Deepening Roots© invites participants to sink their roots more deeply into their Judeo-Christian heritage, growing a new sense of God. Based on contemporary educational theory, Deepening Roots© doesn’t teach theology but grows theologians. It is a two year program that utilizes recent trends in biblical studies and aims for all participants to become astute bible readers and informed theologians who can think, act, and speak meaningfully about God.
In Year One participants read scripture as narrative and canon; exploring the reasons why particular stories were held onto. We ask questions such as, “How do we read the scriptures? What authority do we ascribe to these holy texts? How can the bible be our book?” We discover that the story must be told and retold, so that the narrative stays true to God’s story and so it invites our faithful response in contemporary times.
In Year Two, participants applying learning from Year One to consider what the biblical narrative means to them by examining and applying their theology to contemporary issues such as the environment, human sexuality, universalism, consumerism, and the sanctity of life.
- Is open to everyone
- Meets monthly, 8 times in the year (4 hours each sessions and a 3 day retreat in May)
- Incorporates background material, participant input, and facilitated discussion
In order to create community, class size is limited to 10 participants.
Requirements and Materials
Homework and reading (primarily scripture) outside of class takes approximately 2-3 hours per week.
Participants are encouraged to journal between sessions (topics provided).
Participants provide a Study Bible, a Narrative Bible, and a journal/notebook.
Participants are encouraged to read, prior to the course, The Gift of the Jews by Thomas Cahill.
Deepening Roots© is offered in a number of different places in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota. For information on locations, visit www.deepeningroots.com.
The cost for the year is $400.00 (depending on location, there may be additional retreat costs).
Rev. Mary Ellen Ashcroft, Ph.D.—Mary Ellen worked for years as an English professor, developing course and program curriculum at Bethel University and a chapel program at Kalamazoo College. She is Vicar at Spirit of the Wilderness, a new mission in Grand Marais, MN, and has a passion for developing and empowering lay ministry. She has led many retreats, written a number of books including Dogspell: The Gospel According to Dog and The Magdalene Gospel.
Julie Luna—Julie has worked in the field of education for over twenty years, spending much of her time creating education programs for community organizations. She is also a trained facilitator and has led many organizations in creating processes and programs to enhance their education endeavors. She is an avid student of scripture and theology, and is passionate about lay ministry. In addition to developing Deepening Roots©, she is a fiber artist and actively promotes the spirituality of food through her work in gardening and food sustainability.
Rev. Mary Ellen Ashcroft, PhD.—Spirit of the Wilderness, Grand Marais, Duluth and Twin Cities
Julie Luna—Episcopal Church of the Ascension, Stillwater
Stacy Abena—St. Stephen’s, Edina
Terese Lewis—St. Matthew’s, Saint Paul
Betsy Lee and Martha Hotchkiss—St. Mary’s, Saint Paul
Susan Barnes—St. John’s, Linden Hills
For Information and Registration
Julie Luna, 651-253-7379, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Ellen Ashcroft, 218-387-1536, email@example.com