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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 encountering, elucidating, and ending social issues and injustices by infusing their Christian faith and privately chosen spiritual practices into their employment, education, social, and/or volunteer efforts and other publicly chosen activities.
This integrative life is expressed through a Rule of Life that each Urban Monk distinctively develops as described in the “How to Become an Urban Monk” section below which also includes a template to help create a unique Rule of Life as a living document that will likely be both similar to, and unique from, the Rules of others. Essential elements for the Urban Monk include the following commitments:

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 issues and injustices, and to discover or rediscover Christian spiritual practices that strengthen their ability to overcome social issues and injustices like the reformers.

Over time, this Christ-like commitment transforms Urban Monks into agents of change and healing. Such dedication includes confronting the social and economic issues and injustices that family members and friends experience as well as those experienced by neighbors, 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 guided by an Urban Monk’s Rule of Life that includes personally selected spiritual practices that integrate their actions and reactions with the actions and reactions of the people and places that make up their everyday world. Such integration helps them become agents of transformation and reconciliation.

Thus, an Urban Monk seeks to solve and end social issues and injustices in the tradition of past and contemporary Christian reformers. Such issues and 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.

Individuals also become Urban Monks in order to be part of a growing world-wide community of Urban Monks who share with one another

> nurturing spiritual practices;

> integrating spiritual practices into acts of charity;

> using spiritual practices to solve and end social issues and injustices; and

> caring for yourself and those closest to you through spiritual, social, and recreational activities.

Such sharing is achieved through audio conferencing, video conferencing, white papers, published articles and books, web sites, webinars, seminars, workshops, conferences, and social media.

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 issues and 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.

Click here for a template that provides the essential steps for developing a Rule of Life in order to join the Society of Urban Monks. Upon completion of your Rule of Life, you are invited to join the Society of Urban Monks by saving it as a pdf file and e-mailing it to ruleoflife@urban-monk.org for review. The submission of your Rule will be considered as an expression of your solidarity with the Society of Urban Monks.

PLEASE NOTE: If you already have a Rule of Life that you consider as an expression of your solidarity with the Society of Urban Monks please submit for review.

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 issues and injustices.

 

The Institute for the
Urban Monk

The Institute for the Urban Monk is dedicated to helping Urban Monks and others to discover or rediscover Christian spiritual 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 which heal singular and societal hurts and pains.

Click here for a list of writings and web sites that focus on such Christian spiritual and mystical practices.

The Institute is also dedicated to helping Urban Monks and others to discover or rediscover the actions and writings of past and contemporary social reformers and of those who have learned from them to further strengthen their ability to solve and end social injustices. Too little is known about many of these reformers and some are largely unknown. 

Click here for a list of writings by, and about, such social reformers and articles, papers, web sites, and social media outlets that focus on them.

The Institute also promotes organizations and groups that are dedicated to advancing spiritual and mystical practices, providing opportunities for charitable acts, and/or solving and ending social injustices.

Click here for a list of web sites for such organizations and groups.

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 Scriptures.

Click here for a list of writings that distinguish between the responsibilities of charity and justice.

The Institute also teaches individuals how to develop a Rule of Life as a personal toolbox and to fill it with spiritual practices and the actions of social reformers in order to help solve and end singular and societal struggles in the communities in which they live, work, worship, recreate, socialize, and/or serve.

Click here for a template that provides the essential steps for developing a Rule of Life in order to join the Society of Urban Monks.

Upon completion of your Rule of Life, you are invited to join the Society of Urban Monks by saving it as a pdf file and e-mailing it to ruleoflife@urban-monk.org for review. The submission of your Rule will be considered as an expression of your solidarity with the Society of Urban Monks.

PLEASE NOTE: If you already have a Rule of Life that you consider as an expression of your solidarity with the Society of Urban Monks please submit for review.

Rules of Life were written by various founders of religious movements and orders to help adherents develop an intimate, personal, private, and public life with God and others and contain instructions about various spiritual practices.

Click here for books, articles, papers, web sites that focus on such rules of life.

“Becoming an Urban Monk: A Personal Experience of Integration,” by Joe Colletti, PhD.

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.