider context of the directee’s life: the communal, organizational and environmental arenas in which people experience God acting in their lives, and help them to deepen in their response to God.

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