You’re Invited…Join in the Mission of Scarritt Bennett Center

By Jackie Halstead

Welcome to the new blog for the Department of Education, Programming, and Connections at Scarritt Bennett Center. We have eagerly awaited the opportunity to share our mission and the rich programming we offer. The education we offer centers around the four areas of spiritual formation, racial equality, empowerment of women, and intercultural understanding.

I was introduced to Scarritt Bennett Center when I began leading retreats here in 2006. I was working with a university in Texas and partnered with friends in Nashville to create a “Growing Deeper Spiritually Program.” The residencies for this program were to be on the grounds of a retreat center in metropolitan Nashville. I would have preferred something removed from the city, but decided to give it a try. If you have been on campus, you will be familiar with my first impression. I walked onto the grounds and felt myself relax as I was met with a peaceful presence. It amazed me that these beautiful buildings and grounds were in the middle of Nashville–close to the bustle of Vanderbilt University and the venues that cater to university students.

As I joined the Scarritt Bennett Center family, I found that there was much more to it than the buildings and grounds. What makes Scarritt Bennett Center great is the heart of the place. Generations of people have toiled here to make a difference. It’s founders stood against the flow of society to address issues of injustice. You know this if you have participated in our programming. Return for more! If you have yet to join us, allow the writings of this blog to whet your appetite. This is where you want to be if you want to make this world a better place. Come enter into what we are doing. You will not be disappointed!

Jackie L. Halstead is the Director of Education, Programming and Connections at Scarritt Bennett Center. She holds certificates from two programs with the Shalem Institute–Spiritual Guidance and Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats and is a member of the Lay Cistercians of Gethsemani Abbey. Jackie has a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy and specializes in working with clergy and their families.

Jackie 2010