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Franciscan Spirituality

Ended Apr 30, 2024

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Full course description

6-Week Course


featuring text by William J. Short O.F.M., videos by Erik Lenhart, O.F.M. Cap., William Tarraza, OFM Cap., Catherine M. Mooney, Richard Rohr, O.F.M., Kenneth Himes, O.F.M., Ilia Delio, O.S.F.

This course provides a basic overview of Franciscan spirituality. Beginning with the lives of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare of Assisi, this course explores the foundational elements of Franciscan spirituality including the centrality of Christ, poverty, creation, contemplation, prayer, and the universal call to holiness. To complement the informative text and videos, prayers of St. Francis and St. Clare are also provided.

This course has a required text: William J. Short O.F.M. Poverty and Joy: The Franciscan Tradition. Orbis Books: Maryknoll, NY, 1999.


  • Week 1: Introduction
  • Week 2: St. Francis and St. Clare
  • Week 3: Centered on Christ
  • Week 4: Poverty and Humility
  • Week 5: Creation and Contemplation
  • Week 6: Prayer and the Universal Call to Holiness

Special Features

This course includes:

  • Video clips;
  • Text transcripts of each featured video;
  • Weekly questions for reflection and discussion;
  • A weekly introduction and study guide; and
  • A regularly updated Resources page to use for further study.

All STM Online: Crossroads courses include these features

  • Participants have access 24 hours/7 days a week to the course's password-protected website.
  • Each participant belongs to a small Community for Conversation and faith sharing guided by a facilitator.
  • The course site is usually available to participants at least three months after the course has ended.
  • An orientation in how to navigate the web site is always available.
  • Technical assistance is easy to contact and prompt in returning a message.
  • A Certificate of Active Participation is awarded to those who post at least three messages of substance for each week of content.

Additional Materials Needed

William J. Short O.F.M. Poverty and Joy: The Franciscan Tradition. Orbis Books: Maryknoll, NY, 1999.

Time Commitment

A participant can expect to spend an average of approximately 3-4 hours each week. This commitment includes both the assigned reading and interaction online.

Content Scholars

  • William J. Short O.F.M., S.T.L., S.T.D. (text) is Professor of Spirituality at the Franciscan School of Theology at the University of San Diego, where he has also served as President and Academic Dean.
  • Fr. Erik Lenhart, OFM Cap. (video) leads retreats and service experiences with Capuchin Youth and Family Ministries in the Hudson Valley, New York. His previous work includes parish ministry and teaching seminarians bioethics and homiletics.
  • Fr. William Tarraza, OFM Cap. (video) is the Director of Post Novitiate and Priestly Formation for the Province of St. Mary of the Capuchin Order.
  • Catherine M. Mooney, Ph.D. (video) is associate professor of Church History at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.
  • Richard Rohr, O.F.M. (video) is an author, teacher and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation.
  • Kenneth Himes, O.F.M., Ph.D. (video) is a theology professor at Boston College.
  • Ilia Delio, O.S.F., Ph.D. (video) holds the Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology at Villanova University.

Image: The Peace Makers Francis and Clare by Mic Carlson, © Mic Carlson. Used with permission.

Certificate Requirement Categories:

  • Spirituality and Prayer
  • Themes of Our Christian Tradition

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The Peace Makers Francis and Clare, painting by Mic Carlson, shows St. Francis and St. Clare touching hands in front of outdoor stairs leading to a big yellow sun on the horizon.