Study of Spiritual Formation in Theological Education

Project Number: 
Start Date: 
Mon, 07/01/1985
End Date: 
Fri, 01/01/1988

Assuming that good theological education encourages a student's growth in a life of prayer and inward spiritual discipline, many seminaries have looked beyond amassing academic credits or acquiring certain skills. Such an education is a process by which the whole person--spirit, heart, and mind--is formed in the service of God and other human beings. For lack of a better term, this kind of depth education can be called "formation," the forming of the minister. A Catholic retreat and conference institute, the St. Benedict Center, under the direction of Parker Palmer, conducted a project on the topic of spiritual formation resulting in a variety of articles and essays. Henri Nouwen, the well-known writer and an associate of Palmer's, worked on the study for the first year. Important in the design of the project was the shared ecumenical vision of the St. Benedict Center staff. (KA)