Welcome to the Spirituality Center●Studium
We, the Spirituality Center•Studium of the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph, Minnesota, share the Benedictine monastic tradition by fostering the love of learning and desire for God for the sake of the Church and the world.
The Spirituality Center is a home in which to seek solitude, quiet and peace on the west end of our monastery grounds. You’re invited to our center for individual or group retreats, spiritual direction and a variety of faith and educational workshops and seminars. Women and men of all faiths and cultures are welcome here!
The Spirituality Center offers a variety of programs and retreats. Please call (320) 363-7112 for information or visit our events page to view our current offerings.
Spiritual direction is for persons seeking a deeper inner life, struggling with transitions or desiring a deeper relationship with God. A spiritual director is a companion to another on his/her spiritual journey as the Spirit directs the person to the blessings that God intends for him/her. Ultimately, spiritual direction is meant to help a person with his or her relationship with God. The Spirituality Center has a staff of qualified spiritual directors and supervisors.
Spiritual Direction Graduate Certificate Program
In collaboration with Saint Benedict’s Spirituality Center, Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary offers a two-year graduate certificate in Spiritual Direction, which includes an internship with the guidance of trained supervisors. This certificate weaves together the traditional Benedictine practices of hospitality, stability, continual conversion and reading life as sacred story.
Centering prayer practitioners’ gatherings are held weekdays from 4:15 – 4:45 p.m. in the Spirituality Center prayer room. These gatherings are free of charge.
Weekend and annual intensive centering prayer retreats are offered throughout the year. Periodic sessions are also offered for beginners wishing to learn about centering prayer. Check our events page for upcoming retreats and sessions.
Walk in God’s Love
Do you desire to listen to God’s invitation to grow in your commitment to love and to explore with others how God is calling you to share your gifts? Walk in God’s Love: A Spiritual Journey is an opportunity for small groups to gather and listen to how the Spirit may be speaking in their lives. It is a time for reflection and prayer. This process, created out of the experience and expertise of the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict, provides for guided reflection and mutual sharing.
Two Amish-built one-room hermitages located near the monastery’s peaceful woods are available for solitude and reflection for a day, a couple days or a week. Each hermitage is supplied with a bed, desk, kitchenette, bathroom with shower and a screened-in three-season porch. The fee includes a “welcome basket” of bread, cheese and fruit. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, fill out the form below or contact:
Co-Director of the Spirituality Center
Women bring unique and special gifts to their churches and make significant contributions to ecclesial ministry.
The Sophia Program creates a life-giving network for women in church ministry. It is an opportunity to partner with women who serve in various church-related ministries, including pastoral care, administration, education, faith formation, chaplaincy or liturgy.
The Sophia Program provides ongoing spiritual formation and support by:
- encouraging women to deepen their relationships with God, the persons whom they serve and with whom they collaborate in service;
- creating a safe and supportive environment for women to experience spiritual companionship;
- inviting women to reflect on the experience of ministry as it relates to their own spiritual growth; and,
- supporting women to explore how their spirituality shapes and influences their ministry.
New groups are continuing to form. Participants commit to meet three sessions a year for two years from Sunday evening to Tuesday evening. Cost per session is $150. Sponsorship assistance is available.
The Rule of Benedict affirms the wisdom and unique gifts of each person. Honoring the monastic tradition, Studium provides the hospitality and environment where members motivate, support and empower one another in their creative endeavors, sharing in the transforming work of the Spirit.
Studium, a program of Saint Benedict’s Monastery, combines three key elements of Benedictine life:
- the love of learning;
- the desire for God; and,
- the commitment to beauty.
Studium places special emphasis on the love of learning, honoring scholarship as a sacred ministry.
Are you at the point in your project where:
- it’s ready, but you’re unsure how to begin;
- it’s underway, but you’re stuck; or,
- it’s almost done, but you need a final push?
Are you in need of:
- help starting, getting unstuck or finishing;
- time away from daily distractions;
- a nurturing, supporting community of passionate people; and/or,
- a community which is there when you need them, but out of the way when you need to concentrate?
Or, maybe you’re on a roll and the project is coming along splendidly – lucky you.
Whether you’re at the beginning, in the middle or approaching the end of your project and whether it’s a slog or a snap, Studium may be just what you need—for a stay of anywhere from a week to four months.
- Each Resident Visiting Scholar is provided an apartment which has a kitchenette, living room, bedroom and bathroom. Linens are provided.
- Each Visiting Scholar, whether Resident or Day, has a spacious office and access to a copy machine, fax machine and typewriter in a central room. Charges for copying and faxing are nominal.
- Scholars are asked to bring their own computer. The computer can be connected to the internet via the CSBSJU network. A printer is available for your use. Scholars are asked to pay a nominal fee for the paper and copying.
- Scholars are asked to use personal cell phones or phone cards for their long-distance calls.
- Meals are available in the monastery dining room.
- Laundry facilities are available.
- Participation in daily monastic Eucharist and Liturgy of the Hours is encouraged, though not required.
- Access to the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University Libraries, Saint Benedict’s Monastery Archives and the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library at Saint John’s University is available.
- Visiting Scholars are welcome to attend cultural and artistic events at Saint Benedict’s and Saint John’s that are open to the public. They may purchase tickets to events in the regular subscription arts series.
- Scholars have access to the College of Saint Benedict’s Haehn Center, which includes a track, fitness rooms and swimming pool (hours during the summer and vacation periods may vary from those of the regular school year).
Studium applicants’ projects and personal style need to be in keeping with Benedictine cultural and social commitments (the boundaries are wide! – awareness of God, community, prayer and work, listening, hospitality, stewardship and peace). Applicants should state why they believe Studium is an appropriate venue for their work. They must also be willing to share the fruit of their work at a regular monthly Studium meeting.
To apply to be a Visiting Scholar, download the Visiting Scholars Application Form, fill it out and mail it to us at:
Ann Marie Biermaier, OSB
104 Chapel Lane
St. Joseph, MN 56374
or fill out an online application: Online Visiting Scholars Application Form
Rates for Resident Visiting Scholars (apartment, office, meals):
- Per day: $60
- Per week: $400
- Per month: $1,750
Rate for Day Visiting Scholars (office):
- Per month: $150
- Meals are available on a per day meal plan.
*as of July 2017
Grants may be awarded to Resident Visiting Scholars who are here for a month or longer. To apply, send a short statement (300 words or less) on the financial need for the grant.
History of Studium
Studium was founded in 1992 to enable sisters to use their gifts and professional training while living at the monastery and to provide a setting where retired sisters might continue to share their wisdom and expertise. Within a year of Studium’s founding, monastery scholars realized that both their ministry and their work would be enhanced by hospitality to persons from outside the monastery.
Types Of Studium Scholars
Participants in the program are called Studium Scholars. The term “scholar” might seem restrictive, suggesting that only professors are eligible, but scholarship is broader than academics and not all academics are scholars. A scholar is someone dedicated to lifelong learning, for whom thinking and finding things out, imagining and communicating are fundamental to meaningful life.
Sisters of Saint Benedict’s Monastery who are working on individual projects constitute the core of Studium. Monastery Scholars have produced an astonishing array of scholarly work—books, homily helps, prayer books, hymn collections, retreat conferences, parish histories, articles and more.
Publications completed by Monastery Scholars during their Studium stay
Presentations given by Monastery and Visiting Scholars
Visiting Scholars, Resident and Day
Visiting Scholars are women and men who are in broad agreement with Benedictine cultural and social commitments—awareness of God, community, prayer and work, listening, hospitality, stewardship, peace—and for whom the interdisciplinary, intergenerational, interfaith and intercultural setting of Studium offers an appealing venue for their own scholarly work. The projects pursued at Studium by Visiting Scholars cover a wide range of subjects and disciplines, such as biblical perspectives on contemporary living, a theological commentary for the Bible Series, the spiritual journey as transformation, Buddhist and Christian spiritual practices and a novel set in medieval times.
Publications completed by Visiting Scholars during their Studium stay
Presentations given by Monastery and Visiting Scholars
Praise For Studium
Visiting Scholars have high praise for the opportunities offered at Studium.
“Certainly, Studium is a sanctuary for research, writing and creativity, but it is much more: a place of shared liturgy and prayer, a community of charity and hospitality, an environment to feed and heal the soul, a graced opportunity to explore, to seek, to find meaning and connection with self, others, nature and God. A place to experience gratitude. Come.” Steven Chase (Day Scholar)
“My several periods at Studium were instrumental in my completion of one book that has just been published by Oxford University Press and a second book for which I’m about to start seeking a publisher. The combination of comfortable work and living space away from the ordinary things that distract from my writing, the ability to participate in the daily prayers with the Benedictine community and the warm hospitality and encouragement of the Studium staff and the other sisters living in community at Saint Benedict’s makes Studium a treasure. I’m already on the lookout for a good time for another stay there!” Susan Stabile (Resident Scholar)
“My work focused on credit for low-income communities based on a real concern about the challenges of the human condition in the modern economy. As an economist, it is somewhat easy to become mired in technical details, and I appreciated my interactions with members of the Sisters of Saint Benedict, as well as other Studium participants as I researched and reflected on the academic problems I confronted. Their genuine concern about matters of social justice and well-being and hospitable spirit helped to provide balance to my thinking and acted as a leavening agent to my studies.” Parker Wheatley (Day Scholar)
Studium provides for all its Scholars both time alone (a lot) and time together (enough, but not too much) that are essential for original work. Besides casual encounters that happen in the hallway or the dining room, Studium gathers once a month for a formal meeting, at which a presentation on work in progress is made by one or more members, and discussion helps add depth and clarity.
The Rule of Benedict affirms the wisdom and unique gifts of each person. Studium is a formal, institutional expression by Saint Benedict’s Monastery of trust in this wisdom and these gifts. Studium Scholars motivate, support and empower one another in creative endeavor. In this way, they share in the transforming work of God’s Spirit.
For more information about the Studium program, contact:
Ann Marie Biermaier, OSB, EdD
Director of Studium
Phone: (320) 363-7172
Fax: (320) 363-7173
School Of Benedictine Spirituality
For Persons Seeking To Learn The Benedictine Way For Daily Living
The Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict invite you to become a participant in the School of Benedictine Spirituality, along with other seekers wishing to explore the dynamic world of the Benedictine Way. Saint Benedict of Nursia (480–547 CE) was a visionary who saw life as a journey of seeking God in “a school for the Lord’s service” (RB Prol 45). He shared his insights in a manuscript called the Rule of Benedict based on the values of Jesus Christ and lived in the context of prayer, work and community. The Benedictine Way is a pathway for living the Gospel through the lens of Benedict’s spiritual teaching.
The school offers courses on Benedictine values, lectio divina, praying the psalms and other topics. These courses are offered in a community for learning, support for spiritual growth and guidance for living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In each course, time is reserved for the participants to gather in small groups for facilitated interaction and integration.