God’s Promise Fulfilled is a sequence of two one-year residential courses to be offered by School of the Spirit Ministry, beginning May 2025 as a successor to the On Being A Spiritual Nurturer program.

What does this mean?

Program Overview & Schedule

Join a cohort of two dozen people willing to test the proposition that there is an Inner Teacher, called by many names in the Bible and throughout history, who promises us “Life more abundant” (John 10:10) if we commit.

We will nurture each other spiritually to grow into that commitment and claim its gifts, trusting in the Spirit of Christ to stretch our capacity for prophetic listening and courageous love.  This experiment in faithfulness and community will take place over two years. These years are designed as a series, with participants having the option to join either or both.


During year one, we will focus on the INHALE

Deepening our connection to the Source and experimenting with how to align our outward lives with what we hear inwardly from God.  Four residential weekends will follow an arc of learning that begins with our inner experience, explores what integrity asks of us and situates that intention firmly in the reality of a world unraveling around us.

God’s Promise
May 22-26, 2025
Memorial Day
 Thurs-Mon
Naming the Powers
Aug 28-Sept 1, 2025
Labor Day
Thurs-Mon
Surrender to the Flow
Nov 7-11, 2025
Veterans Day
Fri-Tues
In the Creator’s Image
Feb 13-16, 2026
Presidents’ Day
Thurs-Mon
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In year two, we will turn to the EXHALE

From a base of our own solid spiritual groundedness, how does God call us to Creativity (spiritual nurture of the world)?  These four residencies explore our lives as testimonies and witnesses to the Transforming Power of living in God’s promise: discerning the unique way that God calls each of us to be and serve in the world (out of everything that needs to be done) and readying ourselves to be faithful to that call.
Not One Thing More
May 21-25, 2026
Memorial Day
Thurs-Mon
Engaging the Powers
Sept 3-7, 2026
Labor Day
Thurs-Mon
Spiritual Muscle
November 11-15, 2026
Veteran’s Day
Wed-Sun
Claiming Joy
Feb 11-15, 2027
President’s Day
Thurs-Mon

The program will be hybrid and individuals may commit to participate either online or in person.

See PROGRAM GUIDE for residencies and non-residential program elements

See MONEY MATTERS for cost and scholarship information

See LEADERSHIP to get to know Adria and Joann and their work

See APPLICATION
if you want to
join this cohort

See PROGRAM GUIDE for specifics on the residencies and non-residential program elements

See MONEY MATTERS for cost and scholarship information

See LEADERSHIP TEAM to get to know Adria and Joann and their work

See APPLICATION if you want to join this cohort

"God is dwelling with you in the midst of all the pain, suffering, and oppression. You are called to be faithful, even when you are being crushed. Be that holy city and a light to the nations. Come out of empire... God is with you now. Now is the time of victory so live as though that reality is here."

-C Wess Daniels, Resisting Empire
Photos by Brad Shaw

Come As You Are: A Spiritual Welcome​

This course took shape over many months of prayerful listening, reflection and conversation. 


As we explored the needs of God’s people and how we were called to respond, two things became abundantly clear.


First, the need for a space in which to wrestle with the spiritual poverty and desolation of our time is real and deep across the theological spectrum. From unaffiliated spiritual seekers to liberal Quakers to Bible-believing Evangelicals, we keep hearing the same suspicion that the spiritual reality we’re living in is something less than the Beloved Community. Across the theological spectrum, we all have the same hunger after Truth and Life in the midst of so much disappointment, disillusionment and confusion.

Second, our time together will be richer in a context where our journeys are respected but our unexamined assumptions are not. That dynamic – loving and challenging, gentle and brave – requires sensitivity, humility, and a willingness to speak in integrity from our own experience.

Adria: 

I was drawn to Friends because of our distinct Quaker way of approaching the Gospel, the walk of faith and the battle between good and evil – what Friends traditionally call “the Lamb’s War.” Therefore, I use language for spiritual matters that thoroughly reflects the faith, articulated by George Fox and centuries of Friends since, that Christ is the true Light that enlightens every person who comes into the world. That is my identity as a Friend, and I make no apologies for it. But I never want my approach to be a stumbling block to anyone as they journey closer to God, so please translate, if you need to, into a language that feels more true to your experience. That said, if you are feeling especially courageous, I invite you to try not translating my language and instead being challenged by it. This, too, can be a gift.

Joann: 

My childhood faith community called itself Evangelical Fundamentalist, and was filled with Bible drills, camp meetings and altar calls. It became too small and transactional for me – trading good behavior for eternity in heaven just wasn’t credible as a response to the magnificence and wonder of Creation. So for a time I called myself “post-Christian,” explored Wiccan calendar rhythms, and shuddered at Christian language. My own experience with the predecessor to this course – On Being A Spiritual Nurturer – marks a sharp transformational turn for me. It opened the door to deep contemplative practice, which made my heart leap for joy. I knew I’d found the home where I could pursue my felt experiential connection to the Divine Mystery. The course also gifted me with Marcus Borg’s On Speaking Christian which invited me to take back grace-filled Christian language from literalist Bible readers; what a surprise to find powerful alternative readings for concepts like salvation, grace, sin, righteousness and being born again. While my own heart language continues to be universalist Spirit language, I’ve reclaimed access to the wisdom of centuries of Quakers and other seekers for whom Christian language sings.

As you consider whether this program is right for you, we invite you to embrace the invitation to stand firmly in your own experience of Mystery, Grace and Power, while holding the experience of others with tenderness and care as we explore the Promise that God invites us to give our lives to, the Promise that gives us life.

Testimonials

Photos by Brad Shaw

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Photos by Brad Shaw
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What does it mean to be “A Successor to the On Being A Spiritual Nurturer program”?

The School of the Spirit Ministry was born as “a ministry of prayer and learning.” Three founders, Kathryn Damiano, Fran Taber, and Sonny Cronk felt a call to deepen the contemplative capacity in the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Kathryn explained:

This ministry arises from … a recognition that God is leading some Friends to a life centered in prayer as an active witness in the world. (This leading parallels the way in which God calls certain Friends to work in such areas as peace and social justice.) … Many Friends have also expressed a need for doing serious reflections and study on ministry and the call to live in faithful relationship with God. They would like to do this work within the context of a community of prayerful commitment.

Eleven classes of participants over the 30+ years since have experienced the transformation possible when one sets aside time for cultivating the inner life, for becoming part of a cohort who undertake study and prayer together, for prioritizing relationship with Spirit, and for supporting each other in faithfulness. Click to view a video of previous participants sharing their experiences.

As the course got further in time from the vision that had inspired it, the governance board seriously entertained the possibility that this call had run its course. Over the next three years, prayerful discernment convinced the School of the Spirit board that they were not, in fact, released from the concern for nurturing spiritual vitality and depth at an individual level. Instead, two complementary programs have emerged:

  • This offering, “God’s Promise Fulfilled: Encountering and Embodying Grace in the Shadow of Empire,” (which begins in 2025) is designed to accompany participants through establishing a robust relationship with the Divine, listening for guidance from one’s Inner Teacher, aligning one’s outer “doing” with that inner “knowing,” and discerning from that grounded place what constitutes one’s unique work in the world.
  • Participating in God’s Power (whose second cohort begins its year-long work in February of 2024) is designed to explore, identify and dismantle barriers to faithfulness that keep us from being fully responsive to what we know is ours to do, when we worship with our whole selves – body, mind and spirit.

We understand both these undertakings to be offspring from the original call felt by the School of the Spirit founders, and we hope that they would recognize the shared core commitment to “study and prayer.”

In case you wonder ...

What does it mean to live “in the shadow of Empire”?

When the Church was born in the heart of the Roman Empire, it was situated in a civilization at the height of its power.

Rome’s superpower status was evident in its military might, as the feared Roman legions marched on three continents, defeating, enslaving and dispersing native populations that dared resist. Its engineering prowess was unmatched, manifesting itself in innovations of architecture and infrastructure – roads, temples, stadiums, aqueducts – that still stand to this day. Its cultural sophistication in philosophy, drama and religion were exceptional, enriched as they were by the tension between Rome’s ancient traditions and the fresh perspectives constantly being assimilated through conquest and trade. It was a monument to human ingenuity and creativity. It was a monument to human power.

But at the core of that monument was rot.

Because the soul of the Roman Empire, and of every system of Empire, is a vicious dynamic of domination and control. Empire’s economy relies on extraction, creating fabulous wealth for a small class of people by subjugating the masses and Creation itself to an existence marked by exploitation, abuse, and inevitable exhaustion. Relationships in Empire are characterized by predation, with the powerless – children, elders, the poor, the fragile, those unprotected by status – used up for the pleasure and enrichment of the powerful until they have no remaining value, then discarded. Recreation in Empire tends away from the useful and creative and toward the violent and degrading, as its subjects seek distraction from their increasing sense of misery and futility. The logic of Empire is the logic of the pillager or the unfettered marketplace, with nothing so sacred that it cannot be stolen, destroyed or corrupted by greed. And the smooth functioning of the Empire system is guaranteed by the power of the sword.

Empire is not a specific time or place but a spiritual reality that reasserts itself periodically in human history, as knowledge, power and appetite detach themselves from compassion. And right now, that reality is where we live. But what could it look like to live in the shadow of the Empire but nevertheless to reject its deadly logic?