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Walking in Newness

Welcome to New College Berkeley's blog, "Walking in Newness." Each month a member of the NCB faculty will post a personal reflection on their life of faith. Read the current month post, "The Virtue of Patience" by Rev. Earl Palmer, Earl Palmer Ministries and Board Trustee at New College Berkeley. 

The NCB trustees and all of us who serve this ministry are grateful and delighted to announce that New College Berkeley has received a three-year grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. as part of its "Campus Ministries Theological Exploration of Vocation” initiative! This funding allows us to expand our ministry to students and offer student scholarships to our programs. Please help us spread this good news to university students.


Special Note: An order form for the Earl Palmer CD on "C.S. Lewis in a Time of War" is available to download. Download the form.

Spring 2016 - Upcoming 

Small Group Spiritual Direction  Fall 2016 - Spring 2017. Bay Area Location and Times: TBA Cost: $50/month, which may be paid in advance ($450, including non- refundable $50 deposit) (Note: space is limited, and must be reserved by 8/15/16.) Special groups for university students available for very low fees.

We will be offering monthly spiritual direction in a small group committed to a year of fellowship, contemplative listening, and prayer. The groups will be facilitated by trained spiritual directors under the supervision of Susan Phillips. There will be nine monthly two-hour meetings at Bay Area locations. Please call Susan Phillips (510-841-9386) or email her ( if you would like to participate.

Registration Options

C.S. Lewis in a Time of War (Saturday, April 23, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.) First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, 2407 Dana, Berkeley, Sanctuary Cost $50; $90 per couple; $25 student (with lunch) Taught by pastor and author, Earl Palmer (M.Div.)

In this seminar Earl Palmer will explore the life, work, and influence of C.S. Lewis, with special attention to his wartime radio talks.

Writing and Reading Spiritual Memoirs 

Note: Seminar Cancelled

(Saturday, May 7, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.) Berkeley Covenant Church, 1632 Hopkins, Fireside Room. Cost $25 No lunch Taught by Radix magazine editor and New College Associate Director, Sharon Gallagher (M.T.S.)

This is a writing seminar for those who enjoy reading spiritual memoirs and those who would like to begin writing their own “soul” stories. The seminar will feature readings from important spiritual writers with invitations to write short personal responses to the themes. The class will involve writing short pieces and listening to the responses of others in the class.

Spring Credit Course: Psychology and Spirituality of Flourishing: Exploring Growth in Community (Saturdays, April 2 and 9, 2016, 9 a.m.– 6 p.m. GTU academic credit available). (Pacific School of Religion, 1798 Scenic Avenue, Berkeley. Room: TBA.) Cost $150 Student:$80 GTU and UCB students are encouraged to cross-register into this course through their schools. Taught by sociologist and spiritual director Susan S. Phillips (Ph.D.) and clinical psychologist John White (Ph.D.).

Why do so many people feel isolated and hungry for meaning and connection in our crowded, media-saturated society? Why in our public life do we despair of affecting the greater good and fear engagement across political, racial and religious differences? Informed by the fields of positive psychology and Christian spiritual formation, this course will examine the possibility of cultivating our lives of faith and community, even in a culture that pushes us to live shallowly and relate superficially.We will look at recent writing on flourishing, including Susan Phillips’s “The Cultivated Life: From Ceaseless Striving to Receiving Joy,” and moral community, including Jonathan Haidt’s “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion.”

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius  September 2016 - May 2017
First Presbyterian Church Berkeley, Room: TBA. Cost: $900 for 30 weeks. Led by Susan S. Phillips (Ph.D.) and Jill Boyce (M.P.H., M.A. Note: Partial scholarships available for members of First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley.
The Spiritual Exercises were developed by Ignatius of Loyola in the 16th century. They offer a structure to daily living which elicits and encourages experiences of an ongoing relationship with God. The Exercises include learning to pray with our imagination and how to enter into the stories of Jesus so they intersect with our own lives.

The Exercises are often associated with a 30 day retreat. However, this is a thirty-week format for those who cannot take a month away from their busy lives.



Note: We’ve gone green! We will not be mailing out copies of the NCB brochure and encourage you to register online for programs. We also invite you to view and print out NCB program and registration information. We will print out and mail brochures on request.



Spring 2016 Registration.


New Media . . .


The Sermon on the Mount: The Teacher Makes a Difference, Earl Palmer
CD's available: Order

Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with People: Sinai as Past and Future Hope, Hiermonk Justin Sinaites
DVDs available, Two-Part Set


 For more information about ongoing classes/seminars, please contact us at  Click HERE to register for an upcoming class.


christian lay college blog pic
Walking In Newness Blog Series


A MENU of NCB Donation Opportunties.

New College Berkeley welcomes gifts to support the ministry!

To make a donation please click HERE.


Of Interest . . .



The Cultivated Life by Susan S. PhillipsServing God's Community: Essays in Honor of W. Ward Gasque     Edited by Susan Phillips with Soo-Inn Tan


This Festschrift was presented to Dr. Gasque, the founding president of New College Berkeley, to honor him for his contribution to the cause of Christ, and with the hope that the things he has been committed to—biblical scholarship, leadership development, and the equipping of the laity—will continue to receive fresh exposure and momentum.



The Cultivated Life by Susan S. PhillipsNew College Berkeley director Susan Phillips walks us through the "circus" of our cultural landscape to invite us into a cultivated life of spirituality. We want to be rooted and grounded in Christ, but are pushed toward constant work, alternating between performance and spectacle. Cultivation requires a kind of attentiveness that is countercultural to our age of distraction. More info and places to purchase online.


Books will be available at the July book signing event at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley. (More information to follow.)




Candlelight, Spiritual DirectionNCB Executive Director Susan Phillips'  book Candlelight: Illuminating the Art of Spiritual Direction offers an intimate view of spiritual direction through written narratives of actual spiritual direction sessions. The experiential practice is accompanied by theoretical and theological understandings that guide it. The book includes the stories of nine men and women whose stories illustrate how the journey of Christian discipleship is helped by spiritual direction. More info and places to purchase online.



 where=Where Faith Meets Culture: A Radix Magazine Anthology, is newly published. The book, edited by NCB Associate Director Sharon Gallagher, features articles by these distinguished writers: Peggy Alter, Kurt Armstrong, Robert Bellah, Bob Buford, Krista Faries, David and Susan Fetcho, Sharon Gallagher, David Gill, Joel B. Green, Os Guinness, Virginia Hearn, Walter Hearn, Don Heinz, Margaret Horwitz, Mark Labberton, Henri Nouwen, Dan Ouellette, Earl Palmer, Susan Phillips, Steve Scott, and Luci Shaw. You can order the anthology for $20.00 by sending a check to: Radix magazine, P.O. Box 4307, Berkeley, CA 94704.


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