Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Brew Like a Monk: Spiritual Practice as Fermentation

A Spiritual Formation Elective


B.J. Woodworth, Lead Pastor, The Open Door, and homebrewer


Sept. 17-20, 2017


For centuries, beer has been a means for spiritual growth - from monks embracing the contemplative process of brewing "liquid bread" to the ways it has stimulated meaningful conversations when shared. Fermentation as well provides a rich metaphor for the transformation into which the Spirit invites us. Come explore the connections among beer, monastic practice, and spiritual "fermentation."

To learn more about the spirituality of beer, read this recent article sharing how "Doppelbock is THE beer of Lent" and this class's instructor is one of its "evangelists."

Registration / Housing / Directions

The registration fee for this course is $375 plus a $30 activity fee (T=$405). The registration includes refreshment breaks, Monday lunch and dinner, and Tuesday lunch; remaining meals and lodging are the student's responsibility.



Limited housing is available on the Seminary campus. To reserve a room, contact our Reception Office at reception@pts.edu or 412-924-1397.

Directions to the Seminary can be found HERE.

Required Reading

The instructor has not yet completed selecting books for this class but those that are chosen are noted below. Do your best to read these books before your arrival. If you wish to be in the Spiritual Formation Certificate program, you should prepare a one-page reflection paper for each selected book; these will be collected the first evening of class. If you do not plan to seek the certificate but are taking the class for personal enrichment, the reflection papers are not required but we strongly encourage you to read the texts to get as much as possible from the class time. Books can be purchased via the Seminary's Virtual Bookstore under the Continuing Education tab.

  • Bamforth, C. (2009). Beer: Tap into the Art and Science of Brewing Hardcover. Oxford University Press.


Email ConEd@pts.edu or call 412-924-1345.  We'll be happy to help.