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Quaker Studies Online: A New Pendle Hill Initiative

Not everyone can make it to Pendle Hill’s campus for lectures, weekend workshops, short courses, conferences, or summer institutes. Over the last year, we have therefore experimented with expanding our reach by live streaming campus lectures and adding significant elements of online distance learning to our multi-month Radical Faithfulness program in spiritual activism and faith-based organizing.

Given the success of these efforts over the last twelve months, we are now ready to launch Quaker Studies Online, which will complement our on-campus programs by offering an increasing number of all-online courses in Quaker faith, practice, and history. Our first all-online course in the Quaker Studies Online series will be “Exploring the Quaker Way,” a ten-week course starting in June.

Steve Chase, Director of Education

Marcelle Martin

The faculty for this new course will include a variety of guest webinar presenters and discussion leaders, as well as core faculty such as Steve Chase, author of Letters to a Fellow Seeker: A Short Introduction to the Quaker Way, and Marcelle Martin, author of Our Life Is Love: The Quaker Spiritual Journey. Besides reading and discussing these two books, other readings will include key Pendle Hill pamphlets and selected articles from other Quaker publications. This course will also include seminar presentations and discussions of self-chosen reading by the students. Online videos will also be included as part of the program, as well as the guest presentations and webinars mentioned above.

We believe this course meets a real need within the Religious Society of Friends. Many local meetings increasingly see the importance of more robust religious education opportunities and deeper spiritual dialog within the Quaker community. Yet, several of these same meetings do not necessarily have the resources to provide engaging, focused study with experienced educators or with classmates from a wide variety of Quaker meetings and regional Yearly Meetings.

Doug GwynWe are designing this new online course to deepen every student’s understanding of the Quaker way, whether they are seekers and attenders relatively new to the Quaker community, or spiritually thirsty, long-time members who want to focus more on how Quaker spirituality can be more faithfully lived in their personal, professional, and public lives.

A Fall course on “Quaker Faith, Sustainability, and the Renewal of Creation” is also being planned and will be taught by Doug Gwyn, a frequent Quaker Studies teacher at Pendle Hill and the author of A Sustainable Life: Quaker Faith and Practice in the Renewal of Creation.

For more information about either of these new programs, contact Steve Chase, Pendle Hill’s Director of Education, at 484-234-4490 or