Course Schedule‎ > ‎

Exploring the Celtic Heritage

April 24-28, 2017
Lindisfarne, Scotland UK

April 24-28, 2017

This unique course will be based on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, off the coast of Northumberland, England, which was home to St Cuthbert (635-687), in whose honor the illuminated manuscript known as the Lindisfarne Gospels was produced. Beginning with the story of Celtic Christianity, the course will combine reflection on mission in today’s world with space for personal reflection and spiritual nurture. Each day will incorporate worship drawn from different aspects of the Celtic tradition, and the leaders of various spiritual communities on the island will be participating in several sessions of the course.

Lindisfarne is accessed via a causeway at low tide, and is the end point of the 62 mile long pilgrim journey known as the St Cuthbert’s Way, which begins in Melrose, Scotland. Some participants may wish to incorporate that journey in their travel plans for getting to Lindisfarne. After the course ends, others may wish to extend their stay to include a visit to the monastery of the Venerable Bede in Jarrow, as well as Durham cathedral, where St Cuthbert is buried (both of which are within less than a two hour journey).

For more information on the island, see The nearest train station is at Berwick-upon-Tweed. By car, it is a short distance off the A1 highway, north of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and just to the south of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Should you decide to rent a car and drive to the island, pay particular attention to the tide tables which indicate times when it is safe to drive over the causeway, and do not be tempted to try and cross outside those times as the road becomes submerged by an incoming tide very quickly.


1. To gain firsthand knowledge of the physical environments which gave birth to Celtic spirituality. 
2. Become familiar with some of the key aspects of Celtic mission and devotion. 
3. Understand the challenges and opportunities for creative missional engagement with a post-Christian culture. 
4. Learn a praxis-reflection way of doing theology.

John Drane is the author of the best-selling books, The McDonaldization of the Church and After McDonaldization: Mission, Ministry, and Christian Discipleship in an Age of Uncertainty, as well as of introductions to the Old and New Testaments which have sold more than a million copies each.  His other writings include Do Christians Know How to be Spiritual? and Celebrity Culture.  He is chairperson of the Mission Theology Advisory Group of the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England and also chairs the board of mission shaped ministry (see and

Olive Fleming Drane is the author of Clowns, Storytellers, Disciples and Spirituality to Go: Rituals and Reflections for Everyday Living. Her academic background includes study at the Graduate Theological Union in San Francisco, and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. She is also a Fellow of St John’s College in the University of Durham.

John & Olive have been together since they were teenagers, and spent their honeymoon on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. They are parents to three adult children: a lawyer, an architect, and a physician. For recreation they enjoy skiing, roller-blading, travel, gardening, and homemaking. They have been teaching in the School of Theology at Fuller Seminary since 1994.