Spiritual Writing: Formation through Words

January 11, 2021 - February 14, 2021
Jan. 11 - Feb. 14, 2021

A Spiritual Formation Elective


Jan. 11 – Feb. 14, 2021


This class will ask what, if anything, can make nonfiction writing “spiritual.” You will read selections from essays and memoirs in the spiritual writing genre and try composing your own versions of this material. How can we write about something so personal and powerful and share it with an audience of differing beliefs or traditions? How do writers move beyond saccharine sentimentality to illuminate a truth? You will choose a spiritual question or subject to explore in depth by writing two optional 500-word pieces and one article/essay between 1,000 and 3,000 words. The course will provide tips and inspiration for getting started, gathering material, and revising your work for publication. Writers from all backgrounds and faiths are welcome.

For more details, read the class plan.


Jonathan Callard is a writer, editor, and teacher. His work appears in Image, Creative Nonfiction, PublicSource, Pittsburgh Magazine, Gulf Coast, Hotel Amerika, and The Witness, among others, and has earned fellowships from the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, the Ragdale Foundation, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. He teaches for Creative Nonfiction magazine and the University of Pittsburgh, where he received an MFA in writing, and also mentors writers individually. He has led writing workshops for Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and Interfaith Youth Core and served as public relations specialist for the Graduate Theological Union. Learn more about Callard here.