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SPRT110: On the Road to Emmaus: Spirituality in the Christian Tradition
Walking with Christ and breaking bread together is the foundation for Christian spirituality and discipleship. This course will provide an overview of spirituality with a focus on Christian traditions. The course will reflect on the experience of the disciples on the road to Emmaus and how that experience of walking with Christ and breaking bread together is foundational for Christian spirituality and discipleship.
In this course, participants will:
- explore the meaning of spirituality
- examine the Christian belief in a Triune God and the impact this belief has on spirituality
- look at the Word of God in Liturgy and in our individual lives as foundational for Christian spirituality
- reflect on the role of community in Christian spirituality
The assignment is a three to five page reflection of participants’ understanding of the foundation of Christianity as it applies to everyday life.
SPRT120: An Interfaith Journey: Exploring Prayer and Spirituality
Spiritual pilgrims in every tradition stress the importance of self-knowledge and self-acceptance. This course is an interfaith exploration into the mystery of our human relationship with our Source. Resources are offered from the various traditions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, including the poetry of Sufi mystics such as Rumi and Hafiz. You will be encouraged to explore prayer through poetry, music and art.
In this course, participants will:
- explore interfaith spirituality through spiritual reading as preparation for meditation
- look at spirituality in each of the three great monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam
- examine Hinduism and Buddhism
- examine the phenomenon referred to as the dark night or the desert experience
The assignment is dependent on your ongoing journaling, a three to five page summary of your experience of how you are changed by your reading, reflection and journaling in this course.
SPRT130: A Theology of the Heart: The life and writing of Henri Nouwen
This course is an intense, practical introduction to the rich legacy of Henri Nouwen’s life and writings. Through the course assignments, interactions, and responses, students are given an opportunity to interact intimately with the wide range of Henri’s literary output, to allow these important themes to intersect with their own life experience and to develop a creative response to the material covered. It is the course writer’s deep desire that Henri’s honest commitment to the spiritual journey will resonate deeply in the souls of the students, and that his writings will encourage them to search for and claim the unique themes of their own spiritual development.
In this course, participants will:
- examine the scope and depth of Henri Nouwen’s writing
- explore the ongoing struggle between Henri’s own life and his desire for spiritual faithfulness
- reflect on the unique pattern of their spiritual path and deepen their walk of faith as a Beloved Child
- look at specific pieces of Henri’s writings in a ministry context
There is one assignment at the end of term. The assignment is reflective, asking the participants to integrate their reading in the required textbooks with their particular cultural and religious context.
SPRT140: Spirituality of Family and Relationships
Family is what we are born into. As we gather experience and form memories, our fashioned perceptions get carried into years of living. As children we were very good perceivers. However, because we had limited experience of breaking open what we took in as children, we were poor interpreters of reality and needed adults around who could help us translate what was immediately before us. So, before we were conscious, we made decisions about what events or people meant. As adults we have the opportunity to reframe some of our early perceptions and experiences, discover how these experiences and perceptions impacted our present relationships, and generate different choices for our future. From our beginnings there was also some form of spirituality present. Some of this came out of religious teachings, other forms came through the presence of nature that held our wonder and awe or fashioned our fears, while other forms we picked up out of stories told, from culture, and from the society we grew in. Spirituality is different from religion even though religion can be a container for the expression of spirituality.
In this course on the spirituality of family and relationships participants:
- learn about the presence of spirituality in all aspects of life
- learn about the formation of their perception of the world, themselves and relationships by exploring the life lived in their family of origin, and/or intentional families of choice
- learn how to move beyond what they have learned by deciding what to keep and what to relinquish
- learn that there is a power and presence in the Universe that desires only good
- have the opportunity to integrate their findings and generate choices from a deeper consciousness of themselves, family, relationships and spirituality
The assignment is a five page reflection paper integrating the learning gathered from the reflection questions encouraged daily. Participants focus on how the thread of spirituality is implied in all the decisions and relationships – personally and globally – that are lived. From this the participant will be able to develop a sense of their Tree of Knowledge; what s/he roots her/his life in, what values and attitudes move life, and what brings meaning.
SPRT150: Spirituality of Healing: Nourishing the Soul of the Caregiver
Caregivers, whether as a profession or a daily occurrence at home, require the ability to know oneself, be open to others and diverse experiences and have a willingness to say no when setting boundaries. We will explore how best to nourish one’s soul in the midst of daily living and caring, by exploring our motives, the various stages of spiritual/human development, burnout and how to make good ethical decisions, through a process of journal keeping, reading, focused questions and on-line discussion.
- Understand the unique relationship between spirituality, healing and the life of the caregiver.
- Recognize the importance of self-knowledge in the process of caregiving.
- Know what it means to care for the soul and to nurture our spiritual lives.
- Appreciate the unique personal, cultural, religious and social differences that each person brings to a situation.
- Integrate ethical reflection, decision making and sensitivity in the art of care giving.
- Explore ways to nurture one's soul
- Appreciate the 'shadow' side of care giving and its impact upon those receiving care
- Articulate one's own spirituality of caring for self and others
- Appreciate the role of mystery and ambiguity in the life of each other and the spiritual journey. Know the signs of burnout and moral distress and the impact upon one's soul and those around us
- Appreciate the different ways in which those for whom we care see life, God, purpose and meaning.
- Develop ways to care for ourselves and heal our woundedness
- Recognize that each stage of life provides another set of opportunities and challenges for living.