Identified here is a list of courses that comprise the requirements of certificates and degrees. In some cases, the class descriptions identify the intention of the course and multiple classes may meet that requirement. For example, the core course “Mystics East and West” may be met by choosing a variety of classes including courses on Hildegard of Bingen, Modern Mystic Poets, Jewish Mysticism. etc. The specific classes offered can be found here in the Course Schedule.
In addition to these courses, unique electives are offered throughout the year as we invite visiting professors and thought leaders to bring new material to the academic offerings. Students may take these unique classes or courses from other concentrations for their elective credits.
Introduction to Creation Spirituality [ link ]
Students will learn more about the rich tradition and spiritual paradigm of Creation Spirituality. Through their assigned work, they will be able to understand and personally integrate its tenets as outlined in the Principles of Creation Spirituality.
The Emerging New Cosmology [ link ]
Students will acquire a basic understanding of the 13.7-billion-year process of the unfolding cosmos as understood by scientists today. Consequently, they will be able to make both theoretical and mystical connections between this universal creation myth and their own prophetic role in making a more sustainable and compassionate world.
Deep Ecumenism: Interspirituality and the Wisdom Traditions [ link ]
In this class students explore the rich panoply of the Wisdom traditions and mystical teachings found in Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity and among Indigenous cultures. In our increasingly cosmopolitan world, understanding and honoring the Divine gift of diversity is critical. This multi-faith and post-partisan focus is what makes FICS so important, so needed, and so timely.
Reinvention of Work, Leadership and Culture [ link ]
Given the gaping vacuum of good work and sound, spiritually grounded leaders in our local communities and places of work and worship, this course recognizes the need for tapping and developing the practical tools of innovation, imagination and entrepreneurial genius. This course will probe the promising and creative role of religion, education, economics and/or other areas of work in giving birth to new forms of work, leadership and culture, when informed and transformed by the principles of Creation Spirituality.
Mystics East and West [ link ]
The continuing fascination with mysticism in both religious and secular circles is why many people are attracted to Creation Spirituality. This class will introduce students to the profound spiritual writings of selected Eastern and Western mystics from most of the world religions. Students will use the wisdom from the spiritual and historical teachings of these mystics as an interpretive mirror for discerning and living out their own spiritual practice in today’s complex world.
Ritual Making and Worship [ link ]
In this class students will rediscover the meaning of different kinds of secular and religious rituals in our individual and public lives in order to recover their symbolic power for evoking awe, mystery and worship. Students will be given practical tools for reinventing and recreating meaningful rituals that induce genuine worship and reverence in a secular world.
Spiritual Care of Community [ link ]
In this class students will explore and learn about group dynamics and healing relationships in order to demonstrate increased effectiveness in creating and maintaining healthy community relationships. We will address issues of empowerment, cooperation, anger, triangulation, enmeshment, boundaries, communication and other systems dynamics.
Discerning Call and Gifts [ link ]
True spiritual growth can entail a new calling to sacred work in the world—or the expansion or redirection of a current call. Students will learn individual and corporate discernment processes that help empower leadership in Creation Spirituality communities, local congregations and faith communities, and in non-profit and corporate and other work environments. The four paths of Creation Spirituality in particular will be integrated with the evocation, affirmation and accountability processes for discovering and deepening personal gifts and skills.
Business Practices of Community [ link ]
This class will explore aspects of financially healthy spiritual communities and non-profits, as well as ways to engage proactively with the business elements of work, including budgeting, fundraising, outreach/marketing and deconstructing personal biases/values/beliefs around money.
Education for Spiritual Growth [ link ]
Using Creation Spirituality principles, this class will help students evaluate and develop learning modules that include integration of didactic and experiential learning techniques, engaging both right and left hemispheres of the brain.
Eco-Spirituality and Earth Retreat [ link ]
The concept of ecology is emphasized in this course as a way to understand our spiritual interconnectedness and the interrelatedness of all life. Equipped with this knowledge, students will be able to recognize ways to live in community based upon an ecological sense of self. In addition to the usual class requirements, students will be expected to spend time in a wilderness setting to experience nature as a basic context for spiritual practice.
Mind, Meditation and Mystical Practices [ link ]
We live in a time when scientific and neurological research on the brain is shedding new light on the human mind. This class covers the neurobiology of meditation, helping students develop an understanding of how prayer, meditation, mystical practices and acts of creativity can be a nourishing and vital component of their work. The class provides a conceptual framework and understanding of the practice of art as meditation, which is an integral part of the Fox Institute and Creation Spirituality
Discerning or Rediscovering the Fire of Vocation [ link ]
Related to the rationale for the core class Reinvention of Work, Leadership, and Culture, this class will help students explore their call to work in the world, whether they are at the beginning of their career or in the “refirement” of retirement years or somewhere in-between. Through creative exploration of our personal narratives, current cultural demands for leadership and practices of discernment, students will demonstrate increased self-differentiation, awareness of their gifts and clarity about vocational opportunities (evidenced by creating a personal statement and plan for vocation).
Rituals and Rites of Passage [ link ]
In light of rapid changes to how we now live and comprehend stages of human development, students will learn to identify and differentiate contemporary “rites of passage” with new lenses for reframing them spiritually and communally. Students will acquire a new appreciation of “ritual making” by mindfully honoring and re-imagining the significance of these events and transitions on our life journeys.
Spiritual Eldering and Mentoring [ link ]
In this class students will be challenged to reflect on their experience of formidable “spiritual elders” and mentors in their lives. They will be given practical tools for retrieving the knowledge and wisdom they have received from their elders and mentors, as well as tools for claiming their own capacity for consciously mentoring and eldering others in return.
Empowering Young Leadership [ link ]
New and younger generations of leaders are necessary, and this course in particular is designed for them. Students will be taught practical and pedagogical methods for empowering young people to become leaders—or in the case of younger students, ways to empower themselves as leaders. Students will subsequently develop practical, hands-on plans to implement these strategies and demonstrate their viability through academic papers and discussion.
On Death and Dying [ link ]
In this class students will explore cultural and spiritual understandings of death and dying. They will learn about grief and mourning practices and become familiar with the processes of death so that they may be creative and compassionate in dealing with death and dying, as well as stay in touch with how this process impacts us as individuals.
Voices for Change [ link ]
Students will learn the work and life of activists (past and present) who use the theology and applied philosophy in the Creation Spirituality tradition to work for justice. Students will be able to describe, through group processes, creative work and written academics the ways in which a particular “voice for change” and their successful leadership can inform sacred activism today.
Spiritual Care of Community [ link ]
In this class students will explore and learn about group dynamics and healing relationships in order to demonstrate increased effectiveness in creating and maintaining healthy community relationships. We will address issues of empowerment, cooperation, anger, triangulation, enmeshment, boundaries, communication and other systems dynamics, helping students identify ways individuals can integrate these teachings into effective leadership.
Engaging Poverty [ link ]
This class will help students to understand issues of social justice through the lens of economics as an expression of theology. Students will analyze and recognize the theological values that lead to economic systems, both critiquing unjust systems and imagining more egalitarian ones. We will explore social issues related to poverty and consider ways these issues may be addressed/mitigated.
Crucial Contemporary Issues [ link ]
This class will focus on a particular social issue that is currently in the public discourse and discuss it through the lens of Creation Spirituality, seeking to both critique current problems and seek alternatives.
Mythology, Cosmology and Storytelling [ link ]
Drawing from both scientific cosmology and the cosmologies of the Wisdom traditions, students will learn the different ways that cultures can create worlds through stories. Students will be engaged in a creative process to tell their own stories.
Science and Spirituality [ link ]
Students will examine the scientific insights that have emerged during the last 150 years—including quantum theory, evolution and Big Bang cosmology—and how they relate to the Wisdom traditions, giving special attention to the Creation Spirituality tradition.
Deep Ecology and Theology of the Land [ link ]
This class will provide students with a constructive analysis and hopeful response to climate change by way of two complementary philosophical and theological worldviews: deep ecology and theology of the land. Drawing on resources and material from biblical, eco-feminist, Native North American, African American and agrarian paradigms, students will ascertain the theological significance of land in relation to the contemporary quest for community and a sense of place.
Indigenous Wisdom [ link ]
In this class students will discover the breadth and width of indigenous wisdom vis-à-vis its many ancestral, cultural and oral literary sources from among native, first nations, aboriginal and indigenous peoples in North America and worldwide. Specific attention is given to the interdependent and reciprocal relation between human beings and the multiplicity of all creatures and life on Earth, and how indigenous oral literatures, languages, myths and poetry in turn have uniquely honored that relationship.
Spirituality and Sustainability Practices [ link ]
Students will engage with a particular aspect of life that can be reimagined toward both a sustainable society and a worldview that gives us a deeper sense of interconnection and meaning.
Archetypes of the Sacred Masculine and the Divine Feminine [ link ]
This class will introduce students to the versatile and vibrant archetypes of the “sacred masculine” and “divine feminine” expressed in many religious traditions. The sacred masculine is seen in Hildegard’s Blue Man, the pagan Green Man, the spiritual warrior and other forms. The divine feminine is expressed, for example, as Wisdom and Sophia in Christian mysticism; as Shekhina in Jewish and Kabbalistic mysticism; as Shakti, Kali, Devi in Hinduism; as Guanyin and Prajnaparamita in Buddhism; and among indigenous, Earth-based and native religions.
The Inclusive New Monasticism [ link ]
In this class students will learn about and further develop the movement of the “new monasticism on mission” in our contemporary context. They will explore the implications of a committed monastic vocation, which is radically engaged in the world, emerging not from a monastery, but from the work context of faith communities and non-profits, family and social justice activism.
The Depth and Gifts of Feminine Spirituality [ link ]
In this course students will explore and become familiar with a spectrum of women and feminine forms, qualities and aspects, both past and present, which embody a depth of spirituality. We will cover cross-cultural archetypes and historic influences of women’s spirituality, which students will incorporate into a personal statement of spirituality and spiritual practice. The class will also uncover ways that community spiritual practice can better serve the feminine persona and the wider culture.
New Archetypes for Masculine Spirituality and Leadership [ link ]
In this course students will become more familiar with a spectrum of masculine mythologies and healthy archetypes of spirituality. Students will explore transformative models of engaging the masculine in spirituality and in overcoming historical and cultural barriers to healthy masculinity and spiritual leadership.
The Voices of Women as Spiritual Leaders [ link ]
Students will be introduced to the prophetic and mystical voices of women through the centuries, with an eye to understanding their formidable historical, ecclesial, literary and spiritual leadership, resulting in discernible social change and transformation.
First year and residency - Shalem’s Spiritual Guidance Program classes [ link ]
- Introduction to Spiritual Guidance Relationship
- Discernment Core Faith Experience
- Contemplative Theological Grounding
- Body Prayer
- Spiritual Community Discernment
- Entering One-One Direction
- Scripture & Prayer
- Seeing with the Sabbath Heart
- Contemplative Communion
- Issues in Sexuality & Gender
- Contemplative Orientation I and II
- Conversion, Christophany, and Christogenesis
- Intercessory Prayer
- Group Spiritual Direction
Second Year and Residency - Shalem’s Spiritual Guidance Program classes [ link ]
- Cultivating a Contemplative Heart
- Jazz, Pluralism & Spiritual Guidance
- Direction and Discernment in Prayer
- Sin and Reconciliation
- Corporate Worship and Spiritual Guidance
- Sacred Threshold Sacred Space
- Social Justice and Spiritual Guidance
- Welcoming Silent Sabbath
- Spiritual Guidance Beyond the Christian Tradition
- Chanting and Haiku
- Death and Life & Spiritual Guidance
- Issues in Spiritual Guidance
- Praise Thanksgiving & Movement Meditation
- The Saints and Spiritual Guidance
- Celebrating Sophia: The Divine Feminine in the Second Axial Age
Readings on Creation Spirituality [ link ]
Students will gain knowledge of a broad spectrum of authors who articulate or are connected with Creation Spirituality. They will be able to compare and contrast concepts and deepen their understanding of the breadth of Creation Spirituality thought.
Drawing Wisdom from the Well of the Sacred Texts. [ link ]
Students will study the sacred texts of one of the Wisdom traditions. Employing textual analysis and hermeneutical tools to engage in doctoral-level scholarship places these texts in their historical-cultural context yet allows for their application in today’s world.