Semester Program & Course Descriptions
The Sophia Center's basic academic course of study offers a Master's degree in nine months. It is designed for those who can become full-time students for a traditional late August through May academic year. A rich diversity of courses designed to focus and amplify your spirit.
At the heart of the Sophia Center's course of study is the fourfold wisdom that Thomas Berry offers as a guide to the future: the wisdom of indigenous peoples, the wisdom of women, the wisdom of the classical traditions and the wisdom of science. Our nine-month program for a master's degree or Sophia certificate offers a rich choice of courses that focus and amplify this wisdom.
Students may also attend this program on a part-time basis, completing their course of study on a schedule that fits their personal needs. Residential arrangements are available on campus. This program may also be taken on a part-time basis over more than two semesters.
Spring 2014: Spirituality of Earth, Art and Spirit
Geo-Wisdom, Cosmology and the Human Spirit
Designed to evoke an integral and inclusive human presence that is open to the divine through reflection on story, shared dream experience and engaged cosmology. Participants will focus on the integration of mind and body, science and spirituality, the cognitive and the intuitive, ecology and justice as they prepare to participate in the Great Work of our time, the transformation of the dominant cultural paradigm to make possible a new era of peace and well-being for the entire earth community.
Jim Conlon, PhD, is the director of the Holy Names University/Sophia Center. He has degrees in chemistry, theology, social science and culture and spirituality.
Carol Lee Flinders, PHD, has a doctorate in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley and taught at the Graduate Theological Union. She is the author of Enduring Grace: Living Portraits of Seven Women Mystics, At the Root of This Longing: Reconciling a Spiritual Hunger and a Feminist Thirst, and Enduring Lives: Women and Faith in Action.
Tim Flinders, MA, lectures on mysticism and contemplative spirituality in the Sophia Center program on Culture and Spirituality. He is the author of Sacred Surround: An Introduction to the Thought and Spirituality of Thomas Berry and John Muir: Spiritual Writings.
A Chinese exercise system that emphasizes deep breathing, centering energy and slow, balanced posture to enhance coordination and awareness.
Michelle Dwyer, AA. has been teaching Chinese healing arts and martial arts for over 30 years.
Visions of the Future
In this class we will work together to develop a vision of a new integral ecozoic/theozoic civilization that is emerging at this time on our planet. We will explore what this new civilization might look like, and what we can do now to bring that civilization into full expression on Earth.
Josefina Burgos, AIA, PhD. Born and educated in Santiago, Chile; came to the United States in 1976 and was a practicing architect for 16 years. She completed her MA and PhD studies at California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, where recently she presented a forum entitled: “Becoming: The Concept Where Science and Philosophy Can Meet.”
Mystics in the Modern World
What does it mean to be mystic in the modern world? What can such luminaries as Julian of Norwich and Joanna Macy teach us about living visionary, co-creative, and life-sustaining existences, particularly in times of crisis? With an emphasis on our contemporary context, in this course we will encounter mysticism through a variety of experiences and expressions.
Carrie Rehak, PhD, realizes her artistic, intellectual, and spiritual aspirations through a variety of modes and media, including writing, painting, teaching, and ministry. She received her MA and PhD in theology, with an emphasis in the arts, from the Graduate Theological Union, in Berkeley. In 2000, she opened Epiphania, a sacred arts studio and botanica, and habitat for spiritual activism, contemplative creativity, and compassionate community.
Archetypal Mythology in Dream-Work
In this course we will discuss major archetypal motifs from our own and other cultural mythologies. Exploring through dream-work is a creative and alchemical experience which can be powerfully transformative and healing.
Barry Friedman, PhD, MFT is a psychotherapist and historian of religion practicing in the East Bay.
Painting as Spontaneous Expression
We will use painting as a tool for self-discovery and spiritual exploration. The "Point Zero Method" is a radical way of dissolving creative blocks.
Kathy “Kat” Davis, MA, has a background in art and intuitive energy healing and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, having worked with children, families and individuals for over 20 years.
The Role of Plants as Spiritual Companions and Healers in Afro-Cuban Lucumí Tradition
This course will explore how plants play a central role in the spirituality, cosmology and theology of an African diasporic religion in the Caribbean. We will trace the origins of plant lore to sacred texts and oral histories, which originated in West Africa and became culturally adapted in Cuba and the Caribbean. We will create an awarenes of the centrality of enviro-conciouness as a foundation of indigenous religion and foster this awareness in students as a method of spirtual transformation and enlightement. Plant identification and use will be taught and the students will be shown how to make use of common plants for emotional and spiritual balance.
Maria Concordia has been a student of the Afro-Cuban Lucumí Religion for over 30 years and is one of only 5 women in the world to have achieved the level of Oba Oriate. The Oba Oriate is a position of importance for the transmission and preservation of Lucumí religious cosmology and practice. It requires the memorization of hundreds of prayers, chants and songs in the Anagó language, a deep knowledge of traditional plant use and folklore, and knowledge of Lucumí theology and cosmology.