1) To enable students to have a conceptual understanding of the retreat
experience within a historical perspective of world religious traditions
To explore retreat designs for a) church-wide retreats, b) youth
retreats, c) older adult retreats, d) personally guided retreats, e) private
retreats and holistic yoga/meditation retreats
3) To experience numerous techniques and models used within the various
religious retreat traditions.
To develop the skills to plan, organize, implement and evaluate a retreat
5) To utilize the journal integrate the experience and knowledge of the
retreat into one’s personal life journey and goals
interactive dialogue, integrative strategies and techniques, musical selections,
guest speakers, (if appropriate) a visit to a multi-faceted retreat center and a retreat experience.
of the Course
1) The historical development of retreats within the
great mystical traditions of the world
2) Retreat strategies for congregations
3) Meditation and yoga retreats; prayer of the heart and prayer of the body
4) Private and directed retreats; discernment
within Ignatian spirituality
5) Spiritual guidance; Scriptures, nature, dreams, relationships
6) Organizational skills: working through resistance to transformation
7) Maintaining healthy, balanced leaders
Norris, Kathleen … The Cloister Walk, paperback – Riverhead Books
Wayne … The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the
World’s Religions, paperback – New World Library
Thomas Hart... Coming Down the
Mountain: How to Turn your Retreat into Everyday Living, paperback -
Thomas Ryan... Four Steps to
Freedom, paperback - Paulist Press
Nancy Tatom … Congregation & Community, Rutgers University
Mircea …The Sacred and Profane: The Nature of Religion, Harcourt Press
Carl … Modern Man in Search of a Soul, Harcourt Press
Jim et al. … Leading Congregational Change: A Practical Guide for the
Transformational Journey, Jossey-Bass Publishers
Donna … Spiritlinking Leadership: Working Through Resistance to Organizational
Change, Paulist Press
Wolfhart … Christianity in a Secularized World, Crossroad
Thomas … Prayer of Heart and Body: Meditation and Yoga as Christian Spiritual
Practice, Paulist Press
Thomas … Disciplines for Christian Living: Interfaith Perspectives, Paulist
Rachel … Yoga for your Spiritual Muscles, Quest Books
Loughlan et al. …The Collaborative Leader: Listening to the Wisdom of God’s
Pierre … Discernment: The Art of Choosing Well, Triumph Books
Pierre … The Hungry Heart: Answers to the 20 Most-Asked Questions About
Prayer, Triumph Books
Pierre … The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius, Triumph Books.
1) Class presence, informed interaction and participation in the retreat
planning, development, implementation and evaluation process as indicative of
the integration of the material presented/discussed
2) Students working in teams prepare a model retreat experience.
A supportive paper outlining the theoretical/conceptual/theological
framework for this model is expected.
3) With the assistance of the Journal, students demonstrate a personal
integration of the material covered and its application to life situations.
Baxer is director of Global Network Consultants. Affiliated with the Reformed
Catholic Church, he has worked as a priest-consultant for the past 30 years.
During that time, he has led retreats, seminars, workshops and
travel/study groups in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. He has
taught as adjunct professor both at St Joseph College in West Hartford and Emory
in Atlanta. The focus has primarily been to expand spiritual awareness,
sensitizing individuals to different societal segments and faith traditions of
the human community. Mutual
acceptance and respect, stimulated through interracial and intercultural
dialogue, have enabled participants to move beyond stereotypical
characterizations of individuals, ethnic groups or religious traditions.
He holds graduate degrees in philosophy, theology, sociology, psychology
and organizational development from Universities in the United States and
Europe. Based in Europe for ten
years, he speaks French, Spanish and Italian.
Presently, he resides with his wife Barbara in Connecticut.