The Society of Urban Monks
The Society of Urban Monks is an ecumenical and multi-denominational community of men and women who are involved in solving and ending social injustices through their employment and/or personal volunteer efforts.
As ordinary people, Urban Monks seek to live extraordinary lives by deepening a personal living covenant with God as agents of change and healing. As agents of change and healing, they not only confront the injustices experienced by others, but seek to solve and end the injustices furthering the tradition of past and contemporary Christian reformers.
Over time, this Christ-like commitment transforms Urban Monks into agents of change and healing within the communities in which they live, work, worship, recreate, socialize, and serve. Such dedication includes confronting the social and economic injustices that family members and friends experience as well as those experienced by co-workers, acquaintances, and strangers. Such faithfulness involves daily acts and a life-long course of action that lead to implementing solutions to end social wrongs.
These daily and life-long actions are supported by an Urban Monk’s Rule of Life that includes spiritual practices personally selected in order to integrate their actions and reactions with the actions and reactions of the people and places that make up their everyday world. Such integration evolves into becoming agents of transformation and reconciliation.
What Is An Urban Monk?
An Urban Monk seeks to solve and end social injustices in the tradition of past and contemporary Christian reformers. Such injustices have left neighborhoods, cities, counties, states or even entire nations pained and conflicted. Urban Monks believe that God desires to use them to administer justice and bring healing as taught in the Christian scriptures.
Why Become An Urban Monk?
Individuals become Urban Monks in order to learn how past and contemporary Christian reformers, including other Urban Monks, solve and end social injustices, and to discover or rediscover Christian spiritual practices that strengthen their ability to overcome social injustices like the reformers.
How to Become an Urban Monk
Individuals become an Urban Monk by developing and sharing a Rule of Life with others. A Rule of Life consists of biblically-rooted spiritual practices that help Urban Monks solve and end social injustices in the communities in which they live, work, worship, recreate, socialize, and/or serve. Such practices are found in the actions and writings of ancient, past, and contemporary Christian mystics and reformers, and in the writings and actions of those who have learned from them. Each Urban Monk chooses which practices to include in their Rule of Life.
Urban Monks also share aspects of their Rule of Life with others in order to help one another live out a personal covenant with God that is rooted in the passion of Jesus Christ. The source of Jesus’ passion was his intense love for humanity which resulted in his uncompromising commitment to spiritually and physically restore humanity. Thus, Urban Monks seek to restore the communities of their everyday life by solving and ending social injustices.
Bibliography of Spiritual Practices
Click here for a bibliography that consists of brief descriptions of various articles and books about spiritual practices by ancient and contemporary authors that you may find useful and incorporate into an integrative Rule of Life.
list of Spiritual Practices
(by Joe Colletti, PhD)
Click here for descriptions of various spiritual practices that Joe Colletti, PhD has written to help Urban Monks with the experience of integration and for consideration for their Rule of Life.
The Institute for the
The Institute for the Urban Monk is dedicated to helping Urban Monks and others to discover or rediscover Christian monastic and mystical practices that strengthen their ability to solve and end social injustices. Often, such practices are taught only as a means to help nurture an intimate, personal, and private relationship with God. Rarely are they taught as a means to help nurture a deep, collective, and public relationship with God to help others solve and end social injustices.
The Institute believes that acts of charity become the necessary bandage when social injustices are left unresolved. As a result, individuals and a whole community such as a neighborhood, city, county, state and even an entire nation can be left hurt and wounded. The Institute also believes that resolving injustices is not a matter of choice for followers of Christ but a responsibility that is clearly outlined in the Bible.
In order to help carry out this responsibility, the Institute teaches individuals how to develop a Rule of Life that serves as a personal toolbox and to fill it with spiritual practices that will help solve and end social injustices in the communities in which they live, work, worship, recreate, socialize, and/or serve. Such practices are found in the actions and writings of ancient, past, and contemporary Christian mystics and reformers, and in the writings and actions of those who have learned from them. The Institute teaches how to take these various spiritual practices such as Lectio Divina/Sacred Reading, Examination of Consciousness, Wounded Healer, Compassion, Discernment, and even Silence and to use them as a means to solve and end social injustices and to heal individual and collective hurts and pains.
What is a Rule of Life?
A Rule of Life is an ancient practice that has helped individuals and religious communities nurture communal and individual lives in order to deepen their relationships with God. Click here to read more.
What is Integration?
Integration is a daily act and life long process that is intentional about personally selecting various spiritual practices to be included in an integrative Rule of Life in order to experience transformation and help transform others and the places that make up our everyday world. Click here to read more.
“Becoming an Urban Monk: A Personal Experience of Integration”
(by Joe Colletti, PhD)
The expression “urban monk” was coined, by Joe Colletti, PhD several years ago. Becoming an Urban Monk has been a personal journey that has taken place over the past few decades and which has been described in the paper entitled above. Click here to read paper.