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Walk the Way: Forming a Pilgrimage Immersion

Earlier this summer, a group of SCU faculty and staff traveled to Spain to embark on a pilgrimage walk from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela to design a pilgrimage immersion for participants to focus on their formation as contemplative leaders. The participating pilgrims included Leslie Gray, Associate Professor, Environmental Studies and Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences; Gail Kirby, Lecturer in Marketing, Marketing Department, Leavey School of Business; Bill Mains, Director of Sustainability & Leadership Development, UGBP, Leavey School of Business; Cara Uy, Sustainability Coordinator, Center for Sustainability; and Patrick Coutermarsh, Business Ethics Program Coordinator, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

The Camino de Santiago, or “Way of St. James”, is a physically taxing journey for the human spirit that takes the traveler in the footsteps of millions who for over a millennium have traveled from all over Christendom to venerate the tomb of the Apostle St. James – Santiago. The site, now known as Santiago de Compostela, came to be Christianity’s 3rd Holy City, behind Rome and Jerusalem, and St. James became the Christians’ patron saint and inspiration in their long struggle to reconquer Spain from the Moors.

The intention behind the pilgrimage immersion is to support an internal journey of exploration regarding one's current self, one's desired future identity, and the available pathways for becoming that desired identity. Through this discernment, it is hoped that the peregrinos (pilgrims) come to possess a deeply held understanding of, and commitment to, right relationships between themselves and the world around them, thereby becoming contemplative leaders who seek to create prosperity through a more just, humane, and sustainable world. The participating staff and faculty of this scouting trip each approached their experience with a particular lens--leadership, sustainability, business, and ethics--and contributed insight into the creation of a supportive, multi-disciplinary framework for future participants in the pilgrimage immersion.

While many of the details such as immersion preparation, course credit, application process, cost, participation requirements, etc. are still in the works, the trip will be about 16 days and begin immediately after the school year ends in mid-June. For those that are interested in learning more about the pilgrimage immersion, contact Bill Mains for more information.

Contributed by Bill Mains, Director of Sustainability & Leadership Development, Undergraduate Business Programs

Spirituality, Sustainability
Wellbeing,Travel,Program Highlights