Carl McColman writes and speaks about God, and silence, and love — about what ultimately cannot be put into words. In his words, “The heart of every word is silence, and the heart of spirituality is the mystery of love.”
Carl’s books — like the bestselling Big Book of Christian Mysticism and the forthcoming Unteachable Lessons — explore the spiritual life in a variety of ways. Carl’s approach to spirituality (and to life) is joyful and optimistic, filled with a sense of God calling us into deeper communion — and empowering us to transform the world.
Believing that spirituality should bring people together rather than set them apart, Carl’s work explores many paths, from Buddhism to Celtic wisdom to Neopaganism — while remaining grounded in contemplative Christianity. He takes particular delight in exploring how ancient (and often hidden) dimensions of mystical insight can bring joy and purpose to all spiritual seekers today.
Carl blogs about many aspects of spirituality. His latest project is Via Mystica, a website devoted to contemplative and mystical Christianity. His often whimsical writing makes spirituality accessible and down-to-earth. He also cohosts the Encountering Silence podcast.
Following a life-changing encounter with the presence of God as a teenager, Carl studied Christian spirituality at the Shalem Institute, and received formation as a spiritual director through the Institute for Pastoral Studies. He is a life-professed Lay Cistercian (a layperson under the spiritual guidance of Trappist monks) and is in formation 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
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)
Carl’s Speaking, Teaching and Retreats
Encountering Silence (cohosted with Cassidy Hall and Kevin Johnson)
Ways to Stay Connected