Online: Monday, February 15 to Monday, April 11, 2016

In person: Saturday, March 5, 2016

The many ways of defining spirituality seem to have a basic underlying common theme of lived experience, or in Alister McGrath’s words, “spirituality is the outworking in real life of a person’s religious faith—what a person does with what they believe.” This course will provide an historical and experiential approach to different kinds and ways of praying within the Christian tradition, exploring both apophatic and cataphatic understandings of prayer. Additional topics include origin and impact of one's image and concept of God, practical approaches to discernment, models of faith styles, and spiritual direction to help maintain a life-long orientation to spiritual growth.

Throughout the course, participants will be expected to record daily entries in their prayer and learning journals (not to be turned in.) A final project will be to outline a retreat experience for those in the participant’s faith communities, with the goal of helping people deepen their own spiritual journeys, while growing in an ever-deepening awareness of God’s love. Course content will include weekly on-line lectures (asynchronous) of approximately 20 minutes each, and an on-line discussion forum to exchange thoughts, experiences, ideas, and to pose questions. Readings will be selected articles, as well as on-line readings and links. There will be one full day meeting at Shattuck-St. Mary’s.

Required Readings:

The Way of a Pilgrim Translated from the Russian by R.M.French, New York: HarperCollins, ©1965.

Practical Mysticism by Evelyn Underhill. Columbus,Ohio: Ariel Press, ©1986. 

Faith Styles: Ways People Believe by John R. Mabry, Harrisburg, New York: Morehouse Publishing, © 2006 (avail at Amazon.com, BN.com, others)

Students are also required to purchase a journal for recording prayer experiences or significant learnings.


Mike Sirany, MA (theology)

Mike is a teacher and supervisor in the spiritual direction training program at Sacred Ground Center for Spirituality, St. Paul, MN. He taught for 12 years as an adjunct theology instructor at St. Catherine University, and is the current director of the Episcopal Spiritual Directors group in MN. He received his certificate in spiritual direction through the Wayzata Cenacle in 1997 and has a private practice of spiritual direction in Roseville, MN.  

This course meets online: March 28 - May 16

This course meets in-person: April 2

Instructor: Michael Pipkin, Missioner for Missional Management

Join Rachel Babbitt, ECMN Missioner for Community Engagement, for a 5 – week online course, meeting in person on Saturday, May 28, in order to begin the work of organizing in and around your faith community. Participants will encounter the basic skills of asset-based community organizing include interviewing, documentation, asset mapping, networking, and communication. Scriptural stories of transformation provide a foundation for our call to do this work, and Christian practices of discernment and listening inspire and guide organizers today.


Online: Monday, December 14, 2015 to Monday, February 8, 2016

In person: Saturday, January 16, 2016

This course introduces students to the study of liturgy and its practice in worshipping communities. Primary focus will be on liturgical theology, liturgical leadership, Eucharist and rites of Christian initiation. Particular attention will be given to the Anglican tradition and the rites of the Episcopal Church as they are authorized in the Book of Common Prayer 1979. Evaluation is through participation based on required readings, online discussion with other students and written assignments.

At the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Describe the biblical, historical and theological development of the two dominical sacraments;
  • Discuss the theological assumptions of the sacraments in the context of the Book of Common Prayer;
  • Discuss current trends in the sacramental and worshipping life of the Episcopal Church.
  • Describe your personal leadership style in the liturgy as well as the affect of the liturgy on your spirituality.

Participation Requirements:

  • Weekly reading of assigned texts.
  • Participation in class discussion using Moodle (minimum of two comments, questions or responses weekly.)
  • Final project that reflects your experience with the course material and discussion.
  • Primary readings from required text, additional readings provided online.
  • Supplemental readings and online media are provided to encourage further exploration.

Weekly facilitator moderated chat sessions with students.

Required Readings:

Lathrop, Gordon. Holy Things: A Liturgical Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993.

Meyers, Ruth A. Continuing the Reformation: Re-Visioning Baptism in the Episcopal Church. New York: Church Pub, 1997.

Episcopal Church. The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church: Together with the Psalter or Psalms of David According to the Use of the Episcopal Church. New York: Church Hymnal Corp, 1979.

Instructor: The Rev. Dr. Paul FrombergPaul Headshot 2013

Rector, St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church, San Francisco


This course mets online: February 15-April 11 (Break: March 21-27)

This course meets in-person: Saturday, February 20, Location TBA

The rhythms of the church year guide us annually through the great stories and themes of the Christian faith. But why do Episcopalians follow a liturgical calendar? Where did the idea come from, and how has it changed through the centuries? How do the liturgies in our Book of Common Prayer express the important themes of faith, and how can they be part of the church’s missional, outward focus? This course will offer an in-depth study of the rhythms and themes of the church year, with particular attention to the liturgies of Holy Week.


  • Familiarity with (and ability to talk about) the liturgical year and lectionary cycles
  • Ability to plan and participate in the liturgies of Holy Week, with attention to each faith community’s size and context, and with understanding of theology underlying liturgical choices
  • Understanding liturgy, particularly during Holy Week, as both an expression of the faith of the church and also an opportunity for missional engagement with the community

Book List

Required for the course:

  1. Book of Common Prayer
  2. Hymnal 1982 (Consider investing in the Accompaniment Edition, especially Volume 1, Service Music, which has extra music, supplemental material, and special indexes — very helpful for liturgical planning)
  3. Holy Bible, NRSV
  4. Westerhoff, John H. A Pilgrim People: Learning Through the Church Year. (New York: Church Publishing, 2005)
  5. Mitchell, Leonel L. Lent, Holy Week, Easter, and the Great Fifty Days: A Ceremonial Guide. (Boston: Cowley Publications, 1996)
  6. Hatchett, Marion J. Commentary on the American Prayer Book (HarperOne, 1995)

Strongly Suggested (You will want them for your reference in the future):

  1. Book of Occasional Services, 2003 (this is the most recent edition)
  2. Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints (Church Publishing, 2010)


About the Instructor:

The Rev. Lydia Huttar Brown is a priest in the Episcopal Church in Minnesota. She has taught liturgy courses and workshops at United Theological Seminary and the ECMN School For Formation. She was part of the editorial and writing team for the liturgical resource booksChanges: Prayers and Services Honoring Rites of Passage andEnriching Our Worship 5: Liturgies and Prayers Related to Childbearing, Childbirth, and Loss.