What Is An Ashram?
Christian Ashrams seek to help all people deepen their experience of the dynamic reality of God in daily living.
The word “ashram” – meaning “retreat”– is a word that comes from Sanskrit. Following a personal retreat experience in India, missionary E. Stanley Jones recognized the significance and value of a time for alternating discipline and rest, seeking spiritual health and renewal. Returning to the United States, Dr. Jones adapted this ancient retreat approach to be centered on Christian teaching and ecumenical community.
”I decided I needed a group discipline, both for myself and for my work. So, in 1930, I invited two others to join me in establishing a Christian Ashram.” -E. Stanley Jones
The Christian Ashram Experience
Each Ashram today continues to follow the original format instituted by Dr. Jones. The unique Ashram format offers a break from everyday demands to allow space and time for learning, prayer, reflection, fellowship, and rest.
Early in the retreat experience, participants gather into small groups to express in a heartfelt way the blessings, needs, and spiritual desires that they have coming into the Ashram. This time lays the groundwork for the openness and closeness that will be shared over the next few days.
The Ashram experience is rooted in the practice of listening for God. Each day, a gifted and qualified Bible teacher provides substantive, Scripture-based lessons for reflection and discussion.
Journeying together throughout the retreat, prayer groups offer each Ashram attendee the opportunity to reflect on what they have heard, share what they feel, receive encouragement, and join in prayer for one another in love.
Opening to God’s Spirit and rekindling the fire of our faith is an essential goal of the Ashram experience. Gifted and qualified Christian Ashram evangelists are dynamic, bold, and relevant in their proclamation of the Word.
Healing And Wholeness
Often a pivotal moment during the retreat, each Ashram includes a time when participants are given the opportunity to receive physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual healing through prayer and community support.
As the Ashram draws to a close, the entire community in attendance gathers to reflect and share how each one has been blessed, challenged and equipped for continuing growth and ministry during the retreat. This special time of praise to God and encouragement of one another prepares us all to return to our lives ready for what God has for us to do.