Miller, John Lester, IV. “Deep Roots in Christ: An Exploration of Spiritual Formation Through Habits in College Ministry.” D. Min., Tyndale University, 2020.
In this Research Portfolio, the author examines the role of habits and rituals in spiritual formation. The specific focus of the work is on the potential impact of ancient spiritual practices in the lives of contemporary students at an undergraduate institution. The author presents this topic through three primary movements. First, the author explores aspects of his personal spiritual journey through an autobiographical chapter. These reflections introduce the author’s call to ministry and share some foundational thoughts on spiritual formation as both key turning points and habits that ignite and sustain such experiences. Second, the author develops an organic framework for spiritual formation through habits focused on the image of a healthy tree. The model builds upon John Wesley’s
Means of Grace and James K.A. Smith’s work on habits. Finally, the author reports on a research project where he invites current undergraduate students at Houghton College to participate in the practice of Lectio Divina to better understand the potential impact of habits on spiritual formation with
contemporary college students. The research suggests that habits and ancient spiritual practices are indeed reliable pathways to experiencing God’s love for the contemporary undergraduate student.
Thesis (D. Min.) – Tyndale University, 2020
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction: Doorbell Moments and Questions of Formation- - Chapter 2: Spiritual Autobiography: Seeds of Grace -- Chapter 3: A Model of Spiritual Formation: Habits Which Nurture the Heart- - Chapter 4: Research Project: Lectio Divina as a Habit for Today’s College Student -- Chapter 5: Conclusion: Hope for a New Generation in Practices of the Past.
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