CLS DC Metropolitan Area Chapter


The DC Metro CLS Chapter, founded in 1984, is pleased to continue gathering lawyers, law students, and many others as followers of Jesus Christ in the law.  The DC Metro officers invite you to participate in any of our events. We hold monthly large-group meetings, as well as offer more intimate bi-weekly Bible studies.  Additionally, Christian Legal Aid of the District of Columbia offers CLS members the opportunity to serve clients at the Central Union Mission, DC Dream Center, APPA Mission Center, and virtually.  Anyone interest in volunteering at any of the CLADC clinics can visit their website:  If you are interested in receiving Email updates from the chapter (1 or 2 a month), please send your email to Austin Cromack:

We will only use your Email to notify you of DC CLS events and meetings. 



District of Columbia
Austin Cromack


Group studies

  • Christian Legal Society Series, The Seven Deadly Malpractices  (Beginners:  still the best attorney targeted Bible study CLS has ever produced)
  • Blackaby, Henry,  Experiencing God  (Beginners: in workbook and video)
  • Warren, Rick , The Purpose Driven Life  (Beginners: 40 days of great questions!)
  • Peterson, Eugene,  A Long Obedience in the Same Direction  (Beginners:  from Psalms 120-134, the author focuses each chapter on one quality of the spiritual life that will enable and encouragement perseverance in spiritual growth.  Needs leader to develop discussion questions)
  • Underhill, EvelynThe Spiritual Life  (Good, short overview of the spiritual life)
  • Smith, James Bryan & Graybeal, Linda,  A Spiritual Formation Workbook  (Intermediate: great Renovare overview of the seven streams of Christian Spirituality)
  • Foster, Richard J.,  The Celebration of Discipline  (Intermediate: a classic primer; video)
  • Foster, Richard J. & Smith, James Bryan,  Devotional Classics  (Intermediate: A brilliant balance of Bible study and excerpts from spiritual giants in every Christian tradition that provides a comprehensive, easily accessible intro to Christian Spirituality—and with 52 chapters, this = a whole year curriculum for a growth group!)
  • Foster, Richard J.  Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home (Advanced:  20 lessons on different kinds of prayer that will move us inward, upward and outward.  Requires a leader who can prepare questions for discussion.)
  • Hallesby, O., On Prayer  (New edition includes helpful study guide)  Augsburg Press 
  • Hayford, Jack, Living the Spirit-Formed Life  (Intermediate:  a warm and winsome presentation of how to grow in 10 spiritual disciplines for spirit-filled discipleship; video) 
  • Peace, Richard  Contemplative Bible Reading: Experiencing God Through Scripture (Advanced:  a seven session group study that uses Bible Study and the application of the discipline of Lectio Divina to seven selected passages, followed by a practical invitation on how to follow through with daily Lectio until the next session) 
  • Peace, Richard,Spiritual Storytelling: Discovering and Sharing Your Spiritual Autobiography  (Advanced:  Seven plus sessions: five on Bible study of the pilgrimage of Abraham, one on how to present a spiritual autobiography, and one session each for each member to present and share their spiritual autobiography/pilgrimage.  The result is deep sharing and relationship building) 
  • Piper, John, The Pleasures of God (Intermediate: Revised and Expanded Edition includes an excellent study guide)
  • Willard, Dallas,Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God  (Advanced:  10 sessions on how we can hear God’s voice more clearly and develop an intimate partnership with him in the work of his kingdom. Needs leader to develop questions for discussion) 
  • Willard, Dallas,The Divine Conspiracy  (Advanced: A brilliant exposition of the Sermon on the Mount that lays the foundation for an uncompromising call to spiritual growth.  Needs leader to adapt to sections that can be studied, with discussion questions, in a small group format) 
  • Willard, Dallas, The Renovation of The Heart (Advanced:  Most comprehensive study on how to take on the character of Christ through the transformation of your Spirit.  Video with excellent teaching guide that includes Bible study, discussion questions and practical exercises.  At least thirteen sessions)

Resources for Growth Group Leaders

  • Nouwen, Henri, In the Name of Jesus  (lessons on leadership) 
  • Nyquist, James F.,  Leading Bible Discussion  (Still the IVP classic on how to develop inductive groups discussion  questions, with practical guidance on how to lead) 
  • Hestenes, Roberta,Using the Bible in Groups  (Comprehensive primer on how to begin, who can lead, how to prepare, and how to build relationships within small groups) 
  • Hestenes, Roberta,  Turning Committees into Communities  (Great resource for CLS chapter leaders on how to move traditional committee structure into discipleship and spiritual growth)

Developing a Rule of Life 

(With few exceptions, will require development of discussion questions):

  • Bradley, Ian, Colonies of Heaven: Celtic Christian Communities (Intermediate: excellent applications of ancient practices to the modern challenges of life.  With study guide questions, this would also be an excellent group study because of its emphasis on community) 
  • Boa, Kenneth, Face to Face: Praying the Scriptures for Intimate Worship, (Vol. I)
  • Boa, Kenneth, Face to Face: Praying the Scriptures for Spiritual Growth, (Vol. II) 
  • Bonhoeffer, Dietrich,  Life Together  (The classic on how to build genuine Christian Community through shared spiritual disciplines) 
  • Chittister, Joan, The Rule of Benedict: Insight for the Ages (Modern translation and commentary) 
  • De Waal, Esther, The Way of Simplicity: The Cistercian Tradition (Intermediate) 
  • Hull, Bill, Choose the Life  (Vision for a church that takes discipleship seriously) 
  • Houston, JamesThe Mentored Life 
  • MacDonald, Gordon,  Ordering Your Private World  (Great Evangelical primer on how the inner life can be ordered and regulated so that we live called, and not drive, lives in Christ.  Includes study guide) 
  • Meisel, Anthony C. and del Mastro, M.L., transl., The Rule of St. Benedict (Modern and readable translation that conveys the logic and spirit of the original text) 
  • Thornton, Martin,  Christian Proficiency  (Great Anglo-Catholic classic on how to develop a rule of life based on scripture reading, prayer, confession, meditation, listening prayer and the sacraments) 
  • Taylor, Brian,Spirituality for Everyday Living: An Adaptation of the Rule of St. Benedict  (takes St. Benedict’s principles of prayer, conversion of life, commitment, study, work, relationships and study and suggests how these can be adapted to the lives of those who live outside the enclosure.  Short, with helpful discussion questions) 
  • Von Bavel, Tarcisius & Canning, Raymond,  The Rule of St. Augustine  (An alternative classic to the Rule of St Benedict, with introduction and commentary).

Spiritual Classics for discussion

These classics are original sources for personal study, or could be adapted to group discussion by a leader. 

  • A Kempis, Thomas,  Of the Imitation of Christ 
  • Avila, St. Theresa of,  InteriorCastle  (NY: Doubleday-Image, 1989) 
  • Augustine, Enchiridion on Faith, Hope, and Love (Gateway Edition includes excellent introduction by Thomas Hibbs with additional analysis following the text)
  • Bacovcin, Helen trans.,  The Way of A Pilgrim  (NY: Doubleday-Image, 1992)
  • Bernard of Clairvaux, On Conversion (and other selected works) (Paulist Press:  The Classics of Western Spirituality series)
  • Bonhoeffer, Dietrich,  The Cost of Discipleship  (NY: MacMillan Publishing, 1977)
  • Bonhoeffer, Dietrich, Meditations on the Cross (brief, but excellent compilation of selections from the sermons and works of Bonhoeffer, edited by Manfred Weber)
  • Bonhoeffer, Dietrich, The Prayerbook of the Bible (introduction to the Book of Psalms)
  • Bounds, E.M.  Power Through Prayer
  • Lawrence, Brother, The Practice of The Presence of God (NY: Doubleday-Image, 1977)
  • De Sales, St. Francis,  Introduction to the Devout Life  (NY: Harper & Brothers, 1952)
  • Edwards, Jonathan, Religious Affections: Selections from the Works of Edwards regarding a  Christian’s Character before God
  • Fenelon, Francois,  Christian Perfection  (NY: Harper & Brothers, 1947)
  • Kelly, Thomas R.,  A Testament of Devotion  (NY: Harper & Brothers, 1941)
  • Kierkegaard, SorenPurity in Heart
  • Law, William,  A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life  (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist, 1978)
  • Murray, Andrew,  Humility  (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1982)
  • Lewis, C.S., Christian Reflections (Walter Hooper’s excellent introduction to selections from Lewis’ works on a wide range of topics)
  • Lewis, C.S.,  The Weight of Glory  (NY: Simon & Schuster-Touchstone, 1996)
  • Lewis, C.S.,  Prayer: Letters to Malcolm  (Glasgow: Fontana Books, 1974)
  • Lancelot Andrewes, Private Devotions
  • Lawson, James G.,  Deeper Experiences of Famous Christians  (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1982)
  • Mottola, Anthony, transl.,  The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius (NY: Image, 1964)
  • Murray, Andrew, ed. Freedom from a Self-Centered Life/Dying to Self: Selections from the Writings of William Law
  • Murray, Andrew, Abide in Christ: Thoughts on the Blessed Life of Fellowship with the Son of God
  • Nouwen, Henri, The Only Necessary Thing: Living a Prayerful Life (Compiled and edited by Wendy W. Greer)
  • Nouwen, Henri, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming
  • Origen, On Prayer (Paulist Press:  The Classics of Western Spirituality series)
  • Pascal, Blaise, A Mind on Fire:  Selections from the Works of Pascal
  • Taylor, Jeremy,  The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living (NY: Harper & Row, 1970)
  • Tozer, A.W.,  The Pursuit of God  (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1993)
  • Trueblood, Elton, The Company of the Committed

Theology and Christian Spirituality

  • Willard, Dallas, The Spirit of The Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives  (Lays the Biblical and theological foundations for transformation through Spiritual Disciplines)
  • McGrath, Alister E.,  Christian Spirituality  (Comprehensive analysis of the relationship between theology and spirituality, focusing on seven major themes, with readings from the Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and Evangelical traditions of Christian spirituality.  Includes a guide to resources in spirituality available on the internet)
  • Peterson, Eugene H., Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology(reunited spirituality and theology in a cultural context where these two vital facets of Christian faith have been rent asunder. Firmly grounded in Trinitarian theology, Peterson offers a clear, practical statement of what it actually means to live out the Christian life.)
  • Lovelace, Richard,The Dynamics of Spiritual Life  (Evangelical primer on the process of revival, reformation and personal transformation from an historical-theological perspective)
  • Harton, F.P.,  The Elements of The Spiritual Life  (Classic Anglo-Catholic treatise on Ascetical Theology)
  • Wakefield, Gordon S., ed., The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Spirituality  (Very readable encyclopedia of anything having to do with Christian spirituality

Dear Friends,

The DC Metro Chapter will be hosting a Christmas party on Friday, December 16 from 6:30 to 8:30. Register here: 

DC Metro Bible Studies

We are looking into starting a few Bible studies around the city.  If you are interested, please contact Austin Cromack at

Upcoming DC Special Events