Hi, I'm Carl.
I am a writer, blogger, podcaster, and speaker. While I work with words for a living, I love to explore what ultimately cannot be put into words: topics like God, and silence, and love.
The heart of every word is silence, and the heart of spirituality is the mystery of love.
My books — like The Big Book of Christian Mysticism and Unteachable Lessons — approach spirituality (and life) in a joyful and optimistic way. I believe spirituality should bring people together, rather than setting us apart. For this reason, my work explores many paths, from Buddhism to Celtic wisdom to Neopaganism — while remaining grounded in contemplative Christianity.
Following a life-changing encounter with the presence of God as a teenager, I studied Christian spirituality at the Shalem Institute, and received formation as a spiritual director through the Institute for Pastoral Studies. I am a life-professed Lay Cistercian (a layperson under the spiritual guidance of Trappist monks) and am scheduled to become a commissioned Centering Prayer instructor in late 2019.
What Others Say
Carl McColman gives much wise direction and broad understanding of the field of contemplative theory and practice. Here is your teacher!
— Richard Rohr
Carl McColman's first gift is his commitment to write about things that matter. His second gift is his ability to write about them with clarity and warmth, enticing his readers to go places with him that we might otherwise not have gone.
— Barbara Brown Taylor
If you don’t know about Carl McColman and his work, you should.
— Brian D. McLaren
“The Settling of the Mind Into Silence” — How a Definition of Yoga also Defines All Forms of Contemplation
Unteachable Lessons (2019)
Invitation to Celtic Wisdom (2018)
Little Book of Christian Mysticism (2018)
Christian Mystics (2016)
Befriending Silence (2015)
Answering the Contemplative Call (2013)
Lion, the Mouse and the Dawn Treader (2010)
Big Book of Christian Mysticism (2010)
366 Celt (2005)
The Aspiring Mystic (2000)
Spirituality (1997, reprinted with new forward 2008))
From 2001 to 2005 Carl wrote books about Neopagan spirituality. Learn about those books here: Eight Pagan Books (by a Christian Author)
Speaking, Teaching and Retreats
Encountering Silence (cohosted with Cassidy Hall and Kevin Johnson)
Ways to Stay Connected