Nurturing/ Teaching Courses
Spiritual Formation Institute
Galindo, Israel. (2001).Methods of
Christian Education toward Christian Spiritual Formation. Review and
Expositor. 98 (Summer): 411-429
“…formation should be the overarching
integrative factor in Christian education-especially in the congregational
context. A formation approach to Christian education is ideally suited to the
development of the individual in the communal context that reflects the nature
of the church” p.411
“A sound application of a formation
approach will take into account modern psychologies, educational research,
appropriate theological frameworks, and congruence methodologies. Both
developmental psychologies and formation theory contain implications for
fundamental assumptions concerning methodology in Christian education.
Developmental psychologies can inform a formation approach to Christian
education. Erik H. Erikson and Carl G. Jung, in their theories, maintain that
all data of human experience can be given a religious interpretation…This
understanding broadens the scope of Christian education beyond information, core
knowledge, or propositional doctrinaire curriculum.” p.411
“Both developmental psychology and
formation theory demand that a Christian education be life-centered and
need-oriented. Christian education must be presented as a personal search for
meaning and as part of the learner’s total religious experience. Christian
education must help clarify for the believers their religious and spiritual
needs and dimensions.” P.412
- Most theologian education produces
graduate that is comfortable to educate with “message-content” rather than
the process and learning of the students. Content is most important. In
formation, the process and learner is content.
- Most educators have a worldview
that denied the supernatural. Formation must take into account the
- Most educator tend to
compartmentalise the human into secular-sacred. Formation is holistic. “A
Christian education formation for spiritual development must provide a
unified epistemology that fosters in the believer a concept of a unified
spiritual life structure.” P.414
- Formation should be centered more
on religious experience rather than prepositional truths.
- Formation is effective if religious
principles were taught. “The methods as well as the content of a Christian
education for spiritual formation need to grow out of the basic Christian
assumptions of the nature of church as community and of the nature of person
as relational.” P.415
Implications for a Christian
Education for Spiritual Formation
- Affective-Cognitive dichotomy
- Studies from psychology and
education research has shown that a cognitive emphasis to spirituality
is inadequate for spiritual growth.
- For spiritual growth, a highly
sensitive affective consciousness must be trained.
- “In a Christian education for
spiritual formation, attention must be given to fostering affective
spiritual autonomy, awareness and development”. P.416
- A teacher who uses logic will
not be as effective as one who uses images and affect.
- Disciplines that can develop
these are (1) discernment; (2) contemplation and (3) prayer.
- Spiritual generativity
- Spiritual growth always involve
a movement inwards and a movement outwards.
- Formation must always allow
avenue for outward service into involvement in lives of others.
- Community and mentoring
- The main task of a community is
to provide role models for the spiritual life.
- Provide a “climate of
freedom”-where learners will be free to fail.
- Teaching as relationship
- “A Christian education for
spiritual formation must refocus its foundational understanding of
teaching from being a technique, method, activity, or art, to teaching
as a relationship” p.419
- In teaching as relationship”
- Content and cognitive are
- Since it is relationship
and the Holy Spirit is involved, then any member of the church can
be a teacher.
- Involves submission and
mutuality. Accountability is important.
- Relationship as I-Thou.
- Learner is the content of
the learning experience.
- Teachers must be open to
Implications for Methodological
“Methodology must help provide the
environment in which channels of communication and dialogue between the teacher,
the learner, and God are opened.” P.421
- Symbols, stories and myths
- Personal stories and myths
- Small groups
Conceptual Model of Congregational Christian Education for Formation