Spiritual direction

An Experience in Small Group Spiritual Direction at McGuire United Methodist Church

Author
Cynthia Frances Johnson Hooton D.Min.
Abstract
This research project studied the benefit of developing a Christian formation process at McGuire United Methodist Church in Monroe, Louisiana, focused on developing intimacy with God and the community of faith through small group spiritual direction; the personal prayer practices of journaling, praying the Psalms, Lectio Divina, and centering prayer; and, St. Benedict's monastic virtues of stability, obedience and conversion of life. The flow of spiritual direction included group contemplative silence, a time for each participant to share their journey into God, and a commitment to listen, reflect, and respond to the other group members’ narratives of their journey into God.

Using Spiritual Direction for Intercultural Development: An Integrative Journey

Author
Deborah Renee Penny D.Min.
Abstract
As seminaries strive to prepare students for increasingly multicultural societies, they must develop new ways to extend and teach hospitality and respond to cultural conflicts. Traditional approaches have largely focused on external behaviors. However, self-awareness and self- knowledge are critical components of intercultural development. Individuals cannot authentically engage cultural similarities and differences without awareness of their own cultural orientation. The ancient church practices of spiritual direction, when combined with the psychometric benefits of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and Intercultural Development Plan (IDP), can enhance cultural adeptness and improve self-awareness. This research project demonstrates the outcomes of this integrated strategy.

Vox Spiriti Sancti: An Impact Study of the Spiritual Life of Christian Professionals in Cleveland, Ohio

Author
Victor J Pergola
Abstract
Vox Spiriti Sancti: An Impact Study of the Spiritual Life of Christian Professionals in Cleveland, Ohio:
The purpose of this project was to impact the spiritual life of a select group of Christian professionals in the Cleveland, Ohio area. The project included the facilitation of a pre-test and post-test Likert Scale instrument. The course content brought focus to the principle Christian mysteries of Trinity, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. The results indicated an increase in awareness for growth in spirituality. There were three themes of emphasis in a small group setting: worship and liturgy, prayerful sharing of Scripture, and the importance of Scripture for Christian growth.

An Exploration of Spiritual Formation to Increase Awareness and Attachment to God, Self and Others

Author
Susanne Ursula Baldeosingh D.Min.
Abstract
ABSTRACT
The purpose of this portfolio was to explore spiritual formation through lectio Divina, spiritual direction and a focus group to increase awareness of attachment to God, self and others. The portfolio includes a spiritual autobiography (Chapter 2) that traces my life story and God’s presence in it. This is a wonderful tool in becoming more spiritually aware of the many movements of God throughout one’s lifetime. This is followed by a spiritual formation model (Chapter 3) that helps believers to answer the question Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?” Along with, “Who do you say that you are?” The model assists believers to explore their responses to these questions. Then a field research project (Chapter 4) is offered that tests the effectiveness of the model through the experience of five participants over a ten-day period.
The results of the project found in Chapter 4, points to a more secure attachment to God, self and others which was reported by four out of the five participants. Spiritual direction was well received by all participants. Participants also appreciated the mentoring provided and having the experience of someone listening with them for the movement of the Holy Spirit in their lives. All participants felt they would have benefitted more if the project was longer in length. They suggested a time span of three months. Four of the five participants expressed a desire to continue studying using various components of the project. They stated it provided what was missing in their ability to increase attachment to God, self and others.

Laying a Foundation for Nurturing Experiential Communion with the Word of God for Soul Formation through Journaling and Inner Circle Relationships.

Author
Jeffrey William Roy Rev. D.Min.
Abstract
In this research portfolio, three projects form the basis in developing this new pathway to nurture formation. The author’s spiritual autobiography recounts his journey into two-way communion with the Word of God and gives readers opportunities to reflect accordingly. The AESA model (Awareness, Encounter, Surrender, Abide) is presented as a cyclical four-step process designed to help nurture experiential union and spiritual formation. This model incorporates the authors’ own experience, an analysis of how the Word of God is depicted by the Scriptures and in the writings of the Early Church Fathers, four existing contemplative models of formation, and the experiences of those who participated in his research project. The project tested follow up material designed to help people take home and form habits (Contemplative Prayer Journaling and Inner Circle Relationships) that would help them experience union with the Eternal Word of God throughout their day. The project found that these spiritual disciplines can be helpful in nurturing experience union with the Eternal Word of God throughout their day. Two months after the study twelve of the sixteen participants were journaling once a week and nine of the sixteen participants had established some form of weekly inner circle relationship with the desire to be more aware of God’s presence.

To train selected leaders at Oak Grove Baptist Church in launching a new spiritual transformation model

Author
Bobby M Wagner
Abstract
The purpose of the project was to train six leaders at Oak Grove Baptist Church in launching a new model of spiritual transformation that weeds out all the discipleship confusion. The model focused on God's missional pathway of discipleship that reveals a form of Synergistic Spiritual Transformation (SST). The objective was to launch the model to revitalize discipleship within the leaders and members of Oak Grove Baptist Church. The reserach revealed an increase in overall spiritual grwoth over the duration of the project. The attendance went from 80 to over 150.

Dream work: implications for spiritual directors and the Audire spiritual formation program

Author
Mark D Rath
Abstract
Dream researcher Kelly Bulkeley (2009) reports a growing number of spiritual directors and pastoral counselors find dreams to be a valuable resource in their work. This is encouraging for further study with spiritual directors and their perception of dreams. This study explores the incubated dreams of current students and graduates of Audire: The Central Florida Foundation for Spiritual Direction. Participants incubated a dream about their work as spiritual directors and were interviewed using the Gayle Delaney method to assist in dream interpretation. Perception of dreams will be measured using the Manifestation of God and Perceived Sacred Qualities scales.

Spiritual formation for seminarian spiritual leaders

Author
Patricia L Cowan
Abstract
Jesus changed the world through spiritual formation and spiritual maturity. Jesus' focus upon God enabled him to do God's will. Jesus separated himself from culture and people at times to be with God in nature, pursuing God at the deepest level. Seminary spiritual formation training at the deepest level can be most beneficial to spiritual leaders, churches, ministries, and culture. This project included thorough research of scripture, literature, and survey method on spiritual formation and spiritual direction. Common themes from these three areas of research were combined to encourage seminary spiritual leaders to be free through intentional spiritual formation.

Shepherd care: how the discipline of spiritual direction facilitates pastors' relationships, their sense of call, and their relationships with congregations

Author
Sarah P Patterson
Abstract
Pastors' relationships with God, their calls and their congregations are integral to their ministries. If one of these relationships is damaged or left untended, it can cause difficulties in a pastor's spiritual life. After an initial interview six pastors engaged in six spiritual direction sessions and then a final interview. The researcher, utilizing elements of narrative inquiry, found that these pastors identified hearing God's word, engaging in theological reflection, questioning and evaluating their calls, and processing the emotional and spiritual issues in their churches, among others, the most helpful elements of spiritual direction.

Selah: the trinitarian, contemplative, biblical life of spiritual direction

Author
Susan Porterfield Currie
Abstract
In response to the North American evangelical church's need for spiritual direction training programs that have theological and methodological integrity, the author developed Selah, Leadership Transformation Inc's certificate program in spiritual direction. Selah is trinitarian and biblical in its spiritual theology of who God is and how he works in our lives, shaping us into the image of his Son, and contemplative in its methodology, training directors in attentiveness and responsiveness to the Holy Spirit in a spiritual direction session. This thesis is supported by written evidence from Selah's first cohort of interns.
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