Facilitation of Spiritual Formation – DSMN 870

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

Course Description

This course focuses on the corporate aspect of spiritual formation against the backdrop of our hyper-individualistic culture and emphasis within Protestantism. The course will provide an analysis of those elements that facilitate and foster spiritual formation in Christian community. In particular, the course will examine an ecological model of spiritual formation as a way of conceptualizing and fostering growth and formation. Finally, this course will inspect the role of the Christian community in the facilitation of spiritual growth and maturity that brings into balance the disparate notions of academic and ministerial formation.

Prerequisites

Admission to the DMIN program and DMIN 810

Rationale

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a model of spiritual formation that brings into focus the role of the Christian community in the development and formation of spiritual maturity. The student pursuing ministerial formation should be able to know how to lead others to ongoing maturity in Christ. Moreover, the student should be cognizant of the emphasis on corporate spirituality as a means of addressing and dealing with sin.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Articulate the relationship between the Christian community and an individual’s development of spiritual formation.
  2. Analyze spiritually formative elements within the faith community.
  3. Apply an understanding of the ecological model of formation to a ministerial context.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

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

Discussion Board Forums (4)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the 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 250 words.

Spiritual Formation Model

In Module/Week 7, you will submit a strategic plan for engaging a ministry context (i.e. church, para-church organization, local ministry, mission group). This plan will include an understanding and application of spiritual growth and maturation. To that end, you will be building components for that plan in each module/week. The plan will need to contain a model of spiritual formation, a biblical rationale, an assessment strategy, and an implementation of that plan. You will need to begin assembling a small group of individuals (at least 2 but not more than 5). Together you will map out a simple, brief strategy for the application content. By the end of Module 2, you will submit Part 1 of the overall strategic plan that will reflect a working model of your particular approach to and understanding of spiritual formation in the life of both the individual and the community. The development of your model of spiritual formation should be based on the course readings, supplemental material, and ministerial experience.

Pauline Church Assessment

Conduct an assessment of the spiritual condition of one of the Pauline churches (using any epistle or letter of your choice). Additionally, you will provide an understanding of Paul’s treatment of community or corporate formation in that letter/epistle. Finally, you will submit a recommendation for current ministry contexts based on your findings. Your assessment should include interaction with supplemental materials such as commentaries, lexicons, and other related literature.

Network Ecoscan

Conduct an analysis of your ministry context through the use of a network ecoscan. This is an opportunity for you to engage your small group of people to resource this work. This type of scan looks at ministry groups to determine connections, disconnections, and ecological impact of growth within the group. To that end, you will be analyzing culture and identity, group dynamics, and congregational/ministry ecology using the information provided in the Studying Congregations website. You will also diagram connections within the ministry, nested connections, and networks that influence ministry members.

Spiritual Formation Plan

You will compile all the elements crafted in each module into a cohesive unit of application for the development of a comprehensive understanding of spiritual formation. That application can take the form of an event, a sermon, a study series, a course, a workshop or seminar, or an acceptable alternative (pending approval by the course professor). This application should reflect each of the previous modules’ content, the processes, and details sufficient to represent the totality of the experience.