Spiritual Formation and Discipleship Certificate, Portland, Online

Spiritual Formation and Discipleship Certificate

Purpose

The Certificate in Spiritual Formation and Discipleship is a non-degree program designed to train students in the transformative work of Christian formation and discipleship. The Certificate in Spiritual Formation is designed for:

  • Persons who desire training in biblical and theological studies, in spiritual formation, and in discipleship
  • Persons who feel called to spiritual-formation ministry in the church or parachurch settings
  • Professionals who desire formational experiences and training in an academic environment
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Curriculum Plan

Choose two of the following:
Required sequence: BIST 501 and 503; BIST 502 and 504
Introduces students to the literature of the Old Testament in its socio-historical, literary, and theological contexts with particular interest in spiritual formation and Christian practice.
Introduces students to the literature of the New Testament in its socio-historical, literary, and theological contexts with particular interest in spiritual formation and Christian practice.
Building on the skills and knowledge of BIST 501, this course introduces more advanced exegetical methods through a variety of Old Testament texts. Special attention will be paid to major theological themes such as holiness, justice, theodicy, divine presence and absence, worship, trauma and how these themes are applicable to today's communities of faith. Prerequisite: BIST 501.
Building on the skills and knowledge of BIST 502, this course engages students with the nature of interpretation (hermeneutics) as well as methods and tools that support interpretation (exegesis). Special emphasis will be placed on key moral and theological concerns today and how a variety of viewpoints, methods, and approaches help the reader of the Bible move from ancient text to modern life. Important topics related to the canon will also be included such as the inspiration, authority, and composition of the Bible. Prerequisite: BIST 502.
Choose two of the following:
Required sequence: CHTH 507 and 509; CHTH 508 and 510
Covers the development of Christianity and Christian theology from the end of the apostolic period through the 16th century. Examines the expansion of the Church, the evolvement of Christian institutions and practice, the conflicts that confronted the Church from within and without, the reform of the Church, and the theological development of doctrines such as the soteriology, Trinity, Christology, grace and free will, and theology of the cross.
This course takes a constructive theological approach, integrating Christian doctrine and contemporary theologies in the church. It builds upon the student’s engagement with historical development of theology, focusing on the Trinity and key considerations in atonement and pneumatology. The principal goal is to reflect upon the normative sources for theology, with a view toward equipping students to engage their own denomination's theological development.
This course examines how Christianity developed in North America from the 15th to the 21st centuries. Special attention will be paid to the role of evangelicalism in American churches, the creative ways that Americans contextualize Christianity, and the contributions that American religious innovators make to global theological conversations.
An introduction to the origins, histories, myths, and basic tenets of other religious traditions in the world and how Christians might engage them in meaningful interaction. Involving a research project and on site visits, a concerted effort will be made to show the common humanity of the people who follow other religions. Co-learners will guard against viewing people from other religions as the "excluded other” by understanding commonalities and celebrating differences.
Complete the following:
Provides an opportunity for students to develop self-awareness in the context of their Christian faith and preparation for ministry. It equips students to reflect critically and constructively on their mission and vision, personal spiritual histories, and the strengths, weaknesses, and spirituality of their personality types.
Gives students opportunities to explore images of God portrayed in the Scriptures and in the mystical traditions of the Church. Students compare these images and traditions to those that have shaped their own thoughts, emotions, and actions. Students are able to inform, strengthen, and transform their images and experiences.
Provides an opportunity for students to develop deeper and more satisfying prayer lives in the context of a global environment. As the essential relational discipline of the Christian journey, prayer is examined and experienced in its diverse ecclesial, ethnic, and cultural forms as found in Scripture, Christian history, and the Church.
Introduces students to some of the classic disciplines and practices of the spiritual life, including self-examination and confession, keeping Sabbath, simplicity, justice and compassion, and embodiment. These spiritual practices are explored in order to become aware of and engage the presence of God in one’s life.
Complete the following:
Gives students the opportunity in a seminar format to come to a deeper awareness of who they are and why they do what they do. Through practices and tools such as centering prayer, the enneagram, and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, students will become healthier servant leaders through an intentional formation of their identities. (Note: it is required that students take both SFAD 551 and SFAD 552).
Gives students the opportunity in a seminar format to come to a deeper awareness of who they are and why they do what they do. Through practices and tools such as centering prayer, the enneagram, and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, students will become healthier servant leaders through an intentional formation of their identities. (Note: it is required that students take both SFAD 551 and SFAD 552).
A small group of students study a specially selected topic with a professor in a seminar format. (Note: students are required to take both SFAD 555 and 565).
A small group of students study a specially selected topic with a professor in a seminar format. (Note: students are required to take both SFAD 555 and 565).

The Spiritual Formation and Discipleship Certificate will:

Develop the student's capacity for theological reflection regarding the psychological and socio-cultural dynamics that are at play in becoming transformative agents of Christ’s love

  • Equip students to develop habits of authentic disciplines that center on thinking and living in Christ’s presence
  • Foster socio-cultural awareness and relational skills that foster maturity into God’s fullness
  • Offer tools for cultivating and communicating authentic Christian discipleship