Welcome to the website of the School of the Pilgrim! The School of the Pilgrim offers people an opportunity to leave the "religion of the rush hour" by re-introducing the ancient and contemporary practice of pilgrimage to further our spiritual growth and development.
At the School of the Pilgrim we are invested in exploring the way that the life of faith--individually and collectively--is an ongoing and all-encompassing journey most often revealed in intentional pilgrimages. The companion on this holy trek is the Holy One, who leads us in re-discovering the meaningfulness of our past, teaches us to live with wonder wherever we may be today, and directs our attention to the hope before us in the future.
Hadrian's Wall Pilgrimage and St. Cuthbert's Way
The School of the Pilgrim is led a group of pilgrims from the senior graduating class of Presbyterian Campus Ministry students from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. We walked across England, following the ancient path of Hadrian's Wall (85 miles) from Bowness-on-Solway to Wylem/Newcastle upon Tyne. We spent a few days on the other ancient pilgrimage site of Iona, followed by a week of reflection at Dunfermline outside of Edinburgh (May 17-June 1, 2013).
St. Cuthbert's Way
Plans are underway for a pilgrimage from Melrose Abbey to Lindisfarne, following a trail that is filled with churches and abbeys, named "St. Cuthbert's Way" in June 2014. Stay Tuned.
Desert Spirituality Pilgrimage
The School of the Pilgrim has planned a Desert Spirituality Pilgrimage this November 7-19, 2013 is cancelled, and we will hopefully be able to offer it again in 2014. Usually this trip will include days of exploring the holy sites around Jerusalem; participating in a work project with Palestinians in Bethlehem; hiking, some jeep riding, and five days on camel back in the Sinai desert, along with a trip to historic St. Catherine's of the Sinai Monastery. Leaving from Newark, NJ, the cost of this pilgrimage (including airfare, local transportation, lodging, board, and tips) should be around $2,500 subject to price fluctuations over the next several months. Stay tuned for more information on this website, the newsletter, and blogsite: www.schoolofthepilgrim.blogspot.com.
Pilgrimage Class at University United Methodist Church, Chapel Hill
The School of the Pilgrim will lead a class on pilgrimage at University United Methodist Church on Sept. 15, 2013. The purpose of this day is to combine and explore the biblical texts from the vantage point of a group of pilgrims following the Pilgrim God. Contact Brett at 919-444-9111/Brett@schoolofthepilgrim.com for more information.
Pilgrimage Classes in Catonsville, MD
The School of the Pilgrim will lead a class on pilgrimage at Catonsville Presbyterian Church in Spring 2014 (Pre-Lent). The purpose of this weekend course is to combine and explore the biblical texts from the vantage point of a group of pilgrims following the Pilgrim God. Contact Brett at 919-444-9111/Brett@schoolofthepilgrim.com for more information.
The School of the Pilgrim has a sideshow to introduce our vision and work. You can download and view the slides how by clicking here.
We have made a copy of script of this sideshow available for those who may not be able to hear the audio portion. You can download and read the script while watch the the slides. This script is available by clicking here.
Anniversaries: Non-Profit Status and Validated Ministry
An anniversary or two: Six years ago, the School of the Pilgrim became a religious non-profit (501c3). Five years ago, we were made a validated ministry of the Presbyterian Church USA on July 15, 2008.
The School of the Pilgrim is now on Facebook, a popular social networking website. Visit our Facebook entry by clicking here.
The School of the Pilgrim is now on Twitter, a popular social networking website. Go to Twitter, and look for "pilgrimman".
"Practicing Pilgrimage: A How-To Manual for Being and Becoming a Pilgrim People " Accepted for Publication!
Cascade Books, based in Eugene, OR, is going to be the official publisher of the new book, "Practicing Pilgrimage: Being and Becoming a Pilgrim Church". This book is a "how-to" book or manual that will enable youth groups to bring ancient and contemporary pilgrimage practices into the lives of young people. Look for the publication of the book in 2014!
Additional Activities :
- New and Expanded List of Resources and Links! Click on "Resources and Links" where you will find an expanded list of resources--including other books, music, and movies--along with new links to other pilgrimage sites in the world!
- Take a Look at the Side Bar "Destinations"! Check out the list of pilgrimage sites there are around the world. In recent editions of National Geographic Magazine and U.S. News and World Report, there was a listing of "sacred sites". We took that list and expanded it, hoping to stir interest in all the places where there is a "thin membrane" between the mundane and the Holy.
- Every spring semester Brett teaches a world religion course at North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC. The motif for this course was pilgrimage as they considered the five major world religions, which all incorporate the action of walking toward holy sites. Students visit a Hindu Temple; Zen Buddhist retreat center; Jewish synagogue; a church, and visits the Muslim Student Life Center at Duke University.
- Fund-raising: As always, thanks to those people who have already responded with a generous support of the School of the Pilgrim in 2011. We now have a credit-card link through "justgive.org" on the "Contribution" page for those who would like to contribute to the ongoing growth of the School of the Pilgrim. Click here to go to the "Donation" site for donation information!
- Many thanks to our friend Jaqui Tutt from New Zealand, whose photographs from Santiago de Compestela in Spain now grace the side bar images on the right side of this website.
- Additions and changes to Upcoming Activities! We've added a new option for a pilgrimage event, and also have provided a list of charges for School of the Pilgrim events.
- Interested in working with the School of the Pilgrim? We are always open to volunteer support.