What is Cursillo?

Cursillo (pronounced kur-see-yo) is a Spanish word meaning a short course. It is an abbreviation for the full title "Cursillo de Christiandad" or "Short Course in Christian Living". This movement began in Spain in the 1940's as a method of reviving Christian commitment. (For more information on the history of Cursillo, visit the US National Cursillo Center's Website.) began in the Roman Catholic Church and spread quickly to other countries and denominations. Today, Cursillo can be found all around the globe, and is embraced by many churches including, but not limited to, Roman Catholic, Anglican, United, Lutheran, Episcopal, United Methodist and Presbyterian.

The Cursillo Movement is one method of renewal within the church. Its purpose is to strengthen disciples within the ministry of individual congregations; to help Christians understand their call to leadership at home, at work in the community and in the church.

Cursillo is a lay-led movement, but weekends are a joint effort of laity and clergy seeking to develop and renew Christian leaders.

What happens on a Cursillo weekend?

The weekend is a highly structured, well thought out method of providing participants with an opportunity to reflect on their own faith journey while suggesting new insights for the future.

The weekend begins on Thursday evening and ends on Sunday late aftertoon. It is a live-in weekend for all participants. You will live and study together in prayer, worship, song and discussion. Discussions center on several talks that are given by clergy and laity. These talks focus on the theme of God's grace and how that grace comes alive in the Christian community and expresses itself in the world.

Presbyterian Cursillo weekends are rooted in Christian doctrine and are not limited to members of the Presbyterian Church. Any adult Christian who is ready for a learning and growing experience is welcome to attend. Men and women attend separate weekends that are held each spring at Camp Kannawin at Sylvan Lake, Alberta.

What happens after a Cursillo weekend?

To nurture the process of growth and discipleship begun on the weekend, the Cursillo community provides specific opportunities. Groups have regular get-togethers to reflect and share their faith and experiences. A regular newsletter is also used to provide information and maintain contact. There are two expectation sof a candidate following a Cursillo weekend:

  • Continue their walk with Christ with the help of the community
  • Become a more active disciple of Christ in their environment