East Carolina University

The Monastic Project


The Monastic Project

Welcome to The Monastic Project.

Now used in religion and other courses around the country, The Monastic Project is an individual and experiential exploration of the monastic path, closely directed by a coach/professor. Broadly conceived, the goal is to experience in some small measure the discipline, purification, and concentration often facilitated by a monastic context. While it is not the explicit goal of the Project, many participants report results transformative beyond religious experience, such as improved mental and physical health, clarification of life goals and purpose, improved relationships, increased awareness, and better sleep.

The challenging goal is to have participants understand, as much as possible, experientially and empathetically, the monastic context in general and, specifically, contemplative and ascetic disciplines. The greatest challenge is doing the Project against the drift of culture and in settings, like educational institutions, that are certainly not monastic.

Note to Prospective Instructors:  To quickly determine whether or not The Monastic Project appeals to you, please email me (mercerc@ecu.edu) for the free Manual for Instructors.  In about 10-15 minutes, you can look at three small sections of the Manual and decide if the Project will work for your classes.  In the sections I point you to, a four-page handout for participants provides the basic four-week-program. Several pages that might impress you with the potential of the Project include student comments and instructor endorsements. The goal is to provide a resource for teaching that is proving to be a potent method for more effectively accomplishing certain pedagogical goals in religion courses and doing so in a way that efficiently uses instructor time. The Project has now been tested by various professors in a variety of religion and other courses and refined to ensure that it accomplishes the stated goal and minimizes the amount of time required by the instructor to implement.

For more information, please contact The Monastic Project Director:

    Dr. Calvin Mercer
    Director, Multidisciplinary Studies
    East Carolina University
    Greenville, NC 27858 USA
    252.328.4310 (office and voice mail)
    252-328-6301 (fax)

Harriot College of Arts and Sciences | East Carolina University
1002 Bate Building | Greenville, North Carolina 27858-4353
252-328-6131 (voice) | 252-328-4263 (fax)
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