Adult Spiritual Development

The All Souls Adult Spiritual Development program brings people together in different places and formats, like different threads, to form a spiritual, intellectual, communal tapestry for our daily lives.


  • To register, unless otherwise indicated, click on course title and then the "Register" link.
  • If there is a fee, you can pay as you register online. We turn nobody away; if you'd like a waiver of the fee or to pay what you can, please contact Gary Penn (; 202.517.1465).
  • If a class reaches its maximum before you register, you can be placed on a waiting list by contacting Gary.


All ASD offerings, other than those related to membership or fellowship, have fees. Fees cover some portion of the cost of the whole program, but most of the cost is covered by congregant annual pledges. We encourage everyone (member or not) who takes an ASD class to pledge annually.


Ongoing Opportunities for spritual deeping and transformation at All Souls

About All Souls

Learn and ask questions about Unitarian Universalism and All Souls Church. This informal session lasts about an hour. First Sundays of the month, Longfellow Room. No registration, no fee; just drop in.


A serene and beautiful monthly service of music, silence, and spiritual practice. Second Wednesdays, September through June, 7:30 pm.

Mindful Souls

A time to gather and meditate together, followed by discussion led by congregants or others from the broader DC community. Sundays, 1:00 pm.

Philosophical Souls

Honoring Socrates’ belief in the rewards of the examined life and the UU commitment to a “free and responsible search for truth and meaning,” Philosophical Souls holds discussions that tackle big questions in small settings. To participate, you only need what is available to us all—an open and inquiring mind. Join us for one gathering or many! No need to register. Contact Sara (

Covenant Groups

Covenant groups meet regularly, often in people’s homes, for community, mutual support, simple ritual, and spiritual growth through reflection on the All Souls monthly theme or an affinity.

Interested in joining a covenant group? Come to the Covenant Group Information Session after either service on Sunday, October 7, 2018. At the information session you can learn about covenant groups, hear from covenant group leaders, and sign up for a group.

Clearness Gatherings

A Clearness Gathering is a small group of fellow travelers who offer 2.5 hours of support as you discern a question important in your life. Asking honest, open-ended questions, they listen to the voice of your inner teacher, that spark of the Divine within us. Life has ways of creating static that interferes with that voice; the Clearness Gathering is one way to clear the static and to live into your original blessing. Brian Marshall or Michael Milano are happy to talk with you about Clearness Gatherings. Email us at

ASD Workshops, Retreats, and Courses

Click on the class title to reach the registration link.

All Souls Reads: Justice on Earth

Panel presentation: Sun., Sep. 23, 1:00-2:00 pm. With Paula Cole Jones and Pamela Sparr. Open to the public.

Discussion series: Mondays, Oct. 22, Nov. 5 and 19, 7:00-8:30 pm. Facilitator: Emily Koester.

Please register if you plan to attend the discussion series.

Classic Readings: Margaret Fuller, Mystical Feminist

Margaret Fuller’s writing is overshadowed by the extraordinary events of her life, which saw her move from editorship of the Transcendentalist journal The Dial to becoming the first female book reviewer and foreign correspondent for the New York Tribune and, eventually, a direct participant in the Italian revolutions of 1848. But she was not just a key figure in the development of American feminism. She also participated in the American discovery of mysticism­—an important aspect of 19th century liberal religious thought—and was a self-confessed mystic herself.

All Souls Reads: Fascism, by Madeline Albright

Panel presentation: Sun., Oct. 14, 1:00-2:00 pm. With Jose Luis Sanchez, Peter Montgomery, etc. Open to public.

Discussion series: Mondays, Oct. 15, 22, 29, Nov. 5, 12. Facilitator: Jose Luis Sanchez.

Please register if you want to attend the discussion series.

Classic Readings: Hosea Ballou, “Treatise on Atonement”

Ballou was not the founder of American Universalism, but he is one of the tradition’s most important theologians. In this 1805 treatise, one of the most influential Universalist works, he rejected the satisfaction theory of the atonement which held that Christ died in humanity’s place in order to repay the debt of original sin and satisfy God’s wrath. In its place he proposed a theory of redemption grounded in God’s love.

Classic Readings: Theodore Parker, “The Transient and Permanent in Christianity”

Theodore Parker was both the most controversial and most influential Unitarian of his era. This 1841 sermon was not intended to cause a stir, but his attempt to pare Christianity down to its moral core caused a backlash that estranged him from his fellow Unitarian clergy even as it made him a celebrity. We will consider his complicated life and legacy.