Spiritual Formation? Who needs a course on that?
Sean Heady shares insights about the need for exploring Spiritual Formation. Join him this Fall.
While academia, deeply theological and ministerial studies abound throughout seminary, there is one refreshing subject that focuses on an indispensable aspect of ministry (and the Christian life altogether!) that supersedes and, honestly, undergirds all others. Spiritual Formation is an absolutely counter-cultural course that will inform you (or maybe remind you) of the supreme importance of intentionally carving out time in your life to implement the spiritual disciplines into your daily, weekly, and monthly routines. Consistent practice of the spiritual disciplines is paramount for the spiritual growth and perseverance of every Christ follower because it is the application of these disciplines that postures us in the presence of Christ.
Stories often surface of people in ministry – whether volunteers in churches or a senior pastors, missionaries, small group leaders, or anyone doing the work of the kingdom in some capacity – who are folding under the pressures of life and ministry and often stepping away from their position, their family, and sometimes even life itself. Maybe you have experienced burnout (or are experiencing) at some point in your life. While many complexities factor into any given situation, often they are a result of spiritual dryness that occurs from neglecting the spiritual disciplines. Of course, there is nothing in the spiritual disciplines themselves that can nurture our growth, but it is the implementation of these disciplines into our lives that positions us in our relationship with Christ to receive power from Him. Richard Foster framed this truth so well, saying,
A farmer is helpless to grow grain; all he can do is provide the right conditions for the growing of grain. He cultivates the ground, he plants the seed, he waters the plants, and then the natural forces of the earth take over and up comes the grain...This is the way it is with the Spiritual Disciplines - they are a way of sowing to the Spirit... By themselves the Spiritual Disciplines can do nothing; they can only get us to the place where something can be done.
Going beyond the more familiar disciplines of prayer, fasting, and Bible reading, this course will also elaborate on deep scriptural study and meditation, simplicity and solitude, submission and service, and worship and celebration. The goal of this course is to help you engage in a process of authentic life change, gaining an understanding of self and spiritual preparation for a lifetime of ministry.
This Spiritual Formation course facilitates the convergence of the spiritual with the physical in human existence and integrates the theoretical with the practical in academic pursuits. The exploration of spiritual formation provides the student with data for study and the minister with a directive for service. Both dimensions are critical and enable the renewing of the mind and the discipline of the body.
Ultimately, this course seeks to develop a foundation for your personal spiritual development as a Christian leader in pastoral ministry and any other calling. You will develop a personal philosophy of Christian spirituality and faith development that provides a solid biblical and theological rationale for the nature of spiritual life and growth. You will gain a deep understanding of essential elements for the cultivation of an intimate relationship with God and Christ-like character in