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Montreat Conference Center

Holy Wells and Thin Places: Exploring Celtic Spirituality

Columbia Theological Seminary Spiritual Formation Program

October 19 - October 22, 2017

Shrouded in legend and imbued with romance, the Celtic lands such as Ireland, Scotland, and Wales have produced a surprising number of saints and spiritual guides, both ancient and contemporary. In our day, as Christians seek ways to celebrate stewardship of God’s good creation, a healthy and balanced relationship between men and women, and a spirituality that links the quest for holiness and a profound sense of the nearness of the love of God—again and again the Celts emerge as meaningful and sure-footed guides. This retreat experience will celebrate, through story, poetry and prayer, the wisdom of the Celts, from saints of old like Patrick, Brigid, Columba and Brendan, to more recent figures such as George MacDonald, C.S. Lewis and George MacLeod. Themes such as hospitality, pilgrimage, the sacredness of nature, and the loving presence of the Divine mystery will inform our worship together as well as the course sessions.

The course will begin at 5:30 pm on Thursday and conclude at 12:00 pm on Sunday. The schedule includes community prayers, plenary sessions, small groups, as well as free time to enjoy the beauty of Montreat. The final schedule will be posted on the course site about one month ahead of the class.

Instructor: Carl McColman

To register and/or reserve accommodations for this conference online, please click on the RATES & REGISTRATION tab above.

Click on the printer icon below to print out full details for this conference.

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Registration Information

Register for the conference

This program is offered as part of the Certificate in Spiritual Formation Program at Columbia Theological Seminary and serves as course credit. Anyone interested in the course is welcome, but must also register through Columbia Seminary.

Rate below includes conference fee only. Housing and meals are not included.

  • Program fee: $390 per person

If you have questions regarding conference registration, please email Alison Riviere at rivierea@ctsnet.edu or call 404.687.4592.

Accommodations in Assembly Inn

Reserve housing & meals

Rates are per person and include all room and meal charges for the entire conference (Thursday supper through Sunday lunch). No adjustments to package will be made except for extended stay.

  • Single Occupancy, Private Bath: $390.00
  • Double Occupancy, Private Bath: $240.00 per person

If you have any questions about housing and meal reservations, please email SusanA@montreat.org or call 828.419.9829.

Refund Policy

Refunds for program fee are subject to the policies of the Spiritual Formation Program at Columbia Theological Seminary.

Refunds for housing in Assembly Inn will be awarded in the following ways: full refund if notice of cancellation is received on or before September 7; full refund less $40 if notice of cancellation is received after September 7, but before October 12; no refunds will be given after October 12; all requests for refunds must be in writing and received by Montreat Conference Center via email, fax, or US mail.


Montreat Conference CenterCarl McColman is a contemplative writer, speaker, retreat leader and spiritual companion. He is the author of several books, including Befriending Silence, Answering the Contemplative Call, and The Big Book of Christian Mysticism. His writing appears in the Huffington Post, Contemplative Journal, Patheos, as well as his own blog on Christian spirituality and contemplative living, www.carlmccolman.net. McColman is a life-professed Lay Cistercian (a layperson under formal spiritual guidance of Cistercian monks) affiliated with the Trappist Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia. He first received formation in the practice of Christian spirituality and contemplative leadership through the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, and learned the art of spiritual direction through the Institute of Pastoral Studies. About his ministry, McColman says, “I help Christians and other seekers respond to the healing love of God through prayer, silence, and discernment, so to embody a joyful life of creativity, service and delight.” He does this by passionately encouraging his audience to embrace contemplative spirituality, to drink from the deep wells of Christian wisdom beginning with scripture and the wisdom of saints and mystics, and to apply such insight to the challenges and concerns of everyday life. Carl McColman lives near Atlanta, GA. In addition to his blog, he is active on social media, including Facebook and Twitter.

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