A missional spirituality is “an attentive and active engagement of embodied love for God and neighbor expressed from the inside out.” Working with the diversity of learning styles, this transformative course will explore theological foundations and spiritual practices centered in the Great Commandment (Mark 12:28-34). The course will consider an integrative paradigm rooted in the love of God and in the context of corporate spirituality. Students will wrestle with the rhythm of spiritual life as incarnational missionaries, learning how to love the Lord our God from all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves.
Bernard of Clairvaux reminds us that lex immaculata caritas est (The divine law is love). Love is like a river: it has a source and an outlet, then through a natural rhythm returns to its source. This circular movement also describes the nature of our Trinitarian God.
In modern spiritualities the interior life of personal devotion is emphasized. A needed corrective is our rediscovery of the outward movement of God into the world: missio Dei. But pendulums tend to swing, and we have contemplatives on one hand and activists on the other. Where is the spiritual life rooted? Where was it rooted for Jesus? The life of devotion and mission are inseparable. We are formed by the Spirit in community for the sake of others, where inner life both forms and feeds mission.
- Define the nature of Christian spirituality and its relationship to Christian mission; what it means to be an incarnational missionary.
- Describe the contemporary challenges to a missional spirituality.
- Understand the theological foundations of a missional spirituality and the surrendered life.
- Understand the importance of theological reflection in context.
- Describe a framework for missional spirituality as a rhythm of inward and outward life.
- Be challenged to be an example of what it means to embody and express love for God from all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love for your neighbor as yourself.
- Acquire an enlarged paradigm regarding the corporate nature of the priesthood of all believers who practice a missional spirituality in the world.
- Based on a rigorous Christology that will inform your spirituality and mission, surrender to living in Christ as Lord and to Christ living in you.
- Incorporate key practices, both personal and corporate, that will cultivate growth for the sake of others, and import new meaning in your life as a disciple.
- Recall and reflect critically on key biblical texts that represent a missional spirituality and state examples of missional spirituality in action.
- Participate in the discussion, practice, and evaluation of your individual and corporate
experience of a missional spirituality.
- Design and implement a strategy that will nurture personal and corporate growth in
Incarnational, missional spirituality.