Academic Programs

Spirituality Studies

SP 211 Spiritual Formation in Contemporary Faith Communities

The course is designed to enlarge students’ competency with the resources and approaches for fostering spiritual formation in faith communities. The considerations are four-fold: (1) spiritual practices within the Christian tradition, and ways they might be applied and taught in faith communities; (2) integration of spiritual practices in the life of a leader; (3) approaches for helping individual members to discern their own spiritual journeys, as well as operating theologies; and (4) discernment of community ethos, testimonies, and vision in order to foster corporate spiritual formation.
3 semester hours.

SP 214 Prayer

Students will explore and practice different ways to pray, thus nurturing spiritual growth through a daily discipline of prayer. Both individual and group prayer are practiced. Readings and discussion give opportunity to explore theological questions that arise when we pray.
3 semester hours.

SP 233 Christian Discipleship and Living in the Spirit

This course examines the Christian faith journey from commitment to mission. Using a narrative theological approach to the Gospel texts, the class explores the life of Jesus as it intersects with the lives of class participants, and with persons known for their Christian faithfulness. A clearer picture of the process will become the basis for discerning how ministers guide persons and congregations toward maturing in the Christian life.
3 semester hours.

SP 290-T Christian Spirituality through a Swedenborgian Lens

The field of spirituality studies explores the actual, lived experience of a committed faith practice. Swedenborgian spirituality envisions a fundamental transformation in spiritual life centered upon communion with God that unfolds as a growth process experienced an inward reality but which is expressed especially in community. We will first consider spirituality as an interdisciplinary field before exploring spiritual growth and formation in the Christian movement known as Swedenborgianism. Drawing upon primarily Swedenborgian resources, the tools of theology, psychology, scripture, historical studies, and spiritual practice will be used in an interdisciplinary fashion. Throughout, a focus on understanding spiritual growth and development in the practice of ministry will be maintained.
3 semester hours.

SP 335 Individual Spiritual Direction

An introduction to the theory and practice of Christian spiritual direction for individuals. The course explores the historical roots of spiritual direction in the Christian tradition, as well as up-to-date theory and issues related to the ministry. A practical component completes the course vision, since students apply their learning in practicum group experience as well as give and receive one-on-one supervised spiritual direction outside of class meeting time.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisite: FC 101/101-T

SP 342 History of Christian Spirituality

See HS 342.

SP 350-T Spirituality and Suffering

In this course, we will explore the difficult issue of suffering as it relates to the spiritual journey.  We will consider Christian responses to suffering, problems of theodicy, the relation of love and spiritual transformation to suffering, and ways to be present to others in times of suffering.  As a two-week intensive, we can only begin to appreciate the complexity of related issues, but hope that such awareness will strengthen us for our own suffering and for ministry to others in suffering.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisite: FC 101/101-T & TS 101/101-O

SP 370 Spirituality of Peacemaking

See PJ 370.

SP 387 Spirituality & the Body

This course explores the intersection of the spirit and body through personal reflection, critical study, and embodied spiritual practice.  Scripture, early Church writings, and medieval mystical writings, as well as contemporary Christian resources, are examined.  The course includes major units of study on the topics of sexuality and healing.  Students write a paper on a theology of the body and complete the course with a research project of their own design.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisite: FC 101/101-O or F 110

SP 390/390-O/390-T Seminar In Spirituality Studies

Special seminars for research and study into specific areas of interest are offered periodically. Topics such as Healing, Intercessory Prayer, Leading Prayer Groups, Retreat and Workshop Ministry, Feminist Spirituality, and Spirituality in the Wilderness are examples of seminar content.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisite: FC 101/101-T or F 110

SP 400 Independent Study

See BS 400.