This course is meant as a resource for persons who seek to
deepen their relationship with God, develop their prayer life and enrich the practice of their faith; as well as improve their
understanding of Christian spirituality. It assumes a pre-existing Christian faith and prayer life. The course is a resource
to help the student re-member. That is, bring together and integrate their individual experience with the experience of the
Christian community throughout the centuries. It also provides a setting
in which spiritual disciplines unfamiliar to some students can be experienced. This approach to spiritual formation views
the formation process not as planting a seed but rather as shaping and cultivating a tree that is already well developed in
The course is set up in two sections. The first section focuses on developing
a general understanding of the character of Christian spirituality. This section
tends to be more conceptual. Links to units in this section are found in the navigation bar on the left. The other section
focuses on an introduction to some of the more basic and useful practices common
to Christian spirituality. Links to these pages are found in the column to the right.
While I write as a Catholic, much of what I discuss in terms of practice
is common to other Christian, and many non-Christian traditions as well. Each unit includes readings and resource
books to check out for a deeper appreciation of the topic. Some pages have exercises to be done and questions for discussion
or individual reflection. Most units also provide links to books relevant to the topic. If you are interested in obtaining
one of the books, simply click on the link and it will take you to Amazon.com where the book can be purchased.
The material presented on these pages is brief, as is the nature of the
medium. A much deeper understanding of the topics presented is obtained by reading some of the books suggested. In addition,
the author/instructor is available to respond to questions.
As noted above, the course is broken down into topic units presented in
the navigation bar to the left. Please work your way through the units in order, as the readings, exercises and reflections
often build upon material presented in earlier units.
The author of the course and its instructor writes from the Catholic perspective, so
certain assumptions common to that tradition are made. However, the course should be of assistance to almost anyone in the
Christian tradition. More information on the instructor/author is available via the instructor button on the navigation bar.
Finally, this is a work in progress. Most of the pages and content is in place, however
there is still a bit of material to be added and some proofing to be done. Your patience is appreciated.
--Deacon Richard D Shewman, D.Min., J.C.L. (August 2005)