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Many Christian young adults enrolling in evangelical colleges have a limited understanding of what Scripture teaches or a solid grasp of what they believe. Often, they have not developed personal practices that make space for God, and are sometimes discouraged when attempting to spend time with him.
The college years are a time in life when students establish their own beliefs and apply them to the decisions that they make in the future. It is critically important that they are confident in their relationship with God and know how their lives connect with his purposes for reconciling the world to himself. This kind of knowing takes place when the inner life is shaped to conform to Jesus’ life so that the outer life and all of its relationships are transformed. This is spiritual formation.
Spiritual formation on a Christian college campus can take place in a variety of ways, but central to its efficacy are mentors who lead by example. This project offers a plan for building a spiritual foundation into students through solitude, small group community, and outreach ministry.
While specifically written for Westmont College, its design is applicable for other Christian colleges. Part One examines the spiritual quest of the millennial generation and the particular needs and challenges at Westmont. Part Two provides a biblical and theological framework for spiritual formation. Part Three outlines a strategy for contemplative retreats, small group study, and mission outreach, and it concludes with a method for evaluating outcomes.
At a time when the Church holds little interest for millennials, even though curiosity about spirituality is growing, evangelical colleges have a tremendous opportunity to provide spiritual training that will bolster their students’ academics and give them meaning and purpose long after they graduate.
Doctor of Ministry
college, spiritual formation, college campus, mentors, community, Westmont
Material is subject to copyright.
Noling, Kathleen Strutt, "Transforming Lives at Westmont College through Solitude, Community, and Ministry" (2017). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 308.