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The Way of Spiritual Fortitude Seminar Series

Fall of 2021

The Way of Spiritual Fortitude

Grounding ourselves for ministry.

Fortitude is an old word we don’t use much these days, but it is a concept worth reclaiming for leaders seeking to respond to the call of God in challenging days.

When ministry presents us with circumstances we have never faced and demands that threaten to overwhelm us, spiritual fortitude grounds us in God, reminds us of our belovedness, and sets us on the strong foundation of grace to follow where God leads.

Join us for a series of conversations in The Way of Spiritual Fortitude so that together we can lead from a foundation of courage and self care.

These 2 hour seminars feature leading theologians and thoughtful spiritual directors who offer wisdom from varied perspectives for sustained spiritual health and strength.

*If you have any trouble registering, please contact Molly Atkinson at

Dates & Speakers – all times EST

October 20th 7pm – Brian McLaren
The Way of Spiritual Fortitude

The Way of Spiritual Fortitude is developing inner strength to face the tasks of ministry without being destructive to our own mental health and spiritual life.

We travel this way by having good self care practices, creating boundaries, and opening our spirit to the leading of God’s spirit.

Join this important conversation to help spiritual leaders begin to develop this foundational space in their lives.

Brian is an author, speaker, activist, and public theologian. A former college English teacher and pastor, he is a passionate advocate for “a new kind of Christianity” – just, generous, and working with people of all faiths for the common good.


October 27th 7pm – Therese Taylor Stinson.
The Way of Spiritual Fortitude: Contemplative Spirituality

Much of our understanding of mysticism and contemplative spiritual practice has come from a European outlook. What can we learn from the indigenous and black contemplative experience? And how does it call us to better know ourselves that we may then serve others?

Come learn how this practice can build The Way of Spiritual Fortitude in your own life as we reflect on its resurgence in the life of the church and consider the work of contemplation in the life of Howard Thurman.

Therese is a spiritual director in private practice; a contemplative leader; a certified lay pastoral caregiver; a mediator; and an award-winning author/editor, awarded Author of the Year in the area of social awareness at the 2018 Indie Author Legacy Awards. She is also Founding Managing Member at Spiritual Directors of Color Network.


November 3rd 7pm – Leeann Younger
The Way of Spiritual Fortitude: Decolonizing Your Practice

There is a particular way of seeing in the church that has come to define what we believe church should be. But that way of seeing has been influenced by centuries of colonization and white privilege.

What would it mean for us to see in a new way? What parts of our experience of church and spiritual practice need decolonized? And how can decolonization build in us The Way of Spiritual Fortitude?

Leeann Younger is the co-founding pastor of Cityview Church, a 10-year-old Pittsburgh congregation. She is currently pursuing a Master of Theological Studies with an emphasis in decolonizing church practices. She’s been married to her church planting partner, Wayne Younger for 25 years and together they’ve raised three children.


November 10th 7pm – Jonathan Tran
The Way of Spiritual Fortitude: Faith and Doubt

Frederick Buechner famously said ‘doubt is the ants in the pants of faith. They keep it awake and moving.’ Yet doubt in ministry can be looked at as a failing or a lack of faith rather than an essential part of it.

What dangers does doubt present, and how does faith and fortitude depend on those dangers? Are the ways we think about faith, belief, and trust complex enough to actually make sense of our lives? In what ways does doubt nourish the life of faith as God expands our capacities for wonder and imagination, hope and longing, love and life?

Jonathan is the Associate Professor of Philosophical Theology and George W. Baines Chair of Religion at Baylor University. His research examines the theological and political implications of human life in language and his latest book is ‘Asian Americans and the Spirit of Racial Capitalism.’


Can doubt help us build The Way of Spiritual Fortitude rather than be a stumbling block for it?

What does it mean to ‘trust’ our faith journey when we no longer ‘believe’ the way we used to believe?