Spiritual Life

Seminary helps you live into the realization that you are formed by and for a story larger than your own. We believe that by attending to the spirit as well as the mind, you can flourish in who you are and who God is calling you to be for the sake of the world.

Worship

Worship is central to our life together as a community of God’s people. We gather for worship several times each week. Tuesdays are services of Word and Table, with faculty and administrators preaching. Thursday services are led by student groups and incorporate student preaching. Special services during the year include monthly Taizé worship, Día de Los Muertos, Lessons and Carols, the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Service, Ash Wednesday, and the Triduum (the Three Days) of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil. Song is an integral part of our worship; the congregation sings from three hymnals and from other sources, and the Seminary Choir and other Austin Seminary musicians participate each week. Worship preparation is done collaboratively between faculty and students, and student participation is a key part of our worship life.

Narrative spiritual formation groups

Spiritual formation groups allow you to explore faith within a small cohort of students. Facilitated by faculty, staff, or senior students, you will reflect on each other’s stories. Through these interactions you will begin to build a support system for the journey of ministry.

Every first year student is placed in a cohort of 5-7 students where they explore faith through theological reflection on “slices of life” stories from the students’ lives. These cohorts are facilitated by a faculty or staff member and a senior student.

Spiritual direction groups

Trained spiritual directors are available to lead you in theological reflection in a small group setting.

These optional groups allow students to be led in theological reflection by a trained spiritual director. 

Counseling services

Austin Seminary provides referrals for low-cost counseling.

Music

God gives voices to all, and music is a vibrant part of our spiritual life. Austin Seminary is a singing community, and our song at worship crosses boundaries of style, century, and language. Both in worship and in academics, music is a gift and a spiritual practice to which all are invited. Song is an integral part of our worship; the congregation sings from three hymnals and from other sources, and the Seminary Choir and other seminary musicians participate each week. We have Taizé worship once a month, partnering with the UKirk campus ministry of UT Austin. The Seminary Choir is open without audition to all students, either for academic credit or not. Musical gifts in the community find a home in our worship and in other parts of our life together.

The recently established Hal H. and Martha S. Hopson Endowed Church Music Symposium Fund enables the Seminary to host nationally and internationally renowned church music practitioners and to offer special services and events. Recent events have included a Reformation Song Festival, a Jazz Vespers, and a week’s residency by the Iona Community’s John Bell.