Mary Rose Bumpus


RSM, Ph.D. Mary Rose Bumpus

E-mailbumpusm@seattleu.edu
Address901 12th Avenue
Post Office Box 222000
Seattle, WA
Phone206-296-6000
Web

Assistant Professor of Christian Spirituality, Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry

Has been a teacher at some level of education for most of his life, sees teaching as a vocation, loves interacting with students and faculty colleagues and thoroughly enjoys the mutual learning that takes place inside and outside the classroom. Began professional career as a high school teacher in 1970. In 1998, as he was finishing doctoral work in the field of Christian Spirituality, began teaching courses at the graduate level. As an adjunct professor, taught courses at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, Boston College, Department of Theology, and San Francisco Theological Seminary. As Interim Director of the Program in Christian Spirituality and Visiting Professor at San Francisco Theological Seminary, spent four years of teaching courses that prepared students to become spiritual directors in a variety of settings. In 2004, was invited by the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University to accept a position as Assistant Professor of Spirituality where is currently engaged in the fascinating processes of teaching, learning, growth and transformation.

In addition to my teaching experience, I spent four years working as a counselor for Catholic Social Services. My work in this arena spanned the gamut of individual and family counseling, children and youth counseling, and older adult counseling and social work. I liked doing counseling with individuals and families and took great delight in those moments when some slight or significant change occurred in the direction of healing and wholeness. I have been a spiritual director for over 25 years and a supervisor of spiritual directors for the last 12 years. I have also served as a Director of Sisters in Formation for the Sisters of Mercy of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Research Interests
The foundational question that underlies my various research interests is: “How do we actually encounter/experience the living God, and how does this experience shape and inform the people we become and the way we live our lives?” I am interested in how people throughout the world and throughout human history have experienced and lived within the context of ultimate mystery, and how they and we have been transformed by this mystery. So I wonder, as I read biblical texts for example, how people actually experienced Jesus of Nazareth? Or, what kinds of interpretive approaches to our readings of biblical texts, particularly the Gospels, lead to transformation and justice? How have our forebears, people like Antony and Augustine, Francis and Clare, Theresa of Avila and John of the Cross, Jonathan Edwards, Simone Weil, Dorothy Day, and Martin Luther King, Jr., among others, how have they experienced transformation in the direction of God?

I have a keen interest in the art and work of spiritual direction. This leads me to ask questions such as these: What is the spiritual climate or ethos of the contemporary U.S. culture? Is it possible to live a “sane and holy life” here and now? What do people hunger and thirst for today? How do we image or imagine God? Where is the place God comes to meet us? How can we, as spiritual directors, assist those we accompany in discovering the presence and activity of God in their lives? What is the relationship between spirituality and justice, between transformation of self and transformation of the church and the world?

I am also interested in theoretical questions that are interdisciplinary in nature. For example, what is the relationship between psychology and spirituality, between theology and spirituality, between science and spirituality? How do these disciplines shape and inform one another and toward what end? What does the ecumenical faith community have to say to us about the variety of approaches we might take to the practice and art of spiritual direction?

Often my particular research projects arise in response to the concerns, needs, and questions of students and others. In an essay entitled “Supporting Beginning Directors: Participating in the Dance,” co-author Rebecca Langer and I address questions and concerns of beginning spiritual directors. This chapter is a direct result of our work with students. I hope my own interests and research endeavors correspond to the needs of the church and world and the desires of others.

Areas of Interest



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