Christian Spirituality

SpiritOnline: February 4 – March 25, 2019

In person: Saturday, March 2 at the ECMN Retreat Center in Faribault, 8:30am – 3:30pm

The many ways of defining spirituality seem to have a basic underlying common theme of lived experience, or in Alister McGrath’s words, “spirituality is the outworking in real life of a person’s religious faith—what a person does with what they believe.” This course will provide an historical and experiential approach to different kinds and ways of praying within the Christian tradition, exploring both apophatic and cataphatic understandings of prayer. Additional topics include origin and impact of one’s image and concept of God, practical approaches to discernment, models of faith styles, and spiritual direction to help maintain a life-long orientation to spiritual growth.

Throughout the course, participants will be expected to record daily entries in their prayer and learning journals (not to be turned in.) A final project will be to outline a retreat experience for those in the participant’s faith communities, with the goal of helping people deepen their own spiritual journeys, while growing in an ever-deepening awareness of God’s love. Course content will include weekly on-line lectures (asynchronous) of approximately 20 minutes each, and an on-line discussion forum to exchange thoughts, experiences, ideas, and to pose questions. Readings will be selected articles, as well as on-line readings and links. There will be one full day meeting at Shattuck-St. Mary’s.

Required Readings:

The Way of a Pilgrim Translated from the Russian by R.M.French, New York: HarperCollins, ©1965.

Practical Mysticism by Evelyn Underhill. Columbus,Ohio: Ariel Press, ©1986.

Faith Styles: Ways People Believe by John R. Mabry, Harrisburg, New York: Morehouse Publishing, © 2006 (avail at,, others)

Students are also required to purchase a journal for recording prayer experiences or significant learnings.

This course will require several hours per week for full participation — engaging with primary readings and instructor videos, forum conversations, and writing and other creative work. Check out the Syllabus for Fall 2017 to see what’s involved before you register.


Mike Sirany, Spiritual Director and teacher, Sacred Ground, St. Paul, MN, former adjunct professor in theology, St. Catherine University

Cost: $150 | Click here to register.

First course? Click here to register for free!