PORTLAND, Ore. — Multnomah Biblical Seminary is pleased to announce the addition of a new track to our Doctorate of Ministry (DMin) and Master of Arts in Applied Theology (MAAT) programs. The Affective Spirituality and Christian Formation track is planned to launch summer of 2018, and it will emphasize the way Christ transforms believers’ emotions and desires.
Dr. Ron Frost, a Multnomah alumnus and previous seminary professor, is the faculty mentor for this new track, and DMin Director Dr. Greg Dueker is enthusiastic about working with Frost. “This is a double win for the seminary — launching a new DMin/MAAT track and getting to work with Ron again,” says Dueker.
Frost — who received a bachelor’s degree from Multnomah, a master’s in divinity from Trinity Evangelical, and a doctorate from King’s College in London — brings a specifically Trinitarian focus to Christian formation, and the new track shows that. “The affective Trinitarian approach to Christian formation sets this track apart from other programs in the area,” says Dueker. “If we realize God as Trinity and the triune way that he shares his glory, it will affect how we do ministry.”
The name affective spirituality comes from Frost’s approach. According to Dueker, it “represents Augustine’s heart-centered spiritual anthropology as later affirmed by figures like Martin Luther, John Calvin, Richard Sibbes and Jonathan Edwards. It treats the heart as the response-based locale of our motivations and holds that we are heart-based creatures, led by our commanding desires. Frost’s ambition isn’t to impose this approach but to explore it together as a lively Bible option in the face of the much more Stoic views commonly promoted in today’s models of spiritual formation.”
“Other approaches to spiritual formation are from the outside in, not the inside out,” says Dueker. “That’s what makes this track unique. Rather than emphasize our own self-effort, there’s a focus on having our affections transformed by God’s love that has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.”
This new track will be especially helpful for those whose ministry focuses on the formative aspects of following Jesus. This includes those who emphasize discipleship or spiritual direction, but the program can also help lead pastors seeking a Bible-defined framework for these issues as well. As Dueker points out, “We all worship what we love. This means there is no area of missional Christian ministry that will not be transformed through the perspective and practice of affective spirituality.”
Read more about affective spirituality from Dr. Ron Frost’s blog here.