DSMN 870 Facilitation of Spiritual Formation

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.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Course Guide

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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.

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

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Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be at least 250 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 1 other fellow learner’s thread. Each reply must be at least 250 words. (CLO: A)

Peer Review Discussion: Final Review Summary

The student will compile all the elements crafted in each major assignment in this course into a cohesive, peer-reviewed summary. This will take the form of a PowerPoint presentation (or acceptable alternative) 4-8 slides in length. The summary will be uploaded for peer review. The student will then post 1 reply of between 100 – 200 words to another fellow learner’s thread. (CLO: C)

Spiritual Formation Model Assignment

In this assignment, the student will develop a model of spiritual formation that can be used to facilitate growth in ministry-oriented contexts (i.e. church, para-church organizations, local ministry, mission groups, etc.). This model will reflect an understanding and application of spiritual growth and maturation from a corporate perspective. This paper must be 3 – 5 pages, not including the title page and bibliography. (CLO: A, B)

Pauline Church Assessment Assignment

Together with a group of ministry leaders, the student will conduct an assessment of the spiritual condition of one of the Pauline churches (using any epistle or letter of his or her choice). Additionally, the student will provide an understanding of Paul’s treatment of community or corporate formation in that letter/epistle. Finally, the student will submit a recommendation for current ministry contexts based on his or her findings. This assessment should be 3 – 5 pages, not including the title page and bibliography. (CLO: B)

Ministry Network Scan Assignment

For this assignment, the student will be conducting an analysis of one’s ministry organization through the use of a network scan. The student may opt to work with one’s previously-identified team if desired. This type of scan looks at ministry contexts to determine connections, disconnections, and ecological impact of growth within the group. To that end, the student will be analyzing culture and identity, group dynamics, and congregational/ministry ecology using the information provided in the Studying Congregations website as a way of understanding how connections influence the greater whole. The student will be answering the question, “how does each of the referenced entities impact the other?” This scan should be between 3–5 pages, not including the title page and bibliography if needed. (CLO: B, C)

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