Thursday, September 15, 2016

401: SACRAMENTS in the 21st Century: Sacred Heritage and New Story


This course presents sacramental development throughout history and the ongoing development of both theologies and rites. The history exposes how church fathers and scholastic theologians misinterpreted ancient texts to prove Catholic doctrine. The course introduces critical analysis of sacramental theologies that no longer meet the needs of contemporary Catholics and reimagines sacramental experiences and rituals in a diversified global church.
The core text for this course is Deconstructing Sacramental Theology and Reconstructing Catholic Ritual by Joseph Martos. Drawing upon his decades-long study of the sacraments, Martos reveals how teachings that seemed rooted in the scriptures and Catholic life have become unmoored from the contexts in which they arose, and why seemingly eternal truths are actually historically relative. He concludes, “Medieval Catholic theology of sacraments, although plausible in its day, is no longer acceptable.”
In addition to the core text, a variety of resources will be introduced during the course to supplement a particular topic.
Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Dr. Mary Theresa Streck, ARCWP
People's Catholic Seminary
PO Box 421
Watervliet, NY 12189

Course Facilitators:

On-line course is provided as an independent study or in a cohort when available.

register now at

Cost: $100

mail checks to:

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

301: Moments with the Mystery: Deepening Connection with Your Creative Source

Facilitator: Dr. Eileen Knoff
Date: TBA

Course Rationale

This course provides guidance to support you in reflecting on your moments of encounter with the sacred source/mystery within you with a goal of deepening insight into the meaning these experiences have for you now. It is designed to help you more fully embrace who you are, what your purpose/call/vocation is on this planet and to take a step closer to living creatively, and fully, into that call. We will make use of several texts, the primary ones being

Matthew Fox’s work Creativity and Wayne Teasdale’s The Mystic Heart. Other suggested readings included at the end of this description and are encouraged. You may want to read from specific mystics of the various traditions for special projects.

Course Design

This eight-week course is designed to take the form of independent study along with several conversation threads being shared via email with fellow students and the instructor. Between reading and posting online, you will be writing, reflecting on your writing, and reading from the suggested texts. The instructor will check and comment on postings weekly. You can read and add posts at any time, with the caveat that no one monopolize the conversation. Please make room for all participants to post and keep your posts to the point of the conversation. 

About Eileen Knoff

Eileen studied at Seattle University in pastoral ministry and transforming spirituality, earning an M.A. in 2001 and several post-master’s certificates in subsequent years. She completed a doctorate of ministry from Global Ministries University in 2012, including studies in mysticism, feminism, Celtic spirituality, and new models of ordained ministry. She earned a B. A. from the University of Michigan in 1976 and an M.A. from the University of California (1980) in English and literature, and served as a teacher, writer, and editor before entering spiritual ministry.

Eileen founded Brigid's Circle as an online contemplative and compassionate conversation with roots in Celtic spirituality in 2008. The group later migrated to Facebook where they now share contemplative and compassionate spiritual conversation. Eileen founded and co-facilitates an interspiritual gathering called Brigid's Table, in Kirkland, Washington, which currently meets monthly.

Eileen was ordained in 2011 by friends and colleagues who are part of diverse denominations and multiple faith traditions in Seattle. This ordination received the affirmation from both CORPUS and the Progressive Christian Alliance (PCA) and people from diverse Catholic reform groups. She remains an active member of the PCA, and CORPUS, which describes itself as “a faith community affirming an inclusive priesthood rooted in a reformed and renewed Church.”

In 2011 she published a collection of reflections, including her own, called Seasoning the Soul. The book takes readers on a contemplative journey through the year by way of the Celtic calendar and a Celtic spiritual perspective on life and death and their integration. She is currently working on a collection of her own poetry and hopes to craft a memoir of her experience as an evolving Catholic. A working title for that story is “Dark Graces. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

202. Jesus of Nazareth, Christ of the Cosmos: Model for Living Gospel Equality Today

202 - Jesus of Nazareth, Christ of the Cosmos: Model for Living Gospel Equality Today
Facilitators: Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan and Dr. Mary Theresa Streck

 Course Description

Jesus of Nazareth, a Jewish mystic, healer, visionary, prophet, teacher, Wisdom Incarnate, reflected the fullness of God’s love and presence. He is our model for living Gospel equality and justice today. He said a lot about money, power and exploitation. He occupied the Temple in Jerusalem and threw out those who were oppressing the poor. Jesus disciples included “women of means” like Mary of Magdala and other women who supported his ministry. Jesus reflects the reality that God loves the excluded, and desires their flourishing. He challenged religious and civil authorities, questioned religious beliefs, and presented a new path for inclusiveness , justice, equality that all believers need today to confront systemic injustice and global inequality in religion and society. He did this and so much more. This course presents an in-depth introduction to Jesus of Nazareth and Christ of the Cosmos from the perspective of contemporary scholarship.

Course registration opens: TBA

Course Overview available upon request.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

101. Contemporary Theology for the People of God

Welcome to PCS 101: Contemporary Theology for the People of God. 

Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan and Dr. Mary Theresa Streck are the facilitators of this on-line course. They are available to you through out the course through email at

This course integrates theological insights and spiritual experiences to develop commonsense approaches for living a faith-filled life of contemplation, compassion and prophetic justice in our world today. The aim is to inspire all to be visionaries, mystics and prophets in our time.

Our primary text for this course is Elizabeth A. Johnson's Abounding In Kindness (published in 2015). Dr. Elizabeth Johnson is a contemporary Catholic theologian whose provocative presentations appeal to wide audiences worldwide. Other resources are introduced during the course to supplement a particular topic. We invite participants to share resources as well.

To better understand why we have chosen Elizabeth Johnson's work, please take a few minutes to view the following YouTube video about Elizabeth Johnson in the words of those who know her well. This tribute to her explains her monumental contribution to contemporary theology and the price she paid for it.

Questing for God

The course is available as an independent study or with a cohort. In a cohort model, the 12 week course is presented in six sessions. Each session presents a tapestry of the Holy One, the Great Mystery, present in all and Who lovingly invites us into the fullness of life for all creation. 

Course Facilitators:

Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP
Bridget Mary Meehan, MA, DMin, ARCWP, a Sister for Christian Community, is one of the founding members of the People’s Catholic Seminary. She is a member of the pastoral team at Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida. Bridget Mary presides at liturgies, officiates at weddings and offers sacramental ministry. She is an author of twenty books.  Her work in communications media include programs about women priests on Google and YouTube. Bridget Mary was ordained a priest in the first USA ordination in Pittsburgh on July 31, 2006 and was ordained a bishop in Santa Barbara, California on April 19, 2009.

Dr. Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP

Mary Theresa Streck, Ed.D., DMin, 
is one of the founding members of the People’s Catholic Seminary. She is a member of the pastoral team at the Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community in Albany, NY. She presides at liturgies, officiates at weddings and offers sacramental ministry and is a member of the ARCWP Program of Preparation team. She earned a Doctorate in Education Leadership from the Sage Colleges and a Doctorate in Ministry from Global Ministries University. She was ordained a priest on September 15, 2013.

Cost: $100 (financial aid available)
Register now at

Mail check or money order to:
People's Catholic Seminary
PO Box 421
Watervliet, NY 12189