The Bartimaeus Institute

2015 Fall Institute

Details coming soon.


Recently held from February 16  - 20, The 2015 Kinsler Institute: A Festival of Radical Discipleship.

The festival schedule can be viewed here (2.1Mb PDF)  and the list of workshops here (4.9Mb PDF) .

A photo essay of the Festival of Radical Discipleship can be viewed here. (1.9Mb PDF)

A transcript of Jennifer Henry's Ash Wednesday homily can be viewed here.


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 Bartimaeus Institutes are study opportunities in the beautiful coastal hills of the Ventura River watershed in southern California.  Ranging from 3-7 days and held in the  Ojai Valley, they are intensive explorations of scripture and social justice, facilitated by Ched Myers, Elaine Enns and friends. 


Space is limited to 35 persons per Institute.  CEU and academic credit are usually available by request.  

Learn about Institutes through this short video.

For more information on pricing and registration, email or call 323-449-5170.


Past Institutes:

Permaculture Design Certification Course April 25 - May 11, 2014.  "The Peace of Wild Things": The First Ever Gospel-based PDC!!

We have completed our internationally recognized permaculture design certification course, explored for the first time through the lens of radical theology and praxis.  In this residential course, students graduated as certified Permaculturalists and were introduced to a diversity of embodied practices and critical analysis that helped empower and sustain faith-based work for justice and reconciliation.

A photo essay of the Permaculture Design Certification course can be viewed here. (960kb PDF)

2014 Kinsler Institute, Feb 17-21, 2014  "Discipleship in the Wilderness: The Three Archetypal ‘Temptations’ Then and Now (Mt 4:1-12).” 

 As a preparation for Lent, this Institute carefully read the story of Jesus’ “Vision Quest” and testing in Mt 4:1-12.  We saw how each of the three temptations represent archetypal expressions of the economic, political and theological seductions through which empire seeks to shape our hearts, minds and practices.  We explored how each of Jesus’ responses represent narrative cues to the “big story” of liberation in the Bible.  And through this process we looked at the challenges facing us today, reflecting on some of the themes articulated in Ched’s book Who Will Roll Away the Stone?  Discipleship Queries for First World Christians (Orbis), in celebration of its 20 anniversary.  A photo essay of the February 2014 Institute can be viewed here. (863kb PDF)


Oct 11 - 14, 2013: "Coming into the Watershed: Permaculture, Ecoliteracy, & Bioregional Discipleship" was  led by Chris Grataski, Ched Myers and Elaine Enns in the Ventura River Watershed, California.  It offered an introduction to the theory and practices of following Jesus in the way of ecojustice and permaculture. Exploring both meanings of “watershed discipleship” in this crucial historical moment of social and environmental crisis, we reflected on how scripture and theopolitics can animate and nurture personal and political sustainability. A photo essay of the October 2013 Institute can be viewed here. (863kb PDF)

Feb 18 - 22, 2013:  “There was a rich man who...” The Occupy Critique, Sabbath Economics and Luke 12-19.  This mid-winter Institute scripture intensive offered a theological response to the Occupy Movement, and a conversation with Cornell West and Tavis Smiley's recent manifesto on wealth and poverty, The Rich and the Rest of Us (2012).  Led by Ched Myers, over 30 people explored selected texts from Luke's "special section" that appear in the Year C gospel lectionary.  We looked at how the third gospel uniquely articulates the problem of social and economic disparity, how Jesus envisions the church as a new society in the shell of the old, and how these texts challenge First World Christians to practice Sabbath Economics.  You can see the basic syllabus here.

July 2012 Report: Rooting Faith:  Theology and Practices of Bioregional Discipleship 

 Feb 2012 Report:  Reading Mark's Gospel Politically

Feb 2011 Report: Watershed Seminary

Jan 2011 Report:  The Sermon on the Mount from Anarchist, Anabaptist and Antiracist Perspectives  

Feb 2010 Report: Ecojustice, Sabbath Economics and Luke’s Gospel

Jan 2010 Report: “Ambassadors of Reconciliation”: A Theology and Practices of Restorative Justice and Peacemaking.

Feb 2009 Report:  Transgressing Social Boundaries of Race, Class & Gender (Mark 4-8)

Jan 2009 Report:  Jesus as a Practitioner of Nonviolent Action (Mark 1-3)

Feb 2008: Jesus as a Teacher of Restorative Justice in Matthew

Jan 2008: Matthew’s Gospel between Seminary, Sanctuary & Streets

Jan 2007: Luke’s Gospel and Sabbath Economics