Wisdom University - Creation Spirituality by Matthew Fox and James Garrison.

Wisdom University - Spiritual Education in Creation Spirituality.Wisdom University - Spiritual Education in Creation Spirituality.Wisdom University - Spiritual Education in Creation Spirituality.Wisdom University - Spiritual Education in Creation Spirituality.Wisdom University - Spiritual Education in Creation Spirituality.Wisdom University - Spiritual Education in Creation Spirituality.Wisdom University - Spiritual Education in Creation Spirituality.Wisdom University - Spiritual Education in Creation Spirituality.Wisdom University - Spiritual Education in Creation Spirituality.
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About Us

At the heart of everything Wisdom University offers is a commitment to personal and professional renewal. This is why students come, this is what our pedagogy and curriculum are designed to catalyze and nurture. The average student attending Wisdom University is a professional, with an established career, and with one or more academic degrees already in place. Our students are also individuals who have come to the conclusion that they need deeper spiritual challenges in order to maintain momentum and meaning in their lives. They are often seeking professional as well as personal transformation. Wisdom University has been designed for such a person. It has the most highly differentiated pedagogy of any institution of higher learning we know of – an approach that often catalyzes renewal because it addresses and nurtures the whole person.

The distinction of the university’s pedagogy lies in the juxtaposition it maintains between intellectual rigor, artistic expression, and mind/body development. At most institutions of higher education, students engage in intense intellectual work, and success is largely based on one’s ability to memorize information and capacity to express analytical thought. Art and physical exercise are generally optional electives. At Wisdom University, the pedagogy is designed to balance the body, head, heart and psyche as a single learning continuum. Each morning, students begin with physical movement and chanting, called “body prayer.” They then engage in seminars on a range of relevant and intellectually challenging subjects, each of which has an extensive reading list and requires both pre- and post-papers. Each afternoon, students engage in “art as meditation,” exploring a variety of intuitive and artistic expressions. Creativity is not an elective at Wisdom University. Like the wisdom schools in antiquity, learning is predicated on the unity of mind and heart, body and soul. The day is completed with a process session to help integrate the learning that is taking place on all levels.

Another distinct aspect of Wisdom University is that learning takes place in “Intensives.” At most institutions of higher learning, students attend several hours of classes per week over a quarter or a semester. At Wisdom University, learning takes place in Intensives that are either a week long (Monday through Friday) or a weekend (Friday through Sunday). These intensives allow for the intellectual and emotional intimacy that is the basis of real learning. Our experience is that when faculty and students come together all day every day, especially in a residential retreat setting, the learning is both deeper and more personally transformative.

Still another differentiating aspect of Wisdom University involves our commitment to sacred activism, something deeply present in all the wisdom traditions and in the university curriculum. Most schools provide training for degrees but are careful to keep morality a private concern. Either that, or they demand adherence to a particular sectarian belief system. At Wisdom University, we have developed a program that blends immersion in sacred practices with hands-on social activism, enriching both students¹ interior journeys and their service in the larger world. We offer this program as an expression of hope and optimism about what motivated individuals can accomplish.

Sacred activism takes on specific urgency when we realize that we are living in an extraordinary period in which theological apocalypticism –the belief shared by tens of millions of American evangelical Christians, for example, that we are living in the end times – is conflating with secular apocalypticism – the fact that at any time weapons of mass destruction, ecological devastation or economic collapse could, indeed, end the world as we know it. Even as the end of the world and the coming of Jesus is preached from evangelical pulpits, scientists around the world are predicting dire repercussions from our collective refusal to deal seriously with global warming and other serious challenges.

In the midst of this there is something each and every one of us can do. We must deepen our spiritual awareness and refine our social commitments in an integrated act of faith and service. In a time of crisis, spirituality without activism is arid intellectualism. Activism without spirituality has effect but little depth or compassion. What is needed is a radical fusion of the two. This is why, in addition to granting degrees, Wisdom University is developing leadership training in sacred activism. Integrated as a single movement of soul and service, sacred activism can transform lives and help change the world.

Taken together, our multi-dimensional pedagogy, teaching through Intensives, and our commitment to sacred activism act as a profoundly transformative catalyst for participants. As a result, students often refine their life goals, deepen their spiritual commitments, improve their professional and personal relationships, and gain clarity about more effective ways to be of service to their community. Because the whole person is nurtured, the integration of discernment and compassion is enhanced.

Jim Garrison
President
Wisdom University

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