Do you want your guests to experience hope, trust and joy in their real lives--after your event ends? Then you need us.
Through workshops, speaking, and coaching, School For Seekers creates "sandboxes and safe spaces" in which to examine old beliefs, try on new ideas, and learn daily practices. We creatively employ music, preaching, art, teaching, discussion, writing, and prayer to suit your needs.
We help individuals discover the Really Real God, who loves and cherishes each one of us.
We help leaders address hard topics like sex, shame, death, grief, and change.
We invigorate faith life, and make daily spiritual growth achievable.
Price Range: $375 and up
What to Expect
School For Seekers offers three services:
--Preaching, teaching, and institutional process guidance by Rev. Dr. Elane O'Rourke
--Concerts, worship leadership, and songwriting intensives by Benton Stokes
--Spiritual formation workshops, retreats, and conference events by Elane and Benton working together.
While we can address a wide range of topics, in both secular and sacred realms, these are available on short notice:
--Discovering the Really Real God (You Always Hoped Existed)
--Kingdoms: Yours, Mine, and God's--Why Conflict Is Unavoidable And What To Do About It
--Bible 101: Finding God and Real Life In the Pages
--The Six Steps And One Wall Of The Spiritual Journey: How Spiritual Maturity Works and How To Get Unstuck
--How To Be Human: Integrating Your Mind, Body, Soul, Spirit, and Will For A Lifetime of Joy
--Breaking Though WTF: What To Do When You Crash Into Reality
--Scars Of Gold: Using Your Hurts For Others' Healing
--Writing The Song In Your Heart: Songwriting For Transitioning Churches
Our expertise is in creating thought-provoking, spiritually rich environments for personal exploration and intimate relationship with God. In our workshops and retreats, we utilize music, teaching, prayer, conversation, art, writing, and movement, customized to suit your audience and venue.
A typical retreat weekend begins before guests arrive, with their taking a self-assessment based on the retreat topic.
--The first evening focuses on worship, song, prayer, and small group interaction.
--The second day usually begins with meditation, yoga, or other physical activity. Elane and Benton weave the heart-practices of music, art, and writing together with the head-practices of teaching, conversation, and contemplation. We are able to adjust--on the fly--both our activities and our language/paradigm based on the responses of your guests.
--The second day typically ends with a concert by Benton or a worship event including Holy Communion; these can be public events, and either secular or sacred in music and tone.
--The third day begins as the second day did. Teaching concludes, and either a worship event or a self-disclosing supportive challenge closes the event.
Rev. Dr. Elane O'Rourke is a catalyst for change. Elane is a spiritual coach and dynamic teacher who has pastored LGBTQ-affirming churches since 1998. Elane is a member of Spiritual Directors International, and the author of A Dallas Willard Dictionary. A former philosophy professor, she holds four graduate degrees (in spiritual formation, philosophy, women and gender studies, and divinity) and completed the Renovaré Institute for Spiritual Formation. Her current book project is The Really Real.
Elane is an unrepentant fan of good folks, good wine, and good news.
Benton Stokes is a warm and trustworthy companion on the journey. Benton is a Dove Award-nominated songwriter (as Kevin Stokes) and singer. He is the spiritual and musical Director of Worship Arts at Covenant of the Cross, a non-denominational church in Nashville, Tennessee. A piano-based performer, Benton enjoys the intimacy of small venues as well as the sheer energy of large audiences. Benton guides songwriters into their best work and regularly teaches for Write About Jesus. His recent CDs include Turn Off The Moon and Grace and Gravity.
When not using his profound gifts of prayer and music, or talking about his three kids, Benton enjoys drinking coffee and riding roller coasters, usually not at the same time.
You can get to know Elane and Benton through their podcast, Cocktail Theology, as well as via online videos and blogs.
History of School For Seekers
Benton and Elane began working together in 2014, when Elane was hired to serve as the church's spiritual formation pastor. She had proposed a two-year, modular program of discipling and education, emphasizing deep interactive relationship with God along with honest self-examination and focused spiritual practice. Within a month students began to notice the spiritual chemistry between Benton and Elane; his gifts of music and gentle personality complimented her sharp intellect, vast knowledge, and intense focus. As students' personal transformation became evident, Benton and Elane realized that their unique approach could be useful to others.
In 2018, Elane left the church to focus on taking the rich content and personal connection of School For Seekers on the road--to living rooms, churches, classrooms, and conference centers anywhere God's loving presence is desired.
Additional Booking Notes
Benton Stokes: piano (electric or acoustic), microphone
Dr. Elane O'Rourke: microphone, stool, overhead projection, white board, ability to walk through the audience preferred, lectern or other stand for notes
Room setup for workshops and retreats: tables, writing implements, wireless microphone, any needed art or practice supplies
Past Booked Events
|November 04, 2018 • 6:00pm - 8:30pm||4-week course, topic TBA|
|October 28, 2018 • 6:00pm - 8:30pm||4-week course, topic TBA|
|October 21, 2018 • 6:00pm - 8:30pm||4-week course, topic TBA|
|October 20, 2018 • 7:30am - 8:30pm||Discovering The Really Real God|
|October 14, 2018 • 6:00pm - 8:30pm||4-week course, topic TBA|
|October 07, 2018 • 6:00pm - 8:30pm||Scars Of Gold-4|
|September 30, 2018 • 6:00pm - 8:30pm||Scars Of Gold-3|
|September 23, 2018 • 6:00pm - 8:30pm||Scars Of Gold-2|
|September 16, 2018 • 6:00pm - 8:30pm||Scars Of Gold|
Benton Stokes' typical set list consists in original songs, plus any covers that would enhance the theme and mood of the event.
microphones, piano, stools, lectern
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