Academic Programs 

Addiction and Spirituality: Dealing with Holes in the Soul   (AM-634)
January Intersession

This course will examine the largely unacknowledged and sorely underexamined epidemic of addiction in the United States. Statistics show that one out of every seven persons in the United States has some form of substance abuse. Every church, mosque, synagogue and temple has persons afflicted and affected by addiction. A wholistic, pastoral overview of ministry to persons with addictions will be presented through reading, presentations, research and dialogue in and outside the classroom. Using the various models of addiction – moral, mental health, medical, etc., - we will discuss the underlying spiritual issues of sin, shame, unforgiveness and the spiritual responses of healing, forgiveness and grace. Persons engaged in religious leadership and service of all types, including pastors, imams, chaplains and the regular congregational member who cares and gives care will be interested in this important course.

Meeting Day, Time and Dates:
Monday, January 14 through Friday, January 18 from 9 AM to 4 PM

The Rev. Dr. Laurie Etter, C.S.M., Adjunct Professor of Arts of Ministry and Chaplain, York Correctional Institute


Course Syllabus

Along with participation in the class discussions and exercises, students will be expected to read the following:

Prior to the beginning of class:

Addiction: Why Can’t they Just Stop?, Hoffman, John, Froemke, Susan, eds.: Chapters1, 2, 4, and 6.

Addiction and Grace, May, Gerald.

Written assignments:

A reflection paper will be required during the week to be presented in class.

A 2 to 5 page reflection paper is expected at the end of the course on any of the required or suggested readings.

In addition, a research paper and/ministry project on some aspect of addiction will be expected within a month after the conclusion of the class.

Required texts:

Addiction: Why Can’t they Just Stop?, Hoffman, John, Froemke, Susan, eds.

Addiction and Grace, May, Gerald.

Recommended texts:

Mindful Recovery, Bien, Thomas, Bien, Beverly.

The Selfish Brain, Dupont, Robert.

Divine Therapy and Addiction, Keating, Thomas

Dark Night of the Soul. May, Gerald.

AA Big Book

Overview of class:

Monday - Introduction of topic; Presentation of models of understanding
addiction; Discussion of assigned reading

Tuesday – Addiction 101 – brain chemistry, etc; Presentation of 12 Step

Wednesday – Addiction and Spirituality, resources from various faith
traditions; Class presentations of reflection papers;

Thursday – panel of recovering addicts –“What has Worked for Me”

Friday – Class presentations; questions, issues, etc.

Hartford Seminary  77 Sherman Street  Hartford, CT  06105   860-509-9500