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
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.