SPI 521  Introduction to Interfaith Spiritual Direction (Guidance)

Faculty: Janice L. Lundy, D.Min. (Profile)


Spiritual direction has been called both an art and a science. Interfaith spiritual direction (or guidance) invites us to even greater artistry and skillfulness as we consider walking alongside people whose tradition is not our own. This course will explore the skills, mindset and heart orientation one needs to compassionately companion others in this way—to look beyond your own faith—to embark on a journey of deep ecumenism.

First, rather than a historical study of the world’s various traditions and how we might become “expert enough” to companion someone from each (Native Traditions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam), we will explore the traditions through the lens of the themes/gifts they bring to the world. Each tradition emphasizes a different aspect of the spiritual life and quest. These themes, like compassion or spiritual discipline, invite us to look more deeply at the tradition and, at the same time, transparently examine our emerging views. This is done by cultivating warm-hearted curiosity and appreciation.

Second, as a new skillset for interfaith companionship unfolds, the student will assess their ability to hold space and offer presence to members of other faith traditions. Strengths, weaknesses and growing edges will be examined, along with the role vulnerability, humility, and courage play in serving as an interfaith spiritual guide.

At the end of this study, the student will be invited to share what vision of interfaith spiritual companionship they hold for themselves, their community, and the world.


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