Created by Immaculate Conception School of Theology, the Institute for Christian Spirituality provides a premier center where those already in ministry or those considering a vocation to ministry may obtain a solid foundation in their faith, learn effective skills in pastoral ministry and leadership, and be given tools for discernment and spiritual growth -- all in an atmosphere of collaboration and camaraderie.
Taking its charge from 2 Timothy 1:6, "I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God within you …," the institute seeks to spark interest in spirituality and ministry, fostering collaboration and community building through prayerful and supportive discussion and learning. The institute's goal is to remind those called to ministry of their own God-given talents and their responsibility to help others recognize hidden gifts, discern tools needed to ignite sparks in others that have never caught fire, and reignite embers that have burned out, but that can be stirred into an even greater flame.
The Institute for Christian Spirituality comprises four "Making Connections" programs:
- Great Spiritual Books
- Center for Workplace Spirituality
- Center for Prayerfully Speaking
- Seminary's Theological Education for Parish Services (STEPS)
All four programs seek “to connect” the Seminary with the local Christian community and are designed to call, to inspire, to train and to sustain excellent pastoral ministry.
Monsignor Robert F. Coleman, '74, J.C.D., rector and dean, communicated the enthusiasm of the Seminary community: "Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology is so blessed to have been awarded a generous grant by the Lilly Endowment Inc. for the 'Making Connections' initiative. This is a tremendous opportunity for the School of Theology to create new offerings that will expand the various degree and certificate programs already in place. The Institute for Christian Spirituality, the centerpiece of the grant proposal, will give the faculty exciting new challenges in research and teaching, and will reach out to many more people to allow them to experience the best offerings in spiritual and pastoral theology. The leadership of the new co-directors, Dianne Traflet and Father Joseph Chapel, both ICSST associate deans, and so many others who will work with them, will guarantee the success of this exciting new venture.”