Since the third century Christians have constructed and utilized Abbeys. The Abbey played a powerful role in the life of all those who inhabited it, and also those who lived in the vicinity of the Abbey. For those living in the Abbey, life was communal, filled with constant and consistent spiritual learning, and was a place of productivity for self and always also for others. In fact, often through the labor of those living in the Abbey there would be an abundance (of food, skill, resources) to share with those in need and living nearby. Those seeking refuge from persecution, those in need of education, and those who were simply hungry and thirsty could find help from the Abbey. In short, those living in the Abbey were focused on their life with God, while also have a deep and ongoing concern for the lives and context all around them.
We want to use this notion of an Abbey to describe a portion of your Doctoral studies. Within the CTS Doctor of Ministry program the Abbey is designed to occur at the onset of your Doctoral studies as a place for you to draw near to God and listen well to the Holy Spirit. It is also intended to be a place where you begin to give expression to your scholarly questions. Using a combination of personal reflection, formal writing, and communal conversation, the goal of this course that students clarify and deepen their spiritual and scholarly focus as this new Doctoral adventure begins.