Syllabus: Spiritual Formation and Soul Care

The Human Contribution to Holiness Dallas Willard Part 1 of 19

A syllabus for the course Spiritual Formation and Soul Care

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Table of contents

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I. COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course provides live engagement with, and participation in, fruitful formation ministries with appropriate academic readings, reflection, and applications for life and ministry.

The current iteration will be offered in a retreat-based format January 4-8, 2010 at The Hideaway in Monument, CO.   We will study THE HUMAN CONTRIBUTION TO HOLINESS, or if you like, THE HUMAN SIDE OF HOLINESS: WHAT IS OUR PART IN PUTTING OFF THE OLD PERSON AND PUTTING ON THE NEW. (Romans 13:14, Eph. 4:22-24)

      Residence at the retreat center is a required element of the course. There is no commuting option. This allows for a time of personal renewal, reflection, and community building.

II. STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

Spiritually Mature and Growing:  Exhibit a mature and growing Christlikeness in their character.

            The class lectures and readings will give a theoretical framework for growth in Christlikeness (Assignments 1 and 2).  Participating in a variety of personal spiritual practices (Assignment 4) and reflecting on those experiences through a personal essay (Assignment 5) will give students experiential opportunities for spiritual growth.  As healthy human relationships are an indicator of a growing spirituality students will engage in the disciplines of spiritual friendship with one other person and in a small group. (Assignments 4 and 5)

Vocationally Fit:  Discern and pursue personal vocation in a theologically integrated manner.

The final integrative paper (Assignment 6) gives the student an opportunity to reflect theologically and biblically on growth in holiness not only as a personal responsibility, but as part of a vocational calling to ministry to the church and the world.

III. OBJECTIVES OF THE COURSE

  1. See clearly how, on an experiential basis, to appropriate the teachings of Jesus in real life.
  2. Understand how to use this personal learning in leading and participating in local congregations.
  3. Practice several spiritual disciplines personally and communally such as silence, journaling, Scripture memorization, and spiritual friendship.
  4. Experience personal renewal as a result of the retreat setting.
  5. Engage spiritual formation community through participating in a small group.

IV. COURSE TOPICS AND SCHEDULE (Times are subject to change.)

Monday Jan. 4: 10-12AM
WHAT DOES HOLINESS LOOK LIKE SHORN OF ITS LEGALISTIC EXPRESSIONS? 2nd Peter 1:1-11, Eph. 6:5:33-6:18, Romans 5:1-5. Col. 3:1-17
RENOVATION OF THE HEART, chapters 1 and 11

Monday Jan. 4: 1-3PM
CONSIDERING THE WHOLE PERSON: HEART, SOUL, MIND, STRENGTH, AND NEIGHBOR–Mark 12:28-34; Deut. 6:4-5; Lev. 19:9-37.
RENOVATION OF THE HEART, “Prelude” and Chapter 2

Tuesday Jan. 5: 10-12AM
TAKING 1 CORINTHIANS 13 SERIOUSLY. INTENDING TO DO IT–1 Cor. 13; 1 John 4:7-5:4; John 13:34-35.
RENOVATION OF THE HEART, Chapter 5, THE SPIRIT OF THE DISCIPLINES, Ch 1-2

Tuesday Jan. 5: 1-3PM
SALVATION IN CHRIST IS A LIFE—ETERNAL LIVING NOW–Col. 3:1-5, Romans 8:1-13, John 14:15-26 & 15:1-12 & 17:3.
SPIRIT OF THE DISCIPLINES, Chapters 3-5

Wednesday Jan. 6: 10-12AM                  FAST DAY
HUMAN EFFORT, HUMAN CHARACTER, AND DIVINE GRACE. WHY GRACE REQUIRES EFFORT—THE “WITH GOD LIFE”–Romans 6 & 7. Col. 3:5-16, Eph.4:17-5:1, Romans 13:14.
SPIRIT OF THE DISCIPLINES, Chapters 6 & 7

Wednesday Jan. 6: 1-3PM
THE PLACE OF “DISCIPLINES” IN CHRISTIAN DISCIPLESHIP AND SPIRITUAL FORMATION
THE SPIRIT OF THE DISCIPLINES, Chapters 8 & 9

Thursday Jan. 7: 10-12AM
THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE MIND: THOUGHTS AND EMOTIONS–Romans 12:1-21, Phil. 2:3-16, 2 Cor. 10:3-5.
RENOVATION OF THE HEART, Chapters 6 & 7

Thursday Jan. 7: 1-3PM
THE BODY AND ITS SOCIAL WORLD–Romans 6 & 7, 1 Cor. 6:12-20, 2 Cor. 4:7-11, 1 Cor. 9:24-27, 1 Cor. 12:4-27, John 17:20-23
RENOVATION OF THE HEART, Chapters 9 & 10

Friday Jan. 8: 8:30-10:30AM
THE WILL (HUMAN SPIRIT, HEART) AND THE SOUL IN THE PROCESS OF SANCTIFICATION. Matt. 5:17-48, Mark 7:1-23, Luke 6:39-49, Heb. 10:16.
RENOVATION OF THE HEART, Chapters 8 & 11

Friday Jan. 8: 12-2PM
CHRISTIAN DISCIPLESHIP AND THE MISSION TO THE WORLD; CHURCHES AND WORLD LEADERSHIP; WHAT IS THE LOCAL CONGREGATION FOR? Gen. 12:3, Isa. 11:1-10, 49:6, 60:1-3, Matt. 28:18-20.
RENOVATION OF THE HEART, Chapter 13 and “Postlude”
SPIRIT OF THE DISCIPLINES, Chapter 11 and “Epilogue” (As needed)

IV. COURSE TEXTS

To be read in their entirety:

Willliam Law, SERIOUS CALL TO A DEVOUT AND HOLY LIFE, Paulist Press edition.
Andrew Murray, HUMILITY (Whitaker House)
John Calvin, GOLDEN BOOKLET OF THE TRUE CHRISTIAN LIFE  (Baker)
Henri Nouwen, THE WAY OF THE HEART (Ballantine Books/Random House)
Dallas Willard, THE SPIRIT OF THE DISCIPLINES (Harper)
Dallas Willard, RENOVATION OF THE HEART (NavPress)

V. COURSE REQUIREMENTS

  1. Be in residence at The Hideaway in Monument, CO from 10 am Monday, January 4 until 2pm Friday January 8.
  2. Pre-course reading
    Dallas Willard, THE SPIRIT OF THE DISCIPLINES (Harper).
    Dallas Willard, RENOVATION OF THE HEART (NavPress)
    Henri Nouwen, THE WAY OF THE HEART
  3. Pre-course assignment:  memorize I Corinthians 13.
  4. Observe faithfully the rhythms of the weekprayer, silence, journaling, spiritual friendship, and community.  Schedule to be distributed upon arrival.
  5. Personal response essay:  Keeping in mind the various dimensions of your personhood (body, social context, emotions, thoughts, will, spirit, and soul) how were you formed by the Holy Spirit through this course–the readings, lectures, small group, spiritual friendship, silence, and prayer times?  8-10 pages double spaced, cover sheet, email to [the instructor] by January 17.  Suggestion:  keep a personal journal during the week of the course and as you read.  This will supply the raw material from which to write this paper.
  6. Final Integrative Paper:  Holiness:  What it is, how it happens, why it matters to the church and the world, and how you see yourself engaging in this spiritually transforming ministryYou will be graded on how well the course lectures and readings are integrated into this paper, so it will be important to cite sources throughout your paper in footnotes.  10-12 pages double spaced, cover sheet, email to [the instructor] by January 22.   Include in your email the percentage of required reading that you completed.

VI. GRADING PROCEDURE

Final Paper                                 40 %
Retreat Participation                   20 %
Personal Response Essay             20 %
Reading Report                           20 %

100%

A= 93-100%; A- = 90-92; B+ = 87-89; B = 83-86; B- = 80-82; C+ = 77-79; C = 73-76;

C- = 70-72; D+ = 67-69; D = 63-66; D- = 60-62; F = less than 60%

Listen to all parts in this Spiritual Formation and Soul Care (Video) series