Spiritual formation

Using redemptive discipleship to change a culture that fosters legalistic growth into a culture that fosters transformational growth in the Apostolic Church

Author
Kwabena D Akufo
Abstract
The thesis is "Using redemptive discipleship to change a culture that fosters legalistic growth into a culture that fosters transformational growth in the Apostolic Church." The researcher developed and taught a redemptive discipleship class as a tool for reducing legalistic tendencies. Students took a pretest and posttest survey. The pretest survey results confirmed the existence of legalistic tendencies. Given the limited time for the class the researcher decided that a reduction in legalistic tendencies of ten percent will be considered meaningful. The posttest survey results showed that the legalistic tendencies reduced by approximately fifteen percent.

An academic course on spiritual formation: understanding, developing, and implementing a strategy for spiritual growth of students in a Christian higher education institution

Author
Young Ho Hwang
Abstract
The purpose of this thesis-project is to understand the process of spiritual formation in order to develop and implement an academic course on spiritual formation that will help students to mature spiritually. Conclusions are drawn from a survey of works on the critical factors that contribute to the process of spiritual formation. Spiritual formation is "being alive to God" and "being like God." That is, a person undergoing spiritual formation grows in intimacy, love, devotion and knowledge of God and becomes more like God in his thoughts, emotions, desires and behavior. The basic factors in this process are: (1) what God has done for the believer, (2) what God has made possible for him/her, and (3) how a Christian responds to what God has done and made possible for him/her. These factors are rooted in God's sovereign grace. God makes spiritual formation possible and works with his people as they go through the process of spiritual formation. This two credit hour academic course on spiritual formation has been developed for undergraduate students at a Christian university. Students will gain valuable knowledge regarding spiritual formation and experience training that is critical for a lifestyle that makes spiritual formation possible. The course design was evaluated by several university faculty members who approved it "across the board."

Lectio divina as a catalyst for spiritual growth: a case study among mature believers

Author
Katherine Mills Johnson
Abstract
The recent rise in interest in spiritual formation and the spiritual disciplines seems to indicate that there is a growing awareness of the need to attend to the spiritual lives of Christians especially those who have been believers for some time. Studies show that many believers consider themselves to be stalled in their spiritual growth and that they often view prayer as a duty rather than a delight. The purpose of this thesis-project is to explore the question of whether or not prayer that is based in an intimate relationship with God, using Scripture as its foundation, can make a significant impact on the spiritual growth of Christians. To this end, thirty-eight individuals participated in a six-week study using lectio divina in their personal prayer time. Of these, 95 percent reported some degree of spiritual growth. The conclusion of this project is that lectio divina appears to have catalyzed growth in four areas: listening to God; deepening personal relationship with God; using Scripture as a basis for prayer; and being more disciplined in prayer.

Spiritual fathering

Author
Mark E Kiekhaefer
Abstract
This thesis-project presents Spiritual fathering as a process and a practice to promote spiritual formation within a local congregation. The process describes the journey to spiritual maturity following the model of human development from infancy to adulthood. The practice describes efforts which foster spiritual growth through a personal relationship where an older believer assists a person younger in the faith. Tremendous spiritual potential exists within many congregations in the lives of older saints to help others develop spiritually. Obstacles must be overcome to link older and younger men and thereby promote spiritual fathering. Spiritual fathering will access those needs and offer insights to promote such a ministry.

Cultivating an atmosphere of prayer for the preaching of the Word at Calvary Baptist Church, Moncks Corner, South Carolina

Author
John E Jenkins
Abstract
The Praxis Director had observed at Calvary Baptist Church that there was a lack of spiritual development in many who regularly heard sermons. He believed that this was partially due to a lack of prayer regarding the preaching. He therefore led the church in cultivating an atmosphere of prayer for the preaching through deepening his own prayer life, teaching a six-week lesson series on intercessory prayer, and preaching four sermons on how to have a powerful prayer life. He successfully cultivated an atmosphere of prayer for the preaching but only for himself and those attending the lesson series.

Designing and implementing a discipleship relationship process for church planters in the Dakota Baptist Convention

Author
Morgan T Medford
Abstract
Church planting takes great energy and focus. Planters easily overlook their own spiritual growth while helping others grow in Christlikeness. For the spiritual health of these church planters and their church plants, a clear path to ongoing personal spiritual formation is needed. To help planters in the Dakota Baptist Convention, a discipleship relationship has been designed to encourage their continuing spiritual formation. Working with a more experienced disciple, the spiritual disciplines of contemplative prayer, Lectio Divina, and solitude and silence form the project's focus. The goal is for church planters to develop lifelong spiritual formation practices.

A personal struggle between privilege, blessing, and luck and why it matters to God's entire creation

Author
Jonathan B Hall
Abstract
This project seeks to understand the current uses of the words "privilege", "blessing", and "luck" when describing God's actions and character. This project aims to help individuals and communities understand that God's blessings are unlimited and offered to all. Participants in the study were members of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Ventura, California. An invitation was sent out to the entire congregation to participate. Materials used were a movie and a questionnaire. Participants also stayed and discussed the topic in a larger group.

Framing a holistic spiritual care curriculum that engages the heart, soul, and mind

Author
Angela Boyd Wyatt
Abstract
The holistic spiritual care curriculum she developed is for young adults in the local church community and older adults who live in an independent living community. The curriculum is framed using Conceptualization, Personalization, and Utilization (CPU). The research is qualitative using a student-centered model for evaluating how participants respond to the CPU curriculum. The project is an action response to reshape Christian education by exploring this research question: What key curriculum components will help adults use their heart, soul, and mind to connect with the triune God for the discovery of life meaning and purpose?

Christian coaching: an ideal tool for impacting lay leadership proficiency

Author
Jane L Moschenrose
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to impact the leadership proficiency of key lay leaders in Wellspring Church, Farmington Hills, Michigan through the creation and implementation of a seven-session coaching program. The coaching sessions were designed to specifically enhance both aptitudes and attitudes of the seven leaders who participated in the impact study. In achieving the goals for this project, the key lay leaders of Wellspring Church grew emotionally, relationally, and spiritually, and more clearly reflect the life and ways of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hands-on faith: a practical plan for a ministry of spiritual formation in local congregations

Author
William V Buchanan
Abstract
The concept for this project began with the twofold observation that ministries of spiritual formation are often conducted in contexts apart from local congregations, and that many local congregations do not have ministries that are specifically oriented toward spiritual formation. The response to this two-sided issue evolved into the creation of a curriculum piece that is designed to help persons grow in their spiritual lives through the experience of personal and ecclesial practices within their local churches, and to help persons experience their local churches as centers for community and spirituality.
Subscribe to Spiritual formation