Continuing Education



This course will be offered to enhance the capacity of participants (spiritual directors, lay or ordained, of any denomination or none) to discuss issues of faith and sexuality. The course will draw upon the rich resources of Christian contemplative tradition to influence one’s interior life and spiritual practice as a key aspect to personally connect to a conversation from a place of openness through “holy listening.” Tools will be provided for participants to engage in healthy discussion around sex, sexuality, and spirituality. The course will not attempt to convince participants to adopt any particular view but rather offer an opportunity to share knowledge and information and learn how to facilitate open and honest discussion.

January 15 - March 5, 2018

Instructors: Dr. Westina Matthews and Rev. Dr. Tommie L. Watkins Jr.

Dr. Westina Matthews, Adjunct Professor, General Theological Seminary, is an author, public speaker, retreat leader, and spiritual director. A contemplative spiritual director whose practice reflects contemplative living through "holy listening," Westina is a graduate of the spiritual guidance program at Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. She earned her doctorate in education from the University of Chicago; and has completed postdoctoral fellowships at Northwestern University, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.  The author of three books in the Have A Little Faith series, Westina also has contributed to several Forward Movement anthologies. 

 The Rev. Dr. Tommie Lee Watkins, Jr., is the Associate Rector and Assistant Chaplain at Canterbury Chapel, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Alabama School of Social Work. Rev. Watkins also is a spiritual director, behavioral scientist, social worker, former mathematics professor and commercial pilot. He earned his MSW from the University of Alabama, his PhD in the School of Health, University of Alabama, and his M.Div. from The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church. Because of the gaps in resources and research among Black “non-heterosexual” identified males, Rev. Watkins was driven to complete a Ph.D. degree to become a researcher primarily concerned with the role that religion and spirituality plays in health outcomes among Black gay/bi-sexual males. He is the author of Living Out Loud in which he shares his struggle of self- acceptance as an openly gay clergy.