Adjunct Faculty

Fr. Luke Buckles, OP

DSPT Adjunct Professor - Fr. Luke Buckles, OP

Summer Adjunct Professor


BA, (psychology and anthropology) University of California at San Diego; MDiv, Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology; MA, Graduate Theological Union; STL, STD, Pontifical University of St. Thomas, Rome

Research Interests:

Fr. Luke assists his students to develop an appreciation of their own individual and particular ways to follow Christ, whether it is to serve in the church as lay or ordained ministers. His interest lies in Roman Catholic spirituality, for the religious, lay and priest, showing the intersection between spirituality and daily life. That the outcome of a life of prayer and receiving the sacraments should lead to a greater awareness of God’s presence and a greater practice of charity and justice, so we can speak about a lived theology. Fr. Luke evokes several teaching styles: lecture, practicum and student reflection, to deepen his students’ knowledge of theology, growth in faith and awareness in Christ.

Courses Taught:

  • Pray Like a Mystic I

This is a user-friendly, hands-on course. We cover the traditional methods of mystical Christian prayer, and link each type of prayer to a well-known mystic: Desert Fathers, Benedict of Nursia, Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Thomas Merton, Jonathan Edwards, and Seraphim of Sarov. We will seek to understand how the styles of prayer fit with the historical and cultural settings as well as with the personalities and ministries of the mystics. Prayer techniques will be taught in class, with time to try them and discuss them. Class members will be encouraged to adapt the methods in ways that help them feel more connected to God. Lecture, discussion, small groups, experiential prayer. For academic or CEU credit, reading and final paper are required.

  • Pray Like a Mystic II

We continue studying methods of encountering God in activity and silence: exploring discernment; interpreting spiritual experience; working with fears and playing with doubts in the context of the Christian mystical tradition. We look more deeply into the theologies of several of the mystics of Part I, and meet Therese of Lisieux, Margery Kempe, Bonaventure, Mother Teresa, and John Maximovitch. Buddhist and Christian practice are brought together in Fusion Prayer - a form of mystical prayer that unites contemplative Trinitarian mysticism with the holistic human experience of mindfulness. There is more time for prayer and reflection. We encourage treating the course as a retreat. Lecture, prayer time, discussion, small groups. For academic or CEU credit, a final paper is required.

  • Healing the Heart: a Mystical Approach to Inner Healing

A mystical approach to healing the heart focuses on encounter with the Divine Physician more than on techniques and methods. Through lectures, guided meditations, prayer, journaling, artistic expression, and discussion, we will practice opening ourselves to the source of all Life and health. We encourage students to take this course as a retreat. This course is not offer for academic credit. For CEU credits, reading and a final paper or project are required.