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Creativity and Divine Surprise: Contemplative Creative Expression in Spiritual Direction and Formation

“Art is Contemplation.”– Auguste Rodin

November 12 – December 21, 2018

Instructor: Rev. Dr. Karla M. Kincannon
Course Fee: $200.00 (includes 2 CEUs)

The spiritual journey and the creative process are full of mystery often taking unexpected twists and turns. Both lead us into places we never intended to go with surprising results. Examining the spiritual journey through the lens of the creative process moves us into the realms of mystics and ancient teachers of the Church by inviting a deep awareness of the Presence of the Holy. If you are ready to explore your own creativity for use as a tool for discernment, healing and reconciliation in spiritual direction/formation ministries, journey with your classmates for six-weeks of discovery and Divine surprises. Explore the connection between creativity and the movements in the spiritual life. Experience various means of contemplative creative expression as tools for knowing God, self and others. Experiments in creative expression will be shared. Participants will design a way to use contemplative creative expression in their locale. No artistic training is necessary.

Who may participate: Individuals who are willing to use their imagination and creativity to enrich their spiritual direction/formation ministry within themselves and their congregation and community.

Required Participation: For 2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs), plan to spend about 3.5 hours per week, reading, working on assigned exercises, posting your responses on Moodle Forums, and responding to postings of other members of the class. Make a total of at least 3 responses each week to classmates’ Forum posts. Post your Forum assignments by 12 midnight on Thursday of each week of the course. You will respond to classmates during the following week as you prepare for the next assignment. There will not be any time that all group members must be present simultaneously during the course. You will need to take photos of your creative expressions and upload them in a .jpg format to Moodle.

Required reading:

  • Karla Kincannon, Creativity and Divine Surprise: Finding the Place of Your Resurrection (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2005).
  • Course handouts/ PowerPoint /YouTube–available from the instructor on line.
  • Class participants will choose one additional reading from the rich resources in spiritual direction/formation ministry to create their specialized learning objectives for the course.

Rev. Karla M. Kincannon, DMin

Reverend Karla M. Kincannon, DMin, is Affiliate Faculty with Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She previously served as Director of Spiritual Formation at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Virginia. Formerly, she served as Assistant Professor and Director of Vocational Formation and Church Leadership and Director of Field Education at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary where she was also the artist-in-residence. Karla believes God’s gift of creativity is an essential tool for navigating the spiritual journey, and a necessary element for the corporate life of the church. She invites others to be courageously creative as a way of knowing God, embodying God’s image, and building God’s kin-dom on earth. She is the author of Creativity and Divine Surprise: Finding the Place of Your Resurrection, as well as numerous articles about the spiritual journey and curriculum for the United Methodist Church. Karla lectures, leads workshops, and facilitates retreats in a variety of ecumenical settings nationwide. She has served as a parish pastor, campus minister, college chaplain and has been a spiritual director for over 25 years. She is an ordained elder in the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church.

You can withdraw from the course in writing via e-mail to Refunds will be provided according to this schedule:
  • Withdrawals received more than 45 days prior to the course's start date will receive 100% of the amount paid.
  • Withdrawals received between 44 to 30 days prior to the course's start date will receive 75% of the amount paid.
  • Withdrawals received between 29 to 16 days prior to the course's start date will receive 50% of the amount paid.
  • No refunds will be issued for withdrawals received 15 days or less before the course starts.