Spiritual formation

Spiritual formation and servanthood

Author
Daniel C Eischen
Abstract
This project was designed to demonstrate, through appropriate sermons and exercises, that spiritual formation is a combination of a life of private devotion and a life of service to others. This report makes use of the theology of Karl Barth to discuss spiritual formation through prayer and service as a fulfillment of our covenant relationship before God. The report also discusses the rationale for lay involvement in the local church. The result of the project was a new awareness on the part of participants in the project that spiritual formation is a balanced life of devotion to God and a life of service to others as representatives of Christ in the world.

A model for spiritual growth in adults through exegetical studies and spiritual formation exercises in a small group setting

Author
Ralph E Neil
Abstract
This project shows that spiritual formation takes place in believers when the individual understands the word of God, gives the consent of his or her will, and sincerely seeks the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The dynamics of small group Bible study are utilized to provide opportunities for spiritual growth in the lives of the participants. The curriculum format utilizes both direct and indirect teaching methods and employs a variety of pedagogical tools including biblical exegesis, philosophical analysis, theological insights and discussion techniques to accomplish this. The assessment of the spiritual growth of the participants is done through tape recordings, questionnaires, individual interviews informally administered, and a case-by-case analysis.

The revelatory experience as the basis for spiritual growth

Author
Shane Douglas O'Neil
Abstract
This dissertation-project, grounded in the revelation theology of H Richard Niebuhr and the spiritual theology of Henri J M Nouwen, develops a learning design which incorporates prayer, the Bible, and the experiences of spiritual masters as resources for revelatory experience. Such revelatory experience, the author holds, is the basis for true spirituality; ie, the integration of religious experience and prophetic action.

An experiment in prayer using process theology categories

Author
John Henry Spaulding
Abstract
The writer's thesis was that process thought contributes to a renewal of a person's prayer life. This was a study of twenty people who were divided into two groups. The one group received eight lessons concerning process thought; the second group did not receive the lessons. All twenty persons kept daily journals to record insights and feelings about God, self, and the world; all participants prayed daily for fifteen minutes during a period of eight weeks. Written data from three questions were answered at the beginning and the end of the experiment which showed a positive contribution of process thought.

Assisting some families of First United Methodist Church, San Marcos, TX, to improve their ability to develop family spirituality

Author
J Gordon Talk
Abstract
Spiritual development is a primitive ministry of the church. This ministry is to be expressed within all Christian contexts, including the Christian family. This project focuses upon assisting some families of First United Methodist Church, San Marcos, Texas, to develop their spirituality. In this project five to seven families participated in a process designed to enable them to express their spirituality in terms of enhanced prayer life, use of faith language, use of the Bible and of Christian witnessing. The process used and key factors in enabling the process are described in this report.

The intensive group process and the Cursillo experience: implications for spiritual formation of participants

Author
George J Kramer
Abstract
The author has approached the Cursillo method from the model of the encounter or intensive group experience and has integrated this with the psychological, cognitive, moral, social, and spiritual developmental stages of human growth. Peak religious experiences are considered in relation to spiritual formation of candidates. Implications are drawn and proposals made concerning developing and enhancing the Cursillo method in the three-day Cursillo retreat, follow-up programming, and spiritual direction. The paper describes two workshops in which this information is shared with Cursillo leaders. The attitude change toward acceptance of such a model is measured and evaluated.

The spiritual development of the older adult as related to the life review process

Author
M Roberta Kerins
Abstract
Spiritual development is not apart from but a part of human development. The life tasks of the older person as suggested by Dr Robert Butler in the life review theory are also the religious tasks of the older believer (ie, reconciliation, loss, meaning, death). Some of the writings of Teresa of Avila illustrate this. Elderhood, seen as the culminating point of the life journey, is set against the myths and stereotypes which demean this stage of life. The concluding program provides a tool to be used in facilitating the elder to explore his or her spiritual life in the context of the life tasks of the later years.

Concepts and essentials of spiritual growth

Author
John R Lockhart
Abstract
This dissertation-project seeks to understand and apply the biblical principles of spiritual growth which lead to purposeful living and which demonstrate the character and glory of God.

Enabling the preacher: the impact of spiritual formation on those who preach

Author
Brian K Jensen
Abstract
The formation of the people of God is vital for pastors. I believe preaching can facilitate this formation. yet in order for the people of God to be formed, I believe the preachers must be formed. What impact does the intentional spiritual formation of P.C. (U.S.A.) preachers in northeast Ohio have on their preaching? Specifically, if they are better able to discern God's activity and will, will their preaching be more effective? I will conduct a faith formation experiment with a group of ministers and evaluate their preaching in an effort to determine if intentional spiritual formation impacts their preaching.

Lay training and spiritual formation for leadership and ministry in the rural multi-station parishes of St. Peter and St. Anne, North Abaco, Bahamas

Author
Santosh K Marray
Abstract
This project proposes a model of lay training and spiritual formation for ministry among lay leaders in rural multi-station parishes. Lay leaders undertook a two-year training program supervised by the author. Five models were employed to guide the formation process. In group sessions and practical experience lay leaders deepen their skill and self-awareness, increase awareness of God's call on them to partnership with clergy in faithful sustainable ministry within the church and community. The entire rural parish community realizes unexpected benefits when laity are empowered for ministry in the Church.
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