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DEFINITIONS
of
Spiritual Formation
DEFINITIONS OF SPIRITUAL
FORMATION
! “The process of being conformed to the image of
Christ for the sake of others” – Robert Mulholland
! “Christian spiritual formation refers to the process
by which believers become more fully conformed
and united to Christ, especially with regard to
maturity of life and calling” – Evan B. Howard
! “Spirit-enabled relationship with the Triune God
that results in openness toward others, healing
progress toward Christlikeness, and willing
participation in God’s purposes in the world”
Glen Scorgie
DEFINITIONS OF SPIRITUAL
FORMATION
! “Spiritual formation for the Christian basically refers
to the Spirit-driven process of forming the inner
world of the human self in such a way that it
becomes like the inner being of Christ himself”
Dallas Willard
! “Spiritual formation is a rather general term
referring to all attempts, means, instructions, and
disciplines intended towards deepening of faith
and furtherance of spiritual growth. It includes
educational endeavors as well as the more
intimate and in-depth process of spiritual direction”
– Gerald May
DEFINITIONS OF SPIRITUAL
FORMATION
! “The intentional and semi-intentional processes by
which believers (individuals and communities)
become more fully conformed and united to
Christ, especially with regard to maturity of life and
calling” – Evan B. Howard
! “Christian spiritual formation is the process of being
transformed into the image of Christ, through a
relationship of intimacy with God, by the power of
the Spirit, in order to live a good and beautiful life
of faith, hope, love, joy, and peace---a life that will
be a blessings to oneself and to others and will
glorify God now and for all eternity” – James Bryan
Smith
Expanded Working Definition
Spiritual Formation is the process of partnering
with Gods Spirit to restore us to our True
Humanity and original righteousness.
This True Humanity and original righteousness
is revealed in the Person of Jesus Christ;
Redemption/Salvation = humanity restored into
the image of Jesus.
The process of Spiritual Formation is not simply
for our sake; we are restored into the image of
Jesus for the sake of others.
Abridged Working Definition
Spiritual Formation is the process
of
being with Christ,
in order to
become more like Christ,
and consequently
live for Christ,
for others’ sake.
3 DIMENSIONS OF THE
SPIRITUAL LIFE (Scorgie)
Christ with Us Christ in Us Christ through Us
Relationship Transformation Vocation
Encounter Change Action
The relational
dimension deals with
being in healthy
relationships with God
and others.
The transformational
dimension examines
the sanctifying and
healing changes
God’s Spirit works in
our person.
The vocational
dimension considers
the new life and
mission to which we
are called.
These three dimensions are interconnected, and each is essential
to life as God intended it to be.
Spiritual Formation Engages the
Whole Person
Spirit/Heart/God’s
Dwelling Place
Soul: Mind, Will
and Emotions
Affections,
Passions and
Desires
Physical Body
Social Relations in
the World, One’s
Vocation, and to
Nature