Summer Institute

The Summer Institute of Christian Spirituality (SICS)

This year we are looking at a modern Catholic writer, contemporary spiritual practice, the spiritual Gospel of John and the themes of suffering and justice in Shia Islam. Each of these very diverse avenues all lead to a catholic appreciation for engaging God in everyday life and finding the message of God in unlikely places. While there is no explicit theme for the 2017 Summer Institute of Christian Spirituality, its focus converges again on the age-old Jesuit theme of “Finding God in All Things.” In The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis says that God’s people "need to develop a spiritual taste for being close to people’s lives and to discover that this is itself a source of greater joy.” All of the courses for this summer will ask us to engage our own and others’ lives in their ordinariness, their challenges and surprises.

One thread that runs through all of these courses is the challenge of life, with its suffering and persecution. John’s understanding of glory, described in the seven great signs, comes to fullness on the Cross – the Cross is the glory of God fully manifest. Christians studying the stories of persecution, suffering and justice in Shia Islam will come to appreciate and understand the importance of those themes in Christian scriptures and practice. The hero of Walker Percy’s novel, The Second Coming, finds redemption and life-meaning in a broken heroine. Finally, the course on contemporary spiritual practice will address the challenges of our routine, busy, and distracted lives. Whether we find God’s loving message for us in the habits and decisions of our own lives or in the stories of the suffering and transformation of others, we learn to be surprised by the God of grace and love.

Now in its 24th year, our annual Institute offers a unique blend of academic challenge and spiritual enrichment, specifically designed for adults seeking to deepen their faith, exploring the vast traditions of Christian spirituality and, if you choose, for pursuing one of our certificate or degree programs. The curriculum is made up of a series of one-credit courses offered in one-week or intensive weekend sessions, studying a variety of spiritual masters and mystics, along with biblical, liturgical and social themes. Taught in the Jesuit tradition of excellence, courses may be taken for graduate or undergraduate credit or on an easy listening basis (no required assignments, no grade, no transcript record kept). While rooted in Catholic theology, the program is fully ecumenical and welcomes persons of all faiths.

We hope you will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity for learning and renewal. If you have never attended Spring Hill College or the Institute, and wish to receive more information about the event, please email (theology@shc.edu) or call us (251-380-4458 or toll-free 877-857-6742) and we will be glad to add you to our mailing list or answer any questions you may have.

Thank you for visiting our web site and please let us know if we can help you in any way. We look forward to the opportunity of hosting you this summer.

Dr. Timothy R. Carmody
Professor & Director of Graduate Programs in Theology and Ministry
carmody@shc.edu

Summer Institute 2017

Samaritan Woman at the Well

Samaritan Woman at the Well by Carl Heinrich Bloch.

Mobile

Session I: June 5-9, 2017

Morning: Monday - Friday, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Dr. Donald Berry's Class on Psalms. Summer Institute 2015

SPT582/482 (Historical) - 1 credit hour
Walker Percy’s Tarnished Woman of Grace

Dr. Katherine Abernathy

Walker Percy’s golf-playing, Tanqueray-sipping, millionaire Will Barrett may have achieved the American dream, but it is only while dodging bullets under his Rolls Royce that he comes to life.  Echoing Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground, Percy explores why modern men and women, “never a hundred percent themselves” must face death in order to be restored to themselves. Further he pursues why it is not the sober and immaculate woman of grace who brings hope, but it is the mentally unbalanced and tarnished heroine who redeems. Through a careful reading of Percy’s The Second Coming, this class will journey with Will Barrett as he looks for the will to live and finds hope through Allie who has just escaped from a mental hospital. We will briefly touch on a few excerpts from Dostoevsky and Kierkegaard to put the novel, its questions, and its characters into context.

Evening: Monday - Thursday, 6:30-9:00 p.m.

SPT571/471 (Moral) - 1 credit hour
Spirituality and Global Politics: Suffering and Justice in Shia Islam

Dr. Matthew Bagot

The conflict between Shia and Sunni Islam is one of the defining aspects of the contemporary Middle East. This course will thus shed light on current global affairs. But it will also illuminate the fascinating similarities between Shia and Christian spirituality. For the Shia, the passion of the Prophet's grandson, Husayn at the Battle of Karbala (680 C.E.) precipitated a millennium-long tale of martyrdom, persecution, and suffering reminiscent of the narrative Christians tell of Christ. We will explore the implications of this story for the Shia and the Muslim world--and for Christians.

Session II:  June 12-16, 2017

Morning: Monday - Friday, 9:00-11:00 a.m.

Dr. Matthew Baugh, S.J. who taught Medieval Spirituality with Students Christy Medina and Lori Croft. Summer Institute 2015.

SPT524/424 (Pastoral) - 1 credit hour
The Examined Life: Spirituality and Everyday Practice

Dr. Emily Reimer-Barry

We live in a time of anxiety and restlessness. The many roles we play in life can be both exhilarating and exhausting. But resources are available that can enable Christians to find God in the midst of their busy lives. This course will examine resources for a spirituality that is at the same time rooted in the Christian tradition and attentive to contemporary realities. We will examine a range of mediums through which Christians have experienced God, consider a variety of spiritual practices, and think concretely about how to best practice the presence of God in everyday life, with a special focus on mindfulness practices, experience of God in the natural world, and experience of God through liturgy and art. Attention will be paid to the way in which our spiritual lives grow and change in different life stages.  Readings from Pope Francis, Wendy Wright, Kathleen Norris.

Evening: Monday -Thursday, 6:30-9:00 p.m.

SPT531/431/THL573 (Biblical) - 1 or 3 credit hours
Signs of Glory: Miracles in John’s Gospel

Dr. Timothy Carmody

The miracles in the Gospel of John are explicitly described as revealing God’s glory. The biblical word, “glory,” denotes God’s manifestation in creation as seen in tangible objects. The signs in John reveal God’s glory in the wine, the water, the bread and fish, blindness and sight, restored life, but most especially in the blood and water at the cross. The course will examine this sacramental view of Jesus’ life and ministry as a manifestation of God’s glory in physical life, and especially in the messiness of misunderstanding, persecution, and suffering. We will examine the power of these Johannine symbols for training our own contemplation of God’s glory in nature and human life.

Costs In Mobile

        • Earned Credit: $330 per credit hour
        • Easy Listening (no transcript record kept):  $125 per credit hour
        • On-campus lodging:  $33 per night
        • Cookouts:  $10 each

    Dr. Carmody's Parables Class: Summer Institute 2015 Atlanta

    Atlanta

    All events at Ignatius House Retreat Center.

    Weekend I: June 16-18, 2017 (See weekend schedule below)

    SPT571/471 (Moral) - 1 credit hour
    Spirituality and Global Politics: Suffering and Justice in Shia Islam

    Dr. Matthew Bagot

    The conflict between Shia and Sunni Islam is one of the defining aspects of the contemporary Middle East. This course will thus shed light on current global affairs. But it will also illuminate the fascinating similarities between Shia and Christian spirituality. For the Shia, the passion of the Prophet's grandson, Husayn at the Battle of Karbala (680 C.E.) precipitated a millennium-long tale of martyrdom, persecution, and suffering reminiscent of the narrative Christians tell of Christ. We will explore the implications of this story for the Shia and the Muslim world--and for Christians.

    Weekend II: June 23 - 25, 2017 (See weekend schedule below)

    SPT531/431/THL573 (Biblical) - 1 or 3 credit hours
    Signs of Glory: Miracles in John’s Gospel

    Dr. Timothy Carmody

    The miracles in the Gospel of John point explicitly to God’s glory. Glory is God’s manifestation in creation seen in tangible objects, and so necessarily sacramental. The signs in John reveal God’s Glory in the wine, the water, the bread and fish, sight, restored life, but most especially in the blood and water at the cross. The course will examine this sacramental view of Jesus’ life and ministry as a manifestation of God’s glory in physical life. We will examine the power of these Johannine symbols for training our own contemplation of God’s glory in nature and human life.

    Dr. Carmody's Parables Class: Summer Institute 2015 AtlantaSchedule for Atlanta Intensive Weekend Format

    Friday
    • Dinner: 6:00 p.m.
    • Class: 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
    Saturday
    • Class: 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. & 1:00-4:00 p.m.
    • Lunch: 12:00-1:00 p.m.
    • Social, Dinner and Q&A with the professor: 6:00 p.m.
    Sunday
    • Class: 9:15 a.m.-11:15 a.m.
    • Mass: 11:30 a.m.
    • Lunch: following Mass

    Costs In Atlanta

    • Earned Credit: $330 per credit hour
    • Easy Listening (no transcript record kept): $125 per credit hour
    • Every registered student must choose one option for each weekend:
      • 2 days of room and all meals: $200 per weekend
      • 2 days of all meals: $100 per weekend
      • Saturday lunch, reception and dinner: $50 per weekend
      • Hospitality and Saturday lunch: $30 per weekend

    2017 Institute Faculty

    Dr. Katherine Abernathy is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Mobile where she has taught since 1997 and is the current English Area head. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Dallas in 2000. Her research interests have focused on Southern literature, especially Walker Percy and Caroline Gordon, and she is currently working on a study of the works of the modern Norwegian novelist Sigrid Undset.

    Dr. Matthew Bagot is an Associate Professor of Theology at Spring Hill College specializing in social ethics. He completed his Ph.D. at Boston College in 2010 and presented papers on Catholic social teaching and global democracy at academic conferences in Bangalore, India and New York City in Spring 2015 and in Linkoping, Sweden in Fall 2015. He is the recipient of Spring Hill's Edward B. Moody, S.J. "Teacher of the Year" award for 2013-14.

    Dr. Timothy Carmody is a Professor of Theology at Spring Hill College since 1989 and currently the Director of Graduate Programs in Theology and Ministry. Dr. Carmody is a graduate of The Catholic University of America and a long-time member of the Catholic Biblical Association. His book, Reading the Bible (Paulist Press 2004), is a well-used textbook in college courses and Bible study groups. He is also the author of The Gospel of Mark: Question by Question (Paulist Press 2008).

    Dr. Emily Reimer-Barry is Chair of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego, having taught at San Diego since 2008. She has a Ph.D. from Loyola University Chicago in Christian Ethics and an M.T.S. from Weston Jesuit School of Theology. Her book, Catholic Theology of Marriage in an Era of HIV and AIDS was published in 2015. She also has numerous articles and published reviews in the areas of women religious, sexual ethics, marriage, and Catholic education.

    Looking for Retreat Information?

    Silent Directed Retreats

    • 3, 5 or 8 Day Silent Ignatian Directed Retreat - Mobile: June 9-17, 2017
    • 5 or 8 Day Silent Ignatian Directed Retreat - Atlanta: June 11-17 or July 9-18, 2017

    SICS Brochure & Registration Forms