Number of weeks: 4
Required books?: No
Live video session?: No
Part of a certification or series of courses?: No
Whether we are conscious of them or not, we all have “rules” (rhythms and rituals) for living. The real questions, then, are whether we are conscious of the rules by which we are living, and whether our rules are lifting us up to richer, fuller life.
Drawing upon materials he prepared for and shared through the Upper Room-sponsored “Spirit Journey” retreat in the Fall of 2016, Pastor Jim Reiter introduces students to Benedict and his ancient rule, and unpacks some immersion work he’s done in various monastic communities. We’ll have an eye to the ways that the ancient Rule of Benedict can inform and transform our life as disciples and as a Church.
More importantly, we will focus on the nature of rules for living [like Benedict’s and Wesley’s] and the basics of our formulating such a “sacred rhythm” for our own life and living.
About the Instructor
The Rev. Dr. Jim Reiter is a retired Elder in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church—having served a number of churches in the East Texas area over the last 35 years.
A 1983 graduate of Texas A&M University, Jim went on to attend Perkins School of Theology where he received his M.Div. in 1987 and his D.Min. in 1992. Most recently, he was awarded a Professional Certification in Spiritual Formation by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (completing all required coursework at Garrett Theological Seminary). In addition to chairing the “Faith-Forming Relationships & Spiritual Formation” team of the Texas Annual Conference, Jim serves as lead instructor of BeADisciple.com’s certification program in spiritual formation.
Throughout the course of his active years as a United Methodist pastor, spiritual formation has been a keen interest and focus for Jim. It’s an interest/focus emerging from a host of streams, including explorations in the contemplative life, immersion experiences in monastic settings, leadership in a variety of retreat settings, research in stages of faith development, experience with and gleanings from traditional and not-so-traditional spiritual disciplines, and a keen interest in the intersection of Christ and culture – focused especially in the spiritual themes embedded in the movies.
Early retirement has allowed Jim to direct his energies most fully to his passion in ministry: spiritual formation. Jim and Kathy, his wife of 35 years and spiritual formation leader in her own right, recently founded Zoe-Life Explorations, a series of program offerings designed to facilitate experiences in and conversations about spiritual formation in the lives of individuals and faith communities.