SF110 Mentored Spiritual Formation
SF110 Mentored Spiritual Formation helps non-residential (or extension) students fulfill their Spiritual Formation requirements. First of all, if the student anticipates moving to Dallas or Houston at some point and will be on campus for at least two years, we recommend they enroll in the two-year residential SF100 course. That would be of most benefit to the student because of the community context. However, if the student is planning on staying in their present location (as a non-residential student), they can apply to take SF110.
SF110 will allow them to engage in Spiritual Formation at their current location with the assistance of a self-chosen, same-gender mentor (SF Mentor) and guidance from a staff contact in our office (SF Guide) during two consecutive semesters (with Christmas break and summer off). Students may begin in the fall or spring semester. (Please check the Registrar's Office webpage for registration dates.) This is not “online Spiritual Formation” but a way for the student to meet on a weekly basis, face to face with their mentor while interacting with the SF curriculum.
In this course, the student will complete the same assignments as if they were on campus at Dallas or Houston but in a shorter time frame. Credit and non-credit options are available.
- Who is eligible to enroll in SF110?
- Only approved non-residential or extension students are allowed to enroll in SF110. (This does not include “online” students who live in the DFW metroplex or surrounding areas. Such students will need to enroll in SF100 on the Dallas campus.)
- When can I start SF110?
- Non-residential students may begin SF110 in the fall or spring semester. The course will last two consecutive semesters. So, if beginning in the fall the student will follow the 15-week fall schedule, take off Christmas break, and begin again in the spring for 15 more weeks, after which the course will be completed. If beginning in the spring the student will complete the 15-week spring schedule, take off the summer, and begin again in the fall for 15 more weeks, after which the course will be completed.
- How do I begin?
- In order to apply for SF110, non-residential students must complete the SF110 Mentored Application paperwork by early March (to begin in the fall semester) or early October (for the spring semester) - see Registrar's Office webpage for exact dates. If approved, the student will then complete the SF110 Planning Document with their chosen mentor by August 15th (to start in the fall) or December 15th (to start in the spring). This is an agreement between the student and their mentor which will govern the one-year experience.
- How do I select a mentor?
Ideally, you would start with someone you already know and with whom you already have a spiritual friendship. (In addition, the mentor must be of the same gender.) Consider who has taken an interest in talking with you about your spiritual life and relationship with God? Who has encouraged you in this area? Who has helped you pursue Christ? Narrow the list to those who are further along in their journey with him. Typically, these persons will be older than you, but this is not always the case. Of the people you have in mind, can you think of a time when each one has shown a genuine humility and love for others, perhaps through sacrifice of time or other resources? In addition, you will be sharing your story and sin struggles with this individual, so you want to make sure that he or she is trustworthy. When you are ready to approach the person about mentoring, ask him or her to share how they have experienced God’s grace. Ask him or her to share a lesson that God has taught them through their journey. As you listen, recognize that authenticity, vulnerability, and a willingness to share out of weakness are foundational for spiritual growth in community. Finally, you will want to share with them the EML Department’s expectations to see if they are willing to make the commitment to your spiritual formation.
Please refer to dts.edu/mentor for more helpful guidance.
- Why face-to-face?
Meeting with your mentor face to face on a weekly basis is a course requirement. SF110 was designed to replicate as closely as possible what our residential students at DTS participate in—meeting together weekly with a small group of students while interacting with the SF curriculum. When SF became a requirement for most of our degree programs we had to develop a similar course for our extension students. From the outset we prioritized physical, embodied presence as a key emphasis of what we’re doing. One of the reasons for this is our extension programs must be as comparable as possible to the residential program. More importantly however, Christian spiritual formation is (and must be) based on the Incarnation—God with us; therefore, we want to communicate that incarnational community is essential to growth in Christlikeness.
As a result, students may not meet with their mentors via Skype, Facetime, or other virtual means. Our desire is for the student-mentor relationship to be incarnational because we believe this will result in authentic Christian community, more so than virtual interaction. Our bodies matter and we need to practice physical presence with one another because that’s the model God has given us in the sending of his Son.
- More questions?
Please contact Brian below for more information:
Educational Ministries & Leadership
Assistant Director of Spiritual Formation