Spiritual Life Institute will explore the living, transforming truth

March 31, 2005

Lacey, Wash. – The annual Saint Martin’s College Spiritual Life Institute, June 20-24, offers this year’s participants an opportunity to reflect on the choice between a living, transforming truth of nonviolence or deadly cultural assumptions that, once played out, become our judgment. Registration for the ecumenical institute is now beginning and is open not only to those engaged in professional ministry, but also to students and individuals seeking personal enrichment and spiritual growth.

Now in its 23rd year, the institute is a theology program designed to focus on spirituality for today’s world. Each year, well-known theologians for social justice and peacemaking share their thoughts and experiences to inspire awareness and deepen the spiritual journey of participants.

This year’s institute bears the title, “The Living Transforming Truth: The Spiritual Journey of Nonviolence, Peace and Justice Today.” The faculty members will be long-time social activists Jim and Shelley Douglass, who in 1977 co-founded the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Poulsbo, Wash. Shelley Douglass studied theology at the Vancouver School of Theology and has long worked for civil and women’s rights while protesting against nuclear weapons and warfare. She is also the founder of Mary’s House Catholic Worker, which provides hospitality to homeless families. Jim Douglass has taught theology at the University of Notre Dame, as well as serving as an advisor on questions of nuclear war and conscientious objection to Catholic bishops at the second Vatican Council from 1963 to 1965. He has traveled repeatedly to Iraq to deliver medicines to children’s hospitals and was recently a member of the Christian Peacemaker’s team in Baghdad.

Each faculty member will deliver a free public lecture during the week of the institute. The lectures are at 7:30 p.m. at the college’s Worthington Conference Center, 5300 Pacific Ave. SE. The schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, June 21: “JFK, Thomas Merton, and the Unspeakable,” presented by Jim Douglass. Wednesday, June 22: “What is Truth? Choices in John’s Gospel and Today,” presented by Shelley Douglass. Thursday, June 23: “Conversation Partners: Creatively and Critically Engaging the Vision of Shelley and Jim Douglass from the Perspective of Various Disciplines,” presented by members of the Saint Martin’s College faculty.

Undergraduate students will receive three semester credits for completing all the requirements of the Spiritual Life Institute, which include attending all classes, lectures and presentations, as well as submitting an extensive critical journal. The institute will also be offered to participants involved in ministry work who are seeking continuing education credit. Members of the public are welcome to attend for their own personal enrichment and spiritual growth.

For more information about the institute, cost of the program, or the evening lecture series, please contact 360-438-4564, e-mail sli@stmartin.edu, or visit the college’s website at www.stmartin.edu/spiritual_life.

Angie Gross
Institute assistant director
360-438-4564; sli@stmartin.edu

Deanna Partlow
Senior editor; media relations coordinator
360-438-4541; dpartlow@stmartin.edu