Off-campus Fuller users: Please use the following link to log into our proxy server and download this thesis.

Publication Date



The Dark Night of the Soul, a poetic phrase arising from the writings of St. John of the Cross, is a common but misunderstood part of the Christian journey. It is often a lonely season where a wider Christian community has greater difficulty connecting and supporting a person’s journey with God through deconstruction, loneliness, and doubt. Yet it is a necessary season in the human journey toward God and a season that brings a dynamic richness and deep wisdom to the wider community of faith.

Particularly in evangelical contexts that thrive on stories of conversion and celebration, seasons of sorrow, doubt, and loneliness are often distanced from the centrality of the church’s shared life together. Yet while these seasons of deconstruction and dark nights are often lonely, they need not be isolating. This project maps out a communal and generative vision of spirituality that is robust and dynamic enough to encompass all seasons of faith.

Part One of this project explores the theology, reality, and necessity of seasons of faith where God feels distant, communal life feels complex, and faith feels difficult. Part Two surveys resources for a generative and communal approach to spirituality across seasons of faith and the contextual realities facing emerging generations and the church in the ever-changing world. Part Three demonstrates how specific postures and practices of faith can create a generative environment for Christian formation across seasons of faith.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

DeGroat, Chuck

Document Type





Spiritual formation; Spiritual life—Christianity; Faith development; Stages of faith; Millennials; Millennials (Generation Y); Generation Y; Dark Night of the Soul, the; Dark Night of the Soul


Christianity | Practical Theology | Sociology of Religion


Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


This was uploaded by the David Allan Hubbard Library from the Theological Research Exchange Network (TREN). If there are any mistakes in this record, please contact

Upload File


Date Uploaded


Collection Number


File Name



Material is subject to copyright.

Embargo Period