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Course Descriptions: Spirituality

Spirituality refers to one's relationship with God and one's relationship with other persons and all creation because of that primary relationship with God. The courses in spirituality offered by the Ecumenical Institute of Theology acquaint students with how both Christians and non-Christians, from antiquity to the present, have experienced and described their relationship with God and with how certain practices can foster spiritual growth, not only in an individual but also in congregations.

Note the following abbreviations: PR = prerequisite; CR = corequisite; PR/CR = either a prerequisite or a corequisite. Corequisites may be taken either at the same time as or before the course listed. Prerequisites and corequisites may be waived only with the permission of the Dean and the instructor.

SP512 Music in the Christian Tradition

The story of music's place in Christian worship and spirituality fro Gregorian Chant to contemporary expressions.  PR/CR = none.

 

SP515 Theology and Practice of Prayer

An exploration of Jewish, Catholic and Protestant theological interpretations of prayer, with reflections on the student's personal and denominational theology of prayer.  PR/CR = none.

 

SP516 Saints and Their Spiritual Practices

An examination of the spiritual practices advocated by representative saints that are models of devotion and renewal, such as meditation (Benedict), solitude (Anthony), journaling (Julian), discernment (Ignatius), contemplation (Merton), and forgiveness (Mandela).  PR/CR = none.

 

SP522 Conversion
An examination of biblical, theological, spiritual, and sociological dimensions of conversion, and of its interpretation in various Christian traditions. An Explorations in Theology course. Also offered as SP722. PR = none.

 

SP528 Violence, Vengeance and Virtue

An exploration of the religious, cultural and psychological roots of both personal and societal violence; the perceived need for vengeance when one is harmed by another; and the virtues and spiritual practices which counteract the tendencies for violence and vengeance.  PR/CR = none.

SP552 Classics of Christian Spirituality: Medieval to Modern
A discussion of texts by spiritual writers from the 12th century to the present day. An Explorations in Theology course. Cross-listed as H552. Also offered as SP722. PR = none.

SP601 Foundations of Christian Spirituality
An examination of spiritual theology, conversion, means of spiritual growth, disciplines, prayer, and spiritual guidance as understood in various faith traditions. PR/CR = TH601.

SP602 Pastoral and Spiritual Care
An exploration of the theoretical and theological basis for Christian caring, with attention to practices of guiding, sustaining, healing, and reconciling. Cross-listed as PT602. PR/CR = TH601.

SP605 Spiritual Disciplines
An examination of historical and contemporary models of such disciplines as prayer, contemplation, fasting, and silence. PR/CR = TH601.

SP607 God, Creation, and the Spiritual Life
An exploration of the ways in which we can experience God's presence in daily life and in God's creation by weaving together biblical imagery and scientific understanding of God's activity in the world. PR/CR = none. Also offered as an Explorations in Theology course. (PR = none.)

SP610 Spiritual Traditions for the Contemporary Church
A consideration of spiritual traditions such as Franciscan, Carmelite, Reformed, Wesleyan, and charismatic in their historical contexts through study of representative classical texts. PR/CR = TH601.

SP612 African-American Spirituality
An exploration of the distinctive heritage and experiences of African-American Christians and their contributions to the contemporary church. PR/CR = TH601.

SP630 The Spirituality of Children and Adolescents
An exploration of the spiritual development stages of children and adolescents who are healthy and how those stages may be affected by developmental or physical challenges, grief and loss, illness, and dying. PR/CR = TH601.

SP640 Spiritual Gifts for Congregational Ministry
An exploration of biblical spiritual gifts, with insights from charismatic and mainline churches, in order to enable students to recognize, develop, and share their gifts within parishes. Cross-listed as PT640 and RE640. PR/CR = TH601.

SP643 Leading the Retreat
An exploration of different types of spiritual retreats and the skills needed for their design, execution, and evaluation. Cross-listed as RE643. PR/CR = TH601.

SP646 The Spirituality of the Minister
An examination of the personal spiritual dynamics of ministry, including cultivating spiritual vitality, setting boundaries, and handling criticism. Cross-listed as PTP646. PR = TH601, PT601.

SP680 Study Tour: Art and Spirituality
A tour of sites in one or more countries that show the historical and contemporary connections between artistic masterpieces and the spiritual life. PR = none.

SP710 Word Beyond Words: The Arts and Christian Spirituality
An exploration of the theological, spiritual, and liturgical importance of art and music in various Christian traditions. Cross-listed as PT710. PR/CR = TH601.

SP712 Music in the Christian Tradition
The story of music's place in Christian worship and spirituality from Gregorian Chant to contemporary expressions. Cross-listed as PT712. PR = TH601.

SP715 The Theology and Practice of Prayer
An exploration of Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant theological interpretations of prayer, with reflection on the student's personal and denominational theology of prayer. PR/CR = TH601.

SP716 Saints and Their Spiritual Practices

An examination of the spiritual practices advocated by representative saints that are models of devotion and renewal, such as meditation (Benedict), solitude (Anthony), journaling (Julian), discernment (Ignatius), contemplation (Merton), and forgiveness (Mandela).  PR = TH601.

SP720 Introduction to Spiritual Direction
An introduction to various approaches to spiritual friendship and direction as a means to spiritual growth, including individual and group spiritual direction. PR = TH601 and either SP601, SP605, or SP610.

SP722 Conversion
An examination of biblical, theological, spiritual, and sociological dimensions of conversion, and of its interpretation in various Christian traditions. PR/CR = TH601. Also offered as SP522 (PR = none).

SP725 Group Spiritual Direction
An experiential learning seminar on the dynamics of group spiritual direction. PR = TH601.

SP728 Violence, Vengeance and Virtue

An exploration of the religious, cultural and psychological roots of both personal and societal violence; the perceived need for vengeance when one is harmed by another; and the virtues and spiritual practices which counteract the tendencies for violence and vengeance.  PR/CR =TH601.

SP734 Faith Development through the Life Cycle
An examination of models of psychological, moral, faith, and spiritual development through all the life stages, and their implications for the church's ministry of formation and education. Cross-listed as RE734. PR/CR = TH601.

SP752 Classics of Christian Spirituality: Medieval to Modern
A discussion of texts by spiritual writers from the 12th century to the present day. Cross-listed as H752. PR/CR = TH601. Also offered as SP552 (PR = none).

SP760 Early Christian Spirituality
An examination of spirituality in the second to fifth Christian centuries through an exploration of the lives of early Christian men and women who pursued prayer, scriptural meditation, and service to others. Cross-listed as H760. PR = TH601, H601.

SP780 Health, Disease, and Spirituality
An exploration of the interdependence of body, mind, and spirit from biblical, theological, spiritual, psychological, and medical perspectives, and the implications for ministry in the church. Cross-listed as PT780. PR = TH601.

SP791 Practicum in Spirituality
An individually arranged, practical course in spirituality and/or spiritual direction. PR = TH601, two SP courses, and completion of additional requirements toward certificate or degree as determined by advisor.

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