Method of Spiritual Formation at DTS
In order to address the spiritual lives of students, the Spiritual Formation Ministry places students together to share in one another’s lives, commit to one another’s growth, encourage one another, pray for one another, and explore together the four modules that give structure to the program: Identity, Community, Integrity, and Fidelity.
Vision & Mission
Kingdom Concept: Our ministry exists to glorify God and make disciples by providing a relational context and biblical curriculum to help a highly diverse body of future servant-leaders engage with matters of the heart and mind such as identity, community, integrity and fidelity to experience transformation (growth in Christlikeness) and participate in the Spirit's transformation of others.
An Overview of the Four Semesters
- The goal in Identity is a deeper sense of what should define us. We ask questions like: (1) “Who am I?” (2) “How has God gifted me?” (3) “What does it mean to be in Christ?” (4) “How should that impact the way I live?” Students participate in a series of exercises for examining the concept of biblical identity. The Life Inventory Exercises are designed to guide students in examining their lives, identifying specific areas of growth for the coming semesters and living out their faith in Christ more intentionally.
- The second module focuses on building a deeper sense of community in Spiritual Formation groups. This focus reflects one of the driving convictions of the New Testament—life change occurs in the context of community. To facilitate this process of growing in community, students use a tool called “Life Story.” Life Story asks the group members to reflect upon the formative experiences and relationships of each of their lives and to creatively communicate their findings to their fellow group members. Community builds as the individuals in the group begin to truly know and be known by one another.
- In this module, groups explore the implications of both sin and grace in their lives. Having established a sense of trust and commitment to one another, group members are asked to share their current struggles and failures with a caring group of fellow strugglers. Groups explore the resources that God provides for living the Christian life—discussing topics like walking by the Spirit, practicing spiritual disciplines, and evidencing the fruit of the Spirit.
- The final module of the Spiritual Formation curriculum, Fidelity, asks the question “How will I live out my faith in Christ?” Here group members will synthesize the previous modules and consider the kind of life that each student wants to live as a follower of Jesus Christ. This module focuses in on the biblical concept: true life change is manifest in a growing love for God and others—a dying to self and living for Christ. They will know we are Christians by our love (John 13:35), a self-sacrificial love that is concerned with the well-being and flourishing of others. Together, each group member will consider what it looks like to die to self and to live for Christ, how they might live in a way that demonstrates the love of Christ to others, and how they can image Christ to the world.