Spiritual formation

The spirituality for the novitiate formation of the Cistercian Congregation of the Holy Family in the Vietnamese context of today

Author
Nam V Nguyen
Abstract
This thesis project will provide a ministry response concerning the formation process, especially relevant to the spirituality of Cistercian initial formation. Although the congregation has guiding principles for a formation program, this study seeks to go beyond these principles and to create a more effective and holistic formation program. The project is also to contribute to the development of the the theology of spirituality in consecrated life, with the intent that it may become a stimulus for others to take on a greater concern and personal responsibility to improve the formative process of spirituality.

The effect of a spiritual formation program on perceived marital satisfaction

Author
Jeffrey D Granger
Abstract
This thesis researches whether a 12-week spiritual formation program for a group of ten to twelve married Christian couples will enhance their individual relationship with God and others, and therefore, increase perceived marital satisfaction. It outlines a model for spiritual formation centered on being conformed to the image of Christ. Theoretical support ties spirituality to marital satisfaction, and subjectification to love for God and others. Measures include the DAS, SWBS, and qualitative questionnaires. Results suggest this program was a positive influence on perceived marital satisfaction.

Holy speaking/holy listening: engaging evangelistic energy in mainline New England churchgoers

Author
Katherine A Heichler
Abstract
"Holy Listening/Holy Speaking" addressed institutional decline and lack of evangelistic activity among mainline New England churchgoers. The project sought to equip participants to engage in spiritual conversation, access their experiences of faith, and elicit the spiritual stories of others, to foster community that yields spiritual growth and faith-sharing. The project was a course, too short to effect the kind of spiritual transformation that propels evangelism. More time is needed to address and overcome many churchgoers' resistance to faith-sharing, and help people adapt communication and conversation skills they use in other areas of their life to having spiritual conversations.

Equipping selected believers at Evergreen Baptist Church, Evergreen, Alabama, in disciple-making through spiritual formation components

Author
James W Collins
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to equip selected believers at Evergreen Baptist Church, Evergreen, Alabama, in disciple-making skills through spiritual formation components. The project included three phases. The first phase involved research of the field of spiritual formations and discipleship in order to identify key components that would be conducive to disciple-making through spiritual formations. The second phase concentrated on the development of a reproducible equipping module. The final phase concluded with the implementation of the equipping module with ten selected believers at Evergreen Baptist Church.

A call for authentic Christian leadership in the church: the role of discipleship and spiritual formation training

Author
Ronald D Sterling
Abstract
The local churches I have pastored have had dedicated leaders throughout the different boards and auxiliaries; however, there was a need for additional training and support in their spiritual growth to become more effective spiritual leaders in the church. The Project Director presented four training series and a one-day retreat on Spiritual Leadership, the Discipling Process, Practicing the Spiritual Disciplines, and Spiritual Formation. An assessment of the feedback indicated that spiritual transformation had taken place in the hearts of some of the participants, and there was an increased awareness of the biblical criteria for church leadership.

Rooted in ancient soil: a restorative process of spiritual direction for the men of Double Oak Community Church in partnership with LIFE Ministries

Author
Randall B Hemphill
Abstract
Double Oak Community Church is a young church, planted in the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama. The praxis director is the Executive Director of LIFE Ministries and a member of this church. The praxis sought to provide a process of spiritual formation for six men in this church that entailed seminars and individual meetings. The director designed the praxis to be rooted in the ancient soil of biblical restoration and in the ancient practice of spiritual direction. The men experienced biblical community that accompanied spiritual and emotional growth.

The spiritual formation of small group leaders at Marion Salem United Methodist Church

Author
Jared N Williams
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to discover how the experience of leading a small group at Marion Salem United Methodist Church transformed the spiritual condition of the leader. The research question was "How did the experience of leading a small group at Marion Salem United Methodist Church transform the spiritual condition of leaders? "The results of this study revealed that the spiritual condition of the small group leaders at Marion Salem United Methodist Church was transformed by leading a small group.

The spiritual formation of prospective deacons an inside-out process

Author
Oliver Bala
Abstract
The project incorporated a prospective case-control study based on the book, "Becoming a Healthy Disciple" by Stephen Macchia, incorporating self-reported surveys, pre-and post-experiment to measure growth on ten traits noted in the book. The Control group will be involved in a ten week sermon series covering the ten traits found in the book. The Experimental group will attend the same sermon series, but additionally attend small group studies on the same ten traits, as well as be required to read the Book Becoming a Healthy Disciple. The experimental group showed greater level spiritual development in contrast to the Control group as evidenced by comparison of post-survey data results.

Empowering the lives of at risk youth through early spiritual formation

Author
Mary Ann Hodge
Abstract
This project proposes and explains the results of an empowerment ministry that has helped to produce a more positive and productive life for at-risk youth in Calhoun County, South Carolina. A number of at-risk youth were used for this project. The research was done through qualitative studies, evaluations, counseling, spiritual training, and mentoring by parents, teachers, counselors and church leaders. The results of the study indicated that youth who receive a spiritual foundation were more able to assess challenging situations and apply techniques that led to better decision making than those not receiving a strong spiritual foundation.

A catechism in community for the United Methodist Church

Author
Andrea L Harvey
Abstract
The United Methodist Church has been experiencing a significant decline in membership in the United States and Europe in the 21st century. A catechesis in community outlines a method to assist local churches that are struggling to find their place in post-modern society. Youth and church administrators were surveyed concerning their personal beliefs, perception of the church's inclusion of young people, spiritual formation and Christian education within the church. A brief survey of Christianity and the roots of Methodism remind the church of today where they came from and John Wesley's admonition to 'make Christians.'
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