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The purpose of this project was to offer a spiritual formation program for leaders at Urban Church that introduced them to Ignatian Spirituality and the Spiritual Exercises with a view to providing a holistic, contemplative approach to spiritual transformation. Such an approach to formation is a rich alternative to the historic formation approach in a Pentecostal context which tends to focus on inspiration and education rather than transformation.
The first part of this paper discusses the history of Pentecostalism in Australia, with a particular focus on the genesis and subsequent development of the Australian Christian Churches (ACC) movement which is the Pentecostal denomination to which Urban Church belongs. Consideration was given to how within the Pentecostal church, discipleship has been heavily influenced by an evangelical emphasis on correct doctrinal belief and eschatological urgency. This section also provides a short history of Urban Church and demonstrates how Ignatian spirituality and a contemplative approach to formation supports the broader vision and mission of the church.
The second part of this paper focuses on the theological foundation for an Ignatian approach to spiritual transformation. This section includes a literature review covering Ignatian Spirituality, The Spiritual Exercises as well as touching on the teaching of Dallas Willard. Utilizing those sources, it is argued that an Ignatian approach to spiritual formation is not only appropriate, but an exciting and energizing one for a Pentecostal context.
The final part of this paper describes the content and evaluation of the Immersion Experience which was aimed at introducing participants to Ignatian spirituality, Ignatian discernment and the first movement of the Spiritual Exercises. The approach to the project was four-fold including teaching, individual and group exercises, personal reflection and communal exploration of the movements within the soul of the participants.
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Pentecostal churches, Pentecostalism, Ignatian Spirituality, Ignatius, Spirituality, Spiritual exercises, Spiritual formation, Transformation, Australian Christian Churches (ACC), Urban Church
Christianity | Practical Theology
Material is subject to copyright.
Cawthorn, Allyson, "The Immersion Experience: A Contemplative Approach to Spiritual Transformation Guided by Ignatian Spirituality and the Spiritual Exercises" (2020). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 436.