Contemplative Practices

The Christian mystics understood that union with God is not something to be acquired, but rather something that can be discovered in the very ground of our being. We may get glimpses of this truth throughout our lives: in a quiet moment of prayer, through the birth of a child, as we listen to beautiful music, when we lose ourselves in work that we find meaningful, or as we are taken by the beauty of nature. But what if there was a way in which these seemingly fleeting moments could become the more stable way in which we perceive ourselves, others, and reality? The Contemplative Practices certificate program aims to serve as the conduit that supports participants to deepen their awareness of the presence of an already present God. It does so by exposing participants to the key elements of Christian Contemplative practices in the hopes that through reflection, discussion, and practice they can grow into an ever-deepening awareness of the presence of God in their lives.

This program seeks to address not only what is contemplative living, but it focuses in particular on the challenge of how one one’s whole life can be lived in this way. The Christian mystics have much to teach about the spiritual disciplines that help foster a deeper connection to God. They point us beyond learning concepts towards the fidelity to the daily practices that helps us along the way. Therefore, while the classes will take place once per month, students will be expected to complete weekly reading assignments, journal reflections and additionally, they will be asked to take part in an ongoing prayer group. The ultimate goal of this program is to nurture the ever evolving birth of Christ in the soul, to be a conduit that supports participants towards a more coherent integration of what they believe and what they do, their spiritual life and the choices they make every day. Therefore, the focus of this course will be to support participants as they move from information, to formation, and towards transformation. At every point, the content explored will be discussed and reflected upon in light of the participants’ own lived experiences and reality of the world they live in, so that the call inward becomes an integrated and fruitful outward response.

Who Should Participate

Participants who have taken the certificate course Christian Spirituality and other similar courses and retreat experiences are encouraged to participate. This course might also be of particular interest to spiritual directors and those charged with spiritual listening, as it will deepen their own ability to be present to themselves, to their lives, and to their community.

Program Benefits

By the end of the program students will have:

  • Gained a deeper understanding of the various Christian voices in contemplative living
  • Have a better understanding of the challenges and pathways to contemplative being
  • Nourished their inner disposition towards Spirit
  • Learned concrete methods and practices that will help them nurture their relationship with God and recognize those that are most fitting for their particular life circumstances

Credit from this program may be applicable to catechist certification at the discretion of the certifying diocese. Please be sure to check with the appropriate diocesan office to confirm that this program qualifies for credit towards certification or recertification.

General Information

Course and program requirements, schedules and tuition are subject to change; and additional fees may be incurred for books and materials. Click here to review all policies prior to enrollment. For additional information, contact the Center for Religion and Spirituality at (310) 338-2799 or crs@lmu.edu, or contact the program facilitator directly (listed below under 'Faculty').

  • Registration + Fees

    Begins: September 9, 2017. This course is full. To be placed on a waiting list, please email Ms. Elsy Arévalo at elsy.arevalo@lmu.edu.

    Course No.: CPXX 900

    Tuition: $690

  • Schedule

    Classes will meet once a month in the Fall and Spring terms:

    • September 9, 2017, 1-4p: Introduction to Methods, Student Orientation and day of Prayer
    • September 23, 9a-4p: The Heart of Contemplative Life (Jim Finley)
    • October 14, 9a-4p: Challenges and Pathways to Contemplative Living (Wilkie Au)
    • November 18, 9a-4p: Dreamwork as a Pathway to the Healing and Wholeness
    • December 2, 9a-1p: Advent Day of Prayer
    • February 10, 2018, 9a-4p
    • March 2, 7-9p; March 3, 9a-4p; March 4, 9a-12p: Commuting Retreat with Martin Laird
    • April 7, 9a-4p
    • May 12, 9a-4p
    • June 2, 9a-4p

    Location
    LMU Westchester Campus
    1 LMU Drive
    Los Angeles, CA 90045

  • Faculty
  • Course Requirements

    Students must complete a total of 5.0 semester hours in coursework with a letter grade of 'C+' or higher in each course to receive a certificate of completion. Please refer to the course catalog for required text, class meeting location, and other general information.

    Coursework: CPXX 900

  • Course Description

    CPXX 900
    Contemplative Practices
    5.0 Semester Hours

    This course aims to serve as the irrigation system that supports participants as they seek to deepen their awareness of God. It does so by exposing participants to the key elements of Christian contemplation and contemplative practices.