Number of weeks: 2
Required books?: Yes
Live video session?: No
Part of a certification or series of courses?: No
This class, taught by professional photographer Val Isenhower, explores the idea of photography as a spiritual practice. Photography is a path to stilling the heart and soul to hear God and to sense the presence of God in the beauty of God’s creation.
The class (and book) focuses on how our spiritual lives can inform our photography as we learn to pay attention, to be patient, to center and to focus our eyes in new ways. We also explore the act of focusing on the pictures we record to see how they speak to your souls.
This course is experiential. We will read materials and discuss ideas on-line. New class assignments will be posted every other day. You will also be asked to spend time recording photographs, sharing them with the class and reflecting on the experience through a class blog. Val checks into the class blog and interacts with participants several times a day.
The course is based on the book Meditation on Both Sides of the Camera by Valerie K. Isenhower. The book is an ebook and can be purchased in Kindle and e-pub formats.
This course is for anyone interested in learning how to include photography in their spiritual journey. Any type of camera will work, although digital cameras will make uploading pictures easier.
This course is eligible for 1.0 CEU.
About the Instructor
Val Isenhower is the owner of V. Isenhower Photography, and she specializes in meditative photography. Val offers workshops on “Spirituality and Photography” across the country. She is the author of a book on spirituality and photography — Meditation on Both Sides of the Camera (Upper Room, 2012) and has written articles on the subject. Val’s images are currently displayed in her gallery in Old Town, Albuquerque. She is the featured photographer in the Journeying Through the Days: 2013 (Upper Room, 2012). Her work has also been displayed in other galleries; published in 3 issues of Alive Now magazine and the Baylor University Journal for Family and Community Ministries and is on the cover of four books. She won Best in Category at the Red River Fine Art and Wine Festival, 2005 and an honorable mention in the the First Annual Hot Air Balloon Photo Context and Exhibit.
Val has co-authored two books on spiritual discernment with Judith A. Todd — Living into the Answers: A Workbook for Personal Spiritual Discernment(Upper Room 2008) and Listen for God’s Leading: A Workbook for Corporate Spiritual Discenment (Upper Room, 2009). She is one of the founders of Water in the Desert Ministries. Val has led spiritual formation retreats and taught classes in spiritual formation across the country. She specializes in facilitating discernment processes for groups and using photography / visual arts in spirituality. Val earned an M.Div. from Central Baptist Theological Seminary, is an ordained American Baptist Minister and lives in Albuquerque, NM.
Past Students Said…
“Visio Divina is a new concept for me, and I appreciate having this in my Prayer-pocket. The class gave me many new perspectives and explained others that I have, but could not put words to. Both extremely empowering. Highly recommend this class.”
“Val’s personal responses to my learning were kind, thoughtful, reassuring and growth-promoting. She seemed to meet each one of where we were-we were a mixed bunch–I think this is a sign of a well seasoned instructor and life-traveler.”