Individuals, couples, families, and groups are warmly welcome. The Redwood Center is committed to being accessible to as many people as possible by offering a sliding fee scale. For more information on any of these services, contact Karen at email@example.com.
1. Ignatian Spiritual Exercises
This is a 10 months bi-weekly course for spiritual directors and qualified ministry leaders who want to be trained in offering the Spiritual Exercises. Applicants must have already completed the Spiritual Exercises themselves at least once in a 30 day or 19th Annotation retreat under the guidance of a spiritual director. Contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application and more information.
2. Cultivating Community and Friendship
This training is especially helpful for church congregations or community groups. Scripture describes the church as a place where people bear each other’s burdens and care for one another. Scripture also describes the church as family. Yet all too often relationships stay at the surface. Pressures abound to put on a good face. This training gives congregations or other groups the tools and practice to begin creating a meaningful community of intimate friendship. Length of training depends on group size and dynamics. Regular sessions for 8-10 months is recommended. Cultivation of these relational skills takes time and practice that cannot come from a one or two day workshop.
3. How to Read the Bible
What we believe about the Bible and how we read it significantly affects our thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors. The educational opportunities below are designed to help you read Scripture in ways that are life-giving. Trainings range from guest talks to half-day workshops to 12 week courses depending on your group’s needs and depth desired. My approach to teaching is Ignatian. That means, I believe learning is experiential, reflective, transformative, and leads to action. Learning is not merely receiving and collecting information. As much as possible, I incorporate discussion and activity in classes and workshops.
- How to Read the Bible (learning how to read and interpret Scripture; practical approaches)
- What is the Bible? (introduction to the Bible, broad overview)
- Making Sense of the Old Testament (overview of the Old Testament or emphasis on a particular book)
- Making Sense of the New Testament (overview of the the New Testament or emphasis on a particular book)
- Why is There Violence in the Bible and Other Hard Questions You Always Wanted to Ask (one barrier to reading and benefiting from Scripture is how to make sense of difficult passages. This class offers helpful interpretive approaches with particular attention to the Old Testament.)
- The Shaping of a Life: Personal and Communal Effects of Bible Reading (this process oriented discussion explores how we have been shaped in childhood and/or adulthood by immersion in Bible-reading cultures and communities. This can include both positive and negative experiences. Attention is given to how our belief systems have developed and the specific ways they impact our lives on an experiential level.)
- The Bible Tells Me So: Appropriating Ethics from Scripture (an advanced level discussion on different ways individuals and communities draw ethics from the Bible; social, cultural, and spiritual effects)
4. Spiritual Discernment and Decision Making for Daily Life
The Christian faith teaches that spiritual influences exist in the world that pull us away from or toward God. Yet very few opportunities exist to learn how to “discern the spirits.” Ignatius of Loyola had a keen awareness of spiritual influences and their relationship to the inner person (moods, desires, and attitudes). By learning from relevant Scriptural texts and Ignatius’s pastoral insights, you will gain practices to improve your ability to discern and make spiritually informed responses and decisions. Training ranges from guest talks to half-day workshops to 12 week courses depending on your group’s needs and depth desired.
5. Engaging Our World: Critical Thinking Skills for Today’s Complex Issues
Every day we are bombarded with messages, advertisements, and appeals to affirm particular views. How do we discern what is beneficial or harmful? This training takes seriously the impact of ideas on personal and communal wellness. You will learn how to thoughtfully examine ideas to determine their effects and merit. Topics covered include assessment of evidence, interpretation, cultural and experiential influences, recognition of biases and assumptions, problem solving, identifying manipulation, use of logic, as well as the importance of the mind for the spiritual life. Training ranges from guest talks to half-day workshops to 12 week courses depending on your group’s needs and depth desired.
6. Prayer Practices
Prayer is the key to the spiritual life. Connection with God is what shapes us and affects how we move in the world. Whether you are a seasoned prayer warrior, struggle to pray at all, or are new to the concept of intimate conversation with God, this training is designed to enhance your ability to pray. In conjunction with Scriptural and traditional sources various forms of prayer will be discussed and practiced. Depending on the length of the training, this could include the Examen, the prayers of Paul the Apostle, Centering prayer, prayer journals, the body and prayer, intercessory prayer, Psalms, lament, praying with art etc. Training ranges from guest talks to half-day workshops to 12 week courses depending on your group’s needs and depth desired.
7. Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality
Not sure who Ignatius of Loyola is? Curious about how you might benefit from Ignatian Spirituality? This training covers the biography of Ignatius and his significant contribution to practices of spiritual formation, including ways of praying and reading Scripture, discernment, inner freedom, serving others as “contemplatives in action,” and experiencing God in daily life. Training ranges from guest talks to half-day workshops to 12 week courses depending on your group’s needs and depth desired.
**Note: Bi-weekly refers to every other week (or approximately twice a month).