This module is part of the Distance Learning Website of the Carmelite Institute of Britain and Ireland (CIBI)



One of the enduring themes of the Carmelite tradition over the centuries has been the notion of living in the presence of God, that is, in awareness , in faith, of the reality that God is all around us and within us, and that as Christians we can help others to experience God’s presence. This module will present this popular theme of Carmelite spirituality with reference to some of the main texts, personalities and ideas of our Family’s tradition.

It’s an obvious point, but one we feel we should be explicit about from the start, that the fundamental notion underpinning this module is the belief that God exists, that God is truly present in the world. We assume that most CIBI students subscribe to this belief; whether you do or not we will try to give you some ways to think about this notion and what it means for Carmelites today.

This module will be not simply an academic exercise but also an experiential one, encouraging you to reflect on your own experience of God’s presence. By the end of this module you will have considered the many ways that Carmelites learn to know and to abide in the presence of God.

The five units will consider:

  1. Standing in the Presence of God

  2. God’s Presence Experienced in Relationships

  3. Prayer and the Presence of God

  4. The Practice of the Presence of God  and traditional spiritual disciplines 1

  5. The Practice of the Presence of God  and traditional spiritual disciplines 2

Further reading: This further reading is not required in order to complete this module, but if you want to read further about how Carmelites perceive their relationship with God you might like to read:

John Welch OCarm, The Carmelite Tradition: An Ancient Path for Today's Pilgrim. New York: Paulist Press, 1996. This book is accessible online at:

John Welch OCarm, Seasons of the Heart: The Spiritual Dynamic of the Carmelite Life. Carmelite Communications Centre, 2008. This book is accessible online at:

Mary McCormack OCD, Upon This Holy Mountain: Prayer in the Carmelite Tradition. Oxford: Teresian Press, 1999. This book is available from Carmelite Book Service, Boars Hill, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Course Tutor: Johan Bergström-Allen, T.O.C.


The course is divided into 5 units of input and, at the end, you may complete a Questionnaire, write a Learning Journal, or write an Essay.

Once posted, each unit will be available until the end of the module. The dates on which each of the units, and the other material for this course is available in the calendar in the Student Section.



Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3

Unit 4

Unit 5


Learning Journal

Essay Titles

Please click HERE to access the STUDENT SECTION for module start and end dates

From the date corresponding to the relevant Monday (see main web page of, you can click on the relevant unit to access it. Each module includes links to other internet sites of various kinds related to the material being covered.

    Once you have successfully accessed and studied the material in each module and received the Essay titles and the questionnaire, pleace complete either the Questionnaire, write a Learning Journal, or write an Essay based on one of the Essay titles given, and return it to to the course administrator: [email protected]


Copyright: CIBI holds the copyright to this material (text, graphic and other); distribution to family or friends, or publication (including on internet) of any part of the material is not permitted without the CIBI ’s explicit written permission.