You're invited to take part in LIFE, the Lifelong Learner Institute of Faith Exploration. LIFE retreats take place five times a year on the Eden campus and provide participants with a more comprehensive way to explore their faith.
What is the LIFE program?
LIFE (Lifelong Learner Institute of Faith Exploration) is a program of retreats that invites lay men and women to study scripture and explore Christian faith and life. It challenges participants to become life long learners and disciples, faithful witnesses to the gospel and faithful members and leaders of the church. LIFE is sponsored jointly by the Missouri Mid-South Conference, the Illinois South Conference and Eden Theological Seminary (all United Church of Christ) with participants coming from many different denominations and faith traditions.
How does the LIFE program work?
Each LIFE retreat offers two courses. Participants must register for one course or the other as they are offered simultaneously. All participants may register for either course.
One course is always a Certificate Course. The 15 Certificate Courses are offered on a three-year cycle (five courses per academic year). Persons who complete all 15 Certificate courses receive a Leadership Certificate.
The other course will focus on a topic of current interest in Christian faith and church life.
Five retreats are held each academic year (mid September, early November, early January, early March, and late April). They begin on Friday evening at 6pm with dinner and end on Saturday at 3:30pm, following closing worship. Each retreat includes worship, community life, devotional time, meals and six hours of class instruction.
Where are the retreats held?
All retreats are held on the campus of Eden Theological Seminary, a leading theological center in Webster Groves, Missouri. Worship is held in the Wehrli Chapel in the Press Center. Courses are held in classrooms in Press. Meals are eaten in the Schroer Commons, the Seminary’s dining room. Overnight lodging is provided in Seminary housing in efficiency apartments with a roommate.
Who teaches the LIFE courses?
All the courses are taught by highly trained and skilled teachers. Many are professors at Eden. Others are outstanding church leaders in the St. Louis area and beyond. Instructors usually identify some preparatory reading for each course (a book or journal articles, etc.) At most retreats, books for the following retreat will be available for purchase. They may also be ordered from the Eden Seminary Bookstore.
Each LIFE retreat follows the same basic schedule.
What is the cost of a retreat?
The $140 fee includes Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast and lunch, parking, the course and overnight lodging. Persons who do not want overnight lodging pay $130 for the three meals, the course and parking. The cost of preparatory reading materials (books, articles, etc) is additional.