Immersion: Invitation to a Deeper Spiritual Life

NEW DATES May 4-June 13, 2020

Come immerse yourself in this overview of spiritual formation. Those who seek to nourish a deeper relationship with God are sure to gain enrichment as we spend time learning about the history of Christian spirituality and participating in various spiritual practices. If you have ever wanted to try guided meditation, spiritual writing, praying through movement or with centering prayer, meditating with icons and beads, or sitting in contemplative silence, this is the time and place for that to happen. Join us and be refreshed!

The class consists of readings, lectures, group discussions, and personal reflection on your spiritual journey. Community and practical application of acquired knowledge are also a part of this experience. This course serves as the foundational class for the Seminary program to earn a certificate in spiritual formation that explores community-based Christian spirituality. You are welcome to participate in any of the program electives that offer serious contemplation of historical, theological, and spiritual views as well as the practice of prayer, worship, and meditation.

Instructors / Dates / Preparation / Lodging / Questions


Mary Lynn Callahan, Spiritual Life Ministries Director, East Liberty Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, Pa., and Spiritual Director

BJ Woodworth, Lead Pastor, Open Door, Pittsburgh, Pa., and Spiritual Director


Online Introduction and Book Discussion: May 4-15, 2020

Face-to-face (F2F) sessions: May 17, 7:00 p.m.-May 20, 12:30 p.m., 2020

Online Spiritual Formation Practice Sessions: May 13-June 12, 2020

Final session (via ZOOM or in-person at PTS): June 13, 2020

This class will be offered in a hybrid format: some sessions online and others in person (face-to-face/F2F). The final session June 13, 2020, will be offered online via ZOOM or in person at the Seminary should you be planning to attend the O Taste and See! The Spirituality of Food elective beginning June 14, 2020.

Advance Preparation

If you are taking this class for personal enrichment, you are encouraged to read the books, but it is not a requirement for participation. For those enrolled in the Certificate Program for Spiritual Formation, please read the required books (listed below) prior to your arrival. A one-page reflection paper on each required text will be due the first evening of class.


An Invitation To A Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation, revised and expanded edition, M. Robert  Mulholland Jr., InterVarsity Press, 2016

The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality, Ronald Rolheiser, Doubleday, 1999

Living in the Presence: Spiritual Exercises to Open Our Lives to the Awareness of God, Tilden Edwards, HarperOne, 1995


Thirsty for God: A Brief History of Christian Spirituality, 3rd ed., Bradley Holt, Augsburg Fortress, 2017

Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation, Martin Laird, Oxford University Press, 2006


Fee: $385; includes refreshment breaks throughout the course and all meals. Lodging is NOT included.


The class will be held at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. To make room reservations, contact our Hospitality Office at or 412-924-1397. There is limited housing on campus, so make arrangements sooner rather than later. Rooms are private (linens/towels provided) and are $66/night.


Email or call 412-924-1345.