Number of weeks: 1
Required books?: Yes
Live video session?: No
Part of a certification or series of courses?: No
Take the Parable of the Prodigal (in Luke 15) and filter it through the prism of the classical stages of the spiritual journey (awakening, purgation, illumination, and union) and you have the basis of a most meaningful path of devotion and reflection through Lent. Join us as we observe “false self” in the younger (and older brother) in the parable… and the basis for its formation in our own lives. From there, we’ll explore the younger brother’s journey home… and the ways it can and does inform our common journeys home to our “true [and fullest] selves” in Christ. A combination of weekly devotions, video presentations, readings, online discussions, and personal exercises provide a deeper understanding and experience of spiritual formation on the way to a fuller appreciation of Easter and the new life it brings.
This course is eligible for 1.0 CEU.
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.