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
After 35 years of active parish ministry in the East Texas area (including several congregations in Houston), the Rev. Dr. James H. “Jim” Reiter took early retirement so that he and his wife, Kathy, could pursue their interest and passions in spiritual formation on a full-time basis.
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. Prior to his retirement in 2018, Jim coursework at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary pursuant to a Professional Certification in Spiritual Formation through the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. Most recently, Jim has completed studies with the “FIND School for Spiritual Direction and Formation” (Episcopal Diocese of Texas)—being certified and commissioned as a spiritual director and now serving on their faculty.
Throughout the course of his active years as a United Methodist pastor, spiritual formation has been a keen passion and interest for Jim. It’s an interest/focus emerging from a host of streams, including service as chairperson of the Spiritual Formation Team of the Texas Annual Conference, 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.
Jim and Kathy (his wife of 35 years and a spiritual formation leader in her own right), founded Zoe-Life Explorations (www.zoe-life.net) in the Spring of 2018. The mission of Zoe-Life is focused through published resources and a series of program offerings designed to facilitate experiences in and conversations about spiritual formation in the lives of individuals and faith communities.