Since 1995, Columbia Theological Seminary has offered a certificate program in Christian spirituality. Founded by Ben Campbell Johnson, now retired from the faculty, the program is designed to help participants learn about and understand the Christian spiritual tradition. But this is not a solitary experience. Instead, participants learn in community, guided by Columbia faculty members and other scholars and teachers—and they learn to provide spiritual guidance to others. The spirituality program began as a partnership of Columbia and two other Presbyterian Church (USA) seminaries, Pittsburgh and Austin. Columbia and Pittsburgh have continued the partnership, which allows participants to take up to three elective courses at either institution.
This fall, the seminary will offer five spirituality courses. All count toward completion of certificate requirements, but they are open to anyone, of any denomination. Columbia faculty members Kimberly Long and Martha Moore-Keish, along with Professor Emeritus Ben Johnson, former PC(USA) Moderator Joan Gray, and John Kloepfer are among the leaders for fall courses.
For more information on the courses below please visit http://www.ctsnet.edu/LL/Events.aspx and scroll down to the course.)
Worship and Spirituality, September 17-20. Led by Columbia faculty members Kimberly Long and Martha Moore-Keish, this seminar is an exploration of how the embodied practices of word, sacraments, prayer, music, and movement shape our relationships with God, the world, and one another.
Immersion Experience: Invitation to a Deeper Spiritual Life, October 1-4. This course is considered the starting point for the certificate with introductions to various Christian spiritual traditions and opportunities for personal reflection.
Mysticism and Christian Spirituality, October 22-25 (at Montreat Conference Center). Using Old and New Testament writings, books about Eastern and Western Christian mysticism by contemporary writers and original writings of Christian mystics, participants will examine mystical experience from a variety of perspectives. John Kloepfer leads the course.
Introduction to Spiritual Direction, November 1-6. Former PC(USA) Moderator Joan Gray leads this exploration of spiritual guidance, considering why people seek it and the differences between it, pastoral counseling, and psychotherapy.
Interfaith Spiritual Immersion, November 15-20 (repeated November 20-22). Spirituality program founder Ben Johnson leads this course , which aims to familiarize participants with the five faith traditions—Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism--that seem to be dominating what is being seen as a religious century. The schedule includes a visit each day to a mosque, synagogue, temple, church, or Buddhist center with a lecture by a scholar of that faith, and a meal and conversations with practitioners of that faith.