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Summer 2012/Phoenix

SP520

Smith

 

SP520:  FOUNDATIONS OF SPIRITUAL LIFE.  Timothy Smith.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

 

DESCRIPTION:  This course on the foundations of the spiritual life is designed to assist the integration of personal faith and public ministry.  The course teaches a practical theology method integrating biblical and theological resources, the history of Christian traditions and practices, socio-cultural studies, and corporate and personal work leading to spiritual growth and ministry.  Emphasis will be placed on the study and practice of prayer both privately and corporately.

 

SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY:  Ministers, future ministers, and Christian leaders must seek to broaden and deepen their biblical, theological, and historical understandings of the spiritual life for themselves and those they serve.  This class will offer a biblical, Trinitarian, and historically informed exploration of what it means to be Ňconformed to the image of ChristÓ.  Introduction to a variety of practices and perspectives (through personal reflection, history, group work, and theory) will enhance the studentŐs ability to discern the SpiritŐs movements and leading.

 

LEARNING OUTCOMES:  Upon successful completion of this class students will have demonstrated that they have learned 1) a practical theology method that connects their experience with a biblical and theological philosophy of the spiritual life, 2) a historical overview of spiritual traditions and practices, and 3) socio-cultural insights relating to personal spirituality and ministry.

 

COURSE FORMAT:  This course will meet for 30 hours during a two-week intensive (July 30-August 11). The class will include lecture, discussion, prayer, and engagement with different Christian traditions, practices, and group experience.  There will be two Saturday retreats at a local retreat center to assist in the practical implementation of these elements. The retreat hours will be beyond the 30 hours of course instruction.

 

REQUIRED READING:

Bonhoeffer,Dietrich.  Life Together.  S.F.: Harper. 1978.  ISBN: 0060608528.  $13.99.   (128 p.)

Hagberg, Janet and Robert Guelich.  The Critical Journey: Stages in the Life of Faith. Salem, WI: Sheffield. 1995. ISBN: 1879215284  $19.99.  (162 p.)

Holt, Bradley P.  Thirsty for God: A Brief History of Christian Spirituality. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress.  2005.  ISBN: 0800637097.  $10.99.  (242 p.)

Mulholland, M. Robert Jr. Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation.  Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity.  1993.  ISBN: 0830813861. $15.00.  (173 p.)

Peterson, Eugene H. The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. 1989. ISBN: 0802801145. $18.00. (179 p.)

Whitehead, James D. and Evelyn Eaton. Method in Ministry: Theological Reflection and Christian Ministry. Rev. ed. Lanham, MD: Sheed & Ward, 1995. ISBN: 9781556128066, $20.95. (154 p.)

Willard, Dallas. The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives.  SF: Harper. 1998.  ISBN: 0060694424. $15.99.  (288 p.)

 

RECOMMENDED READING:

Ford, David. The Shape of Living: Spiritual Directions for Everyday Life.  Grand    Rapids, MI: Baker.  1997.  ISBN: 0801058325.  $12.00. 

Foster, Richard J.  Prayer: Finding the HeartŐs True Home.  S.F.: Harper. 1992. ISBN: 0060628464.   $16.00.

Howatch, Susan. Absolute Truths.  Robinsdale, MI: Fawcett. 1996. ISBN: 0449225550.   $7.99.

 

ASSIGNMENTS AND ASSESSMENT:

1.     Thoughtful reading of assigned materials, regular attendance, and participation are expected (20%).

2.     An 8-10 page paper, double-spaced, in which the student explores the trajectory of his or her spiritual life across the years, by describing and interpreting the narrative through the use of Practical Theology (20%). 

3.     A 5-8 page paper, double-spaced, in which the student describes their spiritual typology and corollary spiritual practices (20%). 

4.     A 3-4 page paper, doubled-spaced, comparative book review (15%).

5.     An 8-10 page, double-spaced, research paper on a significant Christian spiritual leader in history (25%). 

 

PREREQUISITES:  None.

 

RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM:  M.Div. MIN1; SOT MA Pre-Fall 07 SPIR, MA 2007-2009, SP2.

 

FINAL EXAM: None.