School Notes

Date posted:   Feb 27, 2019

Living Community: Insight from L'Arche

Photo of Jean Vanier and a member of L'Arche

Fee: $50
Six Weeks

Check the course schedule for future offerings of this course.

featuring video with members of the L’Arche community

How can the embrace of human vulnerability lead us towards relationships of communion? What spiritual transformations come about when we begin to recognize insecurity and powerlessness as fundamental aspects of being human? Jean Vanier and the communities of L’Arche that he founded, people with and without disabilities living side-by-side as family, offer a sign to the world that such questions can lead us along a “way of the heart” towards a deeper encounter with one another and with God. This course examines some fundamental principles of the wisdom that Vanier and L’Arche have discovered and invites the participant to engage the transformative power of vulnerability in their own communities.


Week 1: Love Transforms Chaos
Week 2: Belonging: Breaking Down Walls
Week 3: Belonging: The Way of the Heart
Week 4: The Path to Freedom
Week 5: Living Community: Interdependence, Forgiveness, and the Gentle Power of God

Special features:

  • A forum to “Ask the Course Designer”
  • Weekly videos from L’Arche’s #AsIAm

All STM Online: Crossroads courses include these features:

  • Participants have access 24 hours/7 days a week to the course's password-protected web site. 
  • Each participant belongs to a small Community for Conversation and faith sharing guided by a facilitator.
  • The course site is usually available to participants at least three months after the course.
  • An orientation in how to navigate the web site is always available.
  • Technical assistance is easy to contact and prompt in returning a message.
  • A Certificate of Active Participation is awarded to those who post at least three messages of substance for each week of content.

Additional Materials Needed:

Jean Vanier. Becoming Human. Paulist Press; 2 edition. 2008
ISBN-10: 0809145871; ISBN-13: 978-0809145874

Time Commitment:

A participant can expect to spend an average of 3-4 hours each week.  This commitment includes both the preparation and interaction online.

Content Scholars:

Jean Vanier (text), founder of L'Arche

Thomas N. Murphy (course designer)

L’Arche community members featured in #AsIAm (videos)