Meditation Bible Study called “Lectio Devina” offered on campus


Amelia Schafer

Lectio Divina is an ancient way of reading the Bible. It’s a way to center oneself and focus on a short passage and think about what the text is saying.

by Max Bertrand, Staff Reporter

Lectio Devina is a new meditation bible study that students can join on campus. 

Lectio Divina is an ancient way of reading the Bible. It’s a way to center oneself and focus on a short passage and think about what the text is saying. It could also be focusing on a specific word in the text and seeing how it may have meaning. Lectio Divina can be an individual practice yet it can also be a way to see how others hear something different in the text. 

In Simpson College’s new study of Lectio Divina, the group will read the text for that week a few times and then reflect on what they read. The group will be led every Thursday at 8:30 a.m. by Professor Jon Kara Shields in the meditation room below Smith Chapel. 

Although Shields is currently leading the group, anyone would be able to lead the study in the future. 

During meetings, new students attending will introduce themselves and discuss if anything is going on in their lives that would help the group to know if the student is comfortable sharing. Then the group will read through the selected text for that week four times. The first time reading the text, Shields wants students to listen for words followed by a brief pause. The second time students are encouraged to listen for words or phrases. 

Chaplin Mara Bailey describes the study as a read, reflect, respond and rest. 

“There are four Latin words associated with each of the four readings, but it’s kind of like a read, reflect, respond and rest, I think are the kind of the English associations of that process,” Bailey said.

What makes Lectio Devina different from other bible studies is that it supports someone’s own personal faith and devotion. It’s also a space to connect with other people. Lectio Divina is a half-hour long, and it’s great for students who are looking for a way to study the bible but don’t want to invest in a longer time commitment. 

“Lectio Devina is simple. You read a passage of scripture and sit with it in silence, you read it a couple of different times. It’s sort of like a focus or a place to encounter God,” Shields said.

Lectio Divina is a place to center time to reflect on whatever wisdom there is in biblical stories and ideas. A lot of groups that practice Lectio Devina actually use psalms because they are written like prayers and are rooted in human emotion. 

Practicing in a group can motivate others to practice praying. There is no need to contact anyone to be involved with this group. 

Those who are interested in participating in Lectio Devina can head to the meditation room in Smith Chapel on Thursdays at 8:30 a.m.