This is the second of two courses offered through the School of Leadership which focus on “Christian spirituality”. Following the first course which concentrated on Jesus in his yoke of apprenticeship, we turn to Paul and his understanding of progressive transformation toward Christlikeness. Paul’s focus in being a “Christ-follower” is our personal union with Jesus, in what He has done for us in salvation, and in our responsive participation in that new creation reality. Therefore, the primary aim of this course is to develop in the student a practical working knowledge of what this means – how to live out one’s new nature in Christ in thought, word and deed.
We cannot overstress the fact that this course will benefit you little to read merely for information sakes. We do not just study spirituality, just like we do not just study plumbing. We study in order to DO Spirituality and do plumbing.
ACADEMIC LEVEL ASSIGNMENT
MINISTRY LEVEL REFLECTION
The overall goal of this course is “Wholistic pursuit to become like Jesus!”. At a more detailed level, you will focus on the following to help you pursue this goal:
- Understand Christian spirituality in its primary forms and expressions through the lens of different types of prayer.
- Grasp Paul’s view of the nature and growth of salvation, God’s Spirit-Life in us, which saves and transforms us to Christ’s likeness in this evil age and into eternity.
- Interpret Paul and his writings through the lens of Jesus’ messianic Judaism.
- Express Paul’s reimagined Jewish eschatology and how it redefined God’s true nature, and his one true people and their mission, in light of Jesus and the Spirit.
- Explain the nature of the classic spiritual path in Christian tradition using the stages of purification of the body/soul, illumination of the mind/intellect, and union of heart/spirit with God.
- Comprehend the nature of spiritual transformation (sanctification) in practice, that is the manner in which God forms and transforms us toward Christ-like-ness.
- Practice several spiritual disciplines of abstinence.
- Integrate personally appropriate practices into living a balanced, vibrant spiritual life.
To complete this course you must
- View/listen to the lecture videos in conjunction with the Power Points
- Read the appropriate sections of the book
- View/listen to all the teachings focussing on the Disciplines of Abstinence and complete the accompanying exercises
- 2 “multiple-choice” Quizzes (Ministry and Academic Levels)
- Attend all group discussions
Basic Course Information
- Time: 10 weeks
- Lectures: 8 sessions of 20-25 minutes each with accompanying Power Points
- Spiritual Disciplines/Practices of Abstinence: 8 sessions of 7-10 minutes each
- Literature: Bible; Doing Spirituality: The Journey of Character Formation Toward Christlikeness
Alexander Venter, Doing Spirituality: The Journey of Character Formation Toward Christlikeness (Kingdom Treasures Publication, 2019)
There are many excellent books that focus on growth in apprenticeship to Jesus. We highly recommend the following in addition to Doing Spirituality by Alexander Venter. Note that these books are NOT required for this course.
- The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard
- Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard
- The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard
- Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster
- Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen
We also recommend that you visit the Renovaré website and review their substantial list of helpful resources.
Alexander Venter is married to Gill and they have two adult children. The Venter’s lived in intentional Christian community for 23 years on “The Field”, south of Johannesburg, South Africa. Alexander was ordained to the ministry in 1975 in the Assemblies of God, then moved into the Vineyard in 1982, when he spent 8 months working with John Wimber. He has planted and pastored churches in Zimbabwe, Cape Town, Soweto and Johannesburg. He travels broadly teaching conferences, leading spiritual retreats, doing leadership consulting and training. He has authored four companion books, Doing Church, Doing Reconciliation, Doing Healing, and Doing Spirituality. He has also authored Praying the Psalms Volume One: Learning to Pray