Academic Programs 

Secular Journeys on Sacred Paths     (WS-637)
Fall 2006

This course will address our longing for a spirituality deeply rooted in life as we focus on how to discern and trust the Spirit at work among us. We will read books, pray together, share collective wisdom, and learn how to use the mandala, an ancient symbol of integration and wholeness, as a guide for seeing the Sacred inherent in our seemingly secular lives. During the course we will make mandalas to identify faith-based values and significant turning points in our spiritual journey as we chart our individual paths, actual or anticipated, into the heart of God.

Meeting Day, Time and Dates:
Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., beginning September 12 (ten weeks)

Miriam Therese Winter
Professor of Liturgy, Worship and Spirituality

Contact Information:
(860) 509-9558


Course Syllabus


The primary goals of this course are:

  • to present a spirituality deeply rooted in life
  • to explore diverse ways God’s spirit speaks to us and through us to others
  • to learn how to render the secular sacred anytime and anywhere

The primary outcomes of this course are:

  • a mapping of our spiritual journey
  • a recognition of how to discern and name the Sacred in our lives
  • an understanding that our spiritual journey and our everyday lives are one


If you are taking the course for credit, you are expected to:

  • read all the books on the course reading list
  • participate fully in class discussions and activities
  • complete interim assignments
  • contribute creatively to the final class session
  • complete and submit the self-assessment Grade Sheet

If you are auditing the course, you are expected to:

  • read as much as you choose or are able to manage
  • participate in class discussions and activities
On the day that grades are due, students taking the course for credit must submit to the instructor either a Grade Sheet or a signed Incomplete Form (available online or from the registrar).

Grades are due January 12, 2007



Blythe, Teresa A. 50 Ways to Pray. Practices from Many Traditions and Times. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2006.

Cooper, Howard. The Alphabet of Paradise. An A-Z of Spirituality for Everyday Life.Woodstock, VT: Skylight Paths, 2003.

Cunningham, Bailey. Mandala. Journey to the Center. New York: DK, 2002.

Ford, Marcia. The Sacred Art of Forgiveness. Forgiving Ourselves and Others through God’s Grace. Woodstock, VT: Skylight Paths, 2006.

Guerrero, Diana L. What Animals Can Teach Us about Spirituality. Inspiring Lessons from Wild and Tame Creatures. Woodstock, VT: Skylight Paths, 2003.

Lindahl, Kay. The Sacred Art of Listening. Forty Reflections for Cultivating a Spiritual Practice. Woodstock, VT: Skylight Paths, 2002.

Teasdale, Wayne and Howard, Martha, eds. Awakening the Spirit, Inspiring the Soul.
30 Stories of Interspiritual Discovery in the Community of Faiths. Woodstock, VT: Skylight Paths, 2004.

Wakefield, Dan. Releasing the Creative Spirit. Unleash the Creativity in Your Life. Woodstock, VT: Skylight Paths, 2001.

Winter, Miriam Therese. eucharist with a small “e.” Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2005.

“The thread that weaves together
what may seem at first to be
unrelated images and concepts
is the circle, the mandala –
a form that is itself a whole,
while simultaneously part of another whole.
Like a wheel within a wheel,
our lives are lived within the whole of life itself….”

Bailey Cunningham / Mandala: Journey to the Center



Session One    September 12              The Divine Milieu
Reading: Mandala, Cunningham

Session Two    September 19              Journey to the Center
Reading: Mandala, Cunningham

Session Three  September 26              Sacred Story
Reading: Awakening the Spirit, Teasdale and Howard

Session Four    October 3                    The Sacred Art of Listening        
Reading: The Sacred Art of Listening

Session Five    October 10                    Spirituality of Everyday Life
Reading: The Alphabet of Paradise, Cooper

Session Six       October 17                 The Creative Spirit
Reading: Releasing the Creative Spirit, Wakefield
Session Seven   October 24                  Life Lessons from the Wild
Reading: What Animals Can Teach Us, Guerrero

Session Eight    October 31                   The Sacred Art of Forgiveness
Reading: The Sacred Art of Forgiveness, Ford

Session Nine      November 7                 Let Us Pray
Reading: 50 Ways to Pray, Blythe

Session Ten       November 14             Celebrating the Liturgy of Life
Reading: eucharist with a small “e,” Winter

“There are many pathways
to and from
the sanctuary of the heart.
How precious are those that,
step by step,
lead to an inner light.”
Miriam Therese Winter / eucharist with a small “e”


Hartford Seminary  77 Sherman Street  Hartford, CT  06105   860-509-9500