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Henri J.M. Nouwen: The Wounded Healer (Certificate in Spiritual Formation)

“We are healed by his wounds,” it is said of Jesus. But our spiritual lives may be shaped and healed by our own wounds as well. We have “wounds with a view” that open us to new possibilities, enlarging our compassion, expanding our prayer life. “What seemed primarily painful may then become a feeling that…opens for you the way to an even deeper knowledge of God’s love,” Henri Nouwen journaled to himself in his deeply personal The Inner Voice of Love. In one of his earliest books, he described the minister (everyChristian) as The Wounded Healer.

“The really great saints of history don’t ask for imitation. Their way was unique and cannot be repeated. But they invite us into their lives and offer a hospitable space for our own search,” Henri wrote in Reaching Out: Three Movements of the Spiritual Life. This class is an invitation to your own search for quiet and meaning.

A Roman Catholic priest from Holland, Nouwen taught at the University of Notre Dame, Yale and Harvard Divinity Schools, and had two extended stays in a Trappist monastery. Yet he felt drawn to ministry among the most vulnerable, first among the poor in Latin America, and finally among people with disabilities in the ecumenical L’Arche community. Along the way, he published more than forty books on the spiritual life; a dozen more have emerged from his files since his death in 1996.

No previous exposure to Henri is necessary, and those familiar with his writings will be enriched by additional details and insights. Recommended reading in preparation for the course are Nouwen’s Can You Drink the Cup?,The Inner Voice of LoveThe Return of the Prodigal Son and Glaser’s Henri’s Mantle.

Instructor: Rev. Chris Glaser, M.Div., author of a dozen books and a “contemplative” blogger, studied with Henri at Yale Divinity School in the mid-70s, keeping in touch as friends in the decades that followed. Nouwen’s death prompted Glaser to begin leading workshops and retreats on his spiritual mentor’s work to help others discern and cultivate their own spirituality, culminating in Henri’s Mantle: 100 Meditations on Nouwen’s Legacy (Pilgrim Press, 2002). See www.chrisglaser.comand for more on Chris.

This class is open to everyone. Credit towards the Certificate in Spiritual Formation will be given to those who complete the pre and post course assignments. If you have not received the reading list for this class by November 28, 2012, please contact

The program fee includes Thursday dinner and lunch Friday and Saturday. Saturday evening we will celebrate our time together and eat at a local restaurant. Everyone will pay individually at the restaurant for Saturday dinner. Otherwise, breakfast and dinner will be available a la carte in the dining room. The Harrington Center also has a kitchen available for your use.

Location: Columbia Theological Seminary, Harrington Center

Program Fees:

$285 Program fee

$210 Program fee for Certificate in Spiritual Formation Graduates

$ 0 Full Time CTS Faculty/Staff/Basic Degree students/spouses (limited number)

Housing: Guest rooms for this event: $32 (per person per night, 2 people in room, plus 7% tax) OR $49 (per night, single occupancy, plus 7% tax – if available).


Click here to register online with a credit card.

Click here to register by mail with a check.


February 28, 2013
March 3, 2013
Columbia Theological Seminary, Harrington Center
701 S. Columbia Dr.
Decatur GA United States
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