There are few places in North America where one can get the opportunity to live out the Gospels in a real way. St. John the Compassionate Mission is one of those places. When I came to the Lived Theology School, I was young and idealistic former college student with a lot of ideas of how God and theology were supposed to work. LTS helped challenge me in a very real way. It is easy to talk about loving your neighbour; it is much harder to do this when your neighbour is a drug addict, a paranoid schizophrenic or a utterly suffering person. A lot of what you hold to be true is destroyed and rebuilt. (hopefully in a good way). You start seeing God for who He is, instead of the idol you have created Him to be.
The course work is very insightful. It is nice to see real world reality wrestled in deep ways. You will develop a good framework historically, theologically and pastorally to grapple with grey, non easy, situations. Community at the mission can be incredibly encouraging. There are some amazing people that you will meet that will warm your soul. In many of the people that you will meet at the mission, you will encounter Christ.
I would recommend coming to St John’s for people that are exploring what their vocation is, looking at how to gain credibility at their church or just curious what God’s purpose in their life is. Life at the mission can be challenging, however the growth in your faith, deepening of your spiritual life, widening of your theological wisdom, and development of vocation makes it quite worth it.
the author of this contribution was one of our first Lay Missionaries. LTS gave him - a new city, a new life, and a new wife (the one and only).