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Spiritual Companioning and Vocation Course Syllabus

Spiritual Companioning and Vocation
College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University

Spring Semester
Instructor: Kathy Langer
Office Hours: By appointment
E-mail: [email protected]
Class Schedule and location: consult course catalog

Course Description:

This course will introduce participants to the ministry of spiritual companioning and spiritual friendship and its relationship to vocational discernment. A study of primary texts on vocation will complement the learning of practical skills of spiritual companioning. Participants will apply companioning skills through course assignments and class activities: role-plays, discussion of case studies, and reflection on personal experiences.


Learning Objectives:

Gain knowledge of the nature and theological foundations of spiritual companioning and spiritual friendship.
Engage in study of Christian approaches to vocation.
Gain familiarity with the skills of spiritual accompaniment: contemplative presence, listening, discernment.
Become acquainted with ways of deepening one's own spirituality and sense of vocation through a consideration of personal and communal approaches to spiritual formation.

Required Readings:
Joseph Schmidt, Praying Our Experiences.
Paul Wadell, Becoming Friends: Worship, Justice and the Practice of Christian Friendship.
Clemens Sedmak. Doing Local Theology: A Guide for Artisans of a New Humanity.
John Neafsey, A Sacred Voice is Calling: Personal Vocation and Social Conscience (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2006.)
Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2000.)
Access to a Bible

Course Requirements and Evaluation:
Class Participation (quizzes, activities and class discussion) 20% of final grade

Spiritual Autobiography 10% of final grade

Christian Lives Paper 15% of final grade

Class Presentation 5% of final grade

Written Reflections on the books 15% of final grade

Two Exams 35% of final grade

Grading: A= 100-94 AB= 93-88 B=87-81 BC=80-75 C=70-74 CD= 69-65 D=64-60 F=¯60

The teaching method of the class will be guided by the following approaches: student-led class discussions, a critical reading of the sources supported by class lecture and discussion, participation in practical experiences that engage and embody the theory, and personal reflection that helps you translate the material into your daily lives.

A Spiritual Autobiography will be written during the first month of class. A detailed description of the project will be distributed in class. Three 2 to 3 page reflection papers on the texts will be assigned throughout the semester. Class attendance and participation in discussion is integral to the success of the class. Practical skills will be learned through in class activities. Options for the Christian Lives paper will be discussed in class and decided upon in conjunction with the instructor.

Due to the nature of the course topic and teaching methods students must be willing to firmly ensure the confidentiality of all information that might be openly shared in class discussions and activities. Students will not be compelled to share personal information.

Academic Dishonesty Policy:
Cheating and Plagiarism
a. Cheating is defined as the attempt, successful or not, to give or obtain aid and/or information by illicit means in meeting any academic requirements, including examinations.

b. Plagiarism is defined as the use, without proper acknowledgment, of ideas, phrases, sentences, or larger units of discourse from writer or speaker.

Students are expected to know and abide by the policy as stated in the university catalogue and student handbook.

Disability Statement:

Students with documented special learning needs may want to contact Academic Advising Office x5687 (St. Ben's) or 2248 (St. John's.)

Student Behavior:
All students are expected to behave according to accepted norms that ensure a climate wherein all can exercise their right to learn. Such norms are set forth in the undergraduate catalogue. Please be sure that you have read and understood the material included in the sections entitled "Academic Regulations" and "Probation and Dismissal."

This syllabus is subject to change at professor's discretion. Students are responsible for any changes made during class.