Statement of Purpose
To research, interpret, and cultivate the Christian’s relationship with God through Jesus Christ, both in individual and corporate dimensions, through the exploration of semi-monastic lifestyle, academic pursuit, ecumenical experience, and relevant expression.
Affiliations and Accountability within the Christian Tradition
Spirituality Shoppe is ecumenical in its structure and purpose, yet seeks to give special place to the tradition of “evangelical” Protestantism. In doing so it maintains affiliation and accountable relationships with the scholarly and popular communities of evangelicalism as well as with the community of scholars in Christian spirituality. Spirituality Shoppe is one of the few centers in the nation devoted to the study of Christian spirituality from an evangelical perspective.
History and Organization
The initial idea for a resource center which would serve the renewal of local churches began in 1976. Founder Evan B. Howard’s interest in church renewal joined with a vision for foundational academic work in evangelical spirituality and the present Center was conceived in 1995. Spirituality Shoppe was incorporated in the summer of 1995. We are a fully tax exempt non-profit organization.
Primary Center Activities
In keeping with the purpose of the Center, we desire the atmosphere and life of Spirituality Shoppe itself to be a primary source of its study. We believe that our best fruit of service to the Church will come from the well-watered tree of semi-monastic living, ecumenical experience, and academic pursuit. For this reason a balanced rhythm of life, interdenominational sharing, prayerful reflection, and careful research are critical elements of the Center. We hope that from this tree the following fruits may be offered to the Church:
Research projects are the primary focus of Spirituality Shoppe. Our interest is to produce original contributions in Christian spirituality at both the technical and lay levels.
This research is expressed in articles, essays, audio and video productions, and other forms of communication. Our aim is to offer a wide range of resources to a wide range of Christians.
Services to the Montrose Community
Classes, seminars, retreats, or workshops are offered periodically either in local churches or other appropriate locations. See the information on classes and community gatherings or contact me for more information.
A small research library is housed at the Spirituality Shoppe offices, serving pastors and others in this region.
Ongoing spiritual direction is offered to interested people on a limited basis.
Conferences on spirituality-related themes, drawing from a variety of churches and individuals in the area may also be sponsored, such as the Renovaré regional conference we sponsored in 2003.
Services to the Global Community
A regular NewesLetter provides regular communication with friends of Spirituality Shoppe and a forum for reflections on spirituality-related topics
Spirituality Shoppe offers a selection of seminars, retreats, workshops, and other speaking engagements to churches and institutions outside the Montrose area.
Spirituality Shoppe for nine years sponsored an annual gathering of Evangelical Scholars in Christian Spirituality where professors of Christian spirituality met for a week to pray for each other, support each other personally, and encourage each other in particular research and writing projects. We continue this support in a variety of ways.
The director of Spirituality Shoppe also serves on the editorial board of the Journal for Spiritual Formation and Soul Care, a scholarly journal publishing articles in spirituality and spiritual formation.
Spirituality Shoppe also provides a variety of internet services. Our web site offers NewesLetter archives, resources particularly in the areas of spirituality and new monasticism, and links and connections to other appropriate resources. We also publish a blog “Sayings of a Semi-arid Father.”
Spirituality Shoppe is located near Montrose, Colorado, on the foothills of the Uncomphagre Plateau.