Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
S. Joseph Kidder
Donna M. Worley
Problem. Providing effective opportunities for church members to learn how to grow spiritually is becoming increasingly important, especially since the benefits of many programs do not seem to last over the long term. This project was designed to test whether a multi-dimensional program shows promise of being more effective than a more traditional program.
Method. A multidimensional pilot program was designed, implemented, and evaluated. It included the social dimension by creating a community emphasis, the emotional health and maturity dimension that culminated in discovering a God-ordained life calling, and an integration of the spiritual disciplines of Bible study, worship, and transformational prayer throughout the sessions. The program, designed for a small group, consisted of 12 sessions of two hours each, with two sessions per week. Sixteen of the 21 participants attended regularly. They completed four different surveys before the program started and again after it was completed. These revealed their perceptions of their personal spiritual health, emotional health, level of maturity, and readiness for change. A participant evaluation was conducted at the end of the program.
Results. The program experience and self-perceptions of participants, as well as the observations of the program’s designer-facilitator-presenter, showed that a multidimensional program for spiritual formation holds greater promise for more effective spiritual growth over time than traditional programs that focus primarily on a spiritual dimension without a relevant and meaningful integration of the primary spiritual disciplines, and without the intentional inclusion of the dimensions of community, emotional health and maturity, and the God-given purpose elements.
Conclusions. Every element integrated into the multidimensional program is relevant and necessary. Providing a community context, leading participants to understand and experience greater emotional health and maturity, and guiding them to discover their God-given calling met their felt needs. The spiritual disciplines of Bible study, worship and prayer integrated these elements into a meaningful relationship with God and each other through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
Spiritual formation, Spiritual life
Palacios, Esteban Ricardo, "Spiritual Formation Within the Faith Community: the Beginning of a Life Journey" (2011). Dissertation Projects. 97.