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The purpose of this project was to assist a cohort of twenty pastors in the Denver area in deepening their relationship with God through an experiential process of nine monthly retreats, spiritual direction, and daily prayer practices.
This project is at the intersection of two ministry challenges. The first is the declining spiritual health of pastors and ministry leaders due to the extensive pressures they face coupled with a dearth of places to experience authentic intimacy with God and others. The project facilitated personal renewal, spiritual community, and the cultivation of healthy rhythms to sustain leaders in the midst of demanding lives. The retreats provided a safe place for intimacy with God and fellow leaders. The daily prayer practices established habits to deepen their conversation with God.
The second ministry challenge is the realization that the contemporary model of spiritual direction, which I have practiced for twenty years, is not supported by ancient Christian spirituality, Ignatian spirituality, or biblical discipleship. Theological reflection on discipleship in the Gospel of John and the study of ancient Christian and Ignatian spiritualities have produced a new ministry model that I have named “contemplative discipleship.”
The ministry project employed the facets of contemplative discipleship over the nine-month process. Assessment of the project validated that contemplative discipleship is a significant means to spiritual renewal, healthy life/work rhythms, and deepening discipleship to Jesus.
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Denver, Gospel of John, Discipleship, Spiritual formation, Missions
Material is subject to copyright.
Baker, Howard, "Initiating "Contemplative Discipleship" As a Soul Care Ministry Among Denver Area Pastors and Ministry Leaders" (2020). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 412.