Launching in summer 2017
The Spiritual Formation track focuses on a biblically informed, spirituality grounded understanding of the triune God. The Bible, the revelation of the Living Word, and Jesus are central in Christian spiritual transformation, and they inform the process of maturation and growth, as guided by the Holy Spirit.
With a specific curriculum, students participate in a close-knit community with those in their cohort and their faculty mentors. Over three years and six intensives (student take two intensives per year), the track focuses on the core transformational processes of knowing God and self through prayer, spiritual disciplines and, most importantly, an explicit dependence on the Holy Spirit, the transforming architect and agent of change.
The intensive courses
Knowing Self / Knowing God
The spiritual journey of one’s walk with the Lord requires looking upward to see the face of God and looking inward to discern how one has been designed by God to relate to God. The upward look focuses on the dynamics of drawing near to God while the inward look focus on understanding how one’s personality and identity relates to that interface with God. This course focuses on these personal dynamics. Accent is given to the centrality of the heart.
This course is a systematic, biblical based exploration of the spiritual life where the nature of the spiritual life is examined along with the means and processes for developing and nurturing that spiritual life. Accent is given to the unique role of the Holy Spirit in the sanctification process.
Spiritual Disciplines and Discernment
This course deals with the biblical basis for the spiritual disciplines and includes experimentation with various disciplines. A significant portion of time is invested in applying the spiritual dynamics associated with hearing and responding to the Lord and to discerning God’s will and direction for one’s life. The ministry of spiritual direction is both taught and experienced in the discernment process.
The History of Christian Spirituality
Centuries of men and women seeking the face of God provide Twenty-first Century Christ-followers with a wealth of tried and tested tools and practices that augment spiritual vitality. In this course, major spiritual traditions are examined and used to inform and inspire living out life in the reality of Christ.
Spiritual Formation in Everyday Life
A true and vital spiritual life is a twenty-four/seven process. In this course, key principles of the spiritual life are brought to bear on work, leisure, sexuality, the use and abuse of money and time, and the value systems by which life is measured and evaluated.
This concluding week of study integrates the basic components of spiritual vitality into an integrated whole with an accent on mixing together the personal and corporate elements of the spiritual life and how this integration can be worked into personal and corporate ministry.
Faculty mentors serve as spiritual directors for the cohort. The cohort, mentors and guest lecturers live and learn together in community in a retreat-style setting.
The cohort will be closed to new students during its three-year duration – no one is allowed to enter the SF track once it starts. To account for students who may drop out of the program, we are planning to have a minimum cohort size of 10 students.
Dr. Calvin Blom
The Spiritual Formation track will be led by Dr. Calvin Blom, who has been teaching at Multnomah Biblical Seminary since 1986. Dr. Blom has a passion to see Christ-followers entering into a deep and intimate walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. In 2009, he initiated within his church the formation of the Spiritual Formation Institute (SFI). Since then, he has facilitated spiritual formation courses for groups and served as a spiritual director for individuals in his community. Dr. Blom holds a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, a D.Min. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a Spiritual Formation Certificate from George Fox Evangelical Seminary.
Who this track is for
This track would be a good fit for people serving in ministry areas such as discipleship, spiritual formation, spiritual direction, prayer, caretaking and counseling. Beyond vocational ministry roles, those in service or health professions may find this track appealing from a holistic perspective.
Students will be exposed to a variety of approaches to Christian spirituality. While recognizing theological distinctions that can be connected to different spiritual practices, exposure to these practices does not constitute endorsement of differing theological views. Doctoral level work requires students to critically analyze and understand differences and, to an extent, welcome strengths and critiques that may “oppose” their own spiritual practice and preferences.