Discipleship in Community: Spiritual Formation and the Church

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Discipleship in Community: Spiritual Formation and the Church


Number of Lessons: 24Avg. Lesson Length: 43 MinutesTime Required: 34 Hours MinimumLevel: Advanced


What is spirituality? How is it formed both in private and in community? This course explores the meaning of biblical Christianity and its relation to faith and practice within contemporary cultural contexts, giving special attention to the corporate dimensions of spirituality and spiritual formation as defined in the New Testament. Lillis analyzes and discusses those historical and cultural factors that have led to the privatization of Christianity and develops a paradigm of spiritual growth and maturity that focuses on the assembly rather than the individual.

This course is part of our Legacy Series of courses from renowned scholars over several decades.


ProfessorJohn R. Lillis, PhD
  • Michigan State University, PhD
  • Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary, MDiv
  • Air Force Institute of Technology, MS
  • University of Kentucky, BS


  1. Understand the basic, biblical concept of spirituality as contrasted to contemporary ideas.
  2. Understand the basic mystic teachings of Christian spirituality, which have developed through the history of the church.
  3. Recognize the influences of mystical spirituality in contemporary ideas relating to spiritual formation.
  4. Understand the basic theological foundations of evangelical spirituality as these have developed through the history of the church.
  5. Develop a functional definition of spiritual formation.
  6. Recognize the impact of psychology on contemporary culture and spiritual formation.
  7. Understand the biblical concepts of spiritual maturity, spiritual growth, and love.
  8. Appreciate the corporate and community aspects of spiritual formation.
  9. Apply basic biblical concepts to the process of spiritual formation within his/her own life.
  10. Distinguish between the main traditions of spiritual formation.
  11. Appreciate the need for the spiritual disciplines in the development of spirituality.
  12. Understand the role of theological education in the spiritual formation of ministry students.
  13. Recognize the need for a personal value set that reflects loyalty and commitment to Christ over the enticements of the world, fesh, and devil.


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