Spiritual formation

Self-Awareness: The Vital Key to Successful Spiritual Leadership Development Through a 5 Day Boot Camp Experience

Author
William E Joseph Jr.
Abstract
Self-Awareness: The Vital Key to Successful Spiritual Leadership Development Through a 5 Day Boot Camp Experience

The purpose of this project was to impact Seventh-day Adventist ministerial interns preparing for ordination to begin the process of becoming self-differentiated leaders. The design of the project included the administration of pre-assessment and post-assessment questionnaires, along with five modules focusing on self-awareness for completion by the participants.
The results of the five-day self-awareness course revealed that the participants became more self-aware. Self-awareness among the participants improved as they integrated biblical principles from 2 Peter 1:5-8, the formation of a personal mission, vision and philosophy statements, taking diagnostic tests, practicing the discipline of solitude, and tracking a life sketch.

Discovery of How Pilgrimage on The Way of Saint James in Northern Spain Affects Spiritual Healing

Author
Leslie Oden McNamara
Abstract
Discovery of How Pilgrimage on the way of Saint James in Northern Spain Affects Spiritual Healing:

The purpose of this discovery project was to discover the level of healing that participating in the pilgrimage known as The Way of Saint James, in Northern Spain, had on a group of self-selected individuals. The participants were surveyed using an online assessment tool through a website called Survey Monkey. The eighty-five self-selected individuals responded to the assessment instrument after they completed the journey. The results suggest that the pilgrimage journey changed the participant's general outlooks on life and fulfilled unmet emotional needs or core longings.

A Resource Created for Formational Prayer in the Training of Salvation Army Cadets

Author
David E Antill
Abstract
A Resource Created for Formational Prayer in the Training of Salvation Army Cadets:
The project's purpose was to create a resource on formational prayer that will equip cadets at The Salvation Army College for Officer Training to lead people in the formational prayer experience. The scope of research included biblical, theological, historical and contemporary writings on formational prayer. The project's design included the development of a curriculum reviewed by a panel of experts.
The results reveal that synthesizing Terry Wardle's formational prayer work with Salvation Army beliefs and practices produces useful material for training in formational prayer ministry. The most prominent finding recognized the curriculum's use of community in formational prayer.

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.

Encountering God’s Healing Through Holistic Spiritual Formation

Author
Caleb Aaron Smith D.Min.
Abstract
This portfolio begins by way of a spiritual autobiography to explore how the Lord has introduced me to different kinds of beauty, in an effort to bring about transformative beauty in my own life. These include the beauty of nature, as I grew up in New Zealand; the beauty of people that I worked or worshiped with in South Africa; but also, the unexpected beauty of pain and struggle, that I experienced in Chicago IL. In each of these places, I find the Lord forming and shaping me, but also bringing healing, for the fear and anxiety which I had experienced for much of my life.
The next chapter in the format of a spiritual formation manual, then explores five dimensions of spiritual formation and healing and is geared especially for believers who similarly struggle with anxiety. Paul identifies three of these dimensions in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, where he refers to the “sanctification of body, soul and spirit.” The dimensions of community (or the social dimension) and further, nature or God’s creation are also explored.
My final chapter, by way of a field research report, then places further emphasis on the dimension of nature, through a spiritual practice called Scripture and Nature Immersion (SNI). Following my research, I suggest that SNI can assist with the following: 1. redirecting participants thoughts from rumination of adverse situations to meditating on the Lord and his various divine attributes; 2. aiding participants in changing their negative emotions and moods into positive ones.

Becoming More Like Jesus: Spiritual Formation As the Key to Congregational Disciple-Making

Author
Alan Chee-Siang Goh D.Min.
Abstract

This research portfolio tracks the discoveries I have made in the Doctor of Ministry program about my faith journey, understanding of spiritual formation, and desire for greater efficacy in disciple-making.
In writing my spiritual autobiography, I was blessed to realize the many ways I have been transformed in my life since saying ‘yes’ to Jesus at the age of eleven. More significantly, there was born in me a deep desire to discover how God formed and transformed me. Fueled by the courses in the DMin program, this growing interest in spiritual formation led me to believe that the teaching and understanding of spiritual formation must become the priority of my thinking and practice of ministry moving forward.
In the second section of this portfolio, my understanding of the spiritual formation process developed into a manual for teaching a basic spiritual formation course for believers.
For the third section, in order to see if a persuasive case could be made for teaching spiritual formation basics to everyone in the congregation, a research project was undertaken to teach spiritual formation to the elders of my church. Ultimately, the findings of the research did support that teaching spiritual formation will lead believers to a more comprehensive understanding. As a result, I am persuaded to prioritize a basic spiritual formation course for every believer and that this is key to achieving greater effectiveness in our church’s disciple-making.

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.

Joining the conversation : toward a synthetic approach to media formation among Christian homeschool students

Author
Brian Jacob Barry
Abstract
My local ministry context is a theologically conservative Anglican congregation, in which a substantial proportion of youth and children are or have been enrolled in home-based education. I designed and ran a pilot workshop for high-school students in home-based education, with a goal of offering training in boundaries, skills, and habits that allow for positive interaction with popular electronic media. A study of the biblical motif of sojourners and exiles provides a theological framework against which different models of Church and Culture are compared. It is found that Christians, as sojourners and exiles, embrace an alternative identity as the People of God, yet function as bona fide participants in their broader cultures, through which the missio dei is advanced. A robust eschatology prepares the Christian to navigate the inherent tensions and difficulties. A study of many efforts at formation around media identify three strategic categories into which these efforts fit, namely cultural abstinence, cultural conversation, and faith-formative practices performed within the Christian community. An eight-week media workshop was designed as a synthesis of these different practices, with focus on a Media Rule of Life, five skills of cultural conversation, and five corresponding spiritual practices. From the results of this pilot course, recommendations are made for development of future media formation approaches.

Developing Christlike Disciples with the Fourfold Spiritual Journey Model at Westwood Alliance Church

Author
Wai Fung Chow D.Min.
Abstract
In this research portfolio, the author explores spiritual formation as a deeper life journey to imitate Jesus Christ. The key question the research addressed is how Jesus’ followers in Westwood Alliance Church (hereafter called WAC) can walk into a deeper life journey with Jesus Christ. Four aspects of Jesus’ life on earth have been identified for the sake of living out the life modelled by Jesus Christ (Discipline, Surrender, Testimony, and Community). The author examined the question through four separate yet related dimensions: (i) the author’s spiritual autobiography into the Life of Discipline, in which the author confirmed his vocational calling from God; (ii) the process of recovering from grief into the Life of Surrender, in which the author realized the valuable transformation in his life after his wife’s passing; (iii) the Fourfold Spiritual Journey model into the Life of Testimony, in which the author tried to formulate a deeper life practice in WAC; (iv) and the field research project into the Life of Community, in which the author practised early morning prayer with a small group of people. The conclusion is that walking a spiritual journey with Jesus Christ in WAC is practical and achievable through practising spiritual disciplines to achieve the awareness of God’s presence in one’s daily life, abiding in Christ to achieve a lifestyle of surrender, sharing one’s testimony to equip other disciples, and reaching out the community of faith to serve one another.

Developing a Spiritual Formation Strategy for the Adult Ministry Team of Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, Texas

Author
Jason W Snyder
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to develop a spiritual formation strategy for the Adult Ministry team of Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, Texas. The project director assessed the characteristics of the Adult Ministry team to determine spiritual formation needs. Subsequently, the project director researched the field of spiritual formation to determine best practices, identifying five domains: corporate, relationship, discipline, gap, and rest domains. To prepare for the strategy development sessions further, the author revisited fifteen spiritual formation strategies and presented this information to the strategy team.
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