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Spiritual Formation Programs
Spring 2015

Note: Online payment of the courses listed below is available by clicking HERE. Print and bring a copy of the registration form with you whether paying online or paying by check at the door or via mail.


Poetry and Prayer
Marilyn McEntyre
Two Saturdays, January 31 and February 7, 9:00-4:00 p.m., Pacific School of Religion, 1798 Scenic Ave., Berkeley, Room: Mudd 103
Cost: $150 Student: $80

We’ll be reflecting on the sources, forms, practices, and uses of poetry as a discipline and practice closely related to prayer. Some of the poems we’ll be reading together were written as prayers, some not. In both cases, the deep attention to words, images, rhythms, and various poetic devices can open new channels in the mind and heart that turn them to prayer. We’ll be engaging in various practices of close reading and considering poems in a variety of contexts.

Marilyn McEntyre (Ph.D.) has taught courses integrating literature and spirituality at WestmontCollege, Princeton Seminary, Fuller Seminary, and Regent College. She is the author of Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies and other books.

Lenten Prayer Retreat 

Susan S. Phillips
Saturday, February 21, 9:00 a.m. - 1 p.m. Co-sponsored with and held at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley; sanctuary (corner of Dana and Channing). Room: G213, G214
Cost: $25 (lunch not included)

Join us for a prayerful pause as the momentum of 2015 accelerates. Lent is a time of reflection and soul-searching as we consider God's great love for us. As we receive that gift in our hearts, we also discover how grace flows through our hearts and hands to the world, the world which God so loved that he gave his only begotten son. Come on retreat for Lent.

Susan S. Phillips (Ph.D.) is executive director of New College Berkeley, teaches Christian spirituality at the GTU, Regent College, and other seminaries, and is a spiritual director. She is the author of Candlelight: Illuminating the Art of Spiritual Direction

Writing and Reading Spiritual Memoir

Sharon Gallagher
Saturday, April 11, 9:00 a.m. - 1 p.m. Hillside Covenant Church, 2060 Magnolia Way, Walnut Creek
Cost: $25 (lunch not included)

This is a writing seminar for those who enjoy reading spiritual memoirs and those who would like to begin writing their own soul stories. The seminar will feature readings from important spiritual writers with corresponding invitations to write short personal responses to the themes.

Participants will also be invited to read from their reflective pieces. The rhythm of the class will involve listening to memoir, writing short pieces, and listening to the responses of others in the class.

SharonGallagher (M.T.S.)is New College Berkeley associate director and editor of Radix magazine. She is author of Finding Faith: Life-Changing Encounters with Christ and editor of Where Faith Meets Culture: A Radix Magazine Anthology.

Minds, Meanings and Bibles 
Bonnie Howe, Ph.D.
Two Saturdays, April 18 and 25, 9:00 a.m.-
4:00 p.m., 
Pacific School of Religion, 1798 Scenic Ave., Berkeley, Room: Mudd 103
Cost: $150

This workshop introduces cognitive linguistics – which studies connections between language, meaning and embodied human experience – and explores how biblical study is reframed if we adopt this paradigm and these methods. Sessions include mini-lectures and workshop-style practice in using an array of methods.

Bonnie Howe (Ph.D.) is New College Berkeley Visiting Professor of Ethics and Biblical Studies. She is author of Because You Bear This Name: Metaphor and the Moral Meaning of I Peter.


Peace and Understanding Across Barriers 
Rev. Nadim Nassar
Saturday, April 25, 7:00 p.m..
Held at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley; (corner of Dana and Channing) Room G202 .
No Cost, Donation Optional

In this evening lecture the Rev. Nadim Nassar challenges Christians everywhere to be a counter force of love and peace to the intolerance and aggression that now prevail in so many of our communities, and to build understanding among faiths.

Rev. Nadim Nassar
 is a Syrian Anglican priest and director of the Awareness Foundation.


Healthy Heart, Healthy Mind: the book of Philippians 
Earl Palmer, M.Div., Ph.D.
Saturday, May 2, 9:00 a.m - 3:00 p.m..
Co-sponsored with and held at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley; sanctuary (corner of Dana and Channing).
Cost: $50  lunch included

Join us for an expository journey through Philippians. This book by Paul is marked by its realistic and encouraging message to followers of Jesus Christ after the midpoint of the first century. It continues to encourage healthy faith of heart and mind in our century.

Earl Palmer
(M.Div.) is author of many books, including A Faith That Works and Trusting God: Christian Faith in a World of Uncertainty. He directs Earl Palmer Ministries.


Register online (optional print registration also available).

Preparing the whole people of God for active ministry in all the settings in which God has placed them

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