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Spiritual Formation Programs
Spring 2016

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.


Food and Faith  (Saturday, February 13, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.) Pacific School of Religion, 1798 Scenic Avenue, Berkeley. Room: TBA. Cost: $25 (no lunch). Taught by spiritual director Nancy Wiens (M.Div., Ph.D.)

This retreat explores personal and corporate Christian spiritual practices, as daily ways to contribute to thriving social and ecological systems. This retreat will encourage life practices that create more redemptive food systems where God’s shalom becomes visible for a hungry world. 

The Cultivated Life: A Lenten Retreat (Saturday, March 5, 2016, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.), cosponsored with and held at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, 2407 Dana Street, Berkeley. Led by New College Berkeley Executive Director and spiritual director, Susan Phillips (Ph.D.), Rooms: G213 and G214 Cost: $25 No Lunch

Join us this Lent as we stop and pay attention to God’s great love and truth, as expressed through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This will be a contemplative retreat with Scripture, prayer, and listening to one another.

C.S. Lewis in a Time of War (Saturday, April 23, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.) First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, 2407 Dana, Berkeley, Sanctuary Cost $50; $90 per couple; $25 student (with lunch) Taught by pastor and author, Earl Palmer (M.Div.)

In this seminar Earl Palmer will explore the life, work, and influence of C.S. Lewis, with special attention to his wartime radio talks.

Writing and Reading Spiritual Memoirs  (Saturday, May 7, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.) Berkeley Covenant Church, 1632 Hopkins, Fireside Room. Cost $25 No lunch Taught by Radix magazine editor and New College Associate Director, Sharon Gallagher (M.T.S.)

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 invitations to write short personal responses to the themes. The class will involve writing short pieces and listening to the responses of others in the class. 
Spring Credit Course: Psychology and Spirituality of Flourishing: Exploring Growth in Community (Saturdays, April 2 and 9, 2016, 9 a.m.– 6 p.m. GTU academic credit available). (Pacific School of Religion, 1798 Scenic Avenue, Berkeley. Room: TBA.) Cost $150 Student: $80 GTU and UCB students are encouraged to cross-register into this course through their schools. Taught by sociologist and spiritual director Susan S. Phillips (Ph.D.) and clinical psychologist John White (Ph.D.).

Why do so many people feel isolated and hungry for meaning and connection in our crowded, media-saturated society? Why in our public life do we despair of affecting the greater good and fear engagement across political, racial and religious differences? Informed by the fields of positive psychology and Christian spiritual formation, this course will examine the possibility of cultivating our lives of faith and community, even in a culture that pushes us to live shallowly and relate superficially.We will look at recent writing on flourishing, including Susan Phillips’s “The Cultivated Life: From Ceaseless Striving to Receiving Joy,” and moral community, including Jonathan Haidt’s “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion.”
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius  September 2016 - May 2017
First Presbyterian Church Berkeley, Room: TBA. Cost: $900 for 30 weeks. Led by Susan S. Phillips (Ph.D.) and Jill Boyce (M.P.H., M.A. Note: Partial scholarships available for members of First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley.
The Spiritual Exercises were developed by Ignatius of Loyola in the 16th century. They offer a structure to daily living which elicits and encourages experiences of an ongoing relationship with God. The Exercises include learning to pray with our imagination and how to enter into the stories of Jesus so they intersect with our own lives.

The Exercises are often associated with a 30 day retreat. However, this is a thirty-week format for those who cannot take a month away from their busy lives. Register and/or pay.


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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