Tyndale University College and Seminary

Spiritual Formation in a Hong Kong Chinese Context: A Personal Journey, a Teachable Model Based on 1 John 2:12-14, and a Research Report

Author
Daniel Hung Fai Cho D.Min.
Abstract
In this research portfolio, the author describes Christian spiritual formation as a growth process with common stages and tasks with reference to 1 John 2:12-14 while acknowledging the uniqueness of spiritual experience for each individual Christian through spiritual autobiography. The common spiritual growth stages and tasks were developed as a model derived from an exposition with reference to 1 John 2:12-14. The uniqueness of Christian spiritual formation is acknowledged by a spiritual autobiography, which describes the author’s experiences with God and spiritual realities throughout his life. The universality of Christian spiritual growth is then suggested and illustrated through a model of spiritual growth from the passage. Lastly, a research project investigates the author’s teaching effectiveness in a Personal Growth course with ten students as participants in a Hong Kong (China) seminary using a combination of the two previous sections as teaching components in the journey of Christian spiritual formation. The findings and comments in this report bring to light some valuable teaching advice for Hong Kong seminarians concerning the duality of Christian spiritual formation. This report shows the effectiveness of incorporating the writing of a spiritual autobiography and exploring various learning tasks associated with 1 John 2:12-14, in that these were beneficial to the spiritual growth of Hong Kong seminarians.

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.

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.

Designing a Storybook Based on Matthew 19:13-15 to Share Faith with Primary School-Aged Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Author
Heather J Malnick
Abstract
The number of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder has increased in Canada, which is reflected at Living Faith Community Presbyterian Church in Baxter, Ontario, where the number of special needs children has also risen in the past eight years. Despite this increase, faith-based resources created for children with ASD are scarce. In response, this research project reviewed existing sociological, psychological and theological literature-accompanied by data obtained from a parent focus group, expert review, and professional feedback-to create a faith-based storybook using communication techniques specified for children with ASD. Field study incorporated the Action Research method of inquiry.

A Model for Fostering Relational Growth by Using Appreciative Inquiry at New Life Adventist Church in Oshawa, Ontario

Author
Frank Dell'Erba
Abstract
This project introduced the Appreciative Inquiry process to the New Life Seventh-day Adventist Church in Oshawa for the purpose of fostering positive change towards increased loving relationships with one another. The objective was to deepen relationships and create a more united vision in Christ in a hard-working church that was very focused on tasks and programs but where growth had been limited. Through the use of the Appreciative Inquiry process that was evidence of some positive change towards increased loving relationships and provocative proposals were implemented since the end of the project.

A Holistic Spiritual Formation Model for Selected Chinese Evangelical Churches in the G.T.A

Author
Paddy PP Wong
Abstract
A holistic spiritual formation journey includes knowing the revealed and hidden aspects of God with our minds and our hearts. This is integral to Christian formation and facilitating authentic spiritual transformation in the Christian life. Based on my personal experiences, Chinese evangelical churches have put a strong emphasis on teaching biblical knowledge and encouraging services in ministry and missions. There is a lack of putting the same emphasis on providing channels that guide congregants in nurturing deeper spiritual intimacy with God which leads to whole life transformation. This portfolio includes a spiritual autobiography (Chapter 2) that traces my own spiritual path from being nurtured through acquiring biblical knowledge to growing in my spiritual intimacy with God through applying ancient spiritual practices such as silence and solitude and spiritual companioning. Chapter 3 provides a holistic formation model for Chinese evangelical churches and features four types of Christian spirituality: cognitive spirituality, experiential spirituality, contemplative spirituality, and societal regeneration spirituality. Chapter 4 uses the practice of group spiritual direction in a qualitative research project to determine whether the practice nurtures spiritual transformation of Chinese evangelical Christians. The results from the project affirmed that group spiritual direction did deepen the participants' spiritual intimacy with God and with other believers as well as their commitment to practicing the spiritual disciplines.

Developing and Implementing a Model for Discipleship through Student Missional Houses on the Campus of Queen's University

Author
Steven Lee Kooy
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to develop and implement a model of student discipleship through missional houses on the campus of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. In order to achieve this objective, biblical and theological data, social science literature, and current missional housing models were researched and a model for missional houses was designed, implemented, and tested. The methodology undertaken was Participatory Action Research and included resident surveys, missional health assessments, and interviews. This data provided the tools needed to discern a transformational model for discipling students through campus missional houses.
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