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.

Classic Readings: John Dietrich and Curtis Reese

“Though we consider the religious forms and ideas of our fathers no longer adequate, the quest of the good life is still the central task for mankind.” So declared the 34 signers of 1933’s “Humanist Manifesto,” 15 of whom were Unitarians. Come discover the origins of religious humanism, the most important development in early 20th century Unitarian thought, through a selection of writings by two of its most influential proponents, the Unitarian ministers John Dietrich and Curtis Reese.

All Souls Reads for Supporting Immigrant Youth

Immigrant youth have distinct challenges and important gifts to offer as they pursue their education in the U.S. Three expert educators who specialize in working with immigrant youth will share their perspectives, research, and experience from their recently published book on the topic.

Contemplative Practices Retreat

In this half-day retreat, we will honor Hindu religious perspectives and devotional practices as well as the power of interfaith spirituality and its expression. We’ll explore the practices of sitting and walking meditation, mindful eating, prayer, ritual and silence, and explore other modes of spiritual reflection known to facilitate compassion, well-being and exquisite self-care.

Philosophical Souls: Populism

Populism rages. What is it? How does populism differ from other forms of majoritarian democracy, which we support? Is there value in its notion of empowering “the people” instead of elites, or in its impatience with institutional constraints? What are its dangers, and to whom? What is the appropriate democratic response? Could populists ever become our allies? Please join us for these questions and yours! RSVP to Sara Frueh ( for exact location.

UU4Core III: Unitarian Universalist Ethics and Activism (201904)

Our spiritual perspective impels us to work for justice, and our justice work demands our ongoing spiritual development. This course will deepen our knowledge of the inspiring heritage of UU activism, the ethical frameworks that have led UUs to work for peace, prison reform, abolition of slavery, women’s rights, LGBTQ liberation, immigration reform, countering white supremacy, eco-justice, and more. We will grapple with struggle points in our own transformation and as well as acquire tools to put our faith into practice. 

Classic Readings: Frederick Douglass

Although a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church for most of his life (and later Metropolitan A.M.E. here in DC), abolitionist and statesman Douglass was drawn to religious liberalism and often attended All Souls. Douglass was himself a preacher and his preacherly style informs his best-known text, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave: Written by Himself. We’ll discuss the life and work of this great leader and consider what message it holds for us today.

Contemplative Practice: Walking the Labyrinth of Life

The labyrinth has been called “the path of the soul.” In this immersive retreat, we’ll explore walking the labyrinth as a tool for spiritual formation and the cultivation of exquisite self-care in daily life. We’ll prepare a small custom-designed labyrinth as a form of contemplative practice. Participants will enjoy sitting meditation, prayer, ritual and silence, mindful eating, and the joy of practicing spiritual discipline in community. We’ll also learn organizing tools for bringing contemplative practice into daily life in meaningful way and practical ways.