The main focus of this course is spiritual formation—and the ways that the spiritual disciplines operate within that field of ministry. Students can expect to take some time in defining spiritual formation, affirm the importance of proper theology in spiritual formation, and explore the ways that spiritual temperament and personality inform our engagement of the spiritual disciplines for personal and parish renewal.
We’ll also look at the ways that stages of faith and “true self” discussions inform spiritual formation, explore the necessary tension between human responsibility and divine initiative in our salvation, and affirm the value of a rule for faithful living as a way of formalizing a plan of spiritual formation for individuals and congregations. The course will culminate in participants defining an initial plan for spiritual formation in a congregational setting.
Students are required to have the following books for this class:
- The Critical Journey: Stages in the Life of Faith, by Janet Hagberg & Robert Guelich
- Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation, by Robert Mulholland
- Discover Your Spiritual Type: A Guide to Individual and Congregational Growth, by Corrine Ware
*Timing of optional “mixers” will be determined by a doodle poll.
This is the first course in the Institute for Discipleship certification in Spiritual Formation and is a pre-requisite for all of the other courses in the Spiritual Formation certification.
This course is eligible for 3.0 CEU.
About the Instructor
After 35 years of active parish ministry in the East Texas area (including several congregations in Houston), the Rev. Dr. James H. “Jim” Reiter took early retirement in 2018 so that he and his wife, Kathy, could pursue their interest in spiritual formation on a full-time basis. Together they founded Zoe-Life Explorations (www.zoe-life.net). Through this ministry and a variety of other roles (including lead instructor for BeADisciple’s Certification in Spiritual Formation program, spiritual director, a ministry specialist in spiritual direction and in spiritual formation for the Texas Annual Conference and others), Jim’s mission is to facilitate discussions and experiences of spiritual formation for individuals and faith communities.
Past Learners Said…
“For me, this course was a review, updating, and integration of spiritual formation resources after 15 years away from active engagement. The particular resources employed were new to me. I liked being able to confirm that my knowledge and insights on the subject and engagement of spiritual formation tools are still relevant.”
“The instructor appeared to care quite deeply about us as individuals and as a class in general. He was constantly amending things in the course based on how we were doing, questions that were raised, and so on.”
“Jim was well-informed and supportive. He shared his wealth of information freely. He was nonjudgmental and gave much space for self-exploration. I am informing others of this class and of the IFD certification program in general. I think it has great potential to equip people to strengthen their churches.”
“I learned about myself–where I am on my spiritual journey, what type of spirituality appeals to me. It was healing in a way because it explained me to myself. I accept and value myself in some ways that I didn’t before I took the class. I also learned about others in such a way that I am more understanding of others. The definition of rule of life was life-changing. I also have frameworks for looking at congregations and planning for individual and communal spiritual growth.”