Spirituality (SPGR)

SPGR 6702. History of Christian Spirituality I. (3 Credits)

This course will explore a number of the significant figures and themes that characterized the development of Christian spirituality from its beginnings until the 15th century. Readings will be drawn from classical spiritual texts from the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions and relevant secondary literature. Authors and texts typically include the Martyrdom of Saints Perpetua and Felicity, Origen, The Life of Anthony, John Cassian, Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, Life of Benedict, Gregory the Great, Maximus the Confessor, John Climacus, Symeon the New Theologian, Anselm, Bernard of Clairvaux, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Bonaventure, and Catherine of Siena. The course is organized around certain themes, including community life, prayer, mysticism, reform/conversion, and asceticism.

SPGR 6703. History of Christian Spirituality II. (3 Credits)

This course provides a solid grounding in the historical-critical, hermeneutical, and theological engagements with Christian mysticism/spirituality from the 16th century through the mid-20th century. In addition to focusing upon representative Catholic, Protestant, Reform, and Orthodox traditions, we examine recent expressions of globally contextualized Christian spiritualities. Course readings draw from classical spiritual texts and relevant secondary literature. Authors and texts typically considered include Ignatius Loyola, Martin Luther, Teresa of Ávila, Madame Guyon, Francis de Sales, George Herbert, The Pilgrim's Tale, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Howard Thurman, Gustavo Gutiérrez, C.S. Song, and Desmond Tutu, among others. Additionally, selected themes in Christian spirituality are considered, including feminist, ecological, and social justice spiritualities.

SPGR 6720. Sacramental Spirituality. (3 Credits)

Drawing upon Christian scripture and tradition, this course explores and develops present-day sacramental spiritualities. A variety of embodied practices and material realities will be considered in their sacramental aspects—i.e., insofar as they provide an opportunity to experience the divine in and through corporeality. This course will emphasize all of creation as sacramental; it will include a consideration of Christ and the Church as sacraments, the sacraments of initiation (RCIA), healing sacraments (reconciliation and anointing), marriage as a sacrament, and "sacramentals." The study and discussion will be ecumenical and interreligious, interdisciplinary and multicultural.

SPGR 6742. The Ignatian Way. (3 Credits)

The ministry of Jesuits—and their partners—in pursuing a Christian vision of the world is rooted in the personal experience of the 16-century saint Ignatius Loyola. In this course we shall study the life and work of that saint against the background of the times in which he lived. We examine especially two important primary sources, his autobiography, dictated to a fellow Jesuit near the end of his life, and his Spiritual Exercises, a remarkable and influential handbook for personal and spiritual renewal. We shall also survey his other writings that have come down to us: excerpts from his Spiritual Journal, the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, and some of his letters. [DMin students excluded].

SPGR 6746. Franciscan Spirituality: Francis, Clare and Bonaventure. (3 Credits)

Explores the religious experiences of Francis and Clare from their own writings as well as biographical materials and examines the spiritual teachings that Clare and Francis bequeathed to the religious orders they founded. Special emphasis is placed on the balance they achieved between the contemplative and active lifestyles and on the evangelical values that characterize the Franciscan approach to ministry. Some consideration will be given to representative Franciscan figures who have exemplified the interplay of theology, spirituality and ministry, suggesting outlines of the same for today.

SPGR 6752. Christian Contemplation and Action. (3 Credits)

Drawing on the work of Philip Sheldrake, this doctoral-level course explores the writings and lives of five representative themes of contemplative prayer and active ministry. The Way of Discipline, The Contemplative-Mystical Way, The Way of Practical Action, The Way of Beauty, and The Prophetic Way. Representative authors include Thomas Merton, Julian of Norwich, Ignatius Loyola, Teresa of Avila, G.M. Hopkins, Gustavo Gutiérrez, and Dorothy Day, among others. The course considers these sources and traditions as living fonts of and challenges to our contemporary spirituality, and provides a broad overview for more specific studies in Christian spirituality.

SPGR 6792. Contemporary Christian Spirituality. (3 Credits)

This course examines foundations, issues, movements, and persons affecting the practice of Christian spirituality in a postmodern context. Issues discussed will include embodiment, prayer, work, and sexuality. Movements will include feminism, ecology, and compassion/justice.

SPGR 6794. Women Mystics. (3 Credits)

This course will explore the experiences and theologies of women mystics as reported or portrayed throughout Christian history. Students will read selections from hagiographical texts, from the sayings of the Desert Mothers, from historical texts such as the Trial of Joan of Arc, and from the writings of women mystics themselves—such as Hildegard of Bingen, Clare of Assisi, Marguerite Porete, Catherine of Siena, Julian of Norwich, Teresa of Avila, Margaret Mary Alacoque, Thérèse of Lisieux, and Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Lectures will draw upon history, sociology, psychology, theology, and other disciplines to contextualize the consideration of these readings and to invite a careful comparison with present-day experiences. Students will also be invited to ponder the forces that have shaped our current canon of mystics and saints: Whose lives remain invisible to our study, and why?.

SPGR 6811. Meditation East/West. (3 Credits)

A Practical theoretical treatment of the tradition of Christian prayer and Eastern Meditation. Included are guided practices, reading and reflection.

SPGR 6830. Discernment in the Christian Tradition. (3 Credits)

This course offers a two-fold introduction to Christian traditions for the discernment of spirits. During the first half of the course, we pursue a historical review of the various articulations of spiritual discernment from New Testament foundations through the 16th century. During the second half of the course, we concentrate on the theory and practice of Christian discernment and decision-making grounded in the writings of St. Ignatius Loyola. We engage in a critical, close reading of Ignatius' "Rules for the Discernment of Spirits" (weeks 1 and 2) and "The Election," both texts from "The Spiritual Exercises," as well as selected letters and other writings by Ignatius. This course also emphasizes each student's personal appropriation of this material through the discussion of discernment case studies.

SPGR 6834. Methods in Christian Spirituality. (3 Credits)

This course introduces graduate students to the academic discipline of Christian spirituality and to methods for researching and writing at the M.A. level, including an introduction to the Turabian Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. In consultation with the professor, students are free to pursue a research topic of their choosing; however, their research agenda must include a Christian spirituality component. Students already working on a thesis may, with the professor’s consent, use a chapter thereof as their research paper for this course. Course topics include defining the academic discipline of Christian spirituality; the relationship between spirituality and theology; experience as an object of study; and the approaches to context, historical consciousness, multidisciplinarity, and hermeneutic theory. In this practical seminar, students collaboratively learn to research and write at the graduate level, as well as explore the rich offerings of Christian spirituality as an academic discipline.

SPGR 6910. Introduction to Supervision. (3 Credits)

The first course in Fordham GRE’s Advanced Certificate in Supervision, Introduction to Supervision offers participants intensive immersion in supervision basics, including case preparation, supervision theory, spirituality, and ethics. Students will have repeated practice offering supervision to others and giving feedback to classmates as they do the same.

SPGR 6912. Practicum in Formal Supervision. (3 Credits)

The second course in Fordham GRE’s Advanced Certificate in Supervision, the Practicum in Formal Supervision offers students individualized supervision and mentoring as they begin or grow their supervision ministry. In addition, this course provides opportunities for students to adapt a professional code of ethics for use in their context; to create a supervision resource kit; and to read, write about, and discuss supervision processes with their classmates and instructor.

Prerequisite: SPGR 6910.

SPGR 6914. Practicum in Informal Supervision. (3 Credits)

The third course in Fordham GRE’s Advanced Certificate in Supervision, the Practicum in Informal Supervision offers students individualized supervision and mentoring as they develop their supervision ministry. In addition, the course provides opportunities for students to explore their own spiritual senses and intuition as they listen to others; to engage psychological concepts related to supervision; and to read, write about, and discuss supervision processes with their classmates and instructors.

Prerequisite: SPGR 6912.

SPGR 6916. Practicum in Group Supervision. (3 Credits)

The fourth course in Fordham GRE’s Advanced Certificate in Supervision, the Practicum in Group Supervision offers students individualized supervision and mentoring as they continue their supervision ministry in the field, this term establishing and facilitating their own supervision group. Further, the course supports students in researching a supervision topic of their choice and culminates in a written capstone project.

Prerequisite: SPGR 6910.

SPGR 6920. Supervision Capstone Intensive. (3 Credits)

The final course in Fordham GRE’s Advanced Certificate in Supervision, the Supervision Capstone Intensive offers participants an opportunity to present original research and a demonstration project on a supervision-related topic of their choice; to engage in collaboration with their peers and instructors; to offer constructive, compassionate feedback to their peers; and to integrate the skills they have honed in their yearlong practice of supervision.

Prerequisite: SPGR 6916.

SPGR 7702. History of Christian Spirituality I. (3 Credits)

This course will explore a number of the significant figures and themes that characterized the development of Christian spirituality from its beginnings until the 15th century. Readings will be drawn from classical spiritual texts from the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions and relevant secondary literature. Authors and texts typically include the Martyrdom of Saints Perpetua and Felicity, Origen, The Life of Anthony, John Cassian, Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, Life of Benedict, Gregory the Great, Maximus the Confessor, John Climacus, Symeon the New Theologian, Anselm, Bernard of Clairvaux, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Bonaventure, and Catherine of Siena. The course is organized around certain themes, including community life, prayer, mysticism, reform/conversion, and asceticism. This course is for Doctor of Ministry students only and will require doctoral-level participation and additional research/writing elements.

SPGR 7703. History of Christian Spirituality II. (3 Credits)

This doctoral-level course provides a solid grounding in the historical-critical, hermeneutical, and theological engagements with Christian mysticism/spirituality from the 16th century through the mid-20th century. In addition to focusing on representative Catholic, Protestant, Reform, and Orthodox traditions, we examine recent expressions of globally contextualized Christian spiritualities. Course readings draw from classical spiritual texts and relevant secondary literature. Authors and texts typically considered include Ignatius Loyola, Martin Luther, Teresa of Ávila, Madame Guyon, Francis de Sales, George Herbert, The Pilgrim's Tale, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Howard Thurman, Gustavo Gutiérrez, C.S. Song, and Desmond Tutu, among others. Additionally, selected themes in Christian spirituality are considered, including feminist, ecological, and social justice spiritualities. The capstone requirement is a 20-page research paper.

SPGR 7720. Sacramental Spirituality. (3 Credits)

Drawing upon Christian scripture and tradition, this doctoral-level course explores and develops present-day sacramental spiritualities. A variety of embodied practices and material realities will be considered in their sacramental aspects—i.e., insofar as they provide an opportunity to experience the divine in and through corporeality. This course will emphasize all of creation as sacramental; it will include a consideration of Christ and the Church as sacraments, the sacraments of initiation (RCIA), healing sacraments (reconciliation and anointing), marriage as a sacrament, and "sacramentals." The study and discussion will be ecumenical and interreligious, interdisciplinary and multicultural.

SPGR 7740. Spiritual Direction Practicum I. (3 Credits)

The Spiritual Direction Practicum I offers participants the opportunity to learn about the dynamics of prayer as a personal relationship with God, the spiritual direction relationship, elements of Ignatian spirituality, and the role of supervision. A grade of pass and an instructor's evaluation confirming skill development are required to move to Spiritual Direction Practicum II. Ordinarily, the practicum courses are taken at the conclusion of one's program; however, with the approval of the Spirituality Faculty Committee, a student still needing to fulfill a limited number of course requirements may also apply for admission to the practicum courses. The following courses are ordinarily completed before taking the practicum courses: Old Testament; New Testament; Christology or Theology of the Human Person; and Sacraments or Sacramental Spirituality or Church and Society. With faculty approval, one or more of these courses may be taken concurrently with the practicum courses. Note: This course is pass/fail only. The following courses must be taken before the Spiritual Direction Practicum begins for all students: Theology of Spiritual Direction; Discernment in the Christian Tradition; and Pastoral Counseling Skills.

Prerequisites: SPGR 6830 and SPGR 7870 and PCGR 6440.

SPGR 7741. Spiritual Direction Practicum II. (3 Credits)

This course is a continuation of SPGR 7740. A grade of pass for SPGR 7740 and an instructor's evaluation confirming skill development at a successful level is required to register for this course. The course registration must take place with request to the assistant dean after Practicum I grades have been posted. Note: This course is pass/fail only.

Prerequisites: SPGR 6830 and SPGR 7870 and PCGR 6440.

SPGR 7746. Franciscan Spirituality: Francis, Clare and Bonaventure. (3 Credits)

Doctoral students only- please see syllabus requirements for doctoral students. Explores the religious experiences of Francis and Clare from their own writings as well as biographical materials and examines the spiritual teachings that Clare and Francis bequeathed to the religious orders they founded. Special emphasis is placed on the balance they achieved between the contemplative and active lifestyles and on the evangelical values that characterize the Franciscan approach to ministry. Some consideration will be given to representative Franciscan figures who have exemplified the interplay of theology, spirituality and ministry, suggesting outlines of the same for today.

SPGR 7752. Christian Contemplation and Action. (3 Credits)

Drawing on the work of Philip Sheldrake, this doctoral-level course explores the writings and lives of five representative themes of contemplative prayer and active ministry. The Way of Discipline, The Contemplative-Mystical Way, The Way of Practical Action, The Way of Beauty, and The Prophetic Way. Representative authors include Thomas Merton, Julian of Norwich, Ignatius Loyola, Teresa of Avila, G.M. Hopkins, Gustavo Gutiérrez, and Dorothy Day, among others. The course considers these sources and traditions as living fonts of and challenges to our contemporary spirituality, and provides a broad overview for more specific studies in Christian spirituality. The capstone requirement is a 20-page research paper.

SPGR 7760. Christian Spirituality and Leadership. (3 Credits)

This course examines the intersection between classic texts in Christian spirituality and contemporary texts on leadership studies. The oldest corporations in the West are the monasteries and the Catholic Church. Many spiritual treatises are aimed at helping people understand how to lead communities in an effective manner through word and example. Contemporary writers about leadership, such as Jim Collins, stress spiritual qualities such as humility and hope as important for leading companies into greatness. Whereas the spiritual writings have little quantitative evidence associated with them, the leadership studies provide such analysis; however, books on leadership studies tend to lack any depth behind such concepts as humility or even good advice as to how to achieve it, which texts from the history of Christian spirituality provide. By bringing these horizons together, the course will help students to understand the practical value of Christian spirituality in business, administration, and politics.

SPGR 7792. Contemporary Christian Spirituality. (3 Credits)

This course will explore contemporary foundations, issues, movements, and persons impacting the practice of Christian spirituality in a postmodern context. Issues discussed will include embodiment, prayer, work, and sexuality. Movements will include feminism, ecology, and compassion/justice. This course is for doctoral students only and will require doctoral-level participation and additional research/writing elements.

SPGR 7794. Women Mystics. (3 Credits)

This doctoral-level course will explore the experiences and theologies of women mystics as reported or portrayed throughout Christian history. Students will read selections from hagiographical texts, from the sayings of the Desert Mothers, from historical texts such as the Trial of Joan of Arc, and from the writings of women mystics themselves—such as Hildegard of Bingen, Clare of Assisi, Marguerite Porete, Catherine of Siena, Julian of Norwich, Teresa of Avila, Margaret Mary Alacoque, Thérèse of Lisieux, and Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Lectures will draw upon history, sociology, psychology, theology, and other disciplines to contextualize the consideration of these readings and to invite a careful comparison with present-day experiences. Students will also be invited to ponder the forces that have shaped our current canon of mystics and saints: Whose lives remain invisible to our study, and why?.

SPGR 7811. Meditation East/West. (3 Credits)

A Practical theoretical treatment of the tradition of Christian prayer and Eastern Meditation. Included are guided practices, reading and reflection. DMIN/PHD Students Only.

SPGR 7830. Discernment in the Christian Tradition. (3 Credits)

This doctoral-level course offers a two-fold introduction to Christian traditions for the discernment of spirits. During the first half of the course, we pursue a historical review of the various articulations of spiritual discernment from New Testament foundations through the 16th century. During the second half of the course, we concentrate on the theory and practice of Christian discernment and decision-making grounded in the writings of St. Ignatius Loyola. We engage in a critical, close reading of Ignatius' "Rules for the Discernment of Spirits" (weeks 1 and 2) and "The Election," both texts from "The Spiritual Exercises," as well as selected letters and other writings by Ignatius. This course also emphasizes each student's personal appropriation of this material through the discussion of discernment case studies. Capstone requirement is a 20-page research paper.

SPGR 7834. Methods in Christian Spirituality. (3 Credits)

This course introduces doctoral students to the academic discipline of Christian spirituality and to methods for researching and writing at the doctoral level, including an introduction to the Turabian Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Course topics include defining the academic discipline of Christian spirituality; the relationship between spirituality and theology; experience as an object of study; and the approaches to context, historical consciousness, multidisciplinarity, and hermeneutic theory. In this practical seminar, students collaboratively learn to research and write at the graduate level, as well as explore the rich offerings of Christian spirituality as an academic discipline. In consultation with the professor, students are free to pursue a research topic of their choosing; however, their research agenda must include a Christian spirituality component. Students already working on a DM in thesis/project or Ph.D. dissertation may, with the professor’s consent, use a chapter thereof as their research paper for this course. The capstone requirement is a 20-page research paper.

SPGR 7870. Spiritual Direction: Theology and Practice. (3 Credits)

This course explores the experience of spiritual direction from the standpoint of both the director and the one directed. It situates the contemporary ministry of spiritual direction within the history of the Christian tradition, and draws upon interdisciplinary and interreligious perspectives in order to examine critically a diversity of past and present theologies, processes, and models of spiritual direction.

SPGR 7888. Special Topics: Spirituality. (3 Credits)

Reserved for special courses in Spirituality.

SPGR 7902. Ignatian Spirituality for Ministry. (3 Credits)

Limited to DMin students. Engaging in ministry within an Jesuit/Ignatian spirituality context involves pursuing a Christian vision of the world rooted in the experience and writings of the sixteenth-century Basque saint, Ignatius of Loyola. In this hybrid course, we (1) examine the life of Ignatius against the background of his socio-historical and theological context, (2) engage in a close, critical reading of representative texts, and (3) survey various contemporary approaches to the appropriation of his spiritual tradition, with an emphasis upon ministerial practices. We examine especially two important primary sources, his Autobiography, dictated to a fellow Jesuit near the end of his life, and The Spiritual Exercises, a remarkable and influential handbook for personal and spiritual growth. We also read excerpts from his Spiritual Journal, the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, and Letters. Capstone requirement: 20-page research paper, which is due later in the spring semester.

Attribute: PSNM.

SPGR 8500. Comprehensive Exam MA Christian Spirituality. (0 Credits)

Required for completion of the MA in Christian Spirituality concentrations, Generalist and Spiritual Direction.

SPGR 8870. Spir Dir: Theol & Pract. (3 Credits)

(PHD and DMIN students only) This course explores the experience of spiritual direction from the standpoint of both the director and the one directed. It situates the contemporary ministry of spiritual direction within the history of the Christian tradition, and draws upon interdisciplinary and interreligious perspectives in order to examine critically a diversity of past and present theologies, processes, and models of spiritual direction.

SPGR 8998. Special Topics: Spirituality. (3 Credits)

A tutorial in the area of religion.