Ecologies of Christian Formation – CLED 715

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course will examine an ecological model of spiritual formation that attends to the role of God’s people, the body of Christ in fostering individual and corporate growth. The course will also include an analysis of the function of Christian Social networks in promoting evangelism to non-Christians and facilitating edification in the Church. 

Prerequisite

Enrollment in the School of Divinity EdD in Christian Leadership

Rationale

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a model of spiritual formation that will guide them as Christian leaders in facilitating the spiritual growth of themselves and others. This course especially fulfills Program Learning Outcome 1 regarding instruction in biblical and theological principles that inform Christian leadership practice. Students pursuing an advanced degree in Christian leadership need to know how to lead those they serve to full maturity in Christ, and this course will enable them to do so.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1.  Describe and explain the ecological motif of Scripture situated within a larger biblical perspective on spiritual formation. (PLO #1)
  2. Interpret biblical texts relating to spiritual formation using the ecological model as a hermeneutical paradigm. (PLO # 1)
  3. Apply his or her understanding of faith ecologies, social networks, and biblical teaching on spiritual formation to his or her role as a leader of a faith community. (PLO #2)
  4. Prepare an exploratory research question(s) and bibliography that begins the process of research inquiry in the program. (PLO # 4)

Course Assignment

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the instructor-provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 300 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 200 words. (MLO: A, C)

Each student will prepare a major paper covering the topic “My Emerging Model of Spiritual Formation.” The student will research and write the paper in 8 installments (parts), integrating the course readings and other course materials.

1. Part 1

The student will write an Introduction/Overview of the research paper entitled “My Emerging Model of Spiritual Formation.” Research Paper: Part 1 should be 2–3 pages and in proper current APA style. The student will identify the salient issues and concepts that one needs to address when developing a biblical model of spiritual growth for Christians, showing the student’s exposure to the assigned reading of the Lowe & Lowe and Pettit texts. (MLO: A, B)

2. Part 2

The student will construct the biblical support for the salient issues and concepts identified in Research Paper: Part 1. This should include exegetical analyses of pertinent texts the student identifies as supportive of the emerging concept of spiritual formation, showing his or her exposure to the material in the assigned reading of the Lowe & Lowe text. Research Paper: Part 2 must between 3–5 pages, in proper current APA style, and attached to Part 1. (MLO: A, B)

3. Part 3

The student will write his or her emerging view of the necessary ingredients that facilitate and promote the spiritual growth of Christians, showing his or her exposure to the assigned reading of the Pettit text. Research Paper: Part 3 must be between 3–5 pages and in proper current APA style. (MLO: A, B)

4. Part 4

The student will refine and expand the section of his or her paper that addresses the necessary ingredients that facilitate spiritual formation, showing his or her exposure to the assigned reading of the Pettit text. Any expansion of the material beyond the 3–5 pages written in Research Paper: Part 3 should be limited to 1–2 pages. (MLO: A, B)

5. Part 5

The student will develop his or her understanding of the targeted outcome of the spiritual formation process. What do the texts that Samra references tell about what it means to be conformed to Christ? This section runs between 3–5 pages and must be in proper current APA style. (MLO: A, B)

6. Part 6

The student will write 4 to 5 pages in proper current APA style that explore his or her emerging understanding of the role of the Christian community (the body of Christ) in the spiritual formation process, showing his or her exposure to the assigned reading of the Samra text. (MLO: A, B)

7. Part 7

In 3–5 pages, the student will develop an understanding of the creative ways in which one can apply an emerging understanding of spiritual formation in a variety of contexts and settings, showing his or her exposure to the assigned reading of the Lowe & Lowe and Garner & Campbell texts. The student must consider the implications of an ecological perspective on spiritual formation that may challenge traditional understanding of the concept. (MLO: A, B, C)

8. Part 8

The student will consider the application and implications of an ecological model of faith formation to our current digital realities, showing his or her exposure to the assigned reading of the Lowe & Lowe and Garner & Campbell texts. Any expansion of the materials beyond the 3–5 pages written in Research Paper: Part 7 should be limited to 1–2 pages. The student will also review and refine the paper for final submission, making sure that it flows seamlessly from one section to the next with clearly demarcated headings following current APA style. All references should be consolidated in a bibliography following current APA style. (MLO: A, B, C)

It is important for the doctoral student to begin exploring possible research questions for his or her dissertation as early as possible in the degree completion process. To this end, the student will submit exploratory research questions along with an initial bibliography. The entire submission should be between 5–7 pages, including bibliography, and in proper current APA style. The student will submit this assignment in 2 iterations:

Part 1: Initial Submission

The student will submit a paper that sets out an initial area of research interest in the form of a research question(s) supplemented with an exploratory bibliography. The paper must offer a rationale or explanation as to what is motivating the student to study this particular topic, formulate a general research question, generate a list of subsidiary research questions, and create a bibliography of no fewer than 15 sources directly relevant to the research question(s) (MLO: D)

Part 2: Revised Submission

The student will submit a revised version of his or her exploratory research that modifies the initial submission based upon faculty feedback (MLO: D).