Davis, Dawn Louise. “Developing Intimacy with God in an Anglican Context.” D. Min., Tyndale University College & Seminary, 2017
Spiritual growth is the development of an individual’s relationship with God. It happens when an intimate relationship with God is nurtured. This portfolio looks at nurture that links corporate worship with the personal spiritual experience and particularly in a small group or mentorship. At Trinity Church (in Aurora, Ontario, Canada), as with most Anglican churches, the predominant mode for spiritual formation has been through corporate worship and private devotions. Without a venue such as a small group or a mentorship, lay leaders typically do not have the opportunity to speak about, nurture or integrate the spiritual experience. They are capable but lack confidence in exhibiting spiritual leadership behaviour and the spiritual life can stall or go dormant. This research portfolio explores: 1. the limitations of serving God without knowing God; 2. the strengths and weaknesses of classical mainline Anglican spiritual formation that relies only on corporate worship and personal devotions; 3. the limitations of a private faith that is not openly shared with other people; and 4. the significance of a praxis based small group in developing confident spiritual leadership behaviour. The portfolio includes a spiritual autobiography (Chapter 2: Modern Girl Trying to Find the Holy) that traces the development of my relationship with God, highlighting the transition I made from helping a God I served to loving a God I know. It is followed by a spiritual formation model (Chapter 3: Closing the Sanctification Gap in Anglican Formation) that offers some insights into the strengths and weaknesses of spiritual formation within the Anglican Church. It viii proposes a model to mitigate these weaknesses and suggests a way forward that includes a praxis-based small-group discipleship process. Finally, a field research project (Chapter 4: Fostering Spiritual Growth in Anglican Lay Leadership through an Action-Research Project) is offered as a way of testing the effectiveness of the praxis-based, small-group discipleship process within an Anglican Church setting. The process helps lay leaders establish a prayer life and builds confidence in leading public prayer and in sharing their faith with others. It demonstrated that lay leaders do not lack the ability to pray publicly but that they lack confidence in exhibiting spiritual leadership behaviour. This behaviour can be facilitated through a praxis-based small-group discipleship process. Ultimately, this portfolio points toward a significant truth, that spiritual maturity only comes by growing in intimacy with God and that is made possible through meaningful interactions with other people during which private spiritual experience is connected with the corporate spiritual experience.
Thesis (D. Min.)—Tyndale University College & Seminary, 2017
Table of Contents
Introduction – Modern Girl Trying to Find the Holy: A Spiritual Autobiography – Closing the Sanctification Gap in Anglican Formation: A Spiritual Formation Model – Fostering Spiritual Growth in Anglican Lay Leadership through a Praxis-Based, Small-Group Discipleship Program: An Action Research Project – Conclusion
Tyndale University College & Seminary
Copyright, Dawn Louise Davis, managed by Tyndale University. All rights reserved.
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License