Welcome to my site! The site contains various lectures I have given in recent years at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary and at Redeemer Covenant Church in Caledonia, Michigan. I am particularly interested in topics related to the history of spiritual direction and early Christian spirituality.
The Courses section of the site includes syllabi from courses I teach on a regular basis on the history of Christian spirituality. At the end of each syllabus I've provided an extensive bibliography of helpful books and articles on various aspects of the Church's teaching on spiritual direction and pastoral care during the period covered by the course.
The Themes in Christian Spirituality section contains outlines of several short lectures given on foundational spiritual disciplines (fasting, spiritual discernment, how to plan a spiritual retreat, etc.).
The Spiritual Direction section of the site provides outlines and bibliographies relevant to the training and supervision of spiritual directors.
The Pastoral Ethics section includes the syllabus and selected lectures from a course I teach that discusses the moral and legal issues most commonly faced by clergy and spiritual directors. This includes both topics basic to professional ethics (boundaries in personal and professional relationships, dual roles, abuse of power, sexual and financial misconduct) and issues peculiar to the care of souls and spiritual direction within the Church (spiritual friendship, Christian perspectives on depression and suicide, etc.)
*New! * I have just updated my pastoral ethics syllabus for fall 2013. All the bibliographies have been updated and there is greater coverage of family systems, the role of images in addiction to pornography, and how these can be important precursors of sexual misconduct by the clergy. We will also devote more time to discussing compassionate aftercare for victims of pastoral sexual abuse, issues relating to the discipline of clergy offenders, and how to extend care to the offender's family and the congregation as a whole.