Oates Institute

Exploring The Struggle to be Free


Exploring The Struggle to be Free is an Oates Book study featuring the study of the seminal work by Wayne E Oates: The Struggle to be Free: My Story and Your Story, Revised Edition. In his book, Oates reflects on his own struggle to be “free” and provides insight to others on their own struggles to be free of poverty, feelings of inferiority, loneliness, helplessness, and from being a workaholic.

As Dr Oates writes:

AS I BEGIN my story, I want you to think of me as “reporting” on my life and times as a living human document of struggle. Life without struggle is but dull habit. Life with struggle is often painful and sometimes perilous, but always adventurous. …

Scarcity and scantiness of food, clothing, and shelter trapped my family and me from my earliest memory. I am the youngest of four children. My next oldest sibling was a brother, Ned, six years older than I. Next to him was another brother, Frank, five years older than Ned. Next to Frank was my sister, Lois, five years older than he. We were all far enough apart in years to have a sort of world alone in which to grow up. We knew what it was to be cold, poorly clad, and hungry. We knew what it was to live in shabby, unheated, squalid housing…. (Oates, Struggle to Be Free, Chapter 1)

Participants will be encouraged to explore with the facilitator and one another this great text, and to reflect on its instruction for their own lives.

Please use this link to purchase your copy. BUY NOW.

Some chapters may be made available during the course for online reading as well. We may not read the entire text for this particular seminar.


You may participate in this seminar from wherever you are. All you need is your tablet or computer and access to the Internet. You may also participate according to your schedule. By spreading the discussion out over several weeks using a discussion forum, you may read others posts and submit your own to the conversation at times that are convenient to you.

This seminar will use the Oates Institute’s Connected Learning approach, which invites participants to reflect on their experience in light of the assigned readings and share the insights of that reflection with the group. This allows us to more fully engage with what the author and seminar facilitator share and we discover new insights about ourselves in light of our experience. Often we discover that we know more than we thought we did. Sharing our insights helps us go deeper and to also learn from one another’s experience. One of the exciting aspects of online seminars is that the participants are from so many other places providing us with the opportunities for learn from other regions and cultures.

Continuing Education Requirements:

As a participant in this online seminar you may earn 12 contact hours of continuing education credit by reading the resource and other presentations and participating in the discussion. Those seeking continuing education credits must contribute at least two posts per week to the discussion — one reflecting on the presentations or case studies in light of personal experience and context and a second responding to someone else’s reflection or inquiry. The evaluation form submitted at the end of the seminar serves as the CEU application. Following your submission of this form you will receive your CEU certificate.


As with all Oates Seminars, registration for this seminar is simple. Members may register for free by simply sending a quick email (from your desired email address) to registration@oates.org.  Non-members may participate with the payment of the non-member fee of $95. Be certain to include your seminar choice in “other instructions.” (Or you can send an email to registration@oates.org as well.)

You may also choose to BECOME A MEMBER! We welcome that choice as well.


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