Spiritual Formation at Bethel Seminary: A Life-changing Journey – Bethel University News

Today, Bethel Seminary continues to build on that strong foundation. Spiritual formation coursesas well as courses in biblical studies, theology, and leadershiphelp students explore multiple levels of their own spiritual and personal journey, including context, church background, emotional health, emotional intelligence, family of origin, spiritual practices, and leadership styles. We invite students to be increasingly self- and other-aware, says Sanders. This process is not easy, but its worth it.

Master of Divinity student Rose Nelessen 23 says Bethels integration of spiritual and personal formation is unlike anything she imagined. The resources we read and watch and discuss in our courses always challenge or deepen my understanding of not only the person I was created to be, but the ways in which I was always meant to bring my whole self into relationship with both God and neighbor, she says. And my professors, even in hermeneutics and leadership courses, ask about and even hold me accountable for my personal spiritual growth. They care so much about the health and wellbeing of my personal relationship with Christ to the point where it actually astounds me.

Fiona Tranquillo 22, a student in the marriage and family therapy (MFT) program, says that Bethels emphasis on spiritual and personal formation has pushed her toward a richer and fuller view of God. I've been able to appreciate my personal experience of God and the Christian tradition I grew up in, she says, but also catch a bigger vision of our God who is at work in many ways, in many different kinds of people, and across many expressions of the Christian faith. As a marriage and family therapy student, I am reminded again and again that the therapist is one of the primary tools of therapy. We are brought back to the idea of spiritual and personal formation in every course because who we are truly, deeply matters in the therapyroom.

And thats true for every student, in every discipline. We want students to understand that the depth and breadth of who they are matters in every area of their lives and ministries, says Sanders. This emphasis on developing awareness leads to graduates who are better equipped to deal with the challenges of ministry in mature, Christ-centered waysand churches and ministry agencies have taken notice. Since its inception, our integration of spiritual and personal formation has connected incredibly well with churches, pastors, clinical directors, and therapy agencies, says Sanders. The practical nature of this training is real for people in the trenches. We regularly get questions and requests from other ministries, wondering how we do it.

You know how they do it. Youve experienced it in every course, in every discipline, with every professor. Somehow the carefully crafted structure and intentional integration create a space for something profound to happen. In this sacred space, you meet Godand yourselfin powerful, transformative new ways. Youll never be the same.

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Spiritual Formation at Bethel Seminary: A Life-changing Journey - Bethel University News

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