Via de Cristo is a Spanish phrase meaning “Way of Christ.” We have adopted this phrase to refer to a powerful, three-day retreat ministry. Our highly structured weekend retreats begin on Thursday evening and end on Sunday evening. They are designed to strengthen and renew the faith of Christian leaders and bring them to a new awareness of living in God’s grace. The weekends are led by lay people and supervised by clergy. Christians of all denominations are welcome.
Via de Cristo is based on the fundamentals of Christianity, concentrating on the person and teachings of Jesus Christ. The objective of the movement is to inspire, challenge and equip people for Christian action in their homes, churches and communities.
The movement originated as “Cursillo” in the late 1940′s in the Spanish Catholic church and moved to the United States in the late 1950′s. It began in the Lutheran church when lay people and clergy attended a Catholic Cursillo in 1971, both in Iowa and Florida. The first Lutheran sponsored weekends were held in 1972 in Iowa and Florida and have now been held in over 25 states and some foreign countries. Via de Cristo is the Lutheran expression of this method, which is currently being used in many denominations including Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Today, more than 2 million Christians in over 50 nations have attended one of these weekends.
Is the ALVDC really Lutheran?
We are certainly Lutheran in our heritage and our theology. The pastors who are a part of each team help us stay grounded in scripture. While the worship services on the weekend will be familiar to most Lutherans, we welcome participants from other Christian churches. Our goal is not to make you into a Lutheran but to share with you our common faith in Christ. We want all participants to return to their congregations renewed in their faith.
Here is a short (minute and a half) video so Pastors and congregational leaders can see how Via de Cristo can help them make disciples.