Via de Cristo (a Spanish phrase meaning "Way of Christ") is the Lutheran version of the Cursillo Movement. In the early seventies some Lutheran pastors and lay persons attended Cursillo weekends in Iowa and Florida. With the help of the Catholic and Episcopal movements, Cursillo was adapted for Lutheran use and the first Lutheran weekends were held in Miami and Atlanta in 1972. The Lutheran expression of Cursillo continued to grow and in 1981 was formed a national governing body for Lutheran Cursillo.
The same year, the Roman Catholic Secretariat began requesting a name change for the Lutheran movement if Lutheran Cursillo did not sign an agreement that team members and participants on the weekends would all be of the same denomination. In 1986, the National Lutheran Secretariat decided that they would change the name of the Lutheran movement to Via de Cristo (the way of Christ). This decision was made in order to keep the Lutheran weekends ecumenical.
However, in some locations, the name Lutheran Cursillo is still maintained. For example, the Lutheran Cursillo of Southern California, started in 1990, uses Lutheran Theology, is led by Lutheran Clergy and, to attend, you must be an active member at a Lutheran church.
While Via de Cristo is generally the same as Cursillo, you do not have to be a member of a Lutheran congregation to attend. The weekends do use Lutheran theology, however. The purpose remains the same : to turn out authentic witnesses capable of influencing their environment. The method as well: (1) the stimulating three days experience which highlite what is fundamental for being a Christian, and (2) the fostering and support of "groupings" (small groups meeting once a week) and "ultreyas" (monthly meetings in larger groups).
During the Via de Cristo three day weekend, fourteen or fifteen talks are given, some by lay people and five by clergy. Following each talk, small round table discussions focus on the main points of the talk and a poster is done. The titles of these talks indicate their content: Ideal, Piety, Study, Day in the Life of a Christian, Action, Obstacles to Grace, Leaders, Environment, Life in Grace, Christian Community in Action, and Total Security/Fourth Day. Via de Cristo gives those attending a living understanding of basic Christian truths. There is music and singing, food and fellowship, time for laughter and most importantly time for prayer.
Via de Cristo is present in more than 25 American states and in several countries.
Our resumy has excerpts from different Via de Cristo websites.