Richard Carlson to Head Center for Spiritual Direction

Post a Comment » Written on June 16th, 2009     
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CHICAGO, IL (June 16, 2009) – North Park Theological Seminary professor Richard Carlson will become director of the seminary’s Center for Spiritual Direction beginning July 1.

“As one of the original planners and instructors for the certificate program, Richard brings significant experience as he gets started with leading the center’s teaching team and supporters in planning for its future,” said Paul Koptak, associate dean of academic life.

Carlson and his wife, Jolene Bergstrom-Carlson, recently completed the two-year program of the Institute for Spiritual Companionship, enhancing their ministries of spiritual listening and direction, Koptak added. Jolene is the associate superintendent for the Central Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

Spiritual direction is a ministry of listening, discernment, and prayer in a confidential setting of encouragement and compassion. “Through this ministry one finds a spiritual companion who can listen to the stories of one’s life and help discern the presence and work of God’s Spirit,” the center’s website explains. “This companion intentionally sets aside the concerns of his or her own life to listen and attend to the experience of God in the life of the other. The goal of spiritual direction is that those who enter into direction would grow closer to God and become more the persons God created us to be in Jesus Christ.”

The center began with the vision of the Evangelical Covenant Church and funding from the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence grant from the Lilly Endowment. The Center’s vision is to provide education of the highest quality, marked by distinct values of adult learning principles including experience and reflection models that are practitioner based.

Click here to learn more about the center and its mission.

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