SP515: INTRODUCTION TO CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY. Willy Hernandez.
DESCRIPTION: This course is designed to introduce the foundations of spirituality in two sections: contours and praxis. The first part outlines the multidimensional, multifaceted nature and shape of Christian spirituality and deals with the major critical issues behind its contemporary expressions. The second part highlights the ministry dynamics of Christian formation within the context of the local church along with a special focus on certain spiritual practices that are simultaneously personal, communal, and missional in their thrust.
LEARNING OUTCOMES: It is hoped that by the end of the course the student will be able to (1) appreciate the ecumenical character of Christian spirituality based upon its differing yet complementary expressions; (2) identify and wrestle with the major critical issues related to it; (3) understand and appropriate the biblical dynamics of spiritual formation into oneÕs life and ministry; (4) begin cultivating the practice of spirituality and its accompanying disciplines in everyday life; (5) be able to apply the art and discipline of theological reflection directly within the context of oneÕs current ministry.
RELEVANCE FOR MINISTRY: In and outside our churches, people engage in an ongoing conversation about the subject of spirituality and the process of spiritual formation. Christians in ministry must be in the forefront of such a discussion, competently guiding those who are seeking a genuine experience of God and directing them toward proven spiritual paths in accord with Scripture and the commonly held tradition of the ancient church. This course is designed not only to explore those paths but also to engage us in the actual practice of the various disciplines of our life in the Spirit.
COURSE FORMAT: A total of 30 contact hours involving a mixture of class lecture, discussion, and small group interaction. The class will begin on Aug. 27-28 with an overnight class retreat (5:00 pm on Fri. to 8 pm on Sat.) at the Franciscan Renewal Center (Scottsdale, AZ) with a $ 90 fee involved (inclusive of a shared room, 4 meals and materials). Class sessions after that will be from Mon. (Aug. 30) to Fri. (Sept. 3) from 6:30-10:00 pm with a break on Wed. (Sept. 1) and culminating on a Sat. (Sept. 4) session from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. In addition, each student is to observe a personal silent retreat on their own for half-day (or four hours).
Collins, Kenneth J., ed. Exploring Christian Spirituality: An Ecumenical Reader. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2000.
Foster, Richard, and James Bryan Smith, eds. Devotional Classics. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2005.
Holt, Bradley P. Thirsty for God: A Brief History of Christian Spirituality. 2nd ed. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2005.
Nouwen, Henri J. M. Making All Things New: An Invitation to the Spiritual Life. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1981.
Scorgie, Glen G. A Little Guide to Christian Spirituality. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007.
For Interactive Book Review, choose either one of these two books:
Demarest, Bruce. Satisfy Your Soul: Restoring the Heart of Christian Spirituality. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1999.
Rolheiser, Ronald. The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality. New York: Doubleday, 1999.
á Full attendance and required participation in the overnight class retreat, personal silent retreat, daily classes, especially the personal and group spiritual exercises (20%
á Thoughtful reading of the assigned textbooks and course materials (15%).
á Devotional readings and one-page journal reflection [as regularly scheduled] (15%).
á One-page retreat reflection paper (5%).
á Three-page interactive book review (10%).
á Four-page theological reflection case study worksheet (15%)
á Ten-page focused research paper (20%).
RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Meets MA in Theology requirement in Spirituality (FSP and SP2 or SPIR) and MIN1 requirement for MDiv.
FINAL EXAMINATION: None.