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Course descriptions

Knowing God and Knowing Self

In this course we start with God’s triune relational love and then consider the believer’s soul-awakening response to that love. The spiritual journey begins with meeting and knowing God as eternal Father, Son, and Spirit. It progresses with the believer’s union with Christ through the Spirit. It brings recognition of sin and repentance; and it grows by gaining a heartfelt confidence in Christ. We will pursue Bible paradigms and language in order to better understand and live the spiritual life.

The History of Christian Spirituality

In Church history a variety of spiritual traditions have emerged. Some are biblically sound while others endorse questionable human impulses. This course offers a pathway to spiritual reformation and renewal by examining Christ’s ministry to his followers; and by engaging lessons provided in other New Testament teachings. Then, with this work as a measure, we will examine and weigh some major spiritual traditions that are currently available.

Spiritual Theology

This course will focus on the unique role of the Holy Spirit in the process of Christian transformation. The apostle Paul’s call for the believers in Galatia to “keep in step with the Spirit” will be employed as a crucial Bible calling. The Spirit’s ministry will both be distinguished from the Persons of the Father and Son, and engaged as God’s bonding presence in the believer’s union with Christ and communion with the Father. The Spirit’s work in shaping the New Testament Church will be taken as an applied model for both our personal faith; and for reforming the practices of today’s Christian communities.

Following Christ in a Life of Love

This course will first review how the Spiritual Formation movement emerged, along with its use of Spiritual Disciplines. The course will then elevate God’s love in Christ as his spreading goodness that captures and transforms souls. Within this inside-out relational model course participants will explore various biblical pathways that stimulate spiritual growth. Time will be given to asking when and how God speaks today; and about how to discern God’s voice among the alternative calls upon our hearts. Partnership pathways to growth will be considered and applied.

Christian Transformation in Community

The authentic spiritual life is heart-based and whole-life. In this course we will consider how the affective power of God’s Trinitarian love, poured out in hearts by the Holy Spirit, brings change to every realm of life. This includes work, leisure, sexuality, the use of time and money, and more. The mutual love that emerges in a transformative Christian community then grows and spreads to the world as a natural missional outreach.

Integrated Spirituality

This concluding course seeks to integrate the core elements of a renewed spiritual life in the real world. A Christian shares in union and communion with the Father and Son, by the Spirit, so the basis for loving both God and neighbor emerges as a response to God’s active love. This, in turn, stirs both the desire and energy to shape personal and corporate ministry in line with Christ’s life.

 

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