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.
For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.
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:
- Describe and explain the ecological motif of Scripture situated within a larger biblical perspective on spiritual formation.
- Interpret biblical texts relating to spiritual formation using the ecological model as a hermeneutical paradigm.
- 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.
- Prepare an exploratory bibliography that begins the process of research inquiry in the program.
After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module 1: Week 1.
Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the instructor-provided prompt for each Discussion. Each thread must be at least 400 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 eight installments (parts), integrating the required course readings and other required course materials. Each part or installment needs its own separate heading. All topics and themes discussed in each installment needs its own separate sub-heading following APA guidelines regarding heading levels (see inside cover of most recent edition of APA Publication Manual).
Each installment matches a different module in the course. Each module has its own required reading and required viewing (PowerPoint presentation or video or both). Students are expected to reference and engage each of these required elements in their discussions in addition to outside resources that students find. By the end of the final installment, there should be a minimum of 15 resources listed in the References section of the paper. (MLO: A, B, and C)
- Research Paper: Part 1 – Introduction and Overview Assignment - Overview should be 2-3 pages in length and in proper APA style. Students identify the salient issues and concepts that one needs to address when developing a biblical model of spiritual growth for Christians showing their exposure to the assigned reading of the Lowe & Lowe and Pettit texts.
- Research Paper: Part 2 – Biblical Support Assignment - Students construct their biblical support for the salient issues and concepts identified in the Research Paper: Introduction and Overview Assignment. This should include exegetical analyses of pertinent texts the student identifies as supportive of their emerging concept of spiritual formation and showing their exposure to the material in the assigned reading of the Lowe & Lowe text. This portion of your paper must between 3-5 pages and in proper APA style and be attached to the Introduction and Overview.
- Research Paper: Part 3 – Necessary Ingredients for Spiritual Growth Assignment - Students write their emerging view of the necessary ingredients that facilitate and promote the spiritual growth of Christians showing their exposure to the assigned reading of the Pettit text and other required course resources. This portion of your paper must be between 3-5 pages and in proper APA style.
- Research Paper: Part 4 – Facilitating Spiritual Formation Assignment - Students refine and expand this section of their paper that addresses the necessary ingredients that facilitate spiritual formation and showing their exposure to the assigned reading of the Pettit text and other required course resources. This portion of your paper must be between 3-5 pages and in proper APA style.
- Research Paper: Part 5 – The Targeted Outcome of Spiritual Formation Assignment - Students develop their 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? Be sure to integrate other required course resources into this section of your paper. This portion of your paper runs between 3-5 pages and in proper APA style.
- Research Paper: Part 6 – The Role of the Christian Community Assignment - Students write 3-5-pages in proper APA style that explores their emerging understanding of the role of the Christian community (the body of Christ) in the spiritual formation process showing their exposure to the assigned reading of the Samra text and other required course resources.
- Research Paper: Part 7 – Application to Diverse Settings Assignment - In 3-5 pages, students develop their understanding of the creative ways in which one can apply their emerging understanding of spiritual formation in a variety of contexts and settings showing their exposure to the assigned reading of the Lowe & Lowe and Garner & Campbell texts texts and other required course resources. Consider the implications of an ecological perspective on spiritual formation that may challenge traditional understanding of the concept. Current APA style must be used.
- Research Paper: Part 8 – Final Edits and Conclusion Assignment - Students consider the application and implications of an ecological model of faith formation to our current digital realities. 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 sub-headings following APA style. A minimum of 15 references should be consolidated in a references list following APA style.
Exploratory References List Assignment
For this assignment students are asked to compile an exploratory references list with resources that address the broad relationship between Christian leadership and spiritual formation. An exploratory references list represents a student’s initial foray into the literature on a particular topic. This is not an annotated bibliography/references list that requires a brief description of the resource. This assignment requires a list of resources following current required citation and formatting expectations for the Ed.D. in Christian Leadership degree program.
The references list should contain 10 book references that address the relationship in some way, 10 journal articles that represent refereed journals or peer reviewed journals, and 5 online resources of any type (blog, video, pamphlet, brochure, etc.).
The list of references should comply with the most current edition of APA Style Manual. The submission should be free of typos and errors of syntax, grammar, and spelling. Edit your work carefully before submission. (MLO: D)