History

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
Epiphany Association

The Epiphany Association as we know it today reflects faithfully the original commitment of its founding members and mentors to transform the world into the house of God (Domus Dei) and to remember at every moment who we most deeply are: human beings made in the form and likeness of God (Imago Dei).


The Association in its present form came into existence in 1979 under the guidance of two gifted mentors and co-founders: Father Adrian van Kaam, CSSp, PhD, who initiated the science, anthropology, and theology of formation in the Netherlands, and became a professor in these fields at Duquesne University in the United States, and Susan Muto, PhD, who taught there on the graduate level as a professor of literature and formative spirituality and who now serves Epiphany as its executive director and the Dean of its Academy.


Established as a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and listed in the Kenedy Directory under the auspices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Epiphany is an ecumenical, interfaith association of laity, clergy, and religious who are dedicated humbly and sincerely to the spiritual unfolding of life and world in the light of the Judeo-Christian faith and formation tradition.


Shortly after our founding and thanks to the overwhelming generosity of a remarkable benefactor, George Armstrong Kelly, IV, PhD, professor of political philosophy and religion at Johns Hopkins University, we were able to house the archival, research, publication, teaching, and consultation offices of the Association at the Kelly House in Point Breeze in Pittsburgh.


This unique dwelling, completed in 1904 and completely furnished in the style of the period, was given to the Epiphany Association by George and his family in memory of its owner, his aunt and guardian, Eleanor Park Kelly. She was an outstanding laywoman, a Christian professional in the finest sense, whose entire life was a profession of faith. She wanted her house to be used for a Judeo-Christian purpose and, before his own death in 1989, George granted her wish. He donated this lovely, gracious home to our Association in 1982. This unprecedented gift launched our Epiphany ministry and enabled us to fulfill our vision and mission. The ambience of the house embodied and symbolized our shared ideals of spiritual ecumenism and interfaith friendship and cooperation in accordance with the principles and practices of foundational formative spirituality.


We regarded a place like the Kelly House from the start as a symbol of replenishment, a spiritual oasis, where persons representing a variety of faith groupings could gather in peace and enjoy the company and conversation of like-minded believers in an atmosphere of care and concern. It is important for all of us to learn, in a world preoccupied with doing, how to follow the biblical counsel to be still, to rest for a while, to renew ourselves spiritually so that we can dedicate ourselves more wholeheartedly to our familial, professional, ecclesial, and social commitments.


We occupied Kelly House until 1995 when it was sold to a wonderful family. Proceeds from the sale helped to purchase and remodel our Epiphany House on Tropical Avenue in the South Hills of Pittsburgh in proximity to our beautiful new Epiphany Academy of Formative Spirituality, dedicated on November 16, 2001, and now offering a full complement of courses for post-graduate certification, continuing education, and spiritual enrichment.


Ours is a formational and an educational ministry in the deepest sense of these terms. We bring people together with experienced guides to read the classics, to study the Word of God, to assuage our ever growing hunger for a moral and spiritual life in a turbulent, changing world. At the Epiphany Academy of Formative Spirituality we engage in the kind of ongoing formation that lasts and outlasts life's many transitions.

Here we share our faith, hope, and love with people of various ethnic and religious backgrounds. Here experienced facilitators, faculty, staff, and associates participate in and personally inspire a variety of outreach and in-house courses for interested professionals in every walk of life as well as for people the world over who are committed to the art and discipline of formative spirituality in the light of the Judeo-Christian faith tradition and the science, anthropology, and theology of formation.