Dear Lighthouse Trails:
Thank you so much for your site as I have found it to be a great resource to see how the Christian world is slowly shifting into the contemplative/emergent realm.
It is with sadness that I wanted to let you know that I think my former college – Bryan College may be embracing this mindset. In a recent newsletter it is mentioned that they will offer a minor in “Soul care.” As they have been mentioning spiritual formation for a while now without much else to add this seems to be the first fruits of that shift. I have attached the newsletter for reference.
I emailed Mr. Doran to get a reading list and the results are not encouraging:
In the Introduction to Christian Soul Care course that will be offered this Fall, I have selected the following books and authors:
- *Spiritual Direction and the Care of Souls ( David Benner and Gary Moon)
- *Care of the Soul (David Benner)
- *Ministry in the Image of God: The Trinitarian Shape of Christian Service (Stephen Seamands)
I just wanted to email to see if you have heard anything else regarding Bryan.
Feel free to quote my email but please exclude my name.
Thanks, A Lighthouse Trails reader
Our Comments: After doing some research, we would agree with our reader that Bryan College is indeed promoting contemplative spirituality. Another example would be their CT201SEMA – CLF:Spiritual Disciplines (Fall 2011) course which will use a textbook called Disciplines of the Holy Spirit by Siang-Yang Tan. This book is filled with favorable quotes by and references to contemplatives such as Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, and Julian of Norwich (you may do a search on our site for documentation on each of these names). The course also uses a textbook by Francis Chan.
LTRP Note: Bryan College has been added to our list of Christian colleges and seminaries that promote contemplative/spiritual formation. We also added Hope College of Holland, Michigan to our contemplative list today. A look at their 2010 textbook list shows evidence that the teachers at Hope College are turning to contemplative advocates to teach Hope College students. One of the books being used is Adele Ahlberg Calhoun’s book Handbook in Spiritual Disciplines. Lighthouse Trails has included information about Ms. Calhoun’s book in a number of articles because this book is packed with references and quotes by New Age eastern-style mystics and because Rick Warren includes this book in his own list of worthy reads.
We provide this list of contemplative colleges to help parents and students who are wanting to choose schools that are biblically sound. We also provide a small list of schools that are NOT promoting spiritual formation or contemplative prayer.