St. Benedict’s Workshop d/b/a The Workshop is an ecumenical, Benedictine-based learning community of Christian disciples who are energetic and engaged in learning about the life-giving ways of Jesus Christ and who seek significant and lasting change in their own lives and in their many communities.
Core Vocation of St. Benedict’s Workshop: equipping individuals and communities to use the Bible for practicing discernment and discipleship in daily life and nurturing their transformation over time into the image of Christ.
The name “St. Benedict’s Workshop” is derived from the Rule of St. Benedict. Benedict set out to “establish a school for the Lord’s service” (Rule of Benedict, Prologue 45). Chapter 4 of the Rule, entitled “The Tools for Good Works,” identifies what Benedict calls the “tools of the spiritual craft” (Rule of Benedict 4:75). “The workshop where we are to toil faithfully at all these tasks is the enclosure of the monastery and stability in the community” (Rule of Benedict 4:78). St. Benedict’s Workshop seeks to be a community with stability that allows us to “toil faithfully at all these tasks” as we learn together in the Lord’s service and over time grow into the full stature of Christ.
Learning is the search for meaning and coherence in one’s life. Learning requires some kind of change in the learner. Significant learning requires lasting change in the learner (L. Dee Fink in Creating Significant Learning Experiences, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003). Our hope is that your studies of the Bible through the Workshop’s various classes, reflection groups, workshops and retreats will engage you, energize you, and create some significant and lasting changes in your life. We also hope that your studies with us will enable you to contribute in new and creative ways to the many communities of which you are a part.
Outcomes and Learning Goals for Workshop Participants:
- Participants care more about reading the Bible and do it with greater regularity;
- Participants are more eager to learn what biblical writers say about daily life;
- Participants know more about the first-century world and better understand how this historical knowledge informs their reading/interpretation of biblical texts;
- Participants know more about what it means to be “mature” in Christ;
- Participants are better practitioners of “close reading” of biblical texts;
- Participants are better able to use critical thinking in connection with biblical texts;
- Participants are better able to apply the reasoning of a particular biblical writer to analyze and respond to modern day issues and problems;
- Participants are better able to see and interpret the world as God in Christ does, and they recognize the need for change – in their own lives and in the world – and this recognition inspires them to become agents of change in their world;
- Participants more regularly use biblical texts to shape their decision-making in daily life and discipleship;
- Participants become more active leaders in their own faith communities;
- Participants become more active in service and ministry to their local community.