Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Doctorate in the Practices of Monastic Spirituality

Congratulations to Gary Stuckey, with news last week that his doctoral thesis has gained examiners approval and he will graduate Doctor Gary in May. I’ve been working with Gary for the last four years on his Doctor of Ministry. It was a fascinating project that mixed having a go, critical reflection and deep reading in the Christian tradition.

Essentially Gary tried to plant a fresh expression of monastic spirituality. He used a short course approach, offering a year long training in monastic spirituality. At the same time, in order to rigourously test his practice, he sought to measure participant’s spiritual experience, at the start, middle and end.

His thesis reflects on his learnings, all the while reading deeply from across the centuries in how monastic patterns were developed and how they sought to form faith. At the same time, Gary becomes increasingly dis-enchanted with what he considers the historical rootlessness of much of what currently trades as new monasticism.

Finding Your Inner Monk: Development, Presentation and Assessment of the Effectiveness of a Program Introducing the Practices of Monastic Spirituality

With a growing interest in monastic spirituality, Gary Stuckey developed and presented a program introducing participants to historic monastic spirituality and its contemporary significance, and spiritual practices drawn from the Benedictine tradition. His thesis assessed the effectiveness of the program in enhancing participant’s spiritual experience as measured by the Daily Spiritual Experience Scale. The project also identified each participant’s spirituality type with a view to determining whether or not it was people with a more contemplative nature who were attracted to and benefited from the program. Gary found that the program did help enrich people’s spiritual experience. The resource material presented, the learning of and reflecting on spiritual practices, and discussion with other participants were major factors in the outcome. While most participants were of a contemplative type, not all were. Those who were not generally benefited from the program, opening the possibility of its wider application in the future.

It was a fascinating and multi-faceted project to supervise, by a creative, dedicated and hard-working person.

Posted by steve at 12:32 PM

5 Comments

  1. Great to hear of Gary’s ending to his studies. Another DMin for UCLT. Thanks to Steve for his contributions to both our study areas.

    Comment by Bruce Grindlay — April 7, 2015 @ 5:20 pm

  2. wonderful, most wonderful!

    Comment by sarah — April 7, 2015 @ 6:54 pm

  3. Is Gary going to publish his thesis or make it more widely available?

    Comment by Gary Manders — April 9, 2015 @ 11:06 pm

  4. I’m trying to encourage him Gary. He’s a bit over writing at the moment :)

    steve

    Comment by steve taylor — April 9, 2015 @ 11:31 pm

  5. I can completely understand that feeling. I hope he changes his mind.

    Comment by Gary Manders — April 10, 2015 @ 8:06 am

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