Calendar of Events

April 26, 2018 - April 27, 2018

A Contemplative Approach to Spirituality & Sexuality


A Contemplative Approach to Spirituality & Sexuality

Within faith communities, perhaps no other topic provokes such heated debate as sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Join us for this two-day workshop as we engage in healthy and honest discussions around spirituality and sexuality, with the goal of enhancing the capacity of participants—spiritual directors, clergy leaders, or laypersons of any denomination—to discuss issues of faith and sexuality. We will not attempt to convince one another to adopt any view but rather offer a safe and sacred space to share knowledge, and to engage in open and honest dialogue. Tools will be provided for participants to engage in healthy discussion around sex, sexuality, and spirituality.

Spirituality and sexuality are intricately connected and infinitely complex, and both are gifts from God. Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:3). As we spread the good news of the Gospel, we envision this tent for our neighbors as both wide and broad, including all people irrespective of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, class, age, culture, country of origin, or ability. Contemplative spiritual direction is a way for everyone to discuss issues of faith and sexuality, all grounded in God’s grace and love.

Dr. Westina Matthews is an adjunct professor for the Center for Christian Spirituality at General Theological Seminary where she has taught contemplative spiritual direction for the past eight years. A graduate of the spiritual guidance program at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, Dr. Matthews is an author, public speaker, spiritual director, and retreat leader whose practice reflects contemplative living through “holy listening.” She received her doctorate in education from the University of Chicago, and completed postdoctoral research fellowships at both Northwestern University and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. After retiring from Merrill Lynch as a managing director, Dr. Matthews was a Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University where she studied women and girls of faith in Burundi.



The Rev. Dr. Tommie Lee Watkins Jr. is the associate rector and associate chaplain at Canterbury Chapel in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he is a graduate professor at the University of Alabama School of Social Work. He is a spiritual director, behavioral scientist, social worker, former mathematics professor, and commercial pilot. Currently, the Rev. Dr. Watkins is the only African American priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, and the first openly gay black clergy ever ordained in that diocese.





Tuition: $160
CEUs are available. Contact James Goodmann at for more information.



When: Thursday 06:00 pm - Friday 04:00 pm

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