I feel that doing the course has really developed my understanding of the course on a scholarly level and has changed my perceptions in a spiritual level because instead of just making assumptions we are told to find evidence to back them up. This has helped me to understand my faith on a differn level since instead of just accepting things I am now looking to justify them to myself.
The monastery really opened my eyes to Orthodox monasticism. As someone that has never been to an Orthodox monastery before I was able to meet and interract with the monks and nuns on a personal level, such as doing the washing up with Fr Andrew and him telling me how he had decided to become a monk. The general feel of the place was not this strict and somewhat draconian atmosphere that you see in hollywood monasteries but a place where people lived for each other out of love, not law. It was generally brilliant.
"The true Christian is a warrior making his way through the regiments of the invisible enemy to his heavenly homeland." - St Herman of Alaska.