Courses

TEACHING – A MENU OF EXCITING COURSES

GENERAL INFORMATION
Along with spiritual direction and retreats, teaching remains an important part of the Centre’s core business. In this regard several courses have been developed and presented by the Centre over the years. The past four years an introductory course on Spirituality called “The journey inward” was presented at several places in the Western Cape, the most important being Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Wellington, Somerset West and Eversdal.

Alongside “The journey inward” two new courses are being introduced during 2010. The first course can be seen as an extension of the introductory course and focuses on personal spiritual deepening. Given that it was developed  over 15 years by the Shalem Community in Washington D.C., USA, it can also popularly be called the Shalem course. Two of our team members, Mimi Saayman (who over the years visited Shalem regularly and attended some of their courses) and Carel Anthonissen (the Director)  went over to the States in April 2010 to attend the course and bring it back to SA. The Shalem course is currently (second semester of 2010) being run in the Department for Theology and Religion at the University of Western Cape, but will be made available to a wider audience from 2011.

The second course which will also be launched in 2010, deals with the crises and challenges of the Midlife period. The course called “Midlife: From Disillusionment to New Trust” articulates in a fresh and gripping way the deep disturbances which most people experience during this transitional period. In this regard the course functions as a mirror in which people can recognise their own “middlepassage” (James Hollis) dilemmas and struggles.  It also reveals the many false myths and masks with which most people live untill the midlife arrives. From there the course guides them towards a new appreciation of life and especially of their own unique role in a turbulant and confusing evironment.

All the courses – and this is their very special feature – are an exciting combination of  theoretical input, based on the newest theories and research in the relevant and related fields, and practical exercises, designed to help make the so called “spoken truth” a firsthand experience. All the courses are run over 5-7 consecutive weeks or within the context of a weekend retreat.

COURSE OUTLINES
All the courses follow a certain pattern or flow which is reflected in the outline.  A keyword in all the courses is the term “awareness”. The following outlines will give an idea of the different themes or components that are dealt with in the various courses.

THE JOURNEY INWARD: A DEEPENING OF AWARENESS

A 6 week course presented by the Centre for Christian Spirituality. The starting point of the course is that the true Christian life or spiritual journey is characterized by a growing awareness of the mystery of God’s love.  Touched by this love our lives are irresistibly drawn into a new and deeper relationship with ourselves, others and the world around us.  By using Scripture, prayers, contemplative music, spiritual exercises, silence and listening groups we explore this way.  As someone said: “Stillness is what creates love”.

Outline
Awareness of God

  • Who is God for me?
  • What kind of image do I have of God?
  • What does Scripture say about God?
  • How do we pray to God?

Awareness of the self

  • Who am I?
  • What is my deepest passion?
  • How does God see me?
  • What hinders me in becoming my true self?
  • The value of faith on the journey of self-discovery

Awareness of the other

  • The importance of relationships
  • The presence of God through the other
  • Life together – the importance of the body of Christ

Awareness of the world we live in

  • The two voices of nature – praise and groaning
  • Our responsibility
  • The value of simplicity

Awareness of our context

  • The dangers of spirituality – escapism (ghetto) or activism (the streets)
  • Contemplation as the basis of real service
  • Into the world

 

Costs
R500 per person which includes an extensive workbook

 

THE SHALEM COURSE: PERSONAL SPIRITUAL DEEPENING

This course is presented as a Personal Spiritual Deepening Programme: Living in God by the Centre. It was developed by the Shalem Institute of Spiritual Formation in the USA and will run for 7 weeks.

Course Intent
To be present to God and the world in love and trust, surrendered to ever-deepening spiritual awareness and joining God’s presence/action in the world according to our gifts and calling.

Theological Assumptions

  • God exists, is a lavish giver, eternally present, creative, and working for good.
  • We are unique, precious individuals chosen and loved by God
  • We are spiritual beings on a human journey complicated by free will and the option of letting go into a countercultural way of being that is aligned with God’s mind, heart, and will.

Outline

  • Introduction
  • Spiritual Listening and Transformation
  • Spiritual Community
  • Discernment
  • Earth Awareness
  • Sacred Activism
  • Conclusion

Costs
R500 per person

MIDLIFE: FROM DISILLUSIONMENT TO TRUST

A 5 week course presented by the Centre for Christian Spirituality.

  • “The older I get, the more obscure life becomes”
  • “The olderI get, the more the heroic thinking of youth and early adulthood seems naïve and delusional”
  • “The older I get the more I am haunted by the ghosts, and the summons of the room beneath the floor ”

These are some of the remarks made by people who have sensed the changes or critical rumblings of middle-age. And this can start already in the late thirties. The challenge remains to move beyond this crisis to a point or level where you, like the poet Mary Oliver, can say: “When it is over I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms”
This very special course wants to bring you to a place where you are able to enbrace life with more vigor, deep wonder and greater trust.

Outline

  • Why middle-age is a time of crisis?
  • My most important relationships under new scrutiny
  • When our work becomes tedious and boring?
  • When the word “God” loses its meaning.
  • To find my unique place in the world

Costs
R500 per person

For more information on any of our courses (dates, bookings, payment etc.), please contact the office at +27 (0)21 686 1269, or e-mail info@christianspirit.co.za.