"CATECHESIS AS MONASTICISM: CULTIVATING SINGLE-MINDED DEVOTION IN A FRAGMENTED AGE"
A TWO-Day CONFERENCE featuring GREG PETERS AND GERALD SITTSER
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
FEBRUARY 7-8, 2020 (FRIDAY-SATURDAY)
About the conference
Catechesis and monasticism have a lot in common. On the one hand, the basic structures of the early Christian catechumenate shaped the structures of monastic formation. On the other hand, as Greg Peters argues in his book, The Monkhood of All Believers, the rite of baptism makes all Christians monks—because a monk is not just someone who is single or celibate but someone who is single-mindedly devoted to God. If baptism makes Christians monks, then, what can we learn from the monastic tradition about how to catechize all Christians? What can we glean from the wisdom of the desert that will enable our catechesis to foster Christians who, in our fragmented age, are single-minded in their devotion to Christ?
In this two-day conference, we will learn from two leading theologians and historians of the monastic tradition about how the monks can enrich our approaches to catechesis today. Monastic figures sought a true conversion of life and heart, a reformation of habits and thoughts that curated an integrated, unified life before God. When we think about forming monks as the goal of catechesis, how might this change catechesis?
Ideally suited for pastors, catechists, lay educators, teachers, and seminarians—though welcome to everyone—this two-day immersion in catechesis and monasticism will enable you to learn from some of the best minds in the church today, enjoy the fellowship of like-minded pastors and laypeople, and gain a greater imagination for how the renewal of catechesis can inspire the renewal of the church today.
*Early Registration ends Dec. 15
Friday, Feb. 7–Saturday, Feb. 8, 2019
1504 Bryant Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Format and Schedule
Four presentations over two days, each followed by responses from a priest
or catechist, with additional time for Q&A.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 7
1:00 – 1:30 | Check-in and Welcome
1:30 – 3:00 | Presentation 1: Gerald Sittser, “From Catechumenate to Monasticism”
3:00 – 3:30 | Coffee Break
3:30 – 5:00 | Presentation 2: Gerald Sittser, “Catechesis in John Cassian”
5:00 – 5:30 | Evening Prayer
Friday dinner on your own
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8
8:00 – 8:30 | Morning Prayer
8:30 – 9:00 | Coffee and light breakfast
9:00 – 10:30 | Presentation 3: Greg Peters, “Catechesis in the Rule of St. Benedict”
10:30 – 11:00 | Coffee
11:00 – 12:30 | Presentation 4: Greg Peters, “Monastic Catechesis in the Parish”
12:30 – 1:30 | Midday Prayer and Lunch (provided with registration)
1:30 – 3:00 | Round Table Discussion/Q&A
About the Speakers
Rev. Dr. Greg Peters (PhD, St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto; SMD, Pontificio Ateneo di Sant’Anselmo) is an associate professor at Torrey Honors Institute, a visiting professor of Monastic Studies at Nashotah House, and an ordained Anglican priest. He is a scholar of the history of monasticism and ascetical theology. He enjoys the fiction of Paul Auster, Bernard Malamud, Chinua Achebe, and the nineteenth-century Russian novelists. In addition, Greg loves the poetry of John Donne and George Herbert. When it comes to non-fiction, he enjoys reading anything that has to do with theology, monasticism or the history of the Christian church. When not working or reading Greg enjoys spending time with his wife Christina and two sons: Brendan and Nathanael. Greg is the author of numerous books, including The Monkhood of All Believers: The Monastic Foundation of Christian Spirituality (Baker Academic, 2018); The Story of Monasticism: Retrieving an Ancient Tradition for Contemporary Spirituality (Baker Academic, 2015); and Reforming the Monastery: Protestant Theologies of Religious Life (Cascade, 2014).
Dr. Gerald (“Jerry”) Sittser (PhD, University of Chicago) is Professor of Theology and Senior Fellow in the Office of Church Engagement at Whitworth University in Spokane, WA. He specializes in the History of Christianity, Christian Spirituality, and Religion in American Public Life. He regularly teaches a January-term course entitled, “Monasticism: Old and New,” which meets for three weeks in Tall Timber, WA. In this course, students live together, follow a modified Benedictine Rule, and explore various spiritual traditions that have emerged throughout the history of Christian monasticism. He is the author of eight books, including A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss (Zondervan, 1996), A Cautious Patriotism: The American Churches and the Second World War (University of N.C. Press, 1998), The Will of God as a Way of Life (Zondervan, 2000), When God Doesn’t Answer Your Prayer (Zondervan, 2003), which won the 2005 Gold Medallion Award in the Christian Living category from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association; Water from a Deep Well: Christian Spirituality from Early Martyrs to Modern Missionaries (IVP, 2007), which won the Logos Book Award; and Love One Another: Becoming the Church Jesus Longs For (IVP, 2008). His ninth book—Resilient Faith: How the Early Christian "Third Way" Changed the World—will be released with Brazos Press in Fall 2019. He enjoys music, literature, hiking and woodworking, and he attends the Oregon Shakespeare Festival every year with his family. Married to Patricia since 2010, he has three married children, two married step-children and two grandchildren.
Fr. Lee Nelson, SSC (Christ Church Waco) is a priest, church-planter, and catechist. He is the rector of Christ Church Waco, and for the last several years has served on the Catechesis Task Force of the Anglican Church in North America, which produced To Be a Christian: An Anglican Catechism. As a part of this work, he is currently developing a catechetical consulting practice, aimed at coaching and training clergy and laypeople for the work of catechesis.
Elizabeth Jones (Eucharist Church) co-directs (with Ryan Jones) the Catechumenate at Eucharist Church. She is a regular catechist and offers counseling ministry at Eucharist Church. She obtained her Masters in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University (2017) and is currently training to be a spiritual director. Elizabeth’s passion is to guide people toward wholeness and healing in Christ via full incorporation into Christ and His Body.
Fr. Ryan Jones (Eucharist Church) is the rector of Eucharist Church in San Francisco (C4SO). He holds a BA in Theology (2002) and a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary (2008). He has served as pastor on the staff of three congregations before planting Eucharist Church, and was ordained in 2014 by Bp. Todd Hunter. He co-directs (with Elizabeth Jones) the Catechumenate at Eucharist Church.
Before December 15: $125
After December 15: $150
Before December 15: $95
After December 15: $125
* A limited number of scholarships will be available upon request, primarily intended for students and pastors. Contact Alex Fogleman for more information.
Parking, Travel, Food, and Accommodations
Parking: Limited parking available at Eucharist Church (1504 Bryant Ave).
Airports: San Francisco International Airport (SFO), approx. 15 mins. by car; 30–40 mins. by public transportation; Oakland International Airport (OAK), approx. 30 mins. by car; one hour by public transit.
Food: Light refreshments throughout the conference and lunch on Saturday will be provided with cost of registration.
Additional activities in San Francisco: