The Desert Abbas and Ammas

September 14, 2016 - September 17, 2016


The Desert Abbas and Ammas

A Spiritual Formation Elective


Roberta C. Bondi, Professor Emerita of Church History, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

About This Course

Abbas and Ammas, also known as Mothers and Fathers, of the early church retreated into the deserts of Egypt and Syria to pray. The collection of their sayings provides advice to us even today over 15 centuries later. Join us for an indepth examination of the wonderful founders of early Egyptian monasticism and, with Roberta’s guidance, ruminate at the same time over their gifts to our modern spirituality.

This class is open to all regardless of their participation in the Spiritual Formation Certificate Program. If you are interested in learning more about the certificate program, please let us know and our office will be happy to send you details ([email protected]).

Schedule / Location / Lodging

Sept. 14, 2016, 7:00 p.m. – Sept. 17, 2016, 12:00 p.m.  A tentative schedule can be downloaded HERE. /  This class will be held at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, 616 N. Highland Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206  Directions / On-campus housing is available via reservation by calling 412-924-1397 or e-mailing [email protected].


Registration Fee: $375.  Registration includes refreshment breaks, Thurs. lunch and dinner, and Sat. breakfast; all other meals and lodging are student’s responsibility.



Required Reading

Please do your best to read these books before your arrival. If you wish to be in the Spiritual Formation Certificate program, you should prepare a one-page reflection paper for each selected book; these will be collected Wednesday evening. If you do not plan to seek the certificate but are taking the class for personal enrichment, the reflection papers are not required but we strongly encourage you to read the texts to get as much as possible from the class time.

NOTE: Read these texts in the order listed below so that the first two texts inform and assist in your reading of the third book.

1. Bondi, R.C. To Love as God Loves: Conversations with the Early Church. Fortress Press, 1991.

2. Bondi, R.C.  To Pray and to Love: Conversations on Prayer with the Early Church. Fortress Press, 1987.

3. Ward, B. (Ed. and Trans.) The Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Alphabetical Collection. Liturgical Press, 1984.


Call 412-924-1345 or e-mail [email protected]

Categories: Church History  |  Courses  |  Spirituality