Business school includes prayer as a tool for creativity and more

Bentley Professors Bring Spirituality and Meditative Practices Into Business Education

An American college, Bentley College, just outside Boston MA, has been awarded a grant to develop a programme to re-educate their management educators. The plan is for them to be trained so that they modify their various courses to include periods of contemplative practice within each subject. The specific methods embraced by the grant are quiet meditation, reflection, mindfulness, and centering prayer.

The students have apparently been demanding deeper, more soulful approaches to teaching but academics have felt uncomfortable responding to the demand. It is this ‘fear’ that the programme aims to address.

In 2002, Joe Weiss, who holds a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary, pioneered a new approach to career development with a programme entitled “Life Calling & Career Strategies: The Spiritual Journey”. He has a clear bottom-line motivation for introducing this latest approach; “In today’s workforce, creativity is one of the most sought-after capabilities. How do you foster creativity? By listening and nurturing the voice within, gaining a deep sense of self-confidence, and becoming who you are in the fullness of your gifts.”

Weiss recently co-authored an article on spirituality and leadership – “Calling, New Careers, and Spirituality” with Tim Hall, John Haughey, and Michael Skelly [Research in Ethical Issues in Organizations (Elsevier) vol. 5, no. 3, 25-37, 2004].

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